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Stanley Cup Final
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NHL Insider

Price focused on winning Cup, not individual honors

Friday, 04.10.2015 / 2:14 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The history of the Montreal Canadiens can be suffocating at times for the players trying to live up to it.

The franchise’s NHL-record 24 Stanley Cup banners watch over each of their home games,as do the banners commemorating the 18 players who have had their numbers retired,each of them a member of the Hall of Fame.

In the dressing room,the photos of the 44 players in team history who are in the Hall of Fame watch over them as well,their photos lined above the players’ lockers.

That history can be a burden when things are not going well.

But it also makes becoming a part of that storied history that much sweeter.

Canadiens goaltender Carey Price did that Thursday in a 4-3 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings. It was his 43rd victory of the season setting a franchise record on a team that takes records more seriously than most.

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Selanne serves as caddy at Masters Tournament event

Wednesday, 04.08.2015 / 3:34 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Last year at this time Teemu Selanne was gearing up for his 13th and final trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Retirement has afforded him the opportunity to do something altogether different.

Selanne served as a caddy for Finnish pro golfer Mikko Ilonen at the Masters Par 3 Contest on Wednesday. The event is an annual prelude to the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. The Masters begins Thursday.

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Ward embracing chance to play on Capitals' top line

Wednesday, 04.08.2015 / 9:24 AM / NHL Insider

Ben Raby - NHL.com Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- To say the odds were stacked against Joel Ward would be putting it mildly. Three months shy of his 28th birthday, with 11 games on his NHL resume, Ward sought fulltime work with the Nashville Predators in September 2008.

"I really thought it was a do-or-die kind of moment in my career," Ward said of his first training camp in Nashville.

It was there, after three years spent primarily with the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League, that Ward met then-Predators coach Barry Trotz.

"I remember Joel came to camp," Trotz said, "and all the amateur scouts were telling me how good the young prospects were. But maybe this is where amateur scouts and coaches differ because I saw the detail and maturity of Joel's game -- he could handle a lot more than most of the kids."

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Five things to watch in Rivalry Night doubleheader

Wednesday, 04.08.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Boston Bruins have won five consecutive games and are in a heated race to secure a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Washington Capitals have clinched a playoff berth, but they are battling for home-ice advantage in the opening round.

Boston (41-25-13) has earned points in six straight games (5-0-1) and won for the fifth consecutive time in a 2-1 shootout victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

Washington (44-25-11), which has a five-game point streak (4-0-1), is coming off a 2-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday. The Capitals are in second place in the Metropolitan Division, one point ahead of the New York Islanders with two games remaining.

The Capitals will try to inch closer towards finishing second in the Metropolitan when they host the Bruins in the first game of a Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader at Verizon Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports).

In the nightcap, the Dallas Stars will face the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center (NBCSN, SN, 10:30 p.m. ET). Anaheim (50-23-7) is trying to finish atop the Western Conference standings; the Ducks are two points ahead of the St. Louis Blues with two games remaining.

Here are five things to watch in the two Wednesday Night Rivalry games:

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Defensive depth plays huge role in Wild's success

Monday, 04.06.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The mumps and mysterious stomach ailments seem like they happened in another season. In many ways, that's because they did.

For the Minnesota Wild, the 2014-15 season has played out in three distinct segments: the good first month, the abyss around the holiday season, and then the rally to Stanley Cup Playoff relevancy.

Along the way, the Wild defensemen have played a key role in it all.

"Mumps and injuries, there's a lot of things we've had to overcome with that group," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "Those are types of things that can really break a team, but they can also make it stronger too. And I think we've seen in that time, we've seen different players step up and take their game to another level, taking advantage of that opportunity."

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Referee Devorski calls it quits after 26-year career

Sunday, 04.05.2015 / 6:34 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Paul Devorski's career as an official started in the early 1980s because of a headline in a newspaper and ended Sunday with NHL stars such as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Claude Giroux shaking his hand and thanking him for his service to the game.

Devorski officiated his 1,594th and final NHL game at Wells Fargo Center. The 56-year-old is retiring after serving as a referee for 26 years.

He worked the game Sunday with his brother, Greg, a linesman.

"You know what, I never thought I'd last this long, but it's so fast out there and it's time to go before you embarrass yourself," Devorski said following the game, a 4-1 win for the Flyers against the Pittsburgh Penguins. "It's so fast out there now. It's time to go."

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Sharp beginning to find offense for Blackhawks

Sunday, 04.05.2015 / 10:13 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- His scoring touch left him for a long stretch of games, but forward Patrick Sharp is starting to round into form at just the right time for the Chicago Blackhawks.

His goal production is trending up as the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs approach, and that’s a welcome relief for a team that’s missing its most potent offensive threat. If the Blackhawks are going to survive long enough to get injured right wing Patrick Kane back, they’re going to need one of Sharp’s patented postseason runs.

Other players were more heralded in Chicago’s 2010 and 2013 Stanley Cup championship runs, but Sharp’s name was at the top of the goals column on the stat sheet each time. Odds are he’ll be up there again if the Blackhawks cap these playoffs with another title.

“Everybody wants to gear up for the end of the season and what’s to come,” said Sharp, who has two goals in the Blackhawks’ current four-game win streak. “You know, for whatever reason it’s been a tough season individually, offensively, putting up points and scoring goals. But I think our team’s right where we want to be. We’re playing better hockey as of late, individually, and I think we’re trending in the right direction.”

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Stone contributing to Senators' late-season surge

Friday, 04.03.2015 / 12:19 PM / NHL Insider

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- There are several key reasons the Ottawa Senators have been one of the great stories in the NHL for the past couple months.

Backed by goaltender Andrew Hammond, "The Hamburglar," they have been on a potentially record-setting roll as they try to overcome a 14-point deficit on Feb. 10 and earn a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

That would be the biggest deficit a team has overcome since the NHL went to an Eastern-Western conference format in 1993-94.

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Capitals' success this season is a team effort

Friday, 04.03.2015 / 1:29 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL – It was set up perfectly.

With the game on the line in the shootout, the two leading contenders to win the Hart Trophy, Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price and Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, were going head to head.

The game at Bell Centre on Thursday was hyped as a showdown between the two superstars. That was exactly what it came down to, with a chance for Ovechkin to win the game with a goal.

Ovechkin deked to his forehand, Price extended his pad, and the shootout continued.

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Molson Canadian contest spotlights love for hockey

Thursday, 04.02.2015 / 11:00 AM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Hockey, at its core, is a game. Yet sometimes that's an easily overlooked fact, especially when hockey can take on a greater meaning. And when choice individuals go above and beyond the call for the sake of the sport, it becomes all the more special.

Molson Canadian recently held a contest it called #ANYTHINGFORHOCKEY, which solicited entries from Canadians telling their stories about what they would do for hockey. Eleven winners were announced, with the grand prize of being flown to a professionally-made mountain rink in a remote range near the Rocky Mountains to play a game.

Though the 11 winners were different ages and genders, and told different stories, one common thread united them all: a passion for and commitment to hockey.

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Quote of the Day

You know what? We've played in some pretty special buildings along this playoff run so far. You start in Detroit, you go to Montreal, you come here … I think it's the first team to beat three Original Six teams to get to the Final if I'm not mistaken. That says how tough the road has been. Those are tough places to win.

— Lightning forward Steven Stamkos after Game 7 win vs. Rangers on Friday in New York