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Rangers' Nash relieved to get back in scoring column

Monday, 05.11.2015 / 12:22 AM / Rangers vs Capitals - 2015 SCP Second Round

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

WASHINGTON -- New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash wanted to feel well about how he was playing entering Game 6 against the Washington Capitals on Sunday. All he felt was the weight of not scoring.

"It's tricky because I felt good, but my job is to score so it was definitely frustrating," Nash said.

Frustration turned into relief in the Rangers' 4-3 win at Verizon Center.

Nash's goal at 54 seconds of the third period gave New York a 3-1 lead. The Rangers eventually held on to even the best-of-7 series at 3-3.

Game 7 is Wednesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Start time set for Rangers-Capitals Game 7

Sunday, 05.10.2015 / 10:16 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League today announced the start time and national television information for Game 7 of 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round series between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals scheduled for Wednesday, May 13.

· The start time for Game 7 of the series between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals has been set for 7:30 p.m. ET in New York. The game will be seen on NBCSN, CBC and TVA Sports

Canadiens elevate play when facing elimination

Sunday, 05.10.2015 / 9:20 PM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Sean Farrell - Correspondent

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens are at their best with their backs against the wall.

Montreal has won five of its past six Stanley Cup Playoff games when facing elimination. The Canadiens, who trail their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2, will face elimination again in Game 6 at Amalie Arena on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"These are the kind of games you dream of being in as a kid," Montreal center Lars Eller said via a conference call from Tampa on Sunday.

Tuesday will be the first time the Canadiens have played the sixth game of a best-of-7 series after trailing 3-0.

Blackhawks to allocate big minutes to top defensemen

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks' top four defensemen need to store up as much energy as possible because they're probably going to play a lot during the remainder of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Veteran defenseman Michal Rozsival is out for the rest of the postseason because of a fractured left ankle, and Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville doesn't have a replacement he fully trusts to handle the entire 17:26 of ice time per game Rozsival had been averaging in the playoffs.

David Rundblad, 23, will enter the lineup in the Western Conference Final, but he and 40-year-old Kimmo Timonen will not be asked to fill the void themselves.

Dennis: Canadiens must stick with their game plan

Sunday, 05.10.2015 / 12:58 PM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

For additional insight into the Eastern Conference Second Round series between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning, has enlisted the help of Chris Dennis to break down the action. Dennis will be checking in throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Dennis spent 10 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, including the past two as an assistant coach under Randy Carlyle and Peter Horachek. Prior to that he was the Maple Leafs' video coach for eight seasons.

When Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said after Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning that he thought his team didn't have to change much to get a win in the series, Chris Dennis agreed with him.

Dennis saw Montreal stick with its game plan to win 2-1 in Game 5 on Saturday.

"They're just going in now," Dennis said of the Montreal's scoring chances. "They're still low-scoring games but now they're just getting the bounces and going in. I think they've stuck with it and I think Montreal is playing well."

Lightning still focused after another loss to Canadiens

Sunday, 05.10.2015 / 12:10 AM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Chris Stevenson - Correspondent

MONTREAL -- The Tampa Bay Lightning don't have to look far for a lesson in how to put a team away when it's storming back in a Stanley Cup Playoff series.

After jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Montreal Canadiens, the Lightning have lost the past two games, including 2-1 at Bell Centre on Saturday, heading into Game 6 of the best-of-7 series at Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

It's a scenario the Canadiens are familiar with. They held a 3-0 lead against the Ottawa Senators in the first round before the Senators won Games 4 and 5.

Montreal eliminated Ottawa in Game 6, a fact not lost on Lightning captain Steven Stamkos.

Subban deflects praise to teammates after Game 5 win

Saturday, 05.09.2015 / 11:58 PM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- P.K. Subban does a lot of things extremely well, but one of his most underrated skills is manipulating the spotlight.

Whenever attention appears to be turning toward the difficulties of his team, the Montreal Canadiens defenseman will say or do something that will force the spotlight to be turned squarely upon him. Once he does that, he usually rises to the occasion. Saturday at Bell Centre was the latest example.

Subban knew exactly what he was doing when he suggested following Montreal's 6-2 win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series at Amalie Arena on Thursday that Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop had benefited from some luck.

The Canadiens had hit a few goal posts in the series, sure, but saying a goalie is relying on luck is so obvious it's near insulting. Every goalie relies on luck to some extent; the good ones are simply better at playing the odds.

Much like Subban is good at controlling the message.

Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Saturday, May 9

Saturday, 05.09.2015 / 11:37 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Tampa Bay Lightning tied the game at 9:27 of the third period, but Carey Price made 24 saves and Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau scored the winning goal with 4:07 left in regulation to help the Montreal Canadiens stave off elimination for a second straight game and extend Eastern Conference Second Round series.

* The Canadiens forced a Game 6 after trailing a best-of-7 series 3-0 for the first time in franchise history (they've been down 3-0 in a series 11 times). They forced a Game 5 on five previous occasions but ultimately lost each series in five games.

* Price allowed two goals or fewer for the eighth time this postseason (11 GP), improving to 5-3 in those games. He improved to 6-5 with a 2.16 goals-against average, .923 save percentage and one shutout in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Penguins will not pursue Babcock to coach: report

Saturday, 05.09.2015 / 9:49 PM / News

The Pittsburgh Penguins will not ask Mike Babcock to become their coach, general manager Jim Rutherford told the Tribune-Review on Saturday.

"We have our coaching staff in place," Rutherford told the newspaper. "We will not be pursuing him."

Coach Mike Johnston's first season with the Penguins ended with a Game 5 loss to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference First Round.

"We are committed to our present coaching staff," Rutherford said.

Babcock on Friday was given permission by the Detroit Red Wings to explore other NHL opportunities. His contract expires June 30, but the Red Wings want to have a resolution this month.

Ducks' Boudreau aims for elusive conference final

Saturday, 05.09.2015 / 8:39 PM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was asked Saturday about getting over the hump, but he wouldn't budge.

The storyline is too juicy to ignore: With a win against the Calgary Flames in Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round on Sunday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports), Boudreau would advance past the second round to the conference final for the first time in his NHL coaching career after three unsuccessful attempts.

Anaheim has a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series and would advance to the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

"I try not to think about it," Boudreau said during a conference call. "I know it's cliché. I'm just trying to think about tomorrow. Because if you think about tomorrow and it goes successfully, then everything else will take care of itself and then you'll have enough time to think about other things. I haven't put really any thought into playing Chicago at all."

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Jamie improves every game and every year. I've only been with him for two years, but as a player and as a person it seems like every week he's getting stronger and better, and becoming a better leader and better captain. He wants the team to be so successful that he's making himself better as a player.

— Stars forward Tyler Seguin on teammate Jamie Benn, the '14-15 Art Ross Trophy winner
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