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Features

Rangers plagued by power-play problems

Sunday, 04.19.2015 / 12:50 AM / Rangers vs Penguins - 2015 SCP First Round

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- There will come a point when the New York Rangers will need to make the Pittsburgh Penguins pay the price for taking careless penalties in their Eastern Conference First Round series.

The Rangers' power play had plenty of opportunities to deliver a knockout blow against the Penguins in Game 2 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday but instead failed miserably in a 4-3 loss. The best-of-7 series, now tied 1-1, shifts to Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh for Game 3 on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, MSG, ROOT).

The Rangers managed one power-play goal on seven opportunities in Game 2 and are 2-for-12 in the series. Quite simply, their power play needs to be better.
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Chance at McDavid 'spectacular feeling' for Oilers

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 11:38 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- For the fourth time in the past six years, the Edmonton Oilers will have the first pick in the NHL Draft.

The Oilers won the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday and have the opportunity to select one of the most highly regarded prospects in the past decade, Erie Otters center Connor McDavid.

"Exciting time for our organization," Oilers assistant general manager Bill Scott said. "We're obviously very excited for our fans, too, that have stuck with us over a number of years where we haven't had the success and that's why we're in this position now. Obviously we feel very happy about the future and where this team is going. We're certainly going to get a tremendous player here with the first pick overall this year."

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Sabres, Coyotes looking forward after Draft Lottery

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 10:49 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- The Edmonton Oilers' victory at the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery produced excitement in Edmonton, but there were two teams they passed in the process.

The Oilers had the third-worst record in the NHL but will have the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, ahead of the Buffalo Sabres and Arizona Coyotes, who finished lower in the standings.

Buffalo had a 20 percent chance to be given the first pick, Arizona 13.5 percent, and Edmonton 11.5 percent in the weighted system that included the 14 teams that did not reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"When you have an 80 percent chance of losing something, you have to be ready for that and think that’s probably going to be the case," Sabres general manager Tim Murray said. "It almost feels like you’re a World Junior player getting that call at 6 in the morning from Team Canada saying that you haven’t made it this year. You know what? We’ll get over it. We’ll get back to work tomorrow and get ready for the draft."

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McDavid, top players react to Draft Lottery results

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 10:49 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- If the Edmonton Oilers choose Connor McDavid with the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, the Erie Otters center says he will be very happy.

"It's going to be a dream come true and it's a great situation to be in," McDavid said Saturday after the Oilers won the NHL Draft Lottery and the right to pick first.

"They have had fan support even through a little bit of a tough slide they have gone through for a few years. The fan support they still receive is amazing and the group of guys they have there is pretty special. If it happens to be me that is selected there it would be a tremendous honor to step in with a group of talent like that."

McDavid is the top-rated skater from North America by NHL Central Scouting and has been projected for several years to be chosen No. 1 in this draft.

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Perreault returns to Jets' lineup for Game 2

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 10:44 PM / Ducks vs Jets - 2015 SCP First Round

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault returned to the lineup for Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday at Honda Center.

Perreault was a game-time decision because of a lower-body injury sustained at the end of the regular season. He sat out Game 1, but took pregame line rushes with left wing Adam Lowry and right wing Lee Stempniak.

Perreault had 18 goals and 23 assists in 62 regular-season games for the Jets. He had 43 points in 69 games for Anaheim in 2013-14.


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Edmonton Oilers win top pick in NHL Draft Lottery

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 10:11 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- The Edmonton Oilers will pick first in the 2015 NHL Draft after winning the NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday.

The Oilers had an 11.5 percent chance, third-best, to win the first pick in the draft, which will be held June 26-27 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.

Edmonton is likely to use the pick to select center Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters in the Ontario Hockey League. McDavid is ranked the No. 1 North American skater by NHL Central Scouting after scoring 44 goals and 120 points in 47 games.

