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(Page 83 of 167)
Features

Sprong hoping to become next Dutch-born NHL player

Thursday, 05.21.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Daniel Sprong might have been considered an outsider growing up in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands.

In a country where most young athletes aspire to become professional soccer players, Sprong had a different passion.

"There was only one hockey rink in Amsterdam; soccer in Amsterdam is like hockey in Canada," Sprong said. "It's very rare that kids in Amsterdam play hockey. When I first started working on fundamentals when I was 4 or 5 years old, I played on a team with 12- and 13-year-old kids."

Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Wednesday, May 20

Thursday, 05.21.2015 / 2:02 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL Public Relations

KUCHEROV'S OT GOAL LIFTS LIGHTNING OVER RANGERS IN WILD GAME 3

Dan Boyle tied the game with 1:56 remaining in regulation, but Nikita Kucherov scored at 3:33 of overtime to end a see-saw affair and give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 2-1 series lead against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final.

* Kucherov (1-1—2) scored his third playoff game-winning goal and second in overtime. In the second round, he had the winner in each of the first two games at the Montreal Canadiens, including a goal at 2:06 of double-overtime in Game 1.

* Kucherov is the only player with multiple overtime goals in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Martin St. Louis is the only other player in Lightning history with multiple overtime goals in one playoff year; he scored them when Tampa Bay won its only Stanley Cup in 2004 (Game 5 of EQF vs. the New York Islanders and Game 6 of Stanley Cup Final at the Calgary Flames).

'Triplets' a perfect combination for Lightning

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

TAMPA -- The three players on the Tampa Bay Lightning's delightfully skilled and fantastically young and energetic second line are known as "The Triplets." The nickname works because it's quick, to the point, memorable and easy to digest. It's all good except for one great problem to have:

Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov are nothing alike. But in an odd way that's what fuels their chemistry, what makes them so good and so awesome to watch. They've been that way all season and, most impressively and importantly, throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Nothing changed Wednesday at Amalie Arena, when "The Triplets" combined for four goals, including Kucherov's overtime winner, and three assists in the Lightning's 6-5 victory against the New York Rangers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.

The Lightning lead the best-of-7 series 2-1 and host Game 4 on Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Lightning forward Killorn steps up game in playoffs

Corey Long - NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- After going through several lengthy scoring slumps during the regular season, Alex Killorn is hot at the right time for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Killorn had a goal and an assist in the Lightning's 6-5 win in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday against the New York Rangers. He has three goals and two assists in the past two games and at least a point in six of the past eight Stanley Cup Playoff games.

As the "Triplets" line of Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat is justifiably earning the headlines, Killorn has found his scoring touch playing on a line with Steven Stamkos and Valtteri Filppula.

"I think with Filppula and Stamkos we've found some chemistry, for sure," Killorn, 25, said. "We all know our role and what we bring to the line. I like to go into the corners and get the puck for those guys, and Filppula just opens up the whole ice. [Stamkos] likes to shoot it, but he wants us to shoot it as well."

Killorn's nine shots on goal led the Lightning on Wednesday.

Lightning defenseman Carle leaves Game 3 with injury

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 11:41 PM / Rangers vs Lightning - 2015 Eastern Conference Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Matthew Carle left Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final at 9:55 of the first period following a collision in the neutral zone with New York Rangers center Derek Stepan.

Carle did not return to the game because of an undisclosed injury.

Blackhawks lean heavily on top-four defensemen

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 8:29 PM / Ducks vs Blackhawks - 2015 Western Conference Final

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO – The Chicago Blackhawks arrived Wednesday looking like a team that played deep into the night Tuesday to defeat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 in the third overtime of Game 2 of the Western Conference Final at Honda Center.

Among those who met with reporters was defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson, who still looked bleary-eyed after playing a career-high 47:35 in the win that evened the best-of-7 series at 1-1. He wasn’t the only one who looked a little bushed.

