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Lightning power play scores four goals in Game 2 win

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 12:02 PM / "Obvious Choice" Moments

NHL.com

To Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper, seeing his power play explode for four goals on four shots Sunday in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Montreal Canadiens was a cure for indigestion.

Tampa Bay entered the game 2-for-34 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the man-advantage and 0-for-16 on the road before going 4-for-8 in their 6-2 win against the Canadiens at Bell Centre. Captain Steven Stamkos also scored his first goal of the playoffs to power the Lightning, who head home for Game 3 (7 p.m. ET; USA, CBC, TVA Sports) on Wednesday leading the best-of-7 series 2-0.

"I don't know if it was more relief for me that [Stamkos] scored or the power play scored," Cooper said. "It was a whole compilation of Alka Seltzer."

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Noel: Wild must neutralize Blackhawks star players

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 10:22 AM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2015 SCP Second Round

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

For additional insight into the Western Conference Second Round series between the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild, NHL.com has enlisted the help of Claude Noel to break down the action. Noel will be checking in throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Noel was coach for the Winnipeg Jets from 2011-14 and interim coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2009-10. He also coached many years in the minor leagues, including the American Hockey League. In addition, Noel, a former forward, had 138 points in 353 regular-season games in the AHL and played seven games in the NHL with Washington Capitals in 1979-80.

The star players for the Chicago Blackhawks certainly rose to the occasion in the clutch during Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday at United Center in Chicago.

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Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Sunday, May 3

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 2:08 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

SPECIAL TEAMS POWER TAMPA BAY TO 2-0 SERIES LEAD

The Tampa Bay Lightning scored four power-play goals, two by Nikita Kucherov, to take a 2-0 series lead against the Montreal Canadiens.

* The Lightning took a 2-0 lead in a playoff series for the third time in franchise history; they got both wins on the road for the second time in franchise history. The other instance was April 29 and May 1, 2011 at the Washington Capitals (4-2 W and 3-2 OT W) en route to a four-game sweep in the ESF.

* The Lightning, who were swept by the Canadiens in the Eastern Conference First Round of the 2014 playoffs, improved to 7-0-0 this season vs. Montreal (regular season and playoffs). During the regular season, they became the first team to sweep a season series of at least five games against the Canadiens since 1983-84, when the Buffalo Sabres went 8-0-0.

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Wild pay big price for key mistakes in Game 2

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 1:28 AM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2015 SCP Second Round

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO – Everything was stacking up for the Minnesota Wild at United Center on Sunday until just past the midway point of the Chicago Blackhawks’s 4-1 win in Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round.

Borrowing a page from the Wild’s playbook, the Blackhawks beat them at their own game to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, which shifts to Xcel Energy Center for the next two games. The 2-0 lead Chicago took in the second period was more of a concern after the game.

Instead of the Wild, it was the Blackhawks who played sound defense until capitalizing on a couple of key mistakes. Goals by Chicago captain Jonathan Toews at 12:28 and forward Patrick Kane at 19:40 of the second period put Minnesota in a bad spot heading into the third for the second time in as many games.

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Canadiens must show they can handle adversity

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 12:02 AM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL – The Montreal Canadiens like to say they have dealt with adversity all season. Every team likes to say it.

But the truth is the Canadiens have not faced any adversity this season. None at all.

They never lost more than three consecutive games.

They were the healthiest team in the NHL.

They were at or near the top of the League standings all season.

The Canadiens shouldn’t have to apologize for any of those things, but the circumstances of their season have not prepared them for what they face now.
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Stamkos, Lightning power play break out in Game 2

Sunday, 05.03.2015 / 10:51 PM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREALTampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper couldn’t decide which was better on Sunday: captain Steven Stamkos ending his scoring drought or the Lightning’s power play breaking out of a slump.

It’s not a bad problem to have.

"I don’t know if it was more relief for me that [Stamkos] scored or the power play scored," Cooper said after the Lightning defeated the Montreal Canadiens 6-2 to take a 2-0 lead in Eastern Conference Second Round series at Bell Centre.

"It was a whole compilation of Alka Seltzer."

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Flames scratch Ferland, Shore for Game 2 vs. Ducks

Sunday, 05.03.2015 / 10:12 PM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Calgary Flames left wing Micheal Ferland and right wing Drew Shore were scratched for Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Sunday.

Ferland skated in the morning and said he was ready to play. Calgary coach Bob Hartley said he expected Ferland and forward Jiri Hudler to play but cautioned that "everyone" was a game-time decision.

Ferland left Game 1 when he was hit high in the first period. Hudler also sustained an undisclosed injury and missed much of Game 1 but will play.


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Lightning forward Paquette leaves Game 2 with injury

Sunday, 05.03.2015 / 8:26 PM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

NHL.com

MONTREAL -– Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cedric Paquette left Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday with an undisclosed injury.

Paquette finished the first period and played the final shift as the buzzer sounded, when a scrum broke out. He played one shift midway through the second period and did not come out for the third period.

Paquette has one goal in nine games in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Goaltender Matchup: Inside Dubnyk vs. Crawford

Sunday, 05.03.2015 / 3:32 PM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2015 SCP Second Round

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Dubnyk emerged from a nightmare last season by getting stronger physically, tighter technically and more resilient mentally. He also benefitted from better defensive play after a trade to the Wild in mid-January. Dubnyk manages his depth better, using the simple rule instilled by goaltending coach Sean Burke during his time with the Arizona Coyotes to start the season: If you can't beat a pass on your skates, you are too far out. And he doesn't open up while moving or on shots after spending time this summer starting to learn a new tracking technique called head trajectory from former NHL goalie and current MSG Network analyst Steve Valiquette.

When he's on – Dubnyk uses his 6-foot-6 frame efficiently by limiting movement, staying patient with more passive positioning and tracking down on shots and lateral passes to limit how much he opens up.

When he's off – Dubnyk gets passive with his butterfly drops, letting pucks go under him, drops his hands early into blocking mode and can get stuck on lateral plays, reaching rather than moving into plays, which opens up holes that are always bigger for a tall goalie.

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Farrish: Goalies impressive for Rangers, Capitals

Sunday, 05.03.2015 / 2:41 PM / Rangers vs Capitals - 2015 SCP Second Round

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

For additional insight into the Eastern Conference Second Round series between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers, NHL.com has enlisted the help of Dave Farrish to break down the action. Farrish will be checking in throughout the series.

Farrish was an assistant coach for the Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs from 2005-14.

He won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007. He also coached 1,027 games in the minor leagues, including the American Hockey League. In addition, Farrish, a former defenseman, played 430 games over seven seasons in the NHL.

Dave Farrish believed the New York Rangers would respond from their last-second loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 1 with a more aggressive approach in Game 2. It took the Rangers 38 seconds to assert themselves Saturday when Chris Kreider fired a rebound of Jesper Fast's shot into an open net that gave them a 1-0 lead, a game they won 3-2 to even the Eastern Conference Second Round best-of-7 series at 1-1.

Fast replaced J.T. Miller on the Rangers' second line to play with Kreider and Derek Stepan, a subtle move by coach Alain Vigneault that helped open up an offense that averaged two goals per game entering Game 2. Fast had an assist and two hits in 15:05 of ice time.

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