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Chabot: Ducks stuck with script in Game 1 vs. Flames

Friday, 05.01.2015 / 1:36 PM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

For additional insight into the Western Conference Second Round series between the Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames, NHL.com has enlisted the help of Frederic Chabot to break down the action. Chabot will be checking in throughout the series.

Chabot was the goaltending coach for the Edmonton Oilers from 2009 to 2014. He played in the NHL for five seasons, spending time with the Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers and the Los Angeles Kings.

When the Anaheim Ducks were at their best during their Western Conference First Round series against the Winnipeg Jets, forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Cory Perry were leading the way. Anaheim's depth also was productive and problematic for the Jets' bottom-six forwards, and the result was a four-game sweep for the Ducks.

The Ducks successfully worked off that same blueprint in their 6-1 defeat of the Calgary Flames on Thursday in Game 1 of their Western Conference Second Round series, according to Frederic Chabot.

"Perry and Getzlaf really set the tone and showed the way in the first game," Chabot said. "You can expect the rest of the crew to follow suit in the next games."

Seguin back in Prague hoping to lead Canada to gold

Friday, 05.01.2015 / 1:30 PM / 2015 IIHF World Championship

Michael Langr - NHL.com Correspondent

PRAGUE -- It's almost impossible for Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin to remember all of the 130 goals and 282 points he scored in his five NHL seasons. But he certainly remembers the first one. It happened far away from home, in Prague, Czech Republic. In the same arena where Seguin has come back to play at the 2015 IIHF World Championship as one of the stars for Canada.

"I remember I scored my first NHL goal here in Prague, in this arena, which is kind of cool," Seguin said after he and his teammates first showed up at O2 Arena on Thursday. "That was kind of a cool feeling to walk in this morning. I've been here to Prague before, it's a great city and I'm looking forward to walk around and see it again. But although it's a beautiful city, I didn't come here just because of some scenery. I came here to win gold and do the best for my country."

Leipsic's arrival in Toronto 'catalyst' for AHL success

Friday, 05.01.2015 / 12:14 PM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to NHL.com

When Brendan Leipsic got the call, he was headed to brunch with his parents.

Then a member of the Milwaukee Admirals, affiliate of the Nashville Predators, the 20-year-old wing was one of the top-scoring rookies in the American Hockey League. Milwaukee had an afternoon game that day against visiting Lake Erie, but its game the previous Friday would turn out to have been the last appearance of Leipsic in an Admirals jersey.

"In your first pro season, you never expect to be traded," Leipsic said. "You never expect to get a call from your general manager saying that. It was definitely a surprise, but I'm glad the way it turned out. I'm happy to be here."

"Here" is the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, which acquired Leipsic along with Olli Jokinen and a 2015 first-round draft pick in a Feb. 15 trade with Nashville that saw forward Mike Santorelli and defenseman Cody Franson head to the Predators. Leipsic was dropped into a Marlies team in the midst of playoff hockey two months too soon.

Local boy Darling took long road to Blackhawks

Friday, 05.01.2015 / 3:00 AM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2015 SCP Second Round

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- The story of Scott Darling started about 25 miles from United Center, but his journey from childhood Chicago Blackhawks fan to a place in their Stanley Cup Playoff lore is as remarkable and improbable as any player's path to the NHL.

A series of fortunate occurrences combined with hard work and a strong support group helped Darling overcome much and experience an incredible rise from the depths of professional hockey and the lowest moments in his personal life.

Darling helped save Chicago's chances of winning the Stanley Cup in 2015 by replacing Corey Crawford in goal and winning three games against the Nashville Predators. Crawford will start Friday when the Blackhawks face the Minnesota Wild in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round series at United Center (9:30 p.m.; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports 2), but Darling, a Lemont, Ill., native, has already, with a lot of determination, saved his career.

"Some pretty amazing things had to fall into place. Obviously it is a combination of my mindset and my drive, but also I had to get lucky along the way," the 26-year-old said.

Flames' Hiller off to shaky start against former team

Friday, 05.01.2015 / 2:38 AM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- It didn't take long for Calgary Flames goalie Jonas Hiller's former fans to turn against him at Honda Center on Thursday.

"Hil-ler, Hil-ler," Anaheim Ducks fans mockingly chanted.

Hiller allowed three goals on 14 shots in his first Stanley Cup Playoff game against his former team in a 6-1 loss in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round.

Flames coach Bob Hartley pulled Hiller for Karri Ramo 2:13 into the second period with the Ducks leading 3-0.

