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(Page 74 of 173)
Features

Penguins' defense overcomes another Orpik injury

Thursday, 05.08.2014 / 12:15 AM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Forced to play with five defensemen when Brooks Orpik sustained an injury in the first period did very little to derail the Pittsburgh Penguins from exhibiting one of their better defensive efforts of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Penguins limited the New York Rangers to a season-low 15 shots and scored a shorthanded goal to add salt to the wound of a struggling power play en route to 4-2 victory in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.

It was a battle of attrition and teamwork, particularly over the final 40 minutes when the Penguins allowed nine shots against goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

The win gives the Penguins a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series that resumes Friday with Game 5 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh (7 p.m. ET; CBC, RDS, NBCSN).

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Penguins' Orpik leaves Game 4 vs. Rangers

Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 10:22 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik did not play after the first period against the New York Rangers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

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Ducks' Fowler follows path set by Kings' Doughty

Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 7:36 PM / Ducks vs. Kings - 2014 SCP Second Round

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Here's a quick story: A young defenseman from a Southern California-based NHL team earns a somewhat surprising selection to his country's Olympic team. After he competes in the tournament and plays well, it bolsters his belief in himself and helps the player, already on the path to stardom, be even better.

So is this tale about someone from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics or the 2014 Sochi Olympics?

It's a trick question, of course. The answer is both. Like Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty four years before him, the experience with the United States team in Russia for Cam Fowler of the Anaheim Ducks could help springboard him into the group of elite defensemen in the NHL. He might have been on that trajectory anyway.

"It was awesome. Obviously it wasn't the final result we were looking for (the U.S. did not medal), but for me getting that experience at such a young age was pretty crucial," Fowler said. "I looked back at a lot of those things that happened. Just being able to prove myself that I can play against the best competition at the highest level in the world, that was a pretty special thing for me. I've been able to kind of carry that with me. Just looking back and thinking through some things that I went through at that level definitely help me now."

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Gallagher's impact on Canadiens far exceeds his size

Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 6:13 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien was looking for a way to get David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty going offensively.

It was mid-November and the Canadiens forwards were having difficult starts to the 2013-14 season. Desharnais had one assist in his first 19 games, and Therrien made him a healthy scratch on Nov. 5 and Nov. 12. Pacioretty had two goals and two assists in 12 games, well below his normal standards.

Their struggles were mitigated by the strong play of the line of Lars Eller between two second-year players, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher. In their first 21 games together, they combined to score 19 goals with 22 assists.

But Therrien knew the Canadiens needed to get Pacioretty and Desharnais going or the season likely would be going nowhere. So the coach made the difficult decision to remove Gallagher from the Eller line and placed him with Desharnais and Pacioretty.

In their first game together, Nov. 19 against the Minnesota Wild, Pacioretty got a hat trick and Desharnais and Gallagher each had two assists in a 6-2 Canadiens victory.

A new top line was born.


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Laviolette eager to work with Poile, coach Predators

Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 5:26 PM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

When Peter Laviolette accepted the Nashville Predators coaching job Tuesday, four other NHL jobs were vacant, some with teams that might be considered to have more talented rosters.

Laviolette said he chose Nashville in large part because of the relationship he developed with Predators general manager David Poile while the two worked for the United States in the time leading up to the 2014 Sochi Olympics. They knew each other before Laviolette became an assistant coach, and Poile the GM for the U.S., but the relationship strengthened during that period.

"We spent an awful lot of time talking over the phone and in meetings," Laviolette said Wednesday via conference call from Minsk, Belarus where he is coaching the United States in the IIHF World Championship, "and it's an opportunity to work for a first-class general manager, one of the best in the League, and that's appealing to me."

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GM says Bruins must be more detail-oriented

Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 5:03 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Like Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien and most of the players, general manager Peter Chiarelli on Wednesday didn't sound like he was losing any sleep over Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban knocking the net off behind goalie Carey Price with eight seconds remaining in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round on Tuesday.

Down by one goal, the Bruins were pressuring the Canadiens with an extra attacker on the ice when the whistle blew to stop play and adjust the net. The Bruins didn't possess the puck for more than a second after the faceoff, and the Canadiens got an empty-net goal from Lars Eller to win 4-2 and take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

Game 4 is Thursday at Bell Centre (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

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Hjalmarsson blocks out pain to help Blackhawks

Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 4:45 PM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2014 SCP Second Round

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Niklas Hjalmarsson will not be quoted in this story and it's not because he declined interviews.

It's because of what the defenseman does best for the Chicago Blackhawks whenever the Stanley Cup Playoffs roll around. It's no accident that Hjalmarsson leads the NHL with 34 blocked shots heading into Wednesday, and one of those blocks is the reason he can't speak right now.

A puck shot by Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin in Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round series at United Center deflected up and appeared to hit Hjalmarsson in the neck area. After staying down on the ice, he skated slowly to the bench and sat there for a couple minutes shaking off the pain.

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Cooke set to return, grateful Wild prolonged season

Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 2:57 PM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2014 SCP Second Round

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cooke is ready to return to hitting and being hit at high speeds and throwing his body in the path of slap shots. He figures those dangerous pursuits are far better for his health than the past two weeks of watching others do that work.

He served the final game of his seven-game suspension during the Wild's 4-0 victory Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Second Round series. He is eligible to return Friday in Game 4 at Xcel Energy Center (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS). Chicago leads the best-of-7 series 2-1.

Cooke was suspended by the NHL in the first round for a knee-on-knee hit on Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie. At the time, the Wild were trailing the series 2-0, but came back by winning four of the next five games, including erasing four one-goal deficits in an overtime victory in Game 7 on the road.

According to Wild coach Mike Yeo, Cooke will most likely return to active duty Friday, although he has not decided who the forward will replace in the lineup.

"The last couple of weeks, I think I earned myself an ulcer watching games," Cooke said during a press conference Wednesday morning at Xcel Energy Center. "Obviously the team's played great, but it's tough to sit and watch. I pride myself on being a guy that performs and has a game built for the playoffs, and it's not fun to sit and watch."

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Wild's mental toughness leads to Game 3 win

Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 2:06 AM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2014 SCP Second Round

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild used their will, more than their skill or their speed or any of the other physical tools at their disposal, to win Game 3 against the Chicago Blackhawks at Xcel Energy Center.

The Wild was the mentally superior team Tuesday night and, as a result, found new life in this Western Conference Second Round series against the defending Stanley Cup champions. With a 4-0 victory, fashioned on an unexpected third-period offensive outburst, Minnesota has a chance to even this best-of-7 series at two victories apiece when the teams play Game 4 here Friday (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).


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Haula continues to play huge role for Wild

Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 1:44 AM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2014 SCP Second Round

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- After a first-period breakaway drifted harmlessly off his stick, Minnesota Wild forward Erik Haula sat on the bench with hopes that he would get another opportunity in a similar spot.

Early in the third period, he got that chance and didn't miss. Haula scored the game-winning goal at 1:41, the first of a four-goal barrage for the Wild en route to a 4-0 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of their Western Conference Second Round series at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday night.

Chicago now leads the best-of-7 series 2-1; Game 4 will be played in Minnesota on Friday (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

With the game scoreless and quality chances at a premium, each player on Minnesota's third line connected for the first goal. Haula's stretch pass to Matt Moulson in the neutral zone started the rush. Moulson passed to right wing Justin Fontaine, who had a full head of steam across the Chicago blue line. Fontaine skated in and found Haula flying past Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane at the backdoor, lofting a saucer pass towards the front of the net that Haula slapped in off a bounce past Corey Crawford.

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Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie