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Five issues Kings must address heading into Game 3

Monday, 04.21.2014 / 5:50 PM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Because of their ability to possess the puck and their playoff pedigree, the Los Angeles Kings were a popular pick for a deep run in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

After two lopsided losses to the San Jose Sharks to open their Western Conference First Round series, the Kings need to fix some serious problems if they want to win a game in this postseason, let alone a series.

Because of the way the standings shook out in the West, two of the best teams in the NHL were guaranteed to be knocked out in the opening round with San Jose and Los Angeles playing in one series and the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks in another. That said, the Kings have struggled to be competitive.

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Canadiens' patience with Eller, Bourque paying off

Monday, 04.21.2014 / 5:33 PM / Lightning vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP First Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- There were times this season when Lars Eller and Rene Bourque might have wondered whether they would even be in the Montreal Canadiens lineup when the Stanley Cup Playoffs began.

Those times were not so long ago.

But now, at the most important time of year, Eller and Bourque are filling important roles for the Canadiens, playing on a line with captain Brian Gionta and providing the depth up front that has allowed Montreal to build a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Canadiens will go for a series sweep in Game 4 on Tuesday at Bell Centre (7 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, CBC, RDS, FS-F) with Eller tied for the team lead with four points and Bourque leading the team with three goals.

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Sharks avoid overconfidence heading into L.A.

Monday, 04.21.2014 / 4:31 PM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Now the hard part begins for the San Jose Sharks.

After routing the Los Angeles Kings in back-to-back games at SAP Center to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series, the Sharks face two straight games at Staples Center beginning with Game 3 on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, CSN-CA, PRIME).

San Jose hasn't defeated the Kings in Los Angeles since April 6, 2012, in the second-to-last game before the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Since that 6-5 shootout win by the Sharks, the Kings have defeated San Jose eight straight times at Staples Center. Their streak includes four wins last season in the Kings' second-round series victory against the Sharks.

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Cooper confident Lightning can extend series

Monday, 04.21.2014 / 4:05 PM / Lightning vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP First Round

James Murphy - NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- As Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos fielded questions from a large media scrum outside the Lightning dressing room after practice at Bell Centre on Monday, his coach, Jon Cooper, made his way to the front of the scrum without Stamkos noticing him.

"Any questions from the rookie reporter?" the reporter next to Cooper asked.

"How you feeling today?" Cooper asked using a water bottle as a mic.

"Ah, I feel better than I did yesterday. I'll probably be a game-time decision," Stamkos said, laughing.

Another reporter then asked, "How do you think the coach has done in this series?"

"I'd like to get out there a little more. I'm not complaining. We'll see," Stamkos said with a smile.

This was just another example of how Cooper, a potential Jack Adams Award candidate, is keeping things loose and positive despite his team heading into Game 4 on Tuesday down 3-0 in their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens.

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Columbus ready to rock as playoff hockey returns

Monday, 04.21.2014 / 1:59 PM / Penguins vs Blue Jackets - 2014 SCP First Round

Craig Merz - NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- Fans began lining up at 5 a.m. Monday outside Nationwide Arena for the few tickets the Columbus Blue Jackets hold back every game day.

By 10 a.m., a radio station had put up a tent near the ticket office to host programming throughout the day, and inside the home of the Blue Jackets, the red, white and blue bunting had been installed around the arena seating.

Monday is no ordinary day in Blue Jackets history, because the first Stanley Cup Playoff game in nearly five years is coming to Columbus.

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2014 NHL Awards return to Las Vegas on June 24

Broadcaster George Stroumboulopoulos to host event at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas

Monday, 04.21.2014 / 12:40 PM / 2014 NHL Awards

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- The NHL Awards™ return to Las Vegas this summer at the world-famous Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, the National Hockey League announced today. Renowned television and radio broadcaster George Stroumboulopoulos, the recently-named host of the NHL on Rogers, will host the NHL Awards, which will be held on Tuesday, June 24, at the Encore Theater. The NHL Awards will air live at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on NBCSN in the U.S. and CBC in Canada.

When the biggest stars from the NHL® and hockey fans from around the world descend on Las Vegas in June, it will mark the fifth time the NHL has honored the best hockey players in the world and the top performances of the season in Las Vegas, the second year at Wynn Las Vegas, and the sixth year of a successful partnership with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).

A first-time host of the NHL Awards, Stroumboulopoulos, popular in Canada and the U.S. for his work as a television and radio broadcaster as well as an advocate of numerous charitable efforts, is no stranger to hockey. Beginning October 2014, the long-time NHL fan, with a particular affinity for the Montreal Canadiens, will anchor NHL coverage on Rogers, including hosting Hockey Night in Canada. Strombo also will be the studio anchor for Sunday night NHL Hometown Hockey broadcasts on City, and will host additional NHL broadcasts on Sportsnet and other Rogers networks and platforms.

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