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Dubnyk, Price, Rinne voted Vezina Trophy finalists

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 7:00 PM / 2015 NHL Awards

NEW YORK -- Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild, Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators are the three finalists for the 2014-15 Vezina Trophy, which is awarded "to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position," the National Hockey League announced today.

The general managers of the 30 NHL clubs submitted ballots for the Vezina Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 24, during the 2015 NHL Awards from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Lightning forward Johnson knows how to win

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 6:51 PM / Lightning vs Red Wings - 2015 SCP First Round

Corey Long - Correspondent

BRANDON, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson said he got a few more text messages after his game Thursday, and the plane ride back to Tampa was a little nicer.

Otherwise there wasn't much that changed for the second-year player who scored two goals, including the game-winner 2:25 into overtime, to give Tampa Bay a 3-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round and save the Lightning from being on the brink of elimination.

The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 at Amalie Arena on Saturday (6 p.m. ET; CBC, TVA Sports, NBCSN, FS-D, FS-F).

"I don't think I did anything out of the ordinary," Johnson said Friday. "We knew that we had to continue to work and if we could get one past [Red Wings goalie Petr] Mrazek we would have a chance."

Blackhawks to start Darling in Game 6 vs. Predators

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 6:16 PM / Predators vs Blackhawks - 2015 SCP First Round

CHICAGO -- Goalie Scott Darling will start for the Chicago Blackhawks against the Nashville Predators in Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round at United Center on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports 2).

Darling allowed three of Nashville's four third-period goals and lost Game 5 at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday. The 5-2 loss cut the Blackhawks' lead to 3-2 in the best-of-7 series.

Darling took over the starting role after a similar performance in Game 2 by Corey Crawford, but Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he isn't ready to switch back.

"He's played well in this series," Quenneville said of Darling, who has a 1.67 goals-against average and .950 save percentage. "You could look at the four games he's been in, he's been solid. [We're] very happy with the way he's played, so he's going [Saturday]."

Oilers hire Chiarelli as president, general manager

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 6:06 PM / News

The Edmonton Oilers hired Peter Chiarelli as president of hockey operations and general manager Friday.

Kevin Lowe, former president of hockey operations, was reassigned outside of the hockey operations department but remains vice chair of Oilers Entertainment Group.

Craig MacTavish, who was general manager since 2013, remains with the Oilers but his role has not been established.

The Oilers also announced the resignation of Patrick LaForge, president and COO of the Oilers Entertainment Group.

"Peter is going to lead this group," Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson said. "He's going to be president of hockey operations and general manager. He's going to make sure that he has strong people around him, and I know that we're going to get this organization headed in the right direction."

Jets know there's work ahead to get deep in playoffs

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 5:47 PM / Ducks vs Jets - 2015 SCP First Round

Patrick Williams - Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets made significant progress in the 2014-15 regular season, but their quick exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs provided a blunt reminder of how far they still have to go.

The Jets set a franchise record with 99 points, experienced a stretch drive to the playoffs and had several young players blossom, but the Anaheim Ducks swept them in their Western Conference First Round best-of-7 series. It was the first playoff appearance for the franchise since 2007, when it was known as the Atlanta Thrashers.

The most pressing issue for the Jets this offseason will be potential roster turnover. Forwards Michael Frolik, Drew Stafford, Lee Stempniak and Jiri Tlusty each can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"The organization was great for me, and I love it here," Frolik said Friday, when Jets players, coach Paul Maurice and general manager Tim Cheveldayoff met with the media. "We've got a great thing going, and I would like to be back, for sure."

Predators captain Weber to miss rest of first round

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 4:52 PM / News

Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber will miss the remainder of the Western Conference First Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks because of a lower-body injury, the Predators announced Friday.

Weber was injured in Game 2 on a hit by Chicago forward Brandon Saad at 9:20 of the second period. Weber appeared unable to put any weight on his right leg as he left the ice. He did not travel to Chicago for Games 3 and 4, and did not play in Game 5.

The Predators trail the best-of-7 series 3-2 with Game 6 on Saturday at United Center in Chicago (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports 2).

Lightning's Cooper a fan of Red Wings' Abdelkader

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 2:54 PM / Lightning vs Red Wings - 2015 SCP First Round

Paul Harris - Correspondent

DETROIT -- Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper goes way back with Detroit Red Wings left wing Justin Abdelkader.

When Abdelkader was playing high school hockey in his hometown, Muskegon, Mich., with Mona Shores High School, Cooper was the coach at Lansing Catholic Central High School. The schools played each other because both are located in west Michigan.

So it isn't a real surprise to Cooper that Abdelkader, 28, has developed into an impact NHL power forward.

Time set for potential Canadiens-Senators Game 6

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 2:48 PM / Canadiens vs Senators - 2015 SCP First Round

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League today announced that the starting time of the potential Game 6 of the series between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators, if necessary, has been set for 6 p.m. ET in Ottawa on Sunday, April 26.

In Canada, the game would be televised on CBC and TVA Sports. In the U.S., the game would be televised on NBCSN.

Johnson goals critical as Lightning pull even in series

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 11:56 AM / "Obvious Choice" Moments

Trailing the Detroit Red Wings 2-0 in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round series, Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper knew his team needed a spark of some kind.

Enter center Tyler Johnson.

Johnson set up the tying goal and scored his second of the game in overtime as the Lightning rallied for a 3-2 victory that evened the best-of-7 series 2-2.

Johnson got the Lightning started with a 4-on-4 goal with 5:26 left in regulation that cut the deficit to 2-1. He took a pass from Anton Stralman in the neutral zone and, taking advantage of the open ice, raced past Red Wings forward Darren Helm down the left-wing boards, cut to the net and lifted a quick wrist shot from in close under the crossbar and past Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek.

"As soon as we got that first one we grew a couple inches on the bench," Cooper said. "It was like a weight off our shoulders. And clearly the game changed at that moment when we scored that goal. You could tell our guys had a fire in them that was not going to be put out."

Noel: Lightning capitalized on Glendening injury

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 10:08 AM / Lightning vs Red Wings - 2015 SCP First Round

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

For additional insight into the Eastern Conference First Round series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings has enlisted the help of Claude Noël to break down the action. Noel will be checking in throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Noel was coach for the Winnipeg Jets from 2011-2014 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. Noel, a forward during his playing days, had 138 points in 353 regular-season games in the AHL, and he played seven games in the NHL with Washington Capitals in 1979-80.

The Detroit Red Wings appeared to have the perfect formula in place against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round series at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on Thursday.

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Quote of the Day

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