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Red Wings grab series lead on Datsyuk's 'dagger'

Saturday, 04.19.2014 / 12:24 AM / Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

BOSTON -- Pavel Datsyuk scored the only goal Friday in a memorable Game 1 between the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings at TD Garden.

After playing 56-plus minutes of taut, low-risk hockey, the game was turned on its heels by a moment of sheer brilliance from Datsyuk, the skilled Detroit center who has become famous for such plays. So much so, in fact, he has earned the nickname "Magic Man."

Datsyuk added to his legend with a dazzling display of skill that enabled Detroit to steal a 1-0 victory in the opening game of the Eastern Conference First Round series and, in the process, grab home-ice advantage from the Bruins, who are the top seed in the Stanley Cup Playoffs by virtue of winning the Presidents' Trophy.


Howard helps Red Wings steal home-ice edge

Friday, 04.18.2014 / 11:49 PM / Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

BOSTON -- It was mayhem at TD Garden late in the third period Friday night during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round series between the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings.

During the last ice-maintenance timeout in regulation, the sellout crowd was on its feet, waving yellow rally towels furiously, exhorting their Bruins to find a way to solve a stifling Detroit defense in a game without a goal. All of this was happening as "Shipping Up To Boston," the sing-along hit by the Dropkick Murphys, the house band for any major sporting moment in this city, blared at nearly unbearable levels on the PA system.

The only problem was the Red Wings tend to be unflappable, especially when goaltender Jimmy Howard is playing at the top of his game, as he was on this night. Instead of being uncomfortable with the atmosphere, Howard was reveling in it.

It was a lot of fun because the Red Wings took a 1-0 victory in Game 1, a victory that pretty much drops a hand grenade into this best-of-7 series between the winner of the Presidents' Trophy and the Red Wings the second wild-card finisher in the East.


Lightning face tough task after two home losses

Friday, 04.18.2014 / 11:33 PM / Lightning vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP First Round

Lonnie Herman - NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- After two losses at home and with their next two games to be played in front of one of the NHL's most raucous crowds, the Tampa Bay Lightning have their work cut out for them.

"We've got nothing to lose right now, We're down 2-0 and we're going into a hostile environment," captain Steven Stamkos said Friday night after a 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference First Round series. "We have to play better."

The Lightning are looking for answers as they head to Bell Centre in Montreal for Game 3 on Sunday night (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, SUN). Finding them doesn't figure to be easy.


Sharks get boost from return of Hertl and Torres

Friday, 04.18.2014 / 6:53 PM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks had been waiting all season to have rookie forward Tomas Hertl and veteran Raffi Torres in the lineup together for a game. That finally happened Thursday, and the timing couldn't have been better for the Sharks.

After battling back from severe right knee injuries, Hertl and Torres played huge roles in the Sharks' 6-3 victory against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of their Western Conference First Round series.

Hertl had a goal and an assist in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut, flashing the offensive skill that made him a strong contender for the Calder Trophy early in the season before being injured. He skated on the third line with center James Sheppard and Tommy Wingels.

Torres scored a goal and had a team-high seven hits, setting the tone for San Jose in a physical game with his wrecking ball style. He skated on the fourth line with center Andrew Desjardins and Mike Brown.

"I think he brings a different element, which is obviously positive," Desjardins said of Torres. "Finishing his checks. It's a presence that I think is important, especially against a team like L.A. It was definitely good to have him out there.

"It's great to see [Hertl] back. He's pretty much at full bore already, just jumping in. It's great to see as well. I think it also adds another completely new dynamic with his offensive ability."


MacKinnon takes first Stanley Cup Playoffs in stride

Friday, 04.18.2014 / 6:00 PM / Avalanche vs Wild - 2014 SCP First Round

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Patrick Roy has been watching the Nathan MacKinnon show for three years, two in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and as Colorado Avalanche coach since training camp, and it never gets old.

"I've been impressed with him from the first time I saw him play a game," Roy said Friday. "From there to now, his game goes up. He's been so receptive to teaching, he's been working hard and he's always level. I know who's going to show up tomorrow, he's going to be the same guy."

MacKinnon had three assists Thursday in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut, when the Avalanche opened the best-of-7 Western Conference First Round with a 5-4 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild. Game 2 is Saturday at Pepsi Center (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN, FS-N, ALT).


Blackhawks coach Quenneville fined $25,000

Friday, 04.18.2014 / 5:50 PM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round


NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League has fined Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville $25,000 for inappropriate conduct during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoff First Round series against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, Apr. 17.

The fine money goes to the NHL Foundation.


Ramsay: Fine line for Blues defending stretch passes

Friday, 04.18.2014 / 5:44 PM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks, NHL.com has enlisted the help of former NHL coach Craig Ramsay to break down the action. Ramsay will be checking in throughout the series.

Ramsay played in more than 1,000 NHL games with the Buffalo Sabres before going on to coach the Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers and Atlanta Thrashers. In the 2000 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he led the Flyers to the seventh game of the Eastern Conference Final. Ramsay was most recently an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers.

ST. LOUIS -- Patrick Kane's breakaway goal late in the first period Thursday fell 105 seconds short of being the winning goal for the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of their Western Conference First Round series.


Blackhawks have 'a little bitter taste' after 3OT loss

Friday, 04.18.2014 / 4:33 PM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

ST. LOUIS -- At a time when a less experienced team might dwell on missed opportunities and be shattered after losing a Stanley Cup Playoff game in triple overtime, the Chicago Blackhawks are taking a more ho-hum approach by holding their heads up and talking at length about the opportunity in front of them.

There wasn't a shred of noticeable panic, heartbreak or devastation Friday, when defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson, forwards Kris Versteeg and Patrick Sharp, goalie Corey Crawford and coach Joel Quenneville met the media at the Blackhawks' hotel 13 hours after Alexander Steen scored early in the third overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory in the best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series.

Game 2 is Saturday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS). The Blackhawks haven't won in four games at Scottrade Center this season, but a victory Saturday means they will steal home-ice advantage in the series before it shifts to United Center for Game 3 on Monday.

"We're in good shape and we're ready to go," said Crawford, who made 48 saves in Game 1. "We have that hunger, a little bitter taste. I think we had a chance to win that hockey game being up in the third period. [We] had a couple opportunities, a bunch of opportunities in overtime. We're ready to go for Game 2."


Texas Stars' Morin voted AHL's most valuable player

Friday, 04.18.2014 / 2:28 PM / News


Texas Stars center Travis Morin on Friday was voted the winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the American Hockey League's most valuable player for the 2013-14 season.

The award is voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league's 30 cities.

Morin, a ninth-round pick (No. 263) of the Washington Capitals in the 2004 NHL Draft, is in his fifth season with the Stars, an affiliate of the Dallas Stars.


Versatile Bennett providing shot in arm for Penguins

Friday, 04.18.2014 / 2:10 PM / Penguins vs Blue Jackets - 2014 SCP First Round

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Beau Bennett's second NHL season did not go as planned.

Bennett was expected to play second-line left wing alongside Evgeni Malkin and James Neal entering training camp. After Jussi Jokinen won the position, Bennett was expected to bring much-needed offensive production to Pittsburgh's bottom six throughout the regular season. After Bennett was sidelined through 61 games with multiple injuries, he was expected to bolster its struggling third line upon return.

The last expectation partially became reality.

The 22-year-old forward began the Stanley Cup Playoffs as Pittsburgh's first-line right wing, but will most likely move to third-line left wing for Game 2 of its Eastern Conference First Round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday (7 p.m., ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, FS-O, ROOT) at Consol Energy Center.

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Quote of the Day

You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense