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Bruins' Iginla falls short of elusive Cup again

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 12:47 AM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins forward Jarome Iginla's season ended on the same sheet of ice as it did a year ago. Each of the past two seasons ended well short of his ultimate goal: his first Stanley Cup championship.

Iginla and the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins were swept by the Bruins in four straight last season in the Eastern Conference Final. This season, Iginla joined the Bruins, and the Presidents' Trophy winners were ousted by the Montreal Canadiens in a seven-game Eastern Conference Second Round series.


Bruins pay for inability to adapt to Canadiens' game

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 12:37 AM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BOSTON -- Milan Lucic made his way through a crowd of reporters huddled around his locker in the Boston Bruins dressing room Wednesday night, and the anger was pouring off of him like water and gathering in a pool at his feet.

And the pool was knee deep.

Lucic had just seen his team's season come to a premature end against a Montreal Canadiens team he openly admitted he hated prior to the start of this Eastern Conference Second Round series.

Standing there with cameras and microphones coming at him from every direction to catch his every word, that hate was still there.

In a sense, Lucic's hatred of the Canadiens epitomized why the Bruins lost the series, and why their 2013-14 season will be remembered for winning the Presidents' Trophy and not the Stanley Cup.

Lucic scored one goal, into an empty net, in seven games against Montreal. His center, David Krejci, didn't score any, and his opposite wing, Jarome Iginla, scored three times, once at even strength.

That is one even-strength goal in seven games from the Bruins' top forward line.

As the lack of production and defensive mistakes continued throughout the series, the Bruins consistently spoke of how important it was to simply play their game; if they did, everything would be fine, they said. From Bruins coach Claude Julien down to the players, that was the message: Bruins hockey will beat the Canadiens if they are able to execute it properly.

Not once did anyone on the Bruins admit that maybe, just maybe, something the Canadiens were doing was preventing them from playing their game.

Not until it was too late.

"They played well; you have to give them credit," Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk said following Boston's 3-1 loss in Game 7 on Wednesday. "They played well and they capitalized on their chances and now they're moving on."


Canadiens, Rangers to meet in Eastern Final

Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 10:42 PM / Canadiens vs Rangers - 2014 Eastern Conference Final

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Carey Price had to beat Henrik Lundqvist to lead Canada to a gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. For the Montreal Canadiens to make their first Stanley Cup Final since 1993, he'll have to do it again.

Price and Lundqvist are the biggest reasons their teams, the Canadiens and New York Rangers, will meet in the Eastern Conference Final, beginning Saturday in Montreal (1 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS). The series will offer a goaltending rematch of the Olympic gold-medal game, in which Price led Canada past Sweden and Lundqvist.

Each has excelled in this season's Stanley Cup Playoffs, leading his team to a come-from-behind victory in a seven-game Eastern Conference Second Round series that ended with a road victory. The Rangers, who finished second in the Metropolitan Division, overcame a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins after beating the Philadelphia Flyers in seven games in the opening round. The Canadiens, third in the Atlantic Division, won Games 6 and 7 to overtake the Boston Bruins after a first-round sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning.


Eastern Conference Final begins Saturday, May 17

Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 10:03 PM / Canadiens vs Rangers - 2014 Eastern Conference Final

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League today announced that the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals will begin Saturday, May 17, with Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final between the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers.

The starting time for Game 1 on Saturday is 1 p.m. ET at Bell Centre in Montreal. The game will be televised in Canada by CBC and RDS and seen exclusively on NBC in the U.S.

Further information on the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals schedule will be released soon.


Sharks owner backs GM Wilson, coaching staff

Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 6:41 PM / News

NHL.com Staff

The majority owner of the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday publicly expressed support for general manager Doug Wilson and Wilson's support of the staff led by coach Todd McLellan.


Five reasons why the Blackhawks advanced

Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 6:09 PM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2014 SCP Second Round

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

The Chicago Blackhawks are back in the Western Conference Final, one series win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for a second straight year.

In the Western Conference Second Round, the Minnesota Wild gave the Blackhawks all they could handle before succumbing in six games, including a 2-1 loss in overtime of the deciding Game 6 at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.

"That was a tough team," Chicago goalie Corey Crawford said after Game 6. "They played really hard in this building, in Chicago too. They kept coming at us, tough series, really tough series."

Minnesota got the best-of-7 to 2-2 with back-to-back wins at home in Games 3 and 4, and put huge scares into the defending champions in Games 5 and 6 before falling short by a goal each time.

Here are five reasons the Blackhawks were the better team against the Wild:


Five reasons why the Wild were eliminated

Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 6:02 PM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2014 SCP Second Round

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- For the first time in a decade, the Minnesota Wild advanced past the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. One year after reaching the postseason for the first time in five years, the Wild went one step further, defeating the Colorado Avalanche in seven games before losing in six to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Wild and Blackhawks were tied at two wins apiece in the Western Conference Second Round, and Minnesota led 1-0 on the road after one period of Game 5. But Chicago's veteran stars were too much down the stretch and the Blackhawks rallied to win 2-1 before eliminating the Wild with their first loss at home in the playoffs in Game 6.

Here are five reasons why the Wild failed to reach the Western Conference Final:


Five reasons why the Rangers advanced

Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 5:45 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The New York Rangers looked like a team that had run out of energy four games into their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Their 4-2 loss in Game 4 was the culmination of a run of seven games in 11 days, including two sets of back-to-backs.

It included the final three games of their seven-game first-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers, which had Games 6 and 7 on consecutive days. After a day of rest, the Rangers started the second round against the Penguins in a game that went to overtime. New York won then were shut out in Games 2 and 3 on back-to-back days. In Game 4, the Rangers had 15 shots on goal, a franchise low for a Stanley Cup Playoff game.

From those depths, the Rangers rose up to win three in a row and earn a second trip to the Eastern Conference Final in three years.

How did they do it? Here are five reasons:


Kings sign LoVerde to one-year contract

Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 5:37 PM / News


The Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday signed defenseman Vincent LoVerde to a one-year contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.

LoVerde, 25, played the past two seasons with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League. He had 20 points (two goals, 18 assists) and 46 penalty minutes in 70 regular-season games this season with a plus-37 rating that was tied for second in the AHL. He split time with Manchester and the Ontario Reign of the ECHL in 2012-13, combining for 30 points in 78 games.


Czechs shut out Italy, Swiss edge Germany at Worlds

Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 5:06 PM / News


Jaromir Jagr of the New Jersey Devils and Jiri Sekac scored, and Alexander Salak needed to make 11 saves to give the Czech Republic to a 2-0 victory against Italy in preliminary-round action Wednesday at the 2014 IIHF World Championship at Chizhovka Arena in Minsk, Belarus.

Goalie Daniel Bellissimo made 35 saves for Italy.

Sekac gave the Czech Republic (2-2, six points) a 1-0 lead 2:53 into the second period with assists from Calgary Flames forward Jiri Hudler and Ondrej Nemec. Jagr scored his second goal of the tournament off a hard wrist shot into the top corner with 4:26 remaining in the third off a pass from former Flames forward Roman Cervenka.

"I don't think we were surprised," Nemec told the IIHF website. "If you're playing at the World Championship, every team is really good. They showed us today how good they are. It was a really tough game for us. We wanted to score a goal a little bit earlier."

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Quote of the Day

It was the look in his eyes. Hockey is the most important thing in his life. He wants to be a hockey player, and nothing's going to stop him from being a hockey player.

— Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin on forward Alex Galchenyuk's potential