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Providence, Nebraska-Omaha win, make Frozen Four

Sunday, 03.29.2015 / 11:02 PM / NCAA Update

NHL.com

Tom Parisi scored a tie-breaking power-play goal with 5:01 left and Providence College defeated Denver 4-1 on Sunday to win the NCAA East Regional final and advance to the Frozen Four.

Providence (23-13-3), of Hockey East, will face Nebraska-Omaha, which defeated Rochester Institute of Technology 4-0 in the Midwest Regional final later Sunday, on April 9 at TD Garden in Boston. North Dakota will play Boston University in the other semifinal.

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Hanifin finishes freshman year at Boston College

Sunday, 03.29.2015 / 10:27 AM / Prospects

Connor Mellas - NHL.com Correspondent

PROVIDENCE -- Boston College’s offensive zone possession collapsed, and suddenly, Denver forward Daniel Doremus faced a stretch of wide-open ice. With a few seconds remaining in the second period, Doremus skated through the neutral zone and into Eagles territory, focusing his attention on the only player in front of the net, BC goaltender Thatcher Demko.

He should have been more worried about who was behind him.

BC freshman defenseman Noah Hanifin skated about 130 feet and caught Doremus before he could challenge Demko, defusing the threat with a sweeping poke check.

“The puck is transitioning, and he picked it up,” Hanifin said. “I saw the trail guy behind, so I didn’t know if it was going to be a 2-on-1 or not, so I was kind of pacing myself because I didn’t want to go to him and have him throw it across for an open guy. I looked back and [Michael Matheson] was there, so I told him to go to him, and I basically got stick on puck and luckily, the puck went into the corner.”

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Playoff Countdown: Predators, Ducks, Canadiens in

Sunday, 03.29.2015 / 3:00 AM / Expert Picks

NHL.com

Saturday, April 11, marks the conclusion to the 2014-15 regular season. Yet, much remains to be decided in the frantic run to the finish line, including playoff positioning and numerous individual accomplishments and milestones. To celebrate the countdown to the end of the season and the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 15, NHL.com will provide a piece of playoff-related content each day.

Three teams joined the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday.

The Nashville Predators, Anaheim Ducks and Montreal Canadiens assured themselves of playing beyond April 11 by clinching playoff berths.


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Five reasons Canadiens clinched playoff berth

Sunday, 03.29.2015 / 3:00 AM / Expert Picks

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

The Montreal Canadiens clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs one game earlier than they did last season when they defeated the Florida Panthers 3-2 in overtime Saturday.

The Canadiens have six games left; they had five remaining last season when they clinched following a loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on April 1, 2014.

The season prior to that, coach Michel Therrien's first back behind the Montreal bench, the Canadiens clinched with eight games remaining.

For a franchise that had grown accustomed to scratching and clawing its way into the postseason, this has been a welcome change and one of many signs showing how successful Therrien's tenure has been in his second stint with the Canadiens.

Yet in each of those three seasons, there have been reasons to doubt the Canadiens were for real.

In the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, Montreal began to slip down the stretch after a surprising start coming off a season when they finished last in the Eastern Conference. There were many reasons to believe the Canadiens would fall back to the pack in a full season; their five-game exit in the first round of the 2013 playoffs did nothing to dispel that argument.

The past two seasons, the Canadiens have had poor underlying numbers that suggested they were a flawed team, but they have nonetheless maintained a lofty perch in the standings and comfortably qualified for postseason play.

The reasons they were able to do so this season closely mirror last season's, with the biggest, most glaring one topping the list each time.


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Capitals' Fehr excels in new role as checking center

Sunday, 03.29.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Ben Raby - NHL.com Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- More than 10 years have passed since defenseman Mike Green and forward Eric Fehr, now Washington Capitals teammates, played against each other in the Western Hockey League, but Green still has one regret.

"I wanted to drop the gloves with him; I really wanted to go," said Green, who was captain of the Saskatoon Blades. "But Eric, he was too busy scoring goals against us, two or three a game. He was a great goal-scorer, absolutely. We couldn't stop him."

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Panthers face must-win games vs. Senators, Bruins

Sunday, 03.29.2015 / 12:43 AM / Expert Picks

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL – The Florida Panthers have not played a game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since losing Game 7 of the first round to the New Jersey Devils in 2012.

The game Sunday at the Ottawa Senators (5 p.m. ET; FS-F, RDS, TSN5) will be as close to one as Florida has played in three years, followed by a visit to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday.

The Panthers enter the game in Ottawa three points behind the Senators, who are one point behind the Bruins for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Florida lost 3-2 in overtime to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday but got some unexpected help from the Toronto Maple Leafs, who rallied to defeat the Senators 4-3 in overtime at home. The Bruins defeated the New York Rangers 4-2 earlier in the day.

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Five reasons Predators clinched playoff berth

Saturday, 03.28.2015 / 8:00 PM / Expert Picks

Robby Stanley - NHL.com Correspondent

The Nashville Predators became the first team in the Western Conference to clinch a berth in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 4-3 win against the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

The Predators (47-21-8), who have 102 points and lead the Central Division, have been one of the most surprising teams in the NHL this season. Nashville missed the playoffs each of the past two seasons after making the postseason in seven of eight seasons.

Here are five reasons the Predators clinched:

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Rangers' Glass fined for butt-ending

Saturday, 03.28.2015 / 7:31 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORK – New York Rangers forward Tanner Glass has been fined $3,897.85, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for butt-ending Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid during NHL Game No. 1116 in Boston on Saturday, March 28, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 20:00 of the third period. Glass was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for butt-ending.

The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Five reasons Ducks clinched playoff berth

Saturday, 03.28.2015 / 4:09 PM / Expert Picks

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Anaheim Ducks continue to be one of the NHL's elite teams. For the eighth time in the past 10 seasons, they have qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

With a high-profile coach, a quality goaltending tandem, and three of the top forwards in the League, the Ducks have the assets required to play deep into the playoffs.

Here are five reasons the Ducks clinched a playoff berth:

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Top prospects for 2015 draft provide self-evaluations

Saturday, 03.28.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Prior to every season, NHL Central Scouting has already evaluated hundreds of the top prospects eligible for the upcoming NHL Draft.

In addition to putting together meticulous reports and sharing those details with their colleagues, it's also required that each prospect submit some necessary paperwork.

So even before Erie Otters captain Connor McDavid and Boston University freshman Jack Eichel begin to impress, they've already completed the NHL Central Scouting questionnaire.

When asked for his ambition outside of hockey in September 2014, Eichel wrote: "Be a good father someday."

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Quote of the Day

We never really stopped believing in ourselves. We were hearing a lot of things about our team in the regular season. Seems like we put things back together at the right time and we're back in the finals with this group. We know what we have in this room, we believe in each other, we believe in the organization and it really matter what other people say.

— Patrick Sharp after Blackhawks clinched Western Conference title with Game 7 win vs. Ducks