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Islanders hope home crowd will give edge vs. Capitals

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 6:11 PM / Capitals vs Islanders - 2015 SCP First Round

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Nassau Coliseum won't be the home of the New York Islanders for much longer, but they're hoping to make the most of the time they have left there. 

After splitting the first two games of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Washington Capitals, the best-of-7 series shifts to what is expected to be a raucous Coliseum on Sunday (12 p.m. ET; NBC, TVA Sports, SN).

The Islanders failed to protect a two-goal lead in Game 2 on Friday at Verizon Center and lost 4-3, but they are presented with an opportunity to put a stranglehold on the series with a couple of wins on home ice.

"We're looking forward to it," New York captain John Tavares said. "I think we know what it's been like here all year. It's certainly been very special. It's going to be great. We want to use it to our advantage, but at the same time we've got to stay composed, stay disciplined like we have been and control our emotions. There's a lot of ups and downs in the game and we've got to make sure we play hard and do the right things from start to finish."

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Goalie Darling to start Game 3 for Blackhawks

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 5:41 PM / Predators vs Blackhawks - 2015 SCP First Round

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

Scott Darling will start in net for the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday at United Center in Game 3 of a Western Conference First Round Series against the Nashville Predators (3 p.m. ET; NBC, TVA Sports, SN).

Darling gets the call ahead of Corey Crawford, who started the first two games at Bridgestone Arena.

Crawford started Game 2 despite being pulled from Game 1 after allowing three goals on 12 shots in the first period of the Blackhawks' 4-3 double-overtime win. Crawford, who went 32-20-5 this season, played all of Game 2 on Friday and struggled in the Predators' 6-2 win that evened the best-of-7 series at 1-1.

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Smith-Pelly up to speed, contributing for Canadiens

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 5:16 PM / Canadiens vs Senators - 2015 SCP First Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Devante Smith-Pelly insists he is not worried about making Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin look good for the trade that brought him from the Anaheim Ducks for forward Jiri Sekac.

Sekac had become a popular player in Montreal but wasn't able to carve out a consistent role under coach Michel Therrien. The Ducks felt they needed his speed up front, perhaps to play alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry on the top line, and the Canadiens wanted the size and physical game Smith-Pelly brings.

It was a trade of promising 22-year-old forwards born four days apart that appeared to have no losers, except many in Montreal criticized it anyway, especially after Smith-Pelly was scratched by Therrien for games on March 28 and 30.

But Smith-Pelly has provided everything Bergevin hoped for in the first two games of the Canadiens' Eastern Conference First Round series against the Ottawa Senators.

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Flames coach Bob Hartley fined $50,000

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 5:15 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – Calgary Flames Head Coach Bob Hartley has been fined $50,000 for his responsibility for the incident that took place with 1:17 remaining in regulation of the first-round playoff game in Vancouver on Friday, April 17, the National Hockey League announced today. The fine was issued in accordance with By-Law 17.3 (a) for conduct prejudicial to or against the welfare of the League.

In addition, the National Hockey League announced that the game misconduct penalty assessed to Calgary Flames defenseman Deryk Engelland for instigating a fight in the last five minutes of regulation has been rescinded.

Hartley was fined $25,000 for a similar incident during the 2013-14 regular season.

The fine money goes to the NHL Foundation.

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Experienced Blackhawks might turn to rookie goalie

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 2:34 AM / Predators vs Blackhawks - 2015 SCP First Round

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Much has been written about the Chicago Blackhawks having a lot of Stanley Cup Playoff experience, and now they'll depend on it.

Rather than focusing on a 6-2 loss to the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Friday, the Blackhawks will head home satisfied with splitting the first two games of their Western Conference First Round series.

Chicago was outplayed for most of Game 2, was outshot by a total of 89-68 in the two games and might have a goalie controversy on its hands.

Still, the Blackhawks know they've been in worse spots.

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Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Friday, April 17

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 2:27 AM / News
GALCHENYUK POWERS CANADIENS TO 2-0 SERIES LEAD WITH EARLY OVERTIME-WINNER

Alex Galchenyuk scored at 3:40 of overtime to power the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 win against the Ottawa Senators and a 2-0 lead in the series.