"It's going to be a dream come true and it's a great situation to be in," McDavid said. "[Edmonton has had] fan support even through a little bit of a tough slide they have gone through for a few years. The fan support they still receive is amazing, and the group of guys they have there is pretty special. If it happens to be me that is selected there, it would be a tremendous honor to step in with a group of talent like that."

Edmonton general manager Craig MacTavish said he is thrilled with the possibility of drafting McDavid.

"He's not only the most productive junior player, but also the most dynamic," MacTavish said from Switzerland, where he is on a scouting trip.

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Predators captain Weber not traveling to Chicago

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 7:49 PM / Predators vs Blackhawks - 2015 SCP First Round

NHL.com

Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber will not travel to Chicago and will miss Games 3 and 4 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks because of a lower-body injury, it was announced Saturday.

Weber was injured at 9:20 of the second period on a hit by the Blackhawks' Brandon Saad behind the Predators net. Weber appeared unable to put weight on his right leg as he left the ice.

He had one assist and was a plus-1 in 13:25 of ice time in the Predators' 6-2 victory that evened the best-of-7 series 1-1.
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Islanders hope home crowd will give edge vs. Capitals

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 6:11 PM / Capitals vs Islanders - 2015 SCP First Round

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Nassau Coliseum won't be the home of the New York Islanders for much longer, but they're hoping to make the most of the time they have left there. 

After splitting the first two games of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Washington Capitals, the best-of-7 series shifts to what is expected to be a raucous Coliseum on Sunday (12 p.m. ET; NBC, TVA Sports, SN).

The Islanders failed to protect a two-goal lead in Game 2 on Friday at Verizon Center and lost 4-3, but they are presented with an opportunity to put a stranglehold on the series with a couple of wins on home ice.

"We're looking forward to it," New York captain John Tavares said. "I think we know what it's been like here all year. It's certainly been very special. It's going to be great. We want to use it to our advantage, but at the same time we've got to stay composed, stay disciplined like we have been and control our emotions. There's a lot of ups and downs in the game and we've got to make sure we play hard and do the right things from start to finish."

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Goalie Darling to start Game 3 for Blackhawks

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 5:41 PM / Predators vs Blackhawks - 2015 SCP First Round

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

Scott Darling will start in net for the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday at United Center in Game 3 of a Western Conference First Round Series against the Nashville Predators (3 p.m. ET; NBC, TVA Sports, SN).

Darling gets the call ahead of Corey Crawford, who started the first two games at Bridgestone Arena.

Crawford started Game 2 despite being pulled from Game 1 after allowing three goals on 12 shots in the first period of the Blackhawks' 4-3 double-overtime win. Crawford, who went 32-20-5 this season, played all of Game 2 on Friday and struggled in the Predators' 6-2 win that evened the best-of-7 series at 1-1.

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Smith-Pelly up to speed, contributing for Canadiens

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 5:16 PM / Canadiens vs Senators - 2015 SCP First Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Devante Smith-Pelly insists he is not worried about making Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin look good for the trade that brought him from the Anaheim Ducks for forward Jiri Sekac.

Sekac had become a popular player in Montreal but wasn't able to carve out a consistent role under coach Michel Therrien. The Ducks felt they needed his speed up front, perhaps to play alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry on the top line, and the Canadiens wanted the size and physical game Smith-Pelly brings.

It was a trade of promising 22-year-old forwards born four days apart that appeared to have no losers, except many in Montreal criticized it anyway, especially after Smith-Pelly was scratched by Therrien for games on March 28 and 30.

But Smith-Pelly has provided everything Bergevin hoped for in the first two games of the Canadiens' Eastern Conference First Round series against the Ottawa Senators.

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Quote of the Day

Hockey means everything to people here [Winnipeg]. They take their team's success to heart. We've had an incredible year and they've given us incredible support.

— Jets center Mathieu Perreault after losing to the Ducks in Game 3 of their playoff series on Monday