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Latest Headlines

X-Factor: Physical Coyle a difference-maker for Wild

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 9:43 AM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2014 SCP Second Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

DENVER -- If Charlie Coyle plays the way he knows he can play, which is the way he played against the Colorado Avalanche in the first round, he'll be the Minnesota Wild's answer to left wing Bryan Bickell of the Chicago Blackhawks in their Western Conference Second Round series.

The St. Louis Blues didn't have a big, physical, grinding, fast and offensively capable wing in their group of top-six forwards to match the 6-foot-4, 233-pound Bickell in the first round. Bickell eventually wore down the Blues and had two goals and an assist during the final three games of the series, all Chicago wins.

Coyle can match Bickell, especially when he's playing on the first line with Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise. He's 6-3, 221 pounds and he has speed, skill and, now, enough confidence to use his big body to create havoc.


Failures on power play contribute to Sharks' demise

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 3:23 AM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks thought they had solved their season-long power problems after they bolted to a 3-0 lead in their Western Conference First Round series against the Los Angeles Kings.

They scored a power play in each of those victories and again in a 6-3 loss in Game 4. But over the final three games of what proved to be an epic collapse against the Kings, the Sharks went 0-for-15 on the power play.

The Sharks saved the worst for last. They went 0-for 6 on the power play Wednesday night in a 5-1 loss to the Kings in Game 7 at SAP Center. Four of those power plays came in the second period when the game and series was still up for grabs.


Wild's Niederreiter raises bar with Game 7 heroics

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 3:16 AM / Avalanche vs Wild - 2014 SCP First Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

DENVER -- Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo commented Wednesday morning that forward Nino Niederreiter has "been biting off a little bit more every game."

He swallowed the Colorado Avalanche whole Wednesday night with a season-changing performance in Game 7 at Pepsi Center.

Niederreiter scored a game-tying goal in the third period and the overtime winner 5:02 into the extra session to give the Wild a 5-4 come-from-behind victory and their first series win in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2003.


Wild unsure of starting goalie vs. Blackhawks

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 3:07 AM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2014 SCP Second Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

DENVER -- The Minnesota Wild might have a new starting goaltender for Game 1 of their Western Conference Second Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

It's the same goalie who started Game 1 of the first-round series against the Colorado Avalanche.

Ilya Bryzgalov was forced into Game 7 on Wednesday at Pepsi Center with 8:13 remaining in the third period because starting goalie Darcy Kuemper couldn't continue because of an undisclosed injury. Bryzgalov made one save in 13:15 of work between the end of regulation and 5:02 of overtime before Nino Niederreiter scored to give the Wild a series-clinching 5-4 come-from-behind win.

Coach Mike Yeo did not have an update on Kuemper's condition following the game. Minnesota opens its series in Chicago on Friday (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).


Spitfires' Ho-Sang makes name with flair for dramatic

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Windsor Spitfires forward Joshua Ho-Sang won't ever forget the day he put a smile on the face of winning honorary coach Jason Spezza following a picturesque move for the ages.

He was only 15 years old.

"For that moment in time, I had one of the best players in the NHL in awe, and that's something I'll never forget," Ho-Sang told NHL.com.

The smooth approach and countless dekes before roofing his attempt inside the short side post proved to be the clincher in a 10-9 shootout victory at the inaugural Allstate All-Canadians Mentorship Cup at Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, in August 2011. The coaches for the game were Spezza and Luke Schenn.


Inability to hold leads costs Avalanche

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 2:55 AM / Avalanche vs Wild - 2014 SCP First Round

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- In the end, the Minnesota Wild did to the Colorado Avalanche what had been done to them earlier in their Western Conference First Round series.

The difference Wednesday at Pepsi Center was that the Wild's 5-4 overtime win came in Game 7 to send the Avalanche home for the summer.

The Avalanche took 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3 leads and couldn't hold any of them. Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon tied the game with 2:27 to play in the third period and Nino Niederreiter beat goalie Semyon Varlamov on a 2-on-1 rush at 5:02 of overtime.

