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2015 NHL Draft
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Babcock wants to put Maple Leafs 'back on the map'

Thursday, 05.21.2015 / 1:19 PM / News

NHL.com

Mike Babcock won two gold medals coaching Canada's team. His next goal is to win with "Canada's team."

Babcock was introduced as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, one day after it was announced he was leaving the Detroit Red Wings.

"I believe this is Canada's team and we need to put Canada's team back on the map," Babcock said.

Statement from Eugene Melnyk's family

Thursday, 05.21.2015 / 12:49 PM / News

OttawaSenators.com

We are delighted and relieved that Eugene's post-transplantation recovery is progressing very well.

In the past 36 hours, we have already witnessed a dramatic improvement in Eugene's overall condition.

We wish to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to the "miracle workers" who are part of the University Health Network's Multi-Organ Transplant Program: from the transplant surgeons, to the medical directors, to the surgical and medical team including the nurse practitioners, fellows, medical residents and the many, many nurses -- all of whom have worked seamlessly and tirelessly to save Eugene's life. You have had a profoundly positive impact on our family, and for this we are forever grateful.

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.

Blashill candidate to become Red Wings coach

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 8:58 PM / News

NHL.com

Jeff Blashill, coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League, could be the leading candidate to replace Mike Babcock as Detroit Red Wings coach.

Babcock on Wednesday left the Red Wings after 10 seasons to become coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Grand Rapids has won its first two series in the Calder Cup Playoffs and will play the Utica Comets in the Western Conference Finals. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Wednesday he has contacted Blashill and will meet with him in the near future, likely during the next round.

"I reached out to [Blashill] to say, 'Blash, in the next little while you're the first guy I want to talk to. You've been in the organization. You've been the head coach in Grand Rapids. You've been Mike's assistant coach,'" Holland said Wednesday.

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."

Blues name Brodeur assistant general manager

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 7:59 PM / News

NHL.com

Martin Brodeur has agreed to a three-year contract to be assistant general manager of the St. Louis Blues, general manager Doug Armstrong announced Wednesday.

Brodeur retired Jan. 29 after playing the final seven games of his career with the Blues; he spent the remainder of the season as a senior adviser to Armstrong.

"It's a great opportunity," Brodeur told the Blues website. "I got a little taste of it last season and really enjoyed being around Doug and the organization. It's a good fit for me, and it works out well. I'm really happy about it.

"I want to put the work in. I want to learn how everything works, to learn the organization. I'm committed to do the work and do as much as I can to help the team get better. It's a good fit for me to be able to learn what I have to learn."

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Quote of the Day

He's only 17 but he can see the ice so well and he moves the puck and goes to the open ice all the time, so I just think he's a player that is ready to play in the NHL. I'm really looking forward to coaching someone like this.

— U.S. National Junior Team coach Ron Wilson on Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft