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(Page 82 of 173)
Features

Tennessee teenager boasts perfect playoff bracket

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 5:23 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

More than a half-million entries were submitted for the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge. Heading into the trio of Game 7s on Wednesday, only one participant has a chance to claim they correctly predicted each of the teams that would advance in the first round and in how many games.

A student and hockey player at Father Ryan High School in Nashville, Colin Fitts stands alone. And if the New York Rangers, Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings all win Wednesday, he'll have successfully filled out a perfect bracket for the opening round of the playoffs.

Fitts, 16, is an aspiring journalist who covers the Nashville Predators for the HockeyWriters.com. But he didn't exactly draw on his experience covering his favorite team when it came time to file his bracket.

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X-Factor: Penguins' Letang rounding back into form

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 5:00 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The perception was the Pittsburgh Penguins would be without defenseman Kris Letang at the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Instead, Letang is playing and rounding into shape entering the Eastern Conference Second Round.

Letang had a stroke in late January that put his hockey future into doubt. A little over two months later, he returned against the Detroit Red Wings on April 9. His performance was surprisingly crisp in Pittsburgh's final three regular-season games, with one goal and four points.

That did not carry into the first few games of the Penguins' Eastern Conference First Round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Letang was criticized following his Game 1 performance after committing two turnovers, one that led to a shorthanded goal for Columbus forward Derek MacKenzie, and two reactionary penalties in the offensive zone.

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X-Factor: Ducks' Bonino used to scoring big goals

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 5:00 PM / Ducks vs. Kings - 2014 SCP Second Round

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

If the Anaheim Ducks need a big goal in their Western Conference Second Round series, don't be surprised if Nick Bonino scores it.

The 26-year-old forward had three goals in the Ducks' first-round series win against the Dallas Stars, but two of them came in Anaheim's 5-4 victory in Game 6, which clinched the series for the Ducks. He triggered a late-game comeback by scoring with 2:10 left in regulation to cut Anaheim's deficit to 4-3, then got the overtime winner at 2:47.

"It's tough to describe," Bonino said Tuesday at Honda Center. "It's almost like your mind goes blank. You're just so happy. There's euphoria, just pure happiness."

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Blues see latest first-round exit as 'a big letdown'

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 4:42 PM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- The St. Louis Blues gathered at the rink one final time before heading their separate ways, their feelings leaning toward disappointment and frustration after another exit in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It was locker cleanout day at the Ice Zone inside St. Louis Outlet Mall on Wednesday, and it came sooner than they expected.

A pick by some to win their first Stanley Cup, the drought will go into a 48th season in 2014-15. But a year after learning the hard lesson of losing a 2-0 series lead in the first round against the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, the Blues suffered the same fate in 2014 against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

After losing four straight in the six-game Western Conference First Round series, players Wednesday echoed the sentiment expressed by general manager Doug Armstrong and coach Ken Hitchcock the day before: There was a lack of killer instinct.

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Bruins' Rask, Canadiens' Price draw on past success

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 4:12 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- The hockey world was allowed to witness a goaltending clash between Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins and Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens once this season.

Rask faced the Canadiens four times. Price faced the Bruins once, as the schedule and Montreal coach Michel Therrien's desire to play backup Peter Budaj in an environment he's comfortable in at TD Garden conspired to keep the Canadiens' No. 1 on the bench for three other Boston-Montreal games.

While Price was leading Canada to the gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and Rask was carrying Finland to a bronze, their paths didn't cross on the ice (although Price said they had some chats in the mess hall).

Finally, the Stanley Cup Playoffs have given many fans what they've been waiting for: Rask vs. Price in a best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series, which starts Thursday at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

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Blackhawks' Versteeg focused on returning to lineup

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 3:33 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks got back on the ice Wednesday after taking two days off between series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Forward Kris Versteeg skated on the fourth line at right wing during line rushes and looks to get back in the lineup for the start of the Western Conference Second Round.

Versteeg, who was reacquired during the first quarter of the regular season in a trade with the Florida Panthers, was a surprising scratch Sunday in Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series against the St. Louis Blues. Instead, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville went with rookie forward Joakim Nordstrom, who made his postseason debut at right wing on the fourth line.

"You just have to get ready for the next one," Versteeg said. "Obviously you always want to play, but you have to understand what the coach feels and what's best for the team. It's something you want to fight through and come back and be a factor in helping the team."

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Bruins' hatred of Canadiens not openly returned

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 3:09 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The rivalry between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens appears to be rather one-sided.

Not necessarily in terms of wins and losses, even though the Canadiens have won six of their past seven games against the Bruins, but more in the sense of how emotional the rivalry is in each camp.

The Bruins are not shy to say they hate the Canadiens, with coach Claude Julien openly saying so Tuesday and forward Milan Lucic admitting as much Wednesday as the teams prepared for the start of their Eastern Conference Second Round series Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

“Yeah, I mean I do,” Lucic said Wednesday in Boston. “If you ask them the same question, I’m sure they’d give you the same answer about if they hate us. You know it’s just natural for me being here for seven years now, and just being a part of this organization."

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McCarthy: Home ice has its disadvantages for Bruins

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 12:56 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens, NHL.com enlisted the help of longtime NHL assistant/associate coach Kevin McCarthy.

McCarthy played in more than 500 NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks and Pittsburgh Penguins, then spent a decade as an assistant and associate coach with the Carolina Hurricanes, where he was a member of the staff that led them to a Stanley Cup championship in 2006. He joined the Flyers as an assistant during the 2009-10 season and stayed in Philadelphia until October 2013.

Teams play the regular season in order to not only earn a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but also to have home-ice advantage.

Except in the case of the Eastern Conference Second Round series between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens, Kevin McCarthy thinks home ice might in fact be a disadvantage for the Bruins, at least to start the series.

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'Cupnappers' help NHL find new commercial voice

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 11:42 AM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Davis Harper - NHL.com Staff Writer

Like the majority of New York Rangers fans this time of year, Nick Kroll had been dreaming about Mark Messier lifting the Stanley Cup in 1994.

"I had a dream one night that Mark Messier came to me and he was holding the Stanley Cup, the '94 Cup," Kroll said. "It was like when I was kid, but I was my age now. And he said to me, 'Go find this, and take this.'"

With a little help from the NHL and NBC, Kroll did exactly as The Captain commanded. The comedian and actor teamed with longtime comedy cohorts Seth Morris and Charlie Sanders to "lift" the Cup from its velvet-lined case as part of a viral video released on April Fools' Day to promote the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Jagr, Malhotra and Moore named Masterton finalists

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 11:00 AM / 2014 NHL Awards

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- Jaromir Jagr of the New Jersey Devils, Manny Malhotra of the Carolina Hurricanes and Dominic Moore of the New York Rangers are the three finalists for the 2013-14 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded "to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey," the National Hockey League announced today.

A $2,500 grant from the Professional Hockey Writers' Association (PHWA) is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.

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I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie