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First round of playoffs revealed these 16 things

Thursday, 04.30.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs enter the second round Thursday, but before the eight teams begin their battle for the final four spots, let's take a look back at a first round that featured two series that went the distance and one that ended in four games.

Here are 16 things we learned in the first round:

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Boudreau, Ducks hope to learn from playoff failures

Thursday, 04.30.2015 / 3:00 AM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- It has been the stumbling block for Bruce Boudreau and the Anaheim Ducks the past two seasons, and it is in place again for these Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Anaheim is the higher-seeded team facing a challenge in the Western Conference Second Round series that starts Thursday against the Calgary Flames at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, SN).

This hasn't gone well for the Ducks, who were eliminated by the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings last season and by the Detroit Red Wings in 2013. Each came in Game 7. Each was at the hands of a lower-seeded team.

Is there something to be said about learning from losing?

"Well, I've learned a lot," Boudreau said with a laugh.

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Swift Current prospect DeBrusk creating own niche

Thursday, 04.30.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Swift Current Broncos left wing Jake DeBrusk still finds it hard to believe he's watching his father, Louie DeBrusk, when viewing old video clips during his heyday with the Edmonton Oilers.

The elder DeBrusk, who now serves as a hockey analyst for Sportsnet, spent six seasons with the Oilers from 1991-92 through 1996-97 and had 19 goals, 31 points and 797 penalty minutes in 228 games. Much of that time spent in the penalty box was a result of the five-minutes-for-fighting variety.

"He threw pretty hard back then," Jake said with a grin. "I'm watching him and thinking, 'How can my dad be doing that?' It's a little bit remarkable watching those actually.

"I think we'd both agree that we are different hockey players."

Louie DeBrusk said he and Jake enjoy reviewing the time he spent in the NHL.

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Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Wednesday, April 29

Thursday, 04.30.2015 / 12:50 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL Public Relations


BISHOP BACKSTOPS LIGHTNING PAST RED WINGS, INTO SECOND ROUND

Ben Bishop stopped all 31 shots he faced and Braydon Coburn broke a scoreless deadlock at 3:58 of the third period to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning past the Detroit Red Wings and into the Eastern Conference Second Round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* The Lightning improved to 4-1 all-time in Game 7s, including a 3-0 mark at home. They also earned a shutout in their last such victory on April 27, 2011, when Dwayne Roloson made 36 saves and Sean Bergenheim scored the lone goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at the Pittsburgh Penguins.

* Bishop, who also earned an assist in the game, finished his debut playoff series with a 1.87 goals-against average, .922 save percentage and one shutout. Via Elias, Bishop is the first goaltender to post his first career postseason shutout in Game 7 since Ilya Bryzgalov (May 3, 2006, at the Calgary Flames while playing for the Anaheim Ducks).

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Red Wings disappointed after early playoff exit

Thursday, 04.30.2015 / 12:32 AM / Lightning vs Red Wings - 2015 SCP First Round

Corey Long - NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA – For the third time in the past four years, the Detroit Red Wings are making an early exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Red Wings appeared to be the stronger team for much of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Game 7 at Amalie Arena on Wednesday wasn't much different: The Red Wings outshot the Lightning 31-17 and dominated the puck while playing 5-on-5.

But the Lightning scored twice in the third period and Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop was perfect, and that was all the Lightning needed in a 2-0 win that moved them into the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Montreal Canadiens.

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Babcock unsure where Red Wings go from here

Thursday, 04.30.2015 / 12:23 AM / Lightning vs Red Wings - 2015 SCP First Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

TAMPA -- The future of Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has been a topic of discussion all season. With his contract set to expire and the Red Wings now eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs after losing Game 7 of their Eastern Conference First Round series to the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 on Wednesday, that discussion will intensify.

But Babcock had no interest in addressing it after the loss, deferring to his end-of-season press conference to be held in the coming days.

"I'll be happy to talk about any of that [stuff] then," Babcock said.