"I thought that he had a rough start," Hartley said. "There was a few goals that I'm sure that he'd like to see again. At the same time, we're trying to turn the game around and get some work for Ramo."

Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Thursday, April 30

Friday, 05.01.2015 / 1:52 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL Public Relations

WARD NETS BUZZER BEATER AS CAPITALS STUN RANGERS IN GAME 1

The New York Rangers tied the game with 4:39 left in the third period, but Joel Ward scored the game-winning goal with 1.3 seconds remaining in regulation to help the Washington Capitals take a 1-0 lead in their second-round series.

* Elias says only two other game-winning goals have been scored in the final two seconds of regulation in a playoff game, by Jussi Jokinen of the Carolina Hurricanes on April 21, 2009 vs. the New Jersey Devils (19:59 of third period) and Bob Pulford of the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 11, 1964 vs. the Detroit Red Wings (19:58 of third period).

* Ward, an undrafted free agent who signed with the Minnesota Wild in 2006 and played three seasons with the Nashville Predators from 2008-11 before joining the Capitals, scored his third career playoff game-winning goal. The others came in Game 5 of the 2011 WSF at the Vancouver Canucks while with Nashville, and in overtime of Game 7 in the 2012 EQF at the Boston Bruins, moving Washington into the conference semifinals.

Hiller pulled; Hudler leaves Flames game vs. Ducks

Friday, 05.01.2015 / 1:11 AM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

NHL.com

The Calgary Flames replaced starting goaltender Jonas Hiller early in the second period of Game 1 of their Western Conference Second Round series against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday after he allowed three goals on 14 shots.

Hiller, who spent seven seasons with the Ducks before signing with the Flames as a free agent last summer, was replaced by Karri Ramo after Corey Perry's goal 2:13 into the second period gave Anaheim a 3-0 lead. Matt Beleskey and Patrick Maroon scored less than three minutes apart midway through the first period to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead>

The Ducks won the game 6-1.

Ward, Capitals rewarded with buzzer-beating goal

Friday, 05.01.2015 / 12:28 AM / Rangers vs Capitals - 2015 SCP Second Round

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Washington Capitals right wing Joel Ward knew just enough Russian to score the winning goal with 1.3 seconds remaining in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the New York Rangers on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

When asked how to say "I'm open" in Russian, Ward smiled and said "Ovi."

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin heard Ward, who was unchecked in the slot, and slid a pass to him as the third period was running out. Ward fired Ovechkin's feed through Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist's legs to give the Capitals a 2-1 victory and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.


Rangers seek better shots, more traffic against Holtby

Thursday, 04.30.2015 / 11:58 PM / Rangers vs Capitals - 2015 SCP Second Round

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers were obviously still stunned in the dressing room Thursday after they lost 2-1 against the Washington Capitals on Joel Ward's goal with 1.3 seconds remaining in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Madison Square Garden.

It was a tough loss for the Rangers, who will try to bounce back in Game 2 on Saturday (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports). And if they do, it will likely be the result of capitalizing on more offensive chances.

The Rangers had a strong start, outshooting the Capitals 8-1 before eight minutes passed. But they were unable to solve Washington goalie Braden Holtby (31 saves), who was busier in the first period Thursday than all of Game 7 of the first round against the New York Islanders on Monday, when he made 10 saves in a 2-1 win.

"Our execution in the offensive zone obviously needs to be better," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "We spent quite a bit of time in their end. We had some opportunities to get better looks than we did. We are going to have to [get better looks]. That's going to be one of our focuses for the next game."


Lightning's Bishop gets his chance at Canadiens

Thursday, 04.30.2015 / 11:35 PM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Corey Long - NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop was "the other guy" in the first six games of the Eastern Conference First Round. He wasn't great, but he didn't play poorly either.

Detroit Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek was receiving all the accolades. Whether it was his 44 saves in Game 1 or shutouts in Game 3 and Game 5, the 23-year-old Stanley Cup Playoff rookie was starring as the series reached Game 7 at Amalie Arena on Wednesday.

But Bishop made 31 saves for his first NHL playoff shutout, and the Lightning eliminated the Red Wings with a 2-0 win.

"He stepped up like the player that he is," Lightning forward Brian Boyle said. "He's always been our top guy back there, our No. 1 penalty-killer. He's been as good as anyone."

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I would definitely love to play with him. He's a skilled player and over the years he definitely has shown that he can score a lot of goals. I think it would work out well.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk on Alexander Semin