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Three keys for Rangers, Lightning to winning Game 2

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Sunday that watching the replay of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final made him want to vomit because of how poorly he felt his team played against the New York Rangers.

The Lightning have a chance in Game 2 on Monday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) to put on a better show and even the best-of-7 series at 1-1 before it shifts to Tampa for Game 3 and 4 later this week.

Here are three keys for the Lightning in Game 2 that, if executed properly, will give them a chance to make their coach feel better and, more importantly, an opportunity to show the Rangers this will be a difficult series.

Below also are three keys for the Rangers that, if executed properly, give them their best chance to move within two wins of their second consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

Palmieri delivers to spark Ducks to Game 1 win

Monday, 05.18.2015 / 12:08 PM / "Obvious Choice" Moments

NHL.com

The Anaheim Ducks won the Pacific Division and owned the best record in the Western Conference powered by their one-two punch of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. But in the Ducks' 4-1 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final, they showed off their depth with the third line combining for two goals and two assists.

The win was especially sweet for third-line right wing Kyle Palmieri, who scored 14 goals in 57 regular-season games but none in nine Stanley Cup Playoff games. When Palmieri connected at 4:17 of the second period, it was his first goal since March 28.

Trailing by a goal, the Blackhawks were making a push until Nate Thompson collected the puck and found Palmieri, who made it 2-0 Anaheim with a sliding shot that beat goalie Corey Crawford.

"It started with [linemate Andrew Cogliano]," Palmieri said after the game. "He had some good speed on the entry. I threw a puck at the net and it bounced off their pads and it kind of just cycled off that. We got the puck low and Nate made a great play taking the puck to the net and throwing it from a bad angle. The puck popped out, I was lucky enough to get it over his shoulder."

Noel: Blackhawks must get secondary scorers going

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

For additional insight on the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final, NHL.com has enlisted the help of Claude Noel to break down the action. Noel will be checking in throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Noel was coach for the Winnipeg Jets from 2011-14 and interim coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2009-10. He also coached many years in the minor leagues, including the American Hockey League. In addition, Noel, a former forward, had 138 points in 353 regular-season games in the AHL and played seven games in the NHL with Washington Capitals in 1979-80.

The Chicago Blackhawks will need to get secondary scoring across the board if they are to have any chance of defeating the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference Final.

That's what Claude Noel strongly believes needs to happen in Game 2 at Honda Center on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Babcock, Sharks to speak about coaching job: report

Sunday, 05.17.2015 / 10:17 PM / News

NHL.com

Mike Babcock is scheduled to speak with the San Jose Sharks this week to discuss a possible future with the organization, ESPN.com reported.

Babcock, who would like to make a decision about his future by Wednesday, initiated contact with the Sharks, CSNCalifornia.com reported Sunday.

Babcock's contract with the Detroit Red Wings expires June 30.

The Red Wings granted Babcock permission to speak with other NHL teams May 8. They want to bring back their coach of the past 10 seasons and were aiming for a resolution by May 25.

Babcock told TSN he wanted to make a decision by May 20.

Crosby in Triple Gold Club with World Championship

Sunday, 05.17.2015 / 9:15 PM / 2015 IIHF World Championship

Michael Langr - NHL.com Correspondent

PRAGUE -- Mission accomplished.

Sidney Crosby will head home with a gold medal from Canada's undefeated run at the 2015 IIHF World Championship, meaning he joined the Triple Gold Club for players who have won the Stanley Cup and gold at the Olympics and Worlds.

The Pittsburgh Penguins center is the 26th member of the Triple Gold Club, the ninth from Canada. He is the first member of the exclusive club to captain all three championship teams: the Penguins in 2009, Canada at the Olympics in Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014 and at the 2015 Worlds at Prague's O2 Arena.

"That's what we all came for, we came here to win, and obviously you've been part of different things like this, Olympics, World Juniors and all that stuff," Crosby said after winning the gold-medal game 6-1 against Russia on Sunday. "Different experiences and being able to accomplish this any time of the year, play for Team Canada, it's pretty special."