Centers Brad Richards and Jonathan Toews did too, and it’s a safe bet the other three defensemen who comprise Chicago’s top four were dragging just as much. Duncan Keith (49:51), Brent Seabrook (47:46) and Johnny Oduya (46:06) all played at least 46 minutes in Game 2, as Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville continued to lean on them heavily in the absence of injured veteran Michal Rozsival (fractured ankle).

"Yeah, [that] was a lot of minutes last game," Hjalmarsson said. "But we won the game, and we move on from there, start focusing on [the] next game. Personally, I feel fine. I have no complaints."

Analysis: Babcock to face uphill battle with Toronto

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 5:55 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

In deciding to accept the contract offer to become coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, Mike Babcock also accepted the offer to take on the greatest challenge of his career in the NHL.

"I think it is," NHL Network and TSN analyst Craig Button said.

It is because coaching the Maple Leafs at this time is unlike anything he has taken on in his career with the Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, or Canadian Olympic teams.

Chabot: Ducks must stick to their blueprint for Game 3

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 5:08 PM / Ducks vs Blackhawks - 2015 Western Conference Final

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

For additional insight into the Anaheim Ducks during the Western Conference Final series, NHL.com has enlisted the help of Frederic Chabot to break down the action. Chabot will be checking in throughout the series.

Chabot was the goaltending coach for the Edmonton Oilers from 2009 to 2014. He played in the NHL for five seasons, spending time with the Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers and the Los Angeles Kings.

In a three-overtime loss, it's inevitable there will be bounces that don't go your way.

The Anaheim Ducks hit a post and two crossbars during their 3-2, triple-overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final, evening the best-of-7 series at 1-1.

Chicago had its bounces too; one puck bounced off the head of forward Andrew Shaw and into the net, which was ruled a goal on the ice and then disallowed after a video review. The Blackhawks eventually got their bounce in the form of Marcus Kruger's game-winning goal 16:12 into the third overtime.

Bounces tend to even out, but the Ducks played a strong game, according to Frederic Chabot, and don't need to change their plan for Game 3 at United Center on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Talbot: Bruins can compete for Cup under Sweeney

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 3:51 PM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- When Don Sweeney was named general manager of the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, CEO Charlie Jacobs called it a new era in Bruins hockey during a press conference announcing the move.

Bruins forward Max Talbot knows what it's like to be on a team when a new general manager is hired. He was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins when Ray Shero was named GM in 2006. Acquired by Boston prior to the 2015 Trade Deadline, Talbot said the Bruins are ready to compete for the Stanley Cup and it's an exciting time to be a Bruin with Sweeney at the helm.

"The situation I was in with Pittsburgh is a little different than the situation now because it was a GM from the outside," Talbot said. "Ray came and brought a totally new mentality. He rebuilt everything and he was from the outside so he really changed a lot of things.

"Now, Sweeney has been with the organization as a player and in management, so he's seen things and he knows the team. He knows the culture and stuff."

Ducks focus on positives from marathon loss

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 3:46 PM / Ducks vs Blackhawks - 2015 Western Conference Final

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks teammates Francois Beauchemin and Kyle Palmieri have different experiences when it comes to marathon games.

Beauchemin played in a quadruple-overtime game in the 2003 Calder Cup Finals.

"It's funny, they made a T-shirt about it because it was the longest game in [American Hockey League] history that we ended up losing, unfortunately," Beauchemin said.

Palmieri played a long peewee game at his home rink in New Jersey.

"It was a little different format," Palmieri said. "I think it went 4-on-4, 3-on-3, 2-on-2, 1-on-1, and I remember losing and I was out there for the 1-on-1. That was probably the longest game before this."

"This" is a reference to Anaheim's 3-2, triple-overtime loss against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final on Tuesday.
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I'm a hockey player and that's what I love to do. That is what I am here for. Everything else is just a side note.

— Oilers forward Connor McDavid on moving beyond the anticipation of his long-awaited arrival in the NHL
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