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2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Pair of Game 7s set for Monday

Monday, 05.13.2013 / 1:58 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

It will be a double dose of Game 7 drama on Monday.

Both the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs held on Sunday in must-win situations on home ice to force a deciding game in their respective Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series.

The Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals 1-0 on Sunday in Game 6 at Madison Square Garden to continue the home-ice dominance that has defined this extremely-close series. Derick Brassard scored the only goal of the game, ripping a shot past Braden Holtby midway through the second period. New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist, meanwhile, made 27 saves for the shutout.

Now, the Capitals hope that the home-ice charm continues Monday when Game 7 is played at Verizon Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS2), where the Capitals are 3-0 in the series and have held the Rangers to two goals.

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First round peaks with two Game 7s on Monday

Monday, 05.13.2013 / 1:08 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- The Conference Quarterfinal round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs reaches its dramatic conclusion Monday night when a pair of Eastern Conference series will be decided in Game 7. The Boston Bruins host the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS) and the Washington Capitals welcome the New York Rangers to Verizon Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS2).

Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins

7 p.m. ET (CNBC, CBC, RDS)

* The Bruins and Maple Leafs will meet in a Game 7 for just the third time in their 89-season rivalry and for the first time since April 7, 1959, when the Maple Leafs skated away with a 3-2 win at Boston Garden to win their Semifinal series.

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Wings' win sets up 'Original 6' rivalry in West Semis

Monday, 05.13.2013 / 12:55 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

The Detroit Red Wings' shocking upset of the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal series on Sunday night earned the Red Wings the "privilege" of playing the top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks in an Original 6 showdown.

In the other series, the fifth-seeded Los Angeles Kings earned home-ice advantage in its series against the San Jose Sharks, the sixth-seed, in the first round. San Jose has not played since May 7, the night it finished a four-game sweep of the favored Vancouver Canucks. The Kings, meanwhile, have not played since beating the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 on May 10.

Chicago has been idle since finishing a five-game ouster of the Minnesota Wild on May 9.

The League has yet to announce a schedule for the Western Conference Semifinal round.

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Spezza practices, but still uncertain about return

Sunday, 05.12.2013 / 1:51 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Erin Nicks - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza skated with the team Sunday for the first time since Jan. 27, when a herniated disc in his back forced him to undergo surgery.

Spezza, clad in a grey jersey alongside the other "Black Aces" took part in a complete practice and led the stretches, leading some to speculate if the return of the 29-year-old was imminent.

"It's been a long year for me and it felt good to get some reps in," Spezza said. "It was definitely a good step. Truthfully it's hard to say [how close I am]. I've been skating with the ‘Black Aces' for a bit. The whole reason for getting back out there was that I'm getting ready to do some hard practices over the next couple of days to give me a bit of a gauge to see where I am personally. I've made improvements over the past couple of weeks that have allowed me to get to this stage."

With different reports earlier in the season suggesting that Spezza could return, the center hedged the question regarding setbacks, only admitting that there have been "ups and downs" in his recovery.

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Starting times set for Sunday-Monday games

Saturday, 05.11.2013 / 10:11 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League announced the starting times for the Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Quarterfinal round schedule on Sunday, May 12, as well as the potential Games 7s on Monday, May 13.

SUNDAY'S START TIMES:

4:30 p.m. ET Washington Capitals at New York Rangers Game 6

7:30 p.m. ET Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs Game 6

10 p.m. ET Detroit Red Wings at Anaheim Ducks Game 7

MONDAY'S START TIMES:

7 p.m. ET    Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins        Game 7*

8 p.m. ET    New York Rangers at Washington Capitals        Game 7*


* -- if necessary

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Saad, Stalberg off Blackhawks' top four lines

Saturday, 05.11.2013 / 4:09 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- It was only for a practice, and the Chicago Blackhawks don't even know the particulars of when and whom they'll face in the Western Conference Semifinals, but a message was sent to a couple of lineup regulars Saturday.