* The marker was Galchenyuk's second career playoff overtime goal; the other came on May 22, 2014 vs. the New York Rangers (3-2 OT W).

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, at 21 years, 64 days old, Galchenyuk became the second-youngest player in franchise history to score his second career playoff overtime goal for the Canadiens. Claude Lemieux had his second career postseason overtime-winner at 20 years, 293 days old on May 5, 1986 at the Rangers (4-3 OT W).

* David Desharnais (0-2—2) recorded his second career multiple-assist playoff game. His other such performance was on May 25, 2014 vs. the Rangers (3-2 OT L).

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Predators captain Weber sustains injury in Game 2 win

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 1:36 AM / Predators vs Blackhawks - 2015 SCP First Round

Robby Stanley - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber sustained a lower-body injury Friday in a 6-2 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena in Game 2 of their Western Conference First Round series.

The Predators did not have an update on Weber, who had an assist and was plus-1 in 13:25 before he exited the game with the injury at 9:20 of the second period.

Weber was injured on a hit by Chicago forward Brandon Saad behind the Nashville net. The Predators captain appeared unable to put weight on his right leg as he left the ice.

"If you lose your captain and your best player, it's never a good thing," said Nashville defenseman Roman Josi, who played 24:31 and had a goal. "Hopefully he'll be OK."

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Subban inspired by words from Jean Beliveau's widow

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 1:11 AM / Canadiens vs Senators - 2015 SCP First Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL – P.K. Subban is not someone who needs extra motivation this time of year. He got it anyway, and it came from a source that is unique to being a player for the Montreal Canadiens.

Subban has consistently shown, ever since his rookie season, that when the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin he becomes a difference-maker.

But the type of difference Subban nearly made for the Canadiens in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Ottawa Senators is not what people are used to seeing from him.

Subban was ejected from the game on Wednesday and given a major penalty for slashing Senators forward Mark Stone on the wrist at 8:23 of the second period. The Canadiens won the game 4-3 without their best defenseman, and Subban became the focal point of the series, as he usually does.

The pressure was on him to perform Friday in Game 2, a situation he’s always thrived in.

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Senators' Stone earns respect by playing with injury

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 12:20 AM / Canadiens vs Senators - 2015 SCP First Round

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone earned the respect of his teammates in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday.

The 22-year-old rookie had two assists in a 3-2 overtime loss while playing with a microfracture and ligament damage in his right wrist after he was slashed by Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban in Game 1 on Wednesday.

Stone had the primary assist when Clarke MacArthur scored to give the Senators a 1-0 lead in the first period and on Patrick Wiercioch's game-tying power-play goal with 6:35 left in the third period.

"[Stone's] a character guy for us," MacArthur said. "He's going to battle through it and do what he has to do. That's all you can ask of a teammate. For him to step in there as a young guy, it's gritty of him. Hats off to him.

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Grubauer steps in, leads Capitals to Game 2 win

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 12:15 AM / Capitals vs Islanders - 2015 SCP First Round

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- For the third time in the Washington Capitals' past six trips to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they needed a second goaltender during Game 2 of their first-round series

Philipp Grubauer was preparing for the final weekend of the regular season in the American Hockey League on Thursday, but his plans changed because Washington goaltender Braden Holtby was sick. Grubauer made his NHL playoff debut Friday, stopping 18 shots to help the Capitals rally for a 4-3 win and tie their best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series with the New York Islanders at 1-1.

"Amazing. [It was] amazing," Grubauer said. "All I can say is a [great] game, [great] comeback. Guys did an amazing job of keeping the pucks to the outside."

Holtby led NHL goaltenders in games played this season, but he was not on the ice Thursday and Grubauer was officially recalled Friday morning. Coach Barry Trotz said after the morning skate the plan was for Holtby to participate in warm-ups, but that never materialized.


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Quote of the Day

It's about enjoying the moment. It's pretty cool to get that many people together and that excited about hockey to the point they really want you to mess up. They've got a ton of red jerseys and you have to sit back and appreciate people love hockey that much and you are the one out there who gets to play the game. Just try and stick with that respect for the game and also the mentality that for me it's just about entering the fight and seeing how long I can stay in it.

— Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller on what he expects from the fans in Calgary for Game 6