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Carcillo contributes again for Rangers in Game 7

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 11:35 PM / Rangers vs Flyers - 2014 SCP First Round

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault didn't make many changes to his lineup as the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Philadelphia Flyers progressed. But the changes he did make reaped instant rewards.

The latest example was Vigneault's decision to dress Daniel Carcillo for Game 7 after the forward was a healthy scratch the previous two. Carcillo rewarded his coach by scoring in the second period and sparking the Rangers' 2-1 series-clinching win at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

"I just felt that in a Game 7 like this I'd rather go with experience. He had been in those situations before," Vigneault said. "He came up and did a good job and scored that first big goal for us."

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Rested Penguins ready for Rangers in second round

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 11:28 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Pittsburgh Penguins have won all four Stanley Cup Playoff series they've played against the New York Rangers. They'll try to make it 5-for-5 when the teams meet in the Eastern Conference Second Round, beginning with Games 1 and 2 at Consol Energy Center.

The Penguins have had a few days to rest after finishing off the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday to win their first-round series in six games, though they blew multiple-goal leads in each loss and nearly saw a 4-0 lead completely vanish in Game 6. The Rangers played Games 6 and 7 of their first-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers on back-to-back nights; they advanced by outlasting the Flyers 2-1 at home Wednesday, one night after a 5-2 road loss.


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Goaltender matchup: Inside Price vs. Rask

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 7:10 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Goaltending plays an integral part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With the competition intense and so even, the men protecting each goal often are the difference in a series. NHL.com decided to break down perhaps the most interesting goaltending matchup in the Eastern Conference Second Round: Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens vs. Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins.

Much like many goaltending coaches will do before a playoff series, NHL.com correspondent Kevin Woodley, the managing editor of InGoal Magazine, charted every goal scored against each goalie in this matchup this season and came to some interesting conclusions about their strengths and weaknesses.

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Jaromir Jagr re-signs with New Jersey Devils

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 5:30 PM / News

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Right wing Jaromir Jagr, who led the New Jersey Devils in scoring this season, was re-signed to a one-year contract Wednesday.

Chris Johnston of Rogers Sportsnet is reporting Jagr could earn as much as $5.5 million, including a $3.5 million base salary and an additional $2 million if he plays in 45 games in 2014-15.

"I think [Devils general manager] Lou Lamoriello wanted to know what kind of direction he wanted to go, so both sides wanted to do [the contract] quickly," Jagr said on a conference call. "I didn't mind that at all. I was happy here and had no reason to change. If I'm happy somewhere and feel like the other side is interested, there's no reason to change."

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Tennessee teenager boasts perfect playoff bracket

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 5:23 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

More than a half-million entries were submitted for the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge. Heading into the trio of Game 7s on Wednesday, only one participant has a chance to claim they correctly predicted each of the teams that would advance in the first round and in how many games.

A student and hockey player at Father Ryan High School in Nashville, Colin Fitts stands alone. And if the New York Rangers, Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings all win Wednesday, he'll have successfully filled out a perfect bracket for the opening round of the playoffs.

Fitts, 16, is an aspiring journalist who covers the Nashville Predators for the HockeyWriters.com. But he didn't exactly draw on his experience covering his favorite team when it came time to file his bracket.

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X-Factor: Penguins' Letang rounding back into form

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 5:00 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The perception was the Pittsburgh Penguins would be without defenseman Kris Letang at the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Instead, Letang is playing and rounding into shape entering the Eastern Conference Second Round.

Letang had a stroke in late January that put his hockey future into doubt. A little over two months later, he returned against the Detroit Red Wings on April 9. His performance was surprisingly crisp in Pittsburgh's final three regular-season games, with one goal and four points.

That did not carry into the first few games of the Penguins' Eastern Conference First Round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Letang was criticized following his Game 1 performance after committing two turnovers, one that led to a shorthanded goal for Columbus forward Derek MacKenzie, and two reactionary penalties in the offensive zone.

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X-Factor: Ducks' Bonino used to scoring big goals

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 5:00 PM / Ducks vs. Kings - 2014 SCP Second Round

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

If the Anaheim Ducks need a big goal in their Western Conference Second Round series, don't be surprised if Nick Bonino scores it.

The 26-year-old forward had three goals in the Ducks' first-round series win against the Dallas Stars, but two of them came in Anaheim's 5-4 victory in Game 6, which clinched the series for the Ducks. He triggered a late-game comeback by scoring with 2:10 left in regulation to cut Anaheim's deficit to 4-3, then got the overtime winner at 2:47.

"It's tough to describe," Bonino said Tuesday at Honda Center. "It's almost like your mind goes blank. You're just so happy. There's euphoria, just pure happiness."

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Blues see latest first-round exit as 'a big letdown'

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 4:42 PM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- The St. Louis Blues gathered at the rink one final time before heading their separate ways, their feelings leaning toward disappointment and frustration after another exit in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It was locker cleanout day at the Ice Zone inside St. Louis Outlet Mall on Wednesday, and it came sooner than they expected.

A pick by some to win their first Stanley Cup, the drought will go into a 48th season in 2014-15. But a year after learning the hard lesson of losing a 2-0 series lead in the first round against the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, the Blues suffered the same fate in 2014 against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

After losing four straight in the six-game Western Conference First Round series, players Wednesday echoed the sentiment expressed by general manager Doug Armstrong and coach Ken Hitchcock the day before: There was a lack of killer instinct.

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Bruins' Rask, Canadiens' Price draw on past success

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 4:12 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- The hockey world was allowed to witness a goaltending clash between Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins and Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens once this season.

Rask faced the Canadiens four times. Price faced the Bruins once, as the schedule and Montreal coach Michel Therrien's desire to play backup Peter Budaj in an environment he's comfortable in at TD Garden conspired to keep the Canadiens' No. 1 on the bench for three other Boston-Montreal games.

While Price was leading Canada to the gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and Rask was carrying Finland to a bronze, their paths didn't cross on the ice (although Price said they had some chats in the mess hall).

Finally, the Stanley Cup Playoffs have given many fans what they've been waiting for: Rask vs. Price in a best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series, which starts Thursday at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

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Blackhawks' Versteeg focused on returning to lineup

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 3:33 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks got back on the ice Wednesday after taking two days off between series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Forward Kris Versteeg skated on the fourth line at right wing during line rushes and looks to get back in the lineup for the start of the Western Conference Second Round.

Versteeg, who was reacquired during the first quarter of the regular season in a trade with the Florida Panthers, was a surprising scratch Sunday in Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series against the St. Louis Blues. Instead, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville went with rookie forward Joakim Nordstrom, who made his postseason debut at right wing on the fourth line.

"You just have to get ready for the next one," Versteeg said. "Obviously you always want to play, but you have to understand what the coach feels and what's best for the team. It's something you want to fight through and come back and be a factor in helping the team."

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Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp