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Oilers' Ference talks McDavid, locker room leadership

Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 1:24 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Evan Sporer - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Andrew Ference grew up just outside of Edmonton. His formative hockey years were spent watching the Edmonton Oilers cement their dynasty in the late 1980s. So when Ference had an opportunity to sign with his hometown team and play in the arena where he grew up watching from the stands, he jumped on it, calling it a fairytale.

The fairytale will soon be adding a new character, and Ference, like many of his teammates and Oilers fans, isn't hiding his excitement.

The Oilers won the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery this past Saturday for what has been one of the most hyped drafts in recent memory. The presumptive first pick, forward Connor McDavid, could become the next great hope for Oilers hockey.

"The thing about playing hockey in Canada, it's not just a big day for me personally but for our city," said Ference, who said he watched the draft lottery show on TV. "Our city the last few years has been miserable. We've lost way too much. We haven't been competitive enough.

"To have that and the positivity that comes with that, the anticipation that comes with that, you go out, and you talk to friends in the city and people that are fans of the team and there's genuine excitement. That's good."

Five reasons Ducks advanced to second round

Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 1:04 PM / Ducks vs Jets - 2015 SCP First Round

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

The Anaheim Ducks were supposed to have their hands full with the physicality and puck-possession game of the Winnipeg Jets. Many observers predicted a long series in the Western Conference First Round.

Few, if any, predicted four straight wins. But the Ducks pulled off the only sweep of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Wednesday when they again found an extra gear against the Jets, who played the first playoff games in Winnipeg since 1996.

It wasn't as easy as it sounds. Anaheim led for 38:26 for the best-of-7 series, the least amount of time a team has led in a four-game sweep, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. But the Ducks earned extra days of rest with their first sweep since 2006. They will face the winner of the series between the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames.

Here are five reasons the Ducks advanced to the second round:

Chlapik making mark in QMJHL with skill, hockey IQ

Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Filip Chlapik is forever grateful that his father took him aside during his youth hockey days to have a little heart-to-heart after he told his father of his urge to be a goaltender.

Nothing against the masked men, but Milan Chlapik envisioned his son excelling in another area on the ice; mainly center.

"I was a big fan of Tomas Vokoun and loved to watch him when I was younger," Filip Chlapik said. "But my dad told me, 'No way. You're going to be a forward.'"

He made the right choice.

Winnipeg fans salute Jets despite playoff sweep

Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 2:34 AM / Ducks vs Jets - 2015 SCP First Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

WINNIPEG – For 11 days, the anticipation built.

From the time the Winnipeg Jets clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs late on the night of April 9 to just before the drop of the puck for Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Anaheim Ducks on April 20, this city prepared to unleash its unique brand of postseason fury.

It had been 19 years since there was NHL playoff hockey in Winnipeg, but those 11 days between a Los Angeles Kings road loss to the Calgary Flames clinched a playoff spot for the Jets and the actual drop of the puck on Monday might have seemed even longer to these fans.

But after all that waiting, the whole experience lasted a little more than 48 hours.

Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Wednesday, April 22

Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 2:25 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


Ryan Kesler scored twice in the third period, including the eventual series-clinching goal, to guide the Anaheim Ducks past the Winnipeg Jets and into the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* Anaheim swept a best-of-7 series for the fourth time in its history and the first time since the 2006 Western Conference Semifinals vs. the Colorado Avalanche. Their other series sweeps came in 2003 en route to the franchise's first berth in the Stanley Cup Final (WQF vs. Detroit Red Wings and WCF vs. Minnesota Wild).

* The Ducks fell behind 1-0 late in the first period, but Emerson Etem tied the game less than 90 seconds later. Anaheim overcame a deficit in each contest in the series, and was the first team in NHL history to win three consecutive games in one playoff series when trailing entering the third period (Games 1-2-3).

* Overall, the Ducks led for only 38:26 during the four games, including a total of 11:21 in the first three. The Jets held the lead for 68:45 and the clubs were tied for 138:01.

* The Elias Sports Bureau says 38:26 is the least amount of time any team has ever led in a four-game series sweep. The previous record was 40:49 set by the Red Wings vs. Anaheim in the 1997 Western Conference Semifinals.

Blues have offensive outburst in win vs. Wild

Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 1:36 AM / Blues vs Wild - 2015 SCP First Round

Louie Korac - Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The St. Louis Blues talked at the morning skate Wednesday about initiating the play and dictating to their pace against the Minnesota Wild.

Scoring three times in the first period enabled them to do that with shots from all angles, getting bodies in front of Devan Dubnyk in a 6-1 victory in Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round series at Xcel Energy Center.

The victory ended a nine-game road Stanley Cup Playoff losing streak in which the Blues were outscored 28-11.

The best-of-7 series tied 2-2 shifts to St. Louis for Game 5 on Friday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, FS-N, FS-MW).

"Our scoring is a direct reflection of our checking," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "When we check, we score. It looks like we've joined the tournament now and we're dialed in."

After loss, Price says Canadiens can stick to plan

Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 12:48 AM / Canadiens vs Senators - 2015 SCP First Round

Sean Farrell - Correspondent

OTTAWA -- The Montreal Canadiens can appreciate the value of the puck bouncing their way so far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs even though it didn't against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.

The Canadiens allowed the first goal for the fourth game in a row in their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Senators, but they were out of comebacks, losing 1-0 in Game 4 at Canadian Tire Centre.

Montreal had won three straight one-goal games against Ottawa, including the previous two in overtime.

"We got the bounce last game, they got the bounce this game; that's playoff hockey," Canadiens goalie Carey Price said.

Wild pull Dubnyk after allowing six goals to Blues

Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 12:43 AM / Blues vs Wild - 2015 SCP First Round

Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk was pulled from Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round with 3:10 remaining in the second period after allowing six goals to the St. Louis Blues.

Dubnyk, who was coming off a 3-0 shutout in Game 3, was replaced by Darcy Kuemper, who stopped all nine shots he faced the rest of the way in the Blues 6-1 victory.

The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2, with Game 5 in St. Louis on Friday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports, FS-N).

Dubnyk seemed to be injured midway through the period when he fell and was hit in the leg with a shot while on the ice. A trainer attended to him and Dubnyk stayed in the game, before allowing two goals in 63 seconds at 15:47 and 16:50.

Penguins, Rangers reverse Game 4 roles, not result

Wednesday, 04.22.2015 / 11:45 PM / Rangers vs Penguins - 2015 SCP First Round

Wes Crosby - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- There was a role reversal between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round series.

Much like Pittsburgh in Game 3, New York started slowly, with two shots in the first period Wednesday. Unlike the Penguins in Game 3, the Rangers stayed within one goal and responded to tie the game, force overtime, and earn a 2-1 victory.

It gave New York a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series heading back to Madison Square Garden for Game 5 on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports 2, ROOT, MSG).

"[After the first period] I think we all were just thinking how the other games started; it was flipped from the first three games," Rangers forward Carl Hagelin said. "We knew that even though we played great in the second game, we had only [led] 1-0, and they came back. We had that in the back of our mind, if we keep pushing, hopefully they would back off a little bit and give us some space. That happened."

Start time set for Game 5 between Blues, Wild

Wednesday, 04.22.2015 / 9:50 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

The National Hockey League today announced the updated start time and national television information for Game 5 of 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round series between the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild scheduled for Friday, April 24.

The starting time for Game 5 of the series between the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild has been set for 9:30 p.m. ET in St. Louis. The game will be seen on NBCSN, Sportsnet 360, and TVA.

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