The Avalanche pulled out overtime wins in similar fashion in Games 1 and 5, the latter to grab a 3-2 series lead.

"It's heartbreaking, but I guess you have to take a learning experience out of it," said Avalanche center Matt Duchene, who had two assists in his second game back after missing the final eight regular-season games and first five Stanley Cup Playoff games with a knee injury. "It should never have gone into overtime. I think we all feel that way. It's a terrible feeling right now."


Sharks devastated after blowing 3-0 series lead

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 2:44 AM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks' history has been marked by huge disappointments, bitter losses and failed quests to reach the Stanley Cup Final.

The Sharks added another chapter, maybe the worst in franchise history, to that ongoing saga Wednesday night at SAP Center, completing one of the biggest collapses in NHL history.

San Jose suffered a 5-1 to the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 of their Western Conference First Round series and became the fourth team in League history to take a 3-0 lead and fail to advance.

"Every year you lose is pretty low, but this one is a type of series that will rip your heart out," Sharks forward Logan Couture said. "It hurts. It's going to be a long summer thinking about this one and what we let slip away. Personally, myself, I didn't play the way I wanted to. I'm one of the guys that's counted on big-time to be successful, and I didn't get the job done when we needed to."

Sharks coach Todd McLellan said the series loss clearly marked the low point in his six seasons with San Jose, and he took responsibility for the collapse.


Five reasons why the Rangers advanced

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 2:32 AM / Rangers vs Flyers - 2014 SCP First Round

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers advanced to the Eastern Conference Second Round with a 2-1 win in Game 7 against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night. The Metropolitan Division rivals were evenly matched in their first-round series, as evidenced by the fact that neither team was able to string together consecutive wins.

The Rangers won the odd-numbered games; the Flyers took the even-numbered ones. Momentum was never a factor from game to game: The Rangers' series-clinching win came 24 hours after a 5-2 loss in Philadelphia. But in the rematch at Madison Square Garden, they scored twice during a dominant second period and tightened up defensively in the third to win their fourth consecutive Game 7.

Here are five reasons why New York advanced:


Wild look for revenge against Blackhawks

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 1:53 AM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2014 SCP Second Round

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

One year ago, the Chicago Blackhawks rolled over the Minnesota Wild in five games on the way to their second Stanley Cup in four seasons. The Wild will get a chance to avenge that loss when they face the Blackhawks in a Western Conference Second Round series.

The Blackhawks made short work of the Wild last spring, losing Game 3 and outscoring Minnesota 8-1 in Games 4 and 5 to close out their conference quarterfinal series. But the Wild exacted a bit of revenge this season, winning three of five games and earning seven of a possible 10 points. They were 2-1-0 in St. Paul and 1-0-1 in Chicago, losing 3-2 in a shootout on April 3 in the last of the five-game season series.

But those Blackhawks were coming into the playoffs as the Presidents' Trophy winners in a lockout-shortened 48-game season. The 2013-14 version had its ups and downs before finishing third in the Central Division and spotted the St. Louis Blues a two-game lead in their first-round series.


Ducks, Kings to face off for first time in playoffs

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 1:28 AM / Ducks vs. Kings - 2014 SCP Second Round

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Anaheim Ducks entered the NHL in 1993. Twenty-one years later, they will face the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time.

Los Angeles became the fourth team in League history to come back from a 3-0 series deficit when they earned a 5-1 victory against the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 of their Western Conference First Round series Wednesday.

It sets up the first-ever playoff series between the Kings and Ducks, who are separated by roughly 30 miles on the I-5 Freeway.

Game 1 is scheduled to take place Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim (8 p.m. ET).

"This highly anticipated Kings-Ducks playoff series will capture the excitement and the imagination of the most casual hockey and sports fan in Southern California in addition to our loyal, die-hard Kings fans," Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille said. "We believe this series can help continue to spur even more interest in our great sport in our great city."

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Quote of the Day

Great players need great players to play with. That's why we'll have a training camp and we'll find who the best two guys are suited to play with Stamkos.

— Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness on Steven Stamkos' potential linemates for the 2014-15 season