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Features

Flames' next challenge comes from top-seeded Ducks

Monday, 04.27.2015 / 12:27 PM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

NHL.com

The Calgary Flames have answered challenges all season long. Now, in their Western Conference Second Round series against the Anaheim Ducks, comes another big one.

The Ducks were the top team in the Western Conference, giving them home-ice advantage in the series. And that's proven to be a tremendous advantage.

The Flames have lost 20 straight regular-season games at Honda Center (0-15-5), and two of three games in the building when the teams played in the first round of the 2006 playoffs.

But just because the Ducks have dominated the Flames at home doesn't mean they'll dominate this series.

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Five reasons Senators were eliminated from playoffs

Monday, 04.27.2015 / 12:16 PM / Canadiens vs Senators - 2015 SCP First Round

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

The Ottawa Senators were the comeback story of the NHL this season.

They made the Stanley Cup Playoffs on the last day of the regular season after being 14 points out of a playoff spot on Feb. 10. Backed by the goaltending of undrafted Andrew Hammond, 27, the Senators rallied with a 23-4-4 record down the stretch.

Ottawa ran out of comebacks in the playoffs, digging a hole too deep in their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens, losing the first three games before eventually being eliminated in six.

Here are the five reasons the Senators were eliminated:

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Parise's two goals spark Wild to first-round victory

Monday, 04.27.2015 / 12:08 PM / "Obvious Choice" Moments

NHL.com

Throughout his career Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise has risen to the occasion, especially in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Parise stepped up and then some in Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round with two goals, one shorthanded, to spark a 4-1 win that eliminated the St. Louis Blues.

With the Blues on their first power play, Parise grabbed a loose puck in the neutral zone, skated past Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and fired a shot that beat Blues goalie Jake Allen between his pad and the goal post.

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Five reasons Canadiens advanced to second round

Monday, 04.27.2015 / 11:50 AM / Canadiens vs Senators - 2015 SCP First Round

Sean Farrell - NHL.com Correspondent

The third time proved the charm for the Montreal Canadiens, who stumbled twice after taking a 3-0 lead in their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Ottawa Senators before winning in six games.

The Canadiens began the series with three straight one-goal wins, including two in overtime, yet failed in their first two attempts to eliminate the Senators, who went 23-4-4 over their final 31 regular-season games to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Senators, who became the first NHL team to come back from 14 points out of a playoff berth to qualify, scored first in each of the first five games. The Canadiens finally took a 1-0 lead on Brendan Gallagher's first-period goal in Game 6. So, how did the Canadiens advance despite not holding a two-goal lead in the series until there was less than a second remaining in the clincher?

Here are five reasons the Canadiens advanced to the second round:

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Five reasons Blues were eliminated from playoffs

Monday, 04.27.2015 / 10:46 AM / Blues vs Wild - 2015 SCP First Round

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues are the epitome of what a regular-season team should be.

They've surpassed 100 points three of the past four seasons (they didn't get there in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season), and have finished first or second in their division four straight seasons.

But another disappointment in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, this time a six-game loss to the Minnesota Wild in the Western Conference First Round, could make for an interesting offseason.

Here are five reasons the Blues were eliminated:

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Five reasons Wild advanced to second round

Monday, 04.27.2015 / 9:09 AM / Blues vs Wild - 2015 SCP First Round

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- For the second consecutive season the Minnesota Wild eliminated the Central Division champion in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This time it was the St. Louis Blues, beating them in six games in the Western Conference First Round.

All six games were decided by two goals or more and Minnesota closed the series by winning the final two games.

Here are five reasons the Wild advanced to the second round:

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Cameron responsible for Senators' turnaround

Monday, 04.27.2015 / 12:41 AM / Canadiens vs Senators - 2015 SCP First Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

OTTAWA -- Dave Cameron didn't mean to do it, but the Ottawa Senators coach perfectly summed up what allowed his team to go on a fairy tale run to the Stanley Cup Playoffs shortly after it ended.

The disappointment of the Senators 2-0 loss in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens was still fresh, and a playoff elimination is never easy to process.

Cameron was asked how he would do that, especially following a game in which the Senators outshot the Canadiens by a 43-20 margin and had a tying goal by Jean-Gabriel Pageau waved off because the play was blown dead even though the puck was loose.

Those circumstances would normally tear a competitor's guts to shreds.

But not Cameron. And not these Senators.

"That's one of the advantages of being old," Cameron joked, somehow finding his sense of humor amid the disappointment. "One of my biggest disappointments in not going back to Montreal for Game 7 is that heated toilet seat at the Ritz [Carlton Hotel], which is old.

"When you're old, you learn to roll with the punches."

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Senators season ends with excruciating loss

Sunday, 04.26.2015 / 11:35 PM / Canadiens vs Senators - 2015 SCP First Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

OTTAWA – There were two games where the Eastern Conference First Round series between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens turned.

The Senators put themselves in a great position to win those two games, lost them both and now their storybook season is over.

Ottawa outshot Montreal 43-20 in Game 6 on Sunday but lost the game 2-0 and the series 4-2.

While Game 6 clinched the series, it could be argued it was lost for the Senators in a 2-1 loss in Game 3 when Canadiens forward Dale Weise scored the tying goal at 14:13 of the third period and the winner at 8:47 of overtime.

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Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Sunday, April 26

Sunday, 04.26.2015 / 11:30 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL Public Relations

PRICE BACKSTOPS MONTREAL INTO SECOND ROUND

Carey Price stopped 43 shots to backstop the Canadiens into the Second Round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Canadiens improved to 3-0 in Game 6s where they had originally held a 3-0 lead in the series. Montreal won the other two instances on April 12, 1973 at BUF (4-2 W in CSF) and April 14, 1988 at HFD (2-1 W in CQF).

* Price made his fifth career postseason shutout and his first of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Price improved to 4-2 this postseason with a 1.94 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage.

* Price's 43 saves were the most he has made in his five postseason shutouts, which also established a new career-high in non-overtime playoff games. Price made 48 saves on May 1, 2014 at BOS (4-3 2OT W) and 49 saves on April 23, 2011 at BOS (2-1 2OT L).

* With five career postseason shutouts, Price moved into a tie with Gerry McNeil and Patrick Roy for fourth on the franchise's all-time playoff shutouts list. Kenneth Dryden and Jacques Plante share the franchise's all-time lead with 10 each.

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Hitchcock, Blues exit playoffs early again

Sunday, 04.26.2015 / 8:23 PM / Blues vs Wild - 2015 SCP First Round

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The St. Louis Blues have been at the top of the League standings in the regular season for each of the past four seasons, but exited the Stanley Cup Playoffs prematurely again.

The Blues were defeated by the Minnesota Wild 4-1 at Xcel Energy Center on Sunday, to lose the best-of-7 series 4-2, the third straight season they've been eliminated in the first round.

St. Louis finished with 14 goals in the series and four of them came in their four losses.

Sunday, Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves, allowing a T.J. Oshie goal.

Blues goalie Jake Allen, who had been strong through the first four games of the series, allowed two goals before being pulled from the game in favor of Brian Elliott.

The past four seasons in coach Ken Hitchcock's tenure, the Blues are 10-17 in the playoffs with one series victory.

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Quote of the Day

He's, believe it or not, actually one of my favorite guys, and I've ended up trading him twice. I appreciate what he's done. He was one year away from being an unrestricted free agent, and I felt with this opportunity, that it was a chance that we were able to get somebody for him in Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening.

— Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on forward Brandon Sutter