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(Page 149 of 248)
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Five reasons why the Anaheim Ducks advanced

Monday, 04.28.2014 / 4:42 PM / Ducks vs Stars - 2014 SCP First Round

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Narratives can change pretty quickly during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the Anaheim Ducks were a strong example of that in the past few days.

The Ducks were a couple of minutes away Sunday night from losing for the third time in four games to the Dallas Stars in their Western Conference First Round series, and facing a Game 7 at Honda Center in the opening round for the second straight season.

Instead, Anaheim forged an incredible comeback, scoring twice in the final 130 seconds of regulation to force overtime and again at 2:47 of the extra period in Game 6 to finish off the Stars and advance to the second round of the postseason for the first time since 2009.

Anaheim will face one of its California rivals in the Western Conference Second Round. The Ducks haven't advanced past the second round since winning the Stanley Cup in 2007, and Bruce Boudreau has yet to do so in his first six seasons as an NHL coach.

Here are five reasons they will have a chance to do so:

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Canadiens' Vanek expects Bruins to make life difficult

Monday, 04.28.2014 / 4:32 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

James Murphy - NHL.com Correspondent

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Montreal Canadiens forward Thomas Vanek has earned the reputation as a thorn in the side of the Boston Bruins since he entered the NHL in 2005-06 with the Buffalo Sabres.

Vanek has 30 goals and 62 points in 55 career games against the Bruins. He had just one goal in the Canadiens' sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference First Round, and knows he will need to find that scoring magic again when the Canadiens and Bruins start a best-of-7 series in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"In the first round I don't think our line played good," Vanek said of himself, Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais. "In Games 1, 2 and 3, I thought we created a lot of chances but just didn't connect. Even in Game 1, I think if [Pacioretty] scores in overtime and doesn't hit the post there's a different vibe for us. So we have to do a better job in this series to kind of just stick with it because we know our chances will be limited."

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Undrafted Girardi is now Rangers' defensive stalwart

Monday, 04.28.2014 / 4:10 PM / Rangers vs Flyers - 2014 SCP First Round

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- There's no better way to celebrate a birthday than by eliminating a division rival from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the midst of a hostile environment.

That's precisely what New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi will have in mind when his team visits Wells Fargo Center to battle the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference First Round series on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS, MSG, CSN-PH).

Girardi, who turns 30 on Tuesday, hopes his team can officially close out the Flyers. The Rangers hold a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series.

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Bruins' Chara committed to protecting own end first

Monday, 04.28.2014 / 3:32 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- When he won his only Norris Trophy following the 2008-09 season, Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara had 50 points. In the three full seasons since, the award has gone to defensemen with no fewer than 62 points for a full season.

Last year's winner, the Montreal Canadiens' P.K. Subban, had 38 points in 42 games during the shortened season. That put him on pace for 74 in an 82-game schedule.

Still, Chara, who was among the three finalists for the award in three of the past four seasons and finished eighth in 2009-10, hasn't altered his approach to the game to suit the desire of the voters to throw their support behind defensemen with a little more offensive punch.

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McPhee looks to future as tenure with Capitals ends

Monday, 04.28.2014 / 2:35 PM / News

Adam Vingan - NHL.com Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- For nearly two decades as Washington Capitals general manager, George McPhee was the constant in an ever-changing organization.

McPhee was the catalyst for that change as the Capitals' chief architect, overseeing countless players, several coaches and the stylistic changes that accompanied that turnover.

Yet there was one transformation McPhee could not complete during his nearly 17-year tenure: turning a franchise long associated with regular-season success into one that replicated it in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It was for that reason team owner Ted Leonsis and president Dick Patrick opted not to renew McPhee's contract, informing him Saturday that the Capitals were in need of a fresh perspective.

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Five reasons why the Blues were eliminated

Monday, 04.28.2014 / 2:18 PM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- The end result was not exactly indicative of how the Western Conference First Round series between the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks was played out, but in the end, it's another disappointing and bitter pill for the Blues to swallow with an early Stanley Cup Playoffs exit.

Though their season ended with a 5-1 loss in Game 6 on Sunday, where the Blackhawks broke the game open with four third-period goals, four of the first five games were decided in overtime and Game 3 was a down-to-the-wire 1-0 game until Chicago added an empty-netter.

The series was a brand of contrasting styles, with the defending Stanley Cup champions going more for skill against the Blues' grit and physical nature.

The Blues lost the series 4-2 in similar fashion to the way they lost in the first round in 2013 against the Los Angeles Kings. Here are five reasons the Blues are again on the outside looking in:

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Islanders sign Leduc to entry-level contract

Monday, 04.28.2014 / 12:06 PM / News

NHL.com

The New York Islanders on Monday agreed to terms with defenseman Loic Leduc on a three-year, entry-level contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Leduc, 19, had 15 points (six goals, nine assists) and a plus-13 rating in 63 games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, splitting time between the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and Rimouski Oceanic. Leduc was traded midseason and had two assists and a plus-9 rating in 11 playoff games with Rimouski.

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Chara, Keith, Weber voted Norris Trophy finalists

Monday, 04.28.2014 / 11:00 AM / 2014 NHL Awards

NHL.com

NEW YORK – Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins, Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks and Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators are the three finalists for the 2013-14 James Norris Memorial Trophy, awarded "to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position," the National Hockey League announced today.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association submitted ballots for the Norris Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Tuesday, June 24, during the 2014 NHL Awards from Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. The 2014 NHL Awards will be broadcast by NBCSN in the United States and CBC in Canada.


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Fan support frenzied as Blue Jackets face must-win

Monday, 04.28.2014 / 10:12 AM / Penguins vs Blue Jackets - 2014 SCP First Round

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- When the Columbus Blue Jackets step onto the Nationwide Arena ice Monday trying to stave off elimination in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they will be backed by a raucous crowd.

A group of Blue Jackets fans began camping outside of Nationwide Arena a full 24 hours before tickets go on sale at 5 p.m. Monday for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins (7 p.m. ET; CBC, RDS2, ROOT, FS-O).

Even as it began to rain heavily in Columbus on Monday morning, the fans waiting to purchase $40 seats did not budge. Ponchos were distributed to those in line, where the "Mighty Ducks" films aired the previous night.

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Five reasons why the Blackhawks advanced

Monday, 04.28.2014 / 1:26 AM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks loosened up one of the tightest series in recent Stanley Cup Playoff history with a dominating third period Sunday.

The Blackhawks scored early, then again, and again and again to run roughshod over the St. Louis Blues in what turned out to be the final 20 minutes of a best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series that was aptly termed a battle by players and coaches on each side.

Chicago made sure the series didn't go the distance with a 5-1 win in Game 6 at United Center.

After losing the first two games at Scottrade Center in overtime, the Blackhawks won four straight to move one step closer to becoming the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions since the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings.

How did the Blackhawks get it done against St. Louis? Here are five reasons:

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A piece of scar tissue breaks off, pinches the nerve, and every time you move your leg it's almost like having a root canal in your stomach and groin.

— Detroit Red Wings center Stephen Weiss on his sports hernia surgery