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Wild look for revenge against Blackhawks

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

John Kreiser - 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 - 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."


2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 2 schedule

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 1:20 AM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Below are dates, times, national broadcast information and results for the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Information on the U.S. broadcast for games later in the round will be released as it is determined.

All times listed are ET and subject to change.


Mason nearly gets Flyers into second round

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 12:06 AM / Rangers vs Flyers - 2014 SCP First Round

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason did all he could to bail out his team one last time in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

His 31 saves weren't enough. The Rangers advanced to the second round with a 2-1 victory in the series finale.

The Rangers again got the best of the Flyers at 5-on-5, and New York’s offense onslaught in the second period that produced two goals on 18 shots proved just enough. If Mason's sterling performance in this series proved anything, it was that Flyers players, coaches and fans can say in  earnest that the future is bright between the pipes in Philadelphia.

In the City of Brotherly Love, where goaltending is traditionally taken to task each offseason, that's a major accomplishment.


Carcillo contributes again for Rangers in Game 7

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 11:35 PM / Rangers vs Flyers - 2014 SCP First Round

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault didn't make many changes to his lineup as the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Philadelphia Flyers progressed. But the changes he did make reaped instant rewards.

The latest example was Vigneault's decision to dress Daniel Carcillo for Game 7 after the forward was a healthy scratch the previous two. Carcillo rewarded his coach by scoring in the second period and sparking the Rangers' 2-1 series-clinching win at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

"I just felt that in a Game 7 like this I'd rather go with experience. He had been in those situations before," Vigneault said. "He came up and did a good job and scored that first big goal for us."


Rested Penguins ready for Rangers in second round

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 11:28 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

John Kreiser - Columnist

The Pittsburgh Penguins have won all four Stanley Cup Playoff series they've played against the New York Rangers. They'll try to make it 5-for-5 when the teams meet in the Eastern Conference Second Round, beginning with Games 1 and 2 at Consol Energy Center.

The Penguins have had a few days to rest after finishing off the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday to win their first-round series in six games, though they blew multiple-goal leads in each loss and nearly saw a 4-0 lead completely vanish in Game 6. The Rangers played Games 6 and 7 of their first-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers on back-to-back nights; they advanced by outlasting the Flyers 2-1 at home Wednesday, one night after a 5-2 road loss.


Goaltender matchup: Inside Price vs. Rask

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 7:10 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

Goaltending plays an integral part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With the competition intense and so even, the men protecting each goal often are the difference in a series. decided to break down perhaps the most interesting goaltending matchup in the Eastern Conference Second Round: Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens vs. Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins.

Much like many goaltending coaches will do before a playoff series, correspondent Kevin Woodley, the managing editor of InGoal Magazine, charted every goal scored against each goalie in this matchup this season and came to some interesting conclusions about their strengths and weaknesses.


Jaromir Jagr re-signs with New Jersey Devils

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 5:30 PM / News

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Right wing Jaromir Jagr, who led the New Jersey Devils in scoring this season, was re-signed to a one-year contract Wednesday.

Chris Johnston of Rogers Sportsnet is reporting Jagr could earn as much as $5.5 million, including a $3.5 million base salary and an additional $2 million if he plays in 45 games in 2014-15.

"I think [Devils general manager] Lou Lamoriello wanted to know what kind of direction he wanted to go, so both sides wanted to do [the contract] quickly," Jagr said on a conference call. "I didn't mind that at all. I was happy here and had no reason to change. If I'm happy somewhere and feel like the other side is interested, there's no reason to change."


Tennessee teenager boasts perfect playoff bracket

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 5:23 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

More than a half-million entries were submitted for the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge. Heading into the trio of Game 7s on Wednesday, only one participant has a chance to claim they correctly predicted each of the teams that would advance in the first round and in how many games.

A student and hockey player at Father Ryan High School in Nashville, Colin Fitts stands alone. And if the New York Rangers, Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings all win Wednesday, he'll have successfully filled out a perfect bracket for the opening round of the playoffs.

Fitts, 16, is an aspiring journalist who covers the Nashville Predators for the But he didn't exactly draw on his experience covering his favorite team when it came time to file his bracket.


X-Factor: Penguins' Letang rounding back into form

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 5:00 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Wes Crosby - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The perception was the Pittsburgh Penguins would be without defenseman Kris Letang at the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Instead, Letang is playing and rounding into shape entering the Eastern Conference Second Round.

Letang had a stroke in late January that put his hockey future into doubt. A little over two months later, he returned against the Detroit Red Wings on April 9. His performance was surprisingly crisp in Pittsburgh's final three regular-season games, with one goal and four points.

That did not carry into the first few games of the Penguins' Eastern Conference First Round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Letang was criticized following his Game 1 performance after committing two turnovers, one that led to a shorthanded goal for Columbus forward Derek MacKenzie, and two reactionary penalties in the offensive zone.

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