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Features

Seven matchups to watch in Rangers-Capitals Game 7

Monday, 05.11.2015 / 12:34 PM / Rangers vs Capitals - 2015 SCP Second Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Here they are again, the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers, in a Game 7, in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, for the fourth time in the past seven seasons.

There was some doubt it would happen again this year; the Capitals took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series, but the Rangers rallied to win Game 5 in overtime and held on to win Game 6 in regulation to force the series back to Madison Square Garden for Game 7 on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Rangers have won five consecutive Game 7s, going back to the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Ottawa Senators. Two of those Game 7 wins have come against the Capitals, including 5-0 in the 2013 conference quarterfinals.

The Rangers have won five consecutive Game 7s, going back to the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Ottawa Senators. Two of those Game 7 wins have come against the Capitals, including 5-0 in the 2013 conference quarterfinals.

Washington has won two of its past four Game 7s, including 2-1 against the New York Islanders in the first round this year.

New York is 13-3 in its past 16 games when facing elimination, including 7-1 in six playoff rounds under coach Alain Vigneault. The Capitals are 3-10 in their past 13 games when they have the ability to close a series, including 1-3 under coach Barry Trotz this season.

The following seven matchups could decide who moves on to the Eastern Conference Final:

Kreider scores twice to spark Rangers to Game 6 win

Monday, 05.11.2015 / 11:56 AM / "Obvious Choice" Moments

NHL.com Staff

Chris Kreider helped save the New York Rangers' season last Friday when his goal tied Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Washington Capitals with 1:41 left in regulation. He wasted no time imposing his will in Game 6 on Sunday, scoring twice in the first period to spark the Rangers to a 4-3 win that evened the best-of-7 series at 3-3.

Game 7 is Wednesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m.; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) and Kreider is a big reason why the Rangers have rallied from down 3-1 in the series. He scored 40 seconds into Game 6 after picking up a loose puck at the red line and powering past Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen before lifting a backhand shot over the blocker of goaltender Branden Holtby.

"When he gets the puck wide with speed like that, he's one of the tougher players to defend, and I hope I never have to do it, because it looks miserable," Rangers defenseman Marc Staal told the New York Post.

Five reasons Flames were eliminated from playoffs

Monday, 05.11.2015 / 10:54 AM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

The improbable run of the Calgary Flames has come to an end.

Making their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2009 and advancing beyond the first round for the second time since winning Stanley Cup in 1989 after defeating the Vancouver Canucks in the first round, the Flames were eliminated by the Anaheim Ducks in five games in the best-of-7 Western Conference Second Round. They lost Game 5 on Sunday 3-2 in overtime.

"The investment that we put in in those young players in those playoffs, whether against the Canucks or against the Ducks, it's priceless," Calgary coach Bob Hartley said Sunday. "Now they know how hard you need to suffer to win some games and the pace, how unbelievable the pace is. Now they know. It doesn't mean that it's guaranteed success, but at least it's another page in our book, and obviously I like the way that this group moved forward this year."

"We still have a long way to go. But those playoffs are certainly a huge investment for them and also for the entire organization."

Here are five reasons the Flames were eliminated:

Ducks' Boudreau in conference final for first time

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

ANAHEIM -- Minutes after one of the biggest victories of his professional coaching career Sunday, Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was honest, self-deprecating, insightful and folksy, everything he's been known for during a long and successful life in hockey.

He's also been known to do a lot of winning. He's won championships in the American Hockey League and ECHL, reached the finals of the International Hockey League, and became the fastest coach to 300 victories in the NHL. But the level of postseason success he expects, and people expect of his teams after witnessing their regular-season excellence, has eluded him in the NHL.

The 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs may change that. After the Ducks defeated the Calgary Flames 3-2 in overtime Sunday to win the best-of-7 Western Conference Second Round series in five games, Boudreau has coached a team to the conference final for the first time in eight seasons in the NHL.

The Ducks will play the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final.

"It's a relief that I won't get asked that question anymore," Boudreau said about failing to advance past the second round. "I'm sure now it will be, 'Well, you've never been to the Cup Final.' For tonight I'm really happy that question won't be asked of me too often anymore."

Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Sunday, May 10

Monday, 05.11.2015 / 3:27 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

PERRY'S OVERTIME-WINNER POWERS DUCKS TO WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL

Matt Beleskey's tying goal at 0:59 of the third period set the stage for Corey Perry to score the overtime-winner at 2:26 of the extra frame to power the Ducks to the Western Conference Final.

* The Ducks advanced to the Western Conference Final for the fourth time in their history and for the first time since 2007.

* Perry, who briefly left the game in the later stages of the second period with a lower-body injury, scored his second game-winning goal of the postseason and his first career playoff overtime goal. Perry paces the League with 7-8—15 in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Despite loss, Flames goalie Ramo shows top form

Monday, 05.11.2015 / 2:54 AM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Calgary Flames goaltender Karri Ramo briefly protested and hung around his crease as though he didn't want to leave the ice. He certainly had a lot more saves in him, judging from the first 60 minutes Sunday.

But Ramo's 44 saves weren't enough to keep the Flames alive in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks in Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round at Honda Center. Thirty-two of those saves were made after the first period.

Ramo was terrific late. He got a piece of Ryan Kesler's wrist shot from a steep angle in overtime and stopped Matt Beleskey on a partial breakaway. Ramo made six saves in overtime before he could do little to stop Corey Perry from punching in the puck from a scramble in front at 2:26. His frustration was evident while Anaheim celebrated.

Start time set for Canadiens-Lightning Game 6

Monday, 05.11.2015 / 1:19 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League today announced the start time and national television information for Game 6 of 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round series scheduled for Tuesday, May 12.

The start time for Game 6 of the series between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning has been set for 7:30 p.m. ET in Tampa Bay. The game will be seen on NBCSN, CBC and TVA Sports.

Strong finish boosts Capitals' confidence for Game 7

Monday, 05.11.2015 / 12:57 AM / Rangers vs Capitals - 2015 SCP Second Round

Katie Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Washington Capitals have talked about how things were different this year. They were a different team, a new team, they said.

Surely this new team would be capable of closing out a series at home.

The New York Rangers defeated the Capitals 4-3 at Verizon Center on Sunday, forcing Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

After jumping out to a 3-1 lead on the Rangers in the best-of-7 series, these new Capitals have lost two straight for the first time since mid-March, and as a result they still are one win away from their first Eastern Conference Final appearance in 17 years.

"I know this team has a lot of character, and it showed all year," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "I am not going to tell you anything different than I told them. Probably not the path when you are (ahead) 3-1 you want to take, but at the same time, it is a great opportunity in Game 7 to find out."


Rangers' Nash relieved to get back in scoring column

Monday, 05.11.2015 / 12:22 AM / Rangers vs Capitals - 2015 SCP Second Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

WASHINGTON -- New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash wanted to feel well about how he was playing entering Game 6 against the Washington Capitals on Sunday. All he felt was the weight of not scoring.

"It's tricky because I felt good, but my job is to score so it was definitely frustrating," Nash said.

Frustration turned into relief in the Rangers' 4-3 win at Verizon Center.

Nash's goal at 54 seconds of the third period gave New York a 3-1 lead. The Rangers eventually held on to even the best-of-7 series at 3-3.

Game 7 is Wednesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Start time set for Rangers-Capitals Game 7

Sunday, 05.10.2015 / 10:16 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League today announced the start time and national television information for Game 7 of 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round series between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals scheduled for Wednesday, May 13.

· The start time for Game 7 of the series between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals has been set for 7:30 p.m. ET in New York. The game will be seen on NBCSN, CBC and TVA Sports

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