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Goalie Darling to start Game 3 for Blackhawks

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 3:06 PM / Predators vs Blackhawks - 2015 SCP First Round

Goalie Scott Darling will start for the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Nashville Predators on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, TVA Sports, SN).

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said the decision was performance-based. Darling relieved starter Corey Crawford in Game 1 after Crawford allowed three goals on 12 shots, and Darling stopped 42 shots in the Blackhawks' 4-3 double-overtime victory.


Predators captain Weber not traveling to Chicago

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 2:23 PM / Predators vs Blackhawks - 2015 SCP First Round

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 injure dat 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.

Game 3 is at United Center on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, TVA Sports, SN).


Experienced Blackhawks might turn to rookie goalie

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 2:34 AM / Predators vs Blackhawks - 2015 SCP First Round

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Much has been written about the Chicago Blackhawks having a lot of Stanley Cup Playoff experience, and now they'll depend on it.

Rather than focusing on a 6-2 loss to the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Friday, the Blackhawks will head home satisfied with splitting the first two games of their Western Conference First Round series.

Chicago was outplayed for most of Game 2, was outshot by a total of 89-68 in the two games and might have a goalie controversy on its hands.

Still, the Blackhawks know they've been in worse spots.


Around the League notebook for Friday, April 17

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 2:27 AM / News

Alex Galchenyuk scored at 3:40 of overtime to power the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 win against the Ottawa Senators and a 2-0 lead in the series.

* The marker was Galchenyuk's second career playoff overtime goal; the other came on May 22, 2014 vs. the New York Rangers (3-2 OT W).

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, at 21 years, 64 days old, Galchenyuk became the second-youngest player in franchise history to score his second career playoff overtime goal for the Canadiens. Claude Lemieux had his second career postseason overtime-winner at 20 years, 293 days old on May 5, 1986 at the Rangers (4-3 OT W).

* David Desharnais (0-2—2) recorded his second career multiple-assist playoff game. His other such performance was on May 25, 2014 vs. the Rangers (3-2 OT L).


Predators captain Weber sustains injury in Game 2 win

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 1:36 AM / Predators vs Blackhawks - 2015 SCP First Round

Robby Stanley - Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber sustained a lower-body injury Friday in a 6-2 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena in Game 2 of their Western Conference First Round series.

The Predators did not have an update on Weber, who had an assist and was plus-1 in 13:25 before he exited the game with the injury at 9:20 of the second period.

Weber was injured on a hit by Chicago forward Brandon Saad behind the Nashville net. The Predators captain appeared unable to put weight on his right leg as he left the ice.

"If you lose your captain and your best player, it's never a good thing," said Nashville defenseman Roman Josi, who played 24:31 and had a goal. "Hopefully he'll be OK."


Subban inspired by words from Jean Beliveau's widow

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 1:11 AM / Canadiens vs Senators - 2015 SCP First Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL – P.K. Subban is not someone who needs extra motivation this time of year. He got it anyway, and it came from a source that is unique to being a player for the Montreal Canadiens.
Subban has consistently shown, ever since his rookie season, that when the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin he becomes a difference-maker.
But the type of difference Subban nearly made for the Canadiens in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Ottawa Senators is not what people are used to seeing from him.
Subban was ejected from the game on Wednesday and given a major penalty for slashing Senators forward Mark Stone on the wrist at 8:23 of the second period. The Canadiens won the game 4-3 without their best defenseman, and Subban became the focal point of the series, as he usually does.
The pressure was on him to perform Friday in Game 2, a situation he’s always thrived in.

Senators' Stone earns respect by playing with injury

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 12:20 AM / Canadiens vs Senators - 2015 SCP First Round

Chris Stevenson - Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone earned the respect of his teammates in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday.

The 22-year-old rookie had two assists in a 3-2 overtime loss while playing with a microfracture and ligament damage in his right wrist after he was slashed by Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban in Game 1 on Wednesday.

Stone had the primary assist when Clarke MacArthur scored to give the Senators a 1-0 lead in the first period and on Patrick Wiercioch's game-tying power-play goal with 6:35 left in the third period.

"[Stone's] a character guy for us," MacArthur said. "He's going to battle through it and do what he has to do. That's all you can ask of a teammate. For him to step in there as a young guy, it's gritty of him. Hats off to him.


Grubauer steps in, leads Capitals to Game 2 win

Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 12:15 AM / Capitals vs Islanders - 2015 SCP First Round

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- For the third time in the Washington Capitals' past six trips to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they needed a second goaltender during Game 2 of their first-round series

Philipp Grubauer was preparing for the final weekend of the regular season in the American Hockey League on Thursday, but his plans changed because Washington goaltender Braden Holtby was sick. Grubauer made his NHL playoff debut Friday, stopping 18 shots to help the Capitals rally for a 4-3 win and tie their best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series with the New York Islanders at 1-1.

"Amazing. [It was] amazing," Grubauer said. "All I can say is a [great] game, [great] comeback. Guys did an amazing job of keeping the pucks to the outside."

Holtby led NHL goaltenders in games played this season, but he was not on the ice Thursday and Grubauer was officially recalled Friday morning. Coach Barry Trotz said after the morning skate the plan was for Holtby to participate in warm-ups, but that never materialized.


Goaltender Matchup: Inside Lundqvist vs. Fleury

Friday, 04.17.2015 / 11:47 PM / Rangers vs Penguins - 2015 SCP First Round

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

Goaltending plays an integral part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. decided to break down the highest profile matchup in the Eastern Conference First Round: Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Much like many goaltending coaches will do before a playoff series, correspondent Kevin Woodley, the managing editor of InGoal Magazine, charted every goal scored against each goalie in this matchup this season with the help of a program from Double Blue Sport Analytics. The graphics showing where goals went in and shots were taken from on the ice are nice, but the real value is tracking and analyzing the types of plays that led to them, and whether they reveal strengths, weaknesses and tendencies that can be targeted.


Islanders pay price for sitting back in Game 2

Friday, 04.17.2015 / 11:38 PM / Capitals vs Islanders - 2015 SCP First Round

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — The New York Islanders had a two-goal lead in the second period Friday and a chance to return home with a commanding lead in their Eastern Conference First Round series.

Several Islanders said it was at this point, after Kyle Okposo put them in front 3-1, that things went awry. Though the Washington Capitals were down on the scoreboard, they had dominated the puck to that point and continued to do so, eventually taking control of Game 2 in a 4-3 victory at Verizon Center and evening the best-of-7 series at 1-1.

"We had a 3-1 lead, so there is an opportunity but only half the game is done," Islanders captain John Tavares said. "There’s 60 minutes, and we just weren’t as aggressive. There are ups and downs and you’ve got to overcome challenges and adversity. We would have loved to take this one as well. That was our mindset, and obviously after we took the lead, but now we’ve got to bounce back at home."

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Quote of the Day

I was going nuts and I saw [Subban], he was going crazy, and the ref had no idea where to go. [Subban] was skating to me, and I was skating to him and the ref was right in between us and I don't know, I kind of hit him pretty hard, I thought, but those were some emotions and I'm pretty sure he understands that.

— Montreal forward Alex Galchenyuk on the celebration following his OT goal against Ottawa in Game 2