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Five reasons Canadiens were eliminated from playoffs

Wednesday, 05.13.2015 / 11:40 AM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Sean Farrell - Correspondent

The Montreal Canadiens' season came to an end against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Second Round in much the same way as Montreal ended the Ottawa Senators' season in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

After winning two straight elimination games, the Canadiens ran out of comebacks in Game 6 of the second round to lose the best-of-7 series it once trailed 3-0. Montreal had a 3-0 lead in the first round against Ottawa and lost the next two games before winning the series in six.

Carey Price is a finalist for the Vezina and Hart trophies, but not even his sensational goaltending could carry the Canadiens back to a second straight appearance in the Eastern Conference Final.

Here are five reasons the Canadiens were eliminated:


Canadiens must score more to support Price

Wednesday, 05.13.2015 / 1:07 AM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

TAMPA -- Carey Price fell on his sword Tuesday, and in many ways, that is what ails the Montreal Canadiens.

On one hand, it is commendable for Price to come out and take the blame for the Canadiens' six-game loss in their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning because he is seen as a team leader, and that's what good leaders do.

On the other hand, it is insane.

The Canadiens were not eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs because of Carey Price. It could be argued the only reason they were even in the playoffs was because of Carey Price.


Lightning's Stamkos comes up big again in Game 6

Wednesday, 05.13.2015 / 12:43 AM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Corey Long - Correspondent

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos made good on his promise to embrace the challenge in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Montreal Canadiens at Amalie Arena on Tuesday.

Stamkos had at least one point in each of the previous four games, but he hadn't had a signature performance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He did not score in the first eight games, which included a seven-game series victory against the Detroit Red Wings in the first round.

But Stamkos showed the speed, skill and determination Tuesday that have made him one of the NHL's top stars. He seemed to be creating chances on every shift and when Alex Killorn gave Stamkos an opportunity to put a wrist shot past Canadiens goalie Carey Price, he buried it to give the Lightning a two-goal lead in a game they went on to win, 4-1.


Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Tuesday, May 12

Wednesday, 05.13.2015 / 12:10 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL Public Relations


Nikita Kucherov (2-1—3) had three points to propel the Tampa Bay Lightning past the Montreal Canadiens and into the Eastern Conference Final for the third time in franchise history and the first since 2011.

* Kucherov opened the scoring, added an empty-netter and had an assist for his second three-point game and second multiple-goal game of the postseason.

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kucherov became the second player in franchise history to have three points in a series-clinching victory. He joined Fredrik Modin, who posted 0-3—3 on April 16, 2004, in Game 5 of the EQF vs. the New York Islanders (3-2 OT W).


Marchessault replaces Callahan for Lightning

Tuesday, 05.12.2015 / 7:43 PM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Corey Long - Correspondent

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Marchessault is replacing Ryan Callahan in the lineup for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Montreal Canadiens (CBC, TV-A, NBCSN).

Callahan is day-to-day after having an emergency appendectomy Monday. He was released from the hospital Tuesday.


AHL announces division realignment for 2015-16

Tuesday, 05.12.2015 / 6:57 PM / News

The American Hockey League on Tuesday approved division realignment that will be in effect for the 2015-16 season.

There will be two divisions in each conference. In the Eastern Conference, the Atlantic Division will have eight teams and the North Division seven teams. In the Western Conference, the Central Division will have eight teams and the Pacific Division seven.

The AHL had three five-team divisions in each conference for the 2014-15 season.


Flames not content after rejuvenating season

Tuesday, 05.12.2015 / 6:41 PM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving cautioned his team about complacency in final exit meetings Tuesday.

The Flames lost to the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference Second Round in five games, and being one of the final eight teams remaining in the Stanley Cup Playoffs wasn't enough.

"We talked about a quote that I think is something we need to live by: 'Champions behave like champions long before they are champions,'" Treliving said. "For us to grow, it's a mindset, it's a lifestyle. You have to live like a champion before you are a champion. The things that we've done in the past, we have to do it better. We have to get stronger, we have to get better conditioned, we have to grow from the process we went through. There's a lot to look back on, a lot to be proud of, but a lot yet to achieve."


Silfverberg's emergence makes him Ducks' X-factor

Tuesday, 05.12.2015 / 5:49 PM / X-Factor

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- The regular season has not been kind to Jakob Silfverberg early in his NHL career.

In 2013-14, the forward's first season with the Anaheim Ducks, he played 52 games, sitting 30 because of injury or as a healthy scratch. He scored one goal in his first 27 games this season.

But the attributes that made Silfverberg the featured player the Ducks received in the July 2013 trade with the Ottawa Senators for forward Bobby Ryan have bloomed this spring.

Silfverberg's 11 points are third on the Ducks in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and his eight assists were tied for second in the NHL through Monday. Almost as important to the Ducks as Silfverberg's offensive output has been his defensive play, which makes him an X-factor against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final.

"I try to play the same way I've been doing all year, but obviously I've been more successful in the playoffs and I feel like I play on another level," Silfverberg, 24, said. "I try not to change anything, but I feel like the outcome has become better for me. I don't know if it's just because of the playoffs."


Kreider setting tone for Rangers entering Game 7

Tuesday, 05.12.2015 / 5:34 PM / Rangers vs Capitals - 2015 SCP Second Round

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Chris Kreider arrived with a bang three years ago and then started looking like he might be a bust. Now his bang might be enough to help the New York Rangers bust the Washington Capitals right out of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Kreider heads into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) fresh off a two-goal performance in New York's 4-3 win in Game 6 on Sunday. He is the Rangers' hottest forward with four goals in the best-of-7 series, all in New York's three wins.

Kreider leads the Rangers with 16 goals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since making his NHL debut in Game 3 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

"He always seems to play his best in the big games," Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi said. "He's just moving his feet. He's so fast, so big, so he's a hard guy to defend when he's hitting guys and getting in front of the net. He's definitely a force to be reckoned with out there."


Optimistic Capitals disregard past Game 7 failures

Tuesday, 05.12.2015 / 3:56 PM / Rangers vs Capitals - 2015 SCP Second Round

Katie Brown - Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- For the third time since drafting captain Alex Ovechkin in 2004, the Washington Capitals are one win away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Final.

And for the third time in four years and the fourth time since 2009, the Capitals will play the New York Rangers in a Game 7. The Rangers have defeated the Capitals in the past two Game 7s they have played, in the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals and in the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Second Round between the Capitals and Rangers is at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"People go all through their life looking for great moments where you can define yourself or your team or what you did that year," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "This is another moment. We had that moment, a Game 7 in the first series, and here's another moment. These are things you go through."

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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