Stanley Cup Final
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Sharks to name DeBoer coach on Thursday: report

Wednesday, 05.27.2015 / 11:08 PM / News

Peter DeBoer reportedly will be announced as San Jose Sharks coach Thursday.

The Sharks have scheduled a press conference for 1 p.m. PT Thursday to introduce DeBoer as their coach, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The newspaper said Sharks players have been invited to the event at SAP Center.

"From everything I've heard, he's the right guy for this job," forward Tommy Wingels told the newspaper. "I know the players here, I haven't talked to too many, but the guys I have been in contact with, we're excited for him to be at the reins of this team."


Blashill, Red Wings to discuss coaching job: report

Wednesday, 05.27.2015 / 9:15 PM / News

Jeff Blashill, the leading candidate to replace Mike Babcock as coach of the Detroit Red Wings, will meet with general manager Ken Holland sometime this week to discuss the job, the Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday.

Holland said Blashill, 41, is his only candidate at the moment.

"I've had some people reach out to me," Holland told Helene St. James, "but as of right now, I haven't expanded the list."

Blashill is coaching the Red Wings’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, in the Western Conference Finals; the best-of-7 series against the Utica Comets is tied 1-1 and resumes Thursday.

Blashill would not discuss his future on Wednesday, or say whether he has met with Holland, according to The Detroit News.

"I owe it to our players to make sure my sole focus is on trying to win this series," he said.


Gallagher should be next Canadiens captain: Lafleur

Wednesday, 05.27.2015 / 6:22 PM / News

Brendan Gallagher should be named captain of the Montreal Canadiens, Hockey Hall of Fame member Guy Lafleur said Wednesday.

Lafleur, an ambassador with the Canadiens, told the Montreal Gazette that Gallagher deserves the captaincy because of the way he handles himself on and off the ice.

"A captain shouldn't be chosen on the amount of goals he's going to score," Lafleur said. "[Gallagher] really impressed me every night I saw him play. He's aggressive, he wants to win. He gets some bad shots from opponents, he takes a lot of hits, and there's not too many guys on the team that work like he does."


Lightning's Stralman at his best in big moments

Wednesday, 05.27.2015 / 5:20 PM / Rangers vs Lightning - 2015 Eastern Conference Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

TAMPA -- The New York Rangers used to call Anton Stralman "Mr. Casual" because nothing seemed to excite him, not even the biggest games, including five Game 7s he played with them from 2012-14.

The Rangers won all those Game 7s. Now they're hoping Stralman's unwavering poise and uncanny ability to play a fast game in slow motion doesn't catch on with the rest of his Tampa Bay Lightning teammates in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final on Friday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Stralman has been a leader by example for the Lightning this season, and they'll need to take their cues from him in a hostile road environment if they want to reach the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.

"When the pressure is at its highest and somebody walks out of there as calm as can be, that's Anton Stralman," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "Our team, you just hear the guys on the bench praise him, the things he's done for us. Having that confidence that we get to throw him over the boards every second shift, it's just a luxury for us."


Lightning hope previous adversity helps in Game 7

Wednesday, 05.27.2015 / 4:46 PM / Rangers vs Lightning - 2015 Eastern Conference Final

Corey Long - Correspondent

The Tampa Bay Lightning will have a second chance to finish off the New York Rangers and advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2004 when they play Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final on Friday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Rangers avoided elimination with a 7-3 win in Game 6 in Tampa on Tuesday. The best-of-7 series is tied 3-3.

Tampa Bay has answered the challenge when faced with adversity throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Lightning rallied for a 3-2 win in Game 4 of the first round at the Detroit Red Wings to avoid going down 3-1 in that best-of-7 series. And facing elimination Tampa Bay put together a strong performance in a 5-2 win in Detroit in Game 6 before closing the series with a 2-0 win in Game 7 at home.

Going through and winning that type of a series is an experience that Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman hopes will help the Lightning on Friday.

"I think it was useful for this group," Hedman said Wednesday. "It was the first Game 7 for a lot of guys in the NHL, and we had our backs against the wall in that series.