Ducks' Andersen leaves no doubt in Game 1 victory

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

ANAHEIM -- The goal behind Anaheim Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen must have looked as big as a soccer net to Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane.

Kane, who has seven goals in 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games, curled around the scrambling Andersen and had a good portion of the net at his command.

Kane flicked his wrists confidently, expecting to see the red light explode into color before his eyes. Instead, Andersen lunged, reaching desperately with his stick and was rewarded with the crack of frozen rubber hitting shellacked lumber. All Kane saw was orange while the Anaheim fans behind the goal rose to cheer a remarkable save.

"Yeah, he waited me out a little bit," Andersen said, explaining his flailing along the ice well above the blue paint of his crease in the sixth minute of the Ducks' 4-1 win in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final on Sunday at Honda Center. "I knew I had to try to throw my stick over and take [away] as much of the net as I could. Luckily he hit the stick."

The puck ricocheted off the paddle of his stick and over the cross bar and into the netting to force a faceoff and allow the Ducks to exhale a bit.

Blackhawks' power play comes up empty in Game 1

ANAHEIM -- When trailing by a goal early in the third period, back-to-back power plays qualifies as a pretty excellent opportunity to find a game-tying goal.

The Chicago Blackhawks were in that position Sunday against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center during Game 1 of the Western Conference Final. Down 2-1, the Blackhawks earned back-to-back power plays early in the third period.

They did not convert on either, and it proved to be a big chance missed in a 4-1 defeat. Game 2 of the best-of-7 series will be played Tuesday at Honda Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Sunday, May 17

Sunday, 05.17.2015 / 7:56 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

DUCKS CONTINUE HOME DOMINANCE, TAKE SERIES LEAD

Three different Anaheim Ducks players scored multiple points and Frederik Andersen made 32 saves to help the Ducks remain perfect at home in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (6-0) and take a 1-0 series lead against the Chicago Blackhawks with a 4-1 win in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final at Honda Center.

* The Ducks are one win shy of matching their playoff record of seven consecutive home victories, established from April 30 to June 7, 2003 when they made their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final. Sunday marked Anaheim's first win against Chicago at Honda Center since March 20, 2013 (0-3-0).

Ducks' third line plays major role in Game 1

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- It's usually forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry who are surrounded by huge postgame media scrums, but the scene was quite different in the Anaheim Ducks' dressing room after a 4-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final at Honda Center on Sunday.

In one corner, there was forward Kyle Palmieri, who hadn't scored in more than six weeks. Across from him was forward Nate Thompson, who missed the first round because of an injury. In between them was Andrew Cogliano, the iron-man forward with a tenacious forecheck.

They comprise Anaheim's third line, which combined for two goals and two assists Sunday. It was a rare occurrence in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when Anaheim won without major contributions from Getzlaf or Perry, who appeared on the score sheet in the form of Getzlaf's empty-net assist at 18:42 of the third period.

Lightning aim to protect puck, play tighter D in Game 2

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- Coach Jon Cooper wasn't happy Saturday with how the Tampa Bay Lightning played in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers on Saturday.

He felt even worse the next day.

"It's funny watching games," Cooper said Sunday. "You can play the game and you can watch it and say ... you look at the game and not think you played very well, and then you watch the tape and it's actually a little better than you thought. But then there's the times that you think you played OK, and you watch the tape and you want to vomit. And that was a little bit how last night went."

Cooper said Saturday that he thought the Lightning played better in the final two periods of the 2-1 loss. But after a second viewing Sunday, he saw something very different.

"For two periods I thought we were a little bit better than we were until I watched the tape," Cooper said. "I think the Rangers played extremely well. But there are so many things ... we just kept stubbing our toe all night. We were just handing them tickets to the movie and we were a turnstile and watching them go by. We can't do that. We can't be giving pucks away, we can't be turning them over, we can't not make them go the 200 feet."


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Quote of the Day

I'm going into this with an open mind. This is a very young player (23) with a tremendous, tremendous amount of upside.

— Rangers coach Alain Vigneault on Emerson Etem's potential