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Features

Blackhawks to allocate big minutes to top defensemen

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks' top four defensemen need to store up as much energy as possible because they're probably going to play a lot during the remainder of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Veteran defenseman Michal Rozsival is out for the rest of the postseason because of a fractured left ankle, and Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville doesn't have a replacement he fully trusts to handle the entire 17:26 of ice time per game Rozsival had been averaging in the playoffs.

David Rundblad, 23, will enter the lineup in the Western Conference Final, but he and 40-year-old Kimmo Timonen will not be asked to fill the void themselves.

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Dennis: Canadiens must stick with their game plan

Sunday, 05.10.2015 / 12:58 PM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

For additional insight into the Eastern Conference Second Round series between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL.com has enlisted the help of Chris Dennis to break down the action. Dennis will be checking in throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Dennis spent 10 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, including the past two as an assistant coach under Randy Carlyle and Peter Horachek. Prior to that he was the Maple Leafs' video coach for eight seasons.

When Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said after Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning that he thought his team didn't have to change much to get a win in the series, Chris Dennis agreed with him.

Dennis saw Montreal stick with its game plan to win 2-1 in Game 5 on Saturday.

"They're just going in now," Dennis said of the Montreal's scoring chances. "They're still low-scoring games but now they're just getting the bounces and going in. I think they've stuck with it and I think Montreal is playing well."

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Lightning still focused after another loss to Canadiens

Sunday, 05.10.2015 / 12:10 AM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- The Tampa Bay Lightning don't have to look far for a lesson in how to put a team away when it's storming back in a Stanley Cup Playoff series.

After jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Montreal Canadiens, the Lightning have lost the past two games, including 2-1 at Bell Centre on Saturday, heading into Game 6 of the best-of-7 series at Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

It's a scenario the Canadiens are familiar with. They held a 3-0 lead against the Ottawa Senators in the first round before the Senators won Games 4 and 5.

Montreal eliminated Ottawa in Game 6, a fact not lost on Lightning captain Steven Stamkos.

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Subban deflects praise to teammates after Game 5 win

Saturday, 05.09.2015 / 11:58 PM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- P.K. Subban does a lot of things extremely well, but one of his most underrated skills is manipulating the spotlight.

Whenever attention appears to be turning toward the difficulties of his team, the Montreal Canadiens defenseman will say or do something that will force the spotlight to be turned squarely upon him. Once he does that, he usually rises to the occasion. Saturday at Bell Centre was the latest example.

Subban knew exactly what he was doing when he suggested following Montreal's 6-2 win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series at Amalie Arena on Thursday that Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop had benefited from some luck.

The Canadiens had hit a few goal posts in the series, sure, but saying a goalie is relying on luck is so obvious it's near insulting. Every goalie relies on luck to some extent; the good ones are simply better at playing the odds.

Much like Subban is good at controlling the message.

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Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Saturday, May 9

Saturday, 05.09.2015 / 11:37 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning tied the game at 9:27 of the third period, but Carey Price made 24 saves and Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau scored the winning goal with 4:07 left in regulation to help the Montreal Canadiens stave off elimination for a second straight game and extend Eastern Conference Second Round series.

* The Canadiens forced a Game 6 after trailing a best-of-7 series 3-0 for the first time in franchise history (they've been down 3-0 in a series 11 times). They forced a Game 5 on five previous occasions but ultimately lost each series in five games.

* Price allowed two goals or fewer for the eighth time this postseason (11 GP), improving to 5-3 in those games. He improved to 6-5 with a 2.16 goals-against average, .923 save percentage and one shutout in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Ducks' Boudreau aims for elusive conference final

Saturday, 05.09.2015 / 8:39 PM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was asked Saturday about getting over the hump, but he wouldn't budge.

The storyline is too juicy to ignore: With a win against the Calgary Flames in Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round on Sunday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports), Boudreau would advance past the second round to the conference final for the first time in his NHL coaching career after three unsuccessful attempts.

Anaheim has a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series and would advance to the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

"I try not to think about it," Boudreau said during a conference call. "I know it's cliché. I'm just trying to think about tomorrow. Because if you think about tomorrow and it goes successfully, then everything else will take care of itself and then you'll have enough time to think about other things. I haven't put really any thought into playing Chicago at all."

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Changes on defense for Lightning, Canadiens

Saturday, 05.09.2015 / 7:28 PM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- The Tampa Bay Lightning are using seven defensemen in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday.

Nikita Nesterov is the seventh defenseman; the Lightning scratched center Vladislav Namestnikov. It is Nesterov's first game of the series.

Forward Jonathan Drouin, who played Games 3 and 4 in Tampa Bay, was scratched in favor of veteran Brenden Morrow.

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Rangers in familiar Game 6 situation against Capitals

Saturday, 05.09.2015 / 6:54 PM / Rangers vs Capitals - 2015 SCP Second Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

WASHINGTON -- The New York Rangers are familiar with the situation they're in against the Washington Capitals but aren't fooling themselves into thinking they have been in this exact same circumstance.

"I think it's a little different this time around," Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi said.

In theory, yes, what the Rangers are trying to do against the Capitals is win a best-of-7 series after trailing 3-1 to advance to the Eastern Conference Final, exactly what they did against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Second Round last season.

The Rangers are one-third of the way there after a 2-1 overtime win in Game 5 on Friday at Madison Square Garden. Washington has a 3-2 lead in this best-of-7 series with Game 6 Sunday at Verizon Center (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

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Flames believe they can 'Shock the hockey world'

Saturday, 05.09.2015 / 4:28 PM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley hopes they have a little bit of surprise left.

Trailing the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 in the best-of-7 Western Conference Second Round, Hartley is resolute heading into Game 5 at Honda Center on Sunday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

"There's a full belief and my message is, 'Shock the hockey world,'" Hartley said. "That's what we're trying to do every day and it's nothing new to us. It's just rewind and press play. Playoffs, anything can happen, and especially in our situation. We want to keep going. This has been a great season for us. I know how resilient our players have been. It's not that we're down 1-3 or that we didn't win in Anaheim.

"We need to win one game. Let's win one game, let's bring it back to the 'C of Red,' and after this, let's see what happens. We need to win [Sunday] night, plain and simple."

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Farrish: Adjustments, luck key for Rangers in Game 5

Saturday, 05.09.2015 / 2:28 PM / Rangers vs Capitals - 2015 SCP Second Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

For additional insight into the Eastern Conference Second Round series between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers, NHL.com 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.

Proper adjustments and some good luck go a long way in determining how a team survives in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Dave Farrish said the New York Rangers did what they needed to do and got a 2-1 overtime win in Game 5 Friday to stay alive in their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Washington Capitals.

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Quote of the Day

He's, believe it or not, actually one of my favorite guys, and I've ended up trading him twice. I appreciate what he's done. He was one year away from being an unrestricted free agent, and I felt with this opportunity, that it was a chance that we were able to get somebody for him in Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening.

— Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on forward Brandon Sutter