Rangers, Lightning take East Final to Game 7

Wednesday, 05.27.2015 / 2:53 PM / Rangers vs Lightning - 2015 Eastern Conference Final

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning will decide the Eastern Conference Final in Game 7 Friday night at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m., ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA). The winner will advance to the Stanley Cup Final and face the winner of the Western Conference Final between the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks.

The Rangers and Lightning both will make their second appearance in a Game 7 this postseason. New York eliminated the Washington Capitals in the Second Round with a 2-1 overtime victory at Madison Square Garden on May 13, while the Lightning blanked the Detroit Red Wings 2-0 at Amalie Arena to complete the First Round on April 29.


Three keys for Ducks, Blackhawks to winning Game 6

Wednesday, 05.27.2015 / 2:13 PM / Ducks vs Blackhawks - 2015 Western Conference Final

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

CHICAGO – The Chicago Blackhawks plan to feed off the anger they felt in losing Game 5 of the Western Conference Final to fuel them in Game 6 on Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) when they try to extend the series to a seventh game.

Chicago erased deficits of 3-0 and 4-2 to tie Game 5 in the dying minutes of regulation with a two-goal flurry from captain Jonathan Toews. But a quick-strike goal from forward Matt Beleskey 45 seconds into overtime gave the Ducks a 5-4 victory and temporary control of the best of-7 series.

Now the Blackhawks face a must-win game Wednesday to extend their season. If not, they will face a disappointing exit late in a conference final series for the second straight season. Last year, Chicago lost to the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final. The Kings went on to win the Stanley Cup.


Farrish: Rangers have refined their game plan

Wednesday, 05.27.2015 / 1:42 PM / Rangers vs Lightning - 2015 Eastern Conference Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

For additional insight into the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning during the Eastern Conference Final series, has enlisted the help of Dave Farrish to break down the action. Farrish will be checking in throughout the series.

Farrish was an assistant coach for the Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs from 2005-14. He won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007. He also coached 1,027 games in the minor leagues, including the American Hockey League. In addition, Farrish, a former defenseman, played 430 games over seven seasons in the NHL.

After feeling like the New York Rangers had very little will to win in Game 5 on Sunday, Dave Farrish watched the same team come out in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final on Tuesday determined to extend its season.

The Rangers roared to a 7-3 victory at Amalie Arena to tie the best-of-7 series against the Tampa Bay Lightning at 3-3. He thinks the Rangers figured out a few things in the process.

"I think they realize what has made them successful," Farrish said.


Rangers not ignoring home struggles entering Game 7

Wednesday, 05.27.2015 / 12:15 PM / Rangers vs Lightning - 2015 Eastern Conference Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

TAMPA -- If players and coaches truly believe that statistics from previous games don't matter once they get to Game 7, then the New York Rangers have to be as willing to throw away the numbers that show how they've been almost unbeatable when facing elimination as they are those that show how they've been largely ineffective at Madison Square Garden against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Since nobody seems willing to forget that the Rangers are 15-3 when facing elimination since 2012, 6-1 in Game 7s with Henrik Lundqvist as their goalie, and 7-0 in Game 7s at home, nobody can ignore the fact that they have scored four goals in three home games against the Lightning heading into Game 7 at the Garden on Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The best-of-7 series is tied 3-3; the road team has won four of the six games. The Rangers are 2-1 with 17 goals at Amalie Arena; they're 1-2 with four goals at the Garden.

"It should be the other way around, but we're a pretty good road team," Rangers center Derick Brassard said.


Stellar Lundqvist shuts down Stamkos, Lightning

Wednesday, 05.27.2015 / 12:13 PM / "Obvious Choice" Moments

The New York Rangers lit up the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final in a 7-3 win that evened the best-of-7 series 3-3 and set up Game 7 on Friday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The biggest play of the game, however, was a goal that wasn't scored.

The Rangers led 2-1 after two periods and then erupted for four goals in the third. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 28 of his 36 saves in the first two periods to put the Rangers in position to break the game open in the third. His biggest save came in the first when he robbed Lightning captain Steven Stamkos at 14:14.

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Quote of the Day

I'm here to develop a winning culture and a winning team. There is a bright future ahead of this team.  A lot of young, great hockey players here and on the way … a fan base that's passionate about the game of hockey.

— Dan Bylsma after being introduced as new coach of the Buffalo Sabres