Rookie left wing Brandon Saad and 27-year old right wing Viktor Stalberg skated with white jerseys, rather than the normal black or red sweaters worn by members of the lineup.

Saad and Stalberg also skated outside the top four units for line rushes, with Stalberg placed at right wing on the fifth unit and Saad on the left side of the sixth group, with defensemen Ryan Stanton at center and Sheldon Brookbank on the right wing. Ben Smith skated in Saad's top-line spot, and Andrew Shaw shifted from center of the third line to Stalberg's spot on the right wing.

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Senators coach: Spezza 'a long way away'

Saturday, 05.11.2013 / 11:25 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Erin Nicks - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- While the Ottawa Senators wait to learn the identity of their opponent in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, coach Paul MacLean made it clear center Jason Spezza is an unlikely participant.

The Senators' first-line center had surgery Feb. 1 to repair a herniated disc in his back and has not played since. He started skating with the team's extra players Friday, raising hope he could return at some point during the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"[There's no hope] in my mind that [Spezza] can start the next series," MacLean said. "I don't know what the hope is -- he's in a rehab process and it has him skating. To me, it's a long way away. He has to be able to play at the level of the team."

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Penguins favored to win Cup in Bracket Challenge

Thursday, 05.02.2013 / 11:21 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

FANS' TOP 5 STANLEY CUP PICKS



1. Pittsburgh Penguins (31.3 percent)

2. Chicago Blackhawks (28.4 percent)

3. New York Rangers (5.1 percent)

4. Washington Capitals (4.9 percent)

5. Boston Bruins (4.4 percent)

The 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs are under way, which means media types and hockey fans from across the globe are presented with the opportunity to predict which teams will move on in the opening round.

At NHL.com, fans have the chance to participate in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge. For those who are playing, the consensus is the Pittsburgh Penguins will win the Stanley Cup for the fourth time.

More than 30 percent (31.3 to be exact) believe Dan Bylsma's club will win it all; 28.4 percent believe the Chicago Blackhawks will win the Cup for the second time in four seasons.

Rounding out the top five are the New York Rangers (5.1 percent), Washington Capitals (4.9 percent) and Boston Bruins (4.4 percent).

In the conference quarterfinals, 95.5 percent believe the Penguins will defeat the New York Islanders, and 96.6 percent think the Blackhawks will oust the Minnesota Wild. Chicago took a 1-0 series lead with a 2-1 overtime victory Tuesday at United Center.

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Penguins favored to win Cup in Bracket Challenge

Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 7:04 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

The 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs are under way, which means media types and hockey fans from across the globe are presented with the opportunity to predict which teams will move on in the opening round.

At NHL.com, fans have the chance to participate in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge, presented by Verizon. For those who are playing, the consensus is the Pittsburgh Penguins will win the Stanley Cup for the fourth time.

More than 30 percent (31.3 to be exact) believe Dan Bylsma’s club will win it all; 28.4 percent believe the Chicago Blackhawks will win the Cup for the second time in four seasons.

Rounding out the top five are the New York Rangers (5.1 percent), Washington Capitals (4.9 percent) and Boston Bruins (4.4 percent).

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Hawks try to avoid joining first-round upset victims

Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 12:29 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Chicago Blackhawks are hoping they avoid the fate that befell the last Hawks team to win the Presidents' Trophy.

The Blackhawks were the NHL's best team in the regular season in 1990-91, but that didn't help them in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Chicago wound up joining the list of powerhouse teams whose planned trip to the Stanley Cup Final was derailed before it ever got rolling.

The inability to get past the first round has spoiled a brilliant season for more than one Cup favorite. No matter how great a team's regular season, all those points mean nothing once the playoffs start -- especially against an opponent that often sees a first-round upset as the way to atone for a disappointing season.

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Quote of the Day

Obviously there's a lot of expectations around me but it's something I try not to focus on. I'm just trying to go out there, be myself on the ice every day, try to get better, be myself around the guys in the locker room. I think that's what's made me successful and the person that I am.

— Sabres forward Jack Eichel on transitioning from college hockey to the NHL