Babcock did say a lot about the future of the Red Wings, and it gave the impression it was tied to his own.

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Lightning take on Canadiens, with Bishop this time

Thursday, 04.30.2015 / 12:15 AM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

NHL.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning would like nothing more than to carry their regular-season domination of the Montreal Canadiens through the Eastern Conference Second Round.

The Lightning went 5-0-0 against the Canadiens this season, outscoring them 21-8. That included victories in three games at Bell Centre, where the Lightning have won their past five regular-season visits.

But the perfect regular-season record in 2014-15 didn't do much to ease the Lightning's disappointment from last year's Stanley Cup Playoffs, when Montreal swept Tampa Bay in the first round, averaging four goals per game. All four wins came with Tampa Bay starting goaltender Ben Bishop sidelined because of injury.

Bishop was in goal for each of the five wins against Montreal this season and outplayed Hart Trophy finalist Carey Price, who lost all five. The inability to beat Tampa Bay was one of the few blemishes in a brilliant season for Price, who was the major reason Montreal allowed fewer non-shootout goals than any NHL team.

While the Canadiens were winning 50 games by preventing opponents from scoring, the Lightning won 50 by leading the League with 259 non-shootout goals. Each team lost 32 times, but the Canadiens had two fewer regulation defeats, enabling them to finish with 110 points to the Lightning's 108 and earn the home-ice advantage in this series.

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Canucks' aim: Get better while getting younger

Thursday, 04.30.2015 / 12:03 AM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Canucks' management team is committed to making the team younger during its second offseason in charge, but only if it makes the club better as well.

And even if it means a second straight summer of asking veterans to waive no-trade clauses.

Speaking for the first time being eliminated by the Calgary Flames in the Western Conference First Round on Saturday, general manager Jim Benning and director of hockey operations Trevor Linden reiterated their plan to supplement an aging core with younger players without sacrificing the goal of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We don't plan on taking any steps backwards," said Linden, who was hired last April and brought in Benning a month later. "We are trying to win. We are trying to make the playoffs, and we are going to do everything we can to do that. Having said that, we have to keep a firm eye on the future and we need to develop players. But we can't put players in the lineup that aren't ready to play."

Linden and Benning answered questions about the sustainability of an aging core that is 3-12 in the playoffs since reaching Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2011. There was plenty of talk about turning over a roster that has eight key players who are 31 or older and two more who will turn 30 next season, but Benning and Linden made it clear that the youth movement will be a gradual process.

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Lightning advance to face Canadiens in second round

Wednesday, 04.29.2015 / 10:46 PM / Canadiens vs Senators - 2015 SCP First Round

David Satriano - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Tampa Bay Lightning will face the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Second Round after defeating the Detroit Red Wings 2-0 in Game 7 of their first-round series at Amalie Arena on Wednesday.

Game 1 is Friday at Bell Centre (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Canadiens, who finished two points ahead of Tampa Bay to win the Atlantic Division, lost all five games to the Lightning during the regular season (0-4-1) after sweeping them in the 2014 Eastern Conference First Round.

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Senators open to Alfredsson in organization: report

Wednesday, 04.29.2015 / 9:54 PM / News

NHL.com

The Ottawa Senators would have an interest if former captain Daniel Alfredsson wanted to pursue a position within the organization, general manager Bryan Murray said Wednesday.

"[It] was good to see him around, good to be able to talk to him, he's a bright guy and I think down the road he'll make a decision whether he wants to be in hockey or not," Murray said, according to the Ottawa Sun. "He still hasn't made that decision, but very definitely if he was interested, we'd be interested in talking to him."

Alfredsson and his family attended the Senators' Game 6 loss to the Montreal Canadiens that eliminated them from the Eastern Conference First Round on Sunday.

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He's, believe it or not, actually one of my favorite guys, and I've ended up trading him twice. I appreciate what he's done. He was one year away from being an unrestricted free agent, and I felt with this opportunity, that it was a chance that we were able to get somebody for him in Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening.

— Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on forward Brandon Sutter