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Ramsay: Wild defense must be active vs. Chicago

Saturday, 05.10.2014 / 4:09 PM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2014 SCP Second Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks, NHL.com has enlisted the help of former NHL coach Craig Ramsay to break down the action. Ramsay will be checking in throughout the series.

Ramsay played in more than 1,000 NHL games with the Buffalo Sabres before going on to coach the Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers and Atlanta Thrashers. In the 2000 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he led the Flyers to the seventh game of the Eastern Conference Final. Ramsay was most recently an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers.

The Minnesota Wild got back into their Western Conference Second Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks with back-to-back wins at home. After watching Minnesota even the series at two games apiece, longtime NHL coach and former player Craig Ramsay has five words of advice for the Wild as the series shifts to Chicago for Game 5 on Sunday at United Center (9 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN, RDS2).

"Get the defensemen more involved," Ramsay told NHL.com.

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Rangers riding emotion into Game 6 at Garden

Saturday, 05.10.2014 / 3:11 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

New York Rangers center Brad Richards ideally would be playing a Stanley Cup Playoff game on Mother's Day knowing none of his teammates, let alone close friend Martin St. Louis, is dealing with any type of personal tragedy or hardship.

Because reality doesn't meet Richards' wishes, he said the Rangers should again try to keep their season going by using the emotional lift of having St. Louis in the lineup, this time for Game 6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday, days after the sudden passing of his mother, France.

The Penguins lead the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series 3-2. St. Louis was in the lineup for Game 5 on Friday, a 5-1 Rangers' win, after his 63-year-old mother died of a heart attack Thursday.

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Blackhawks forward Bollig to have hearing

Saturday, 05.10.2014 / 2:35 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

Chicago Blackhawks forward Brandon Bollig will have a hearing Saturday with the NHL Department of Player Safety for his hit from behind on Minnesota Wild defenseman Keith Ballard during the second period Friday at Xcel Energy Center.

The hearing is not in person.

Bollig was issued a boarding penalty on the play at 17:13 of the second period.

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Frustrated Blackhawks look for answers

Saturday, 05.10.2014 / 2:19 AM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2014 SCP Second Round

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is famous for his composure. Nothing, it seems, ever rattles Toews, who has already claimed two Stanley Cup titles in a career that has not yet reached its apex.

That's why it was so jarring to watch him skate back to his bench after another trying shift Friday in Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

His team was trailing in what would become a 4-2 loss that evened the best-of-7 series at two victories each and the Blackhawks could not sustain any offense.


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Wild's Cooke makes presence felt in Game 4 return

Saturday, 05.10.2014 / 1:43 AM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2014 SCP Second Round

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cooke returned from his suspension in a big way Friday in Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Cooke, who was suspended seven games for his knee-on-knee hit against Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round, helped the Wild to a 4-2 win that evened the best-of-7 series 2-2 heading back to Chicago for Game 5 on Sunday (9 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN, RDS2).

He made his presence felt right away, slamming Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith into the boards with a big hit 20 seconds into his first shift. On his second shift, Cooke hit Chicago defenseman Nick Leddy along the wall, forcing a turnover that led to an odd-man rush.

On his third shift, he was instrumental in getting the Wild on the board, using an aggressive forecheck to create another turnover and leaving the puck on the stick of linemate Justin Fontaine, who rifled a shot past Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead.

“He’s a playoff performer,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said. “He was brought in here to do a lot of things and help you get to the playoffs, but the experience he has, the way that first goal was created, that’s what we’re looking for.”

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Rangers 'play hard' for St. Louis after mother's death

Saturday, 05.10.2014 / 12:06 AM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PITTSBURGH -- The New York Rangers weren't expecting to see forward Martin St. Louis when they took the ice for Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.

But one day after the death of his mother, France, St. Louis rejoined the Rangers here. He had one shot on goal in 16:19 of ice time, but it was his presence that inspired them to a 5-1 win that extended the series.

St. Louis learned of the death of his 63-year-old mother Thursday when the Rangers arrived in Pittsburgh. He immediately left to join his family in Montreal. After spending time there and talking with his father, St. Louis returned here Friday.

"I know deep down my mother would have wanted me to play this game," St. Louis said. "She'd be proud of me coming here to help as much as I can. ... She was a great lady, best human being I've known in my life. I owed it to her to do it. I know she would want me to do it."

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Penguins fail to match Rangers' effort in Game 5

Friday, 05.09.2014 / 10:52 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins did the opposite of what coach Dan Bylsma preached during the past two days.

Bylsma said repeatedly that the Penguins could not allow the New York Rangers "any breath, any life" in Game 5 of their best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series. Instead, the Rangers are very much alive after a 5-1 victory Friday. They trail 3-2 and can even the series by winning Game 6 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

After a desultory effort in a Game 4 loss to Pittsburgh at home on Wednesday, the Rangers came out from the opening faceoff with the kind of desperation Bylsma had warned his team about -- and the Penguins didn't match it.


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Start times set for Round 2 games on Sunday, Monday

Friday, 05.09.2014 / 9:59 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

The National Hockey League today announced updated start time information for upcoming 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round games:

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Ducks' depth key to their success this season

Friday, 05.09.2014 / 7:30 PM / Ducks vs. Kings - 2014 SCP Second Round

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Three seasons ago, the Anaheim Ducks were one of the most top-heavy teams in the NHL.

The Ducks had Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu up front, but the depth beyond that group was a mess for much of the 2011-12 season. There were 10 forwards who played at least 25 games and scored between zero and seven goals.

Getzlaf also had his worst season, finishing with 11 goals. Andrew Cogliano was fourth on the Ducks  with 13. The defense behind Francois Beauchemin was young, suspect, or both.

That was the season Randy Carlyle was fired and Bruce Boudreau was hired. Since then, the Ducks have evolved into one of the deepest teams in the League, and that's a big reason they finished with the most points in the Western Conference in 2013-14.

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Kings were prepared for long series vs. Ducks

Friday, 05.09.2014 / 6:47 PM / Ducks vs. Kings - 2014 SCP Second Round

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Kings didn't use a conventional method to win their Western Conference First Round series; instead, they became the fourth team in NHL history to erase a 3-0 series deficit and win a best-of-7.

So why shouldn't their second-round series against the Anaheim Ducks become as drawn out?

That reality set in a day after the Ducks held on for a 3-2 win in Game 3, cutting its deficit in this series to 2-1. Anaheim can get even by winning Game 4 on Saturday at Staples Center (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN).

"Going into the series, you knew it was going to be a highly competitive environment," Kings defenseman Alec Martinez said. "They had 116 points this year, and I think they scored over 260-some goals. We knew it was going to be a battle, and it has been."

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They said, 'You're going to love the city. It's smaller than Philadelphia, but you're going to love it. You're going to love the fans. Just watching the playoffs last year, the fans seemed louder there than they did anywhere. I'm really excited about that.

— Forward Scott Hartnell on his upcoming season with the Columbus Blue Jackets