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Capitals end Game 7 slump with win vs. Islanders

Tuesday, 04.28.2015 / 12:26 AM / Capitals vs Islanders - 2015 SCP First Round

Katie Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON – For the fourth time in the Washington Capitals' past four Stanley Cup Playoff appearances, they were playing in a Game 7. All they had to do was win.

The Capitals defeated the New York Islanders 2-1 at Verizon Center to advance to the Eastern Conference Second Round and will play a familiar foe, the New York Rangers.

The previous two times Washington had to play seven games in a playoff series, they came home empty-handed. Washington is 4-9 in Game 7s since 1987.

The Capitals defeated the defending-champion Boston Bruins in seven games in the first round of the 2012 playoffs, but then lost in seven to the Rangers in the second round.

The Rangers eliminated the Capitals again in seven games in the first round in 2013.

Goaltender Braden Holtby has been in net for the Capitals in 27 of the 28 games played in those four seven-game series -- he sat out Game 2 against the Islanders last week when he became ill.

"It was a different game in the past, that’s for sure," Holtby said. "It’s not exactly what I was expecting, but I think the experience paid off for a lot of our guys that realized what it takes in a Game 7. Realistically the effort we put forward, we might not even had to put 60 [minutes], but we just couldn’t get a couple bounces to go our way and we just kept pushing."

Capitals advance, will face Rangers in playoffs again

Monday, 04.27.2015 / 10:40 PM / Rangers vs Capitals - 2015 SCP Second Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The Washington Capitals and New York Rangers will meet again in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, this time in the 2015 Eastern Conference Second Round.

Washington defeated the New York Islanders 2-1 in Game 7 at Verizon Center on Monday to win its first-round series.

The Capitals and Rangers will open the second round at Madison Square Garden on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports). The Rangers are guaranteed to start every playoff series on home ice because they won the Presidents' Trophy with 113 points.

New York advanced with a five-game, first-round win against the Pittsburgh Penguins; the Rangers defeated the Penguins 2-1 in overtime in Game 5 at the Garden on Friday.

Canucks feel aging core can still compete

Monday, 04.27.2015 / 9:59 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVERVancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin was the first to admit he isn’t getting any younger, but after an early exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs he expects Vancouver is going to.

Facing questions about an aging core that is 3-12 in the playoffs since reaching Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2011, Henrik and Daniel Sedin stressed the importance of a continued influx of youth next season. But neither was ready to entertain a rebuild, not after bouncing back from missing the playoffs last year to finish second in the Pacific Division this season.

"We have no plans of getting any worse," Henrik said. "We’re not young anymore but we showed this year we can still be a big part, we can be productive and I don’t see that changing in the next couple of years. With the young guys coming up I think they are going to give us a chance to win in the next couple of years."

Relentless on forecheck, Cogliano is Ducks' X-factor

Monday, 04.27.2015 / 7:50 PM / X-Factor

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- It's hard to believe the Anaheim Ducks once had trouble finding a role for Andrew Cogliano.

But after Bruce Boudreau replaced Randy Carlyle as Ducks coach 24 games into the 2011-12 season, Boudreau had to play Cogliano at center and both wing positions to fill holes and to try to find a place for Cogliano.

Nothing worked.

"I remember him apologizing [because] I played in different positions and it was hard," Cogliano said. "But also, for me, I don't think I played nearly as capable as I needed to in that first year, which made me one of those guys that was easy to move around. We were both on the same page in terms of I just needed to be put in a spot and be given a role and told what to do."

The 27-year-old left wing has since found a role and thrived in it for the Ducks, who will play the Calgary Flames in the Western Conference Second Round.

Doughty, Karlsson, Subban voted Norris finalists

Monday, 04.27.2015 / 7:00 PM / 2015 NHL Awards

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings, Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators and P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens are the three finalists for the 2014-15 James Norris Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position,” the National Hockey League announced today.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association submitted ballots for the Norris Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 24, during the 2015 NHL Awards from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Predators' Weber has surgery on dislocated kneecap

Monday, 04.27.2015 / 6:59 PM / News

Robby Stanley - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber had surgery after he sustained a dislocated kneecap in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Weber took a hit from Chicago forward Brandon Saad behind the Nashville net and struggled to get back to the bench. Weber said he knew right away that something was wrong.

"I felt something kind of pop a little bit, snap I guess," Weber said. "It was my kneecap that kind of subluxed, so I just felt that come across. I didn't know at the time exactly what it was, but I knew that's not good, that shouldn't happen. I tried to stand on it. Obviously, it was pretty bad pain in the knee."


Blackhawks' Bickell could be X-factor vs. Wild again

Monday, 04.27.2015 / 6:17 PM / X-Factor

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Minnesota Wild tend to bring out the best in Bryan Bickell during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Chicago Blackhawks are banking on it happening again in the Western Conference Second Round as they prepare to face Minnesota for the third consecutive postseason. Bickell, a 6-foot-4, 223-pound power forward, had a combined seven goals and three assists in the Blackhawks' series victories against Minnesota the previous two seasons.

Last year, he scored four goals and had two assists in a second-round series that Chicago won in six games.

"I don’t know [why]," Bickell said. "I have to look over the video to see how I scored those goals to see what I need to do to be successful against this team. It's a new season, a new series. Things change. Different players need to step up."

Flames tab goalie Hiller to start Game 1 vs. Ducks

Monday, 04.27.2015 / 5:49 PM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

NHL.com

Goalie Jonas Hiller will start for the Calgary Flames in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Anaheim Ducks, Flames coach Bob Hartley said Monday.

Hiller started all six first-round games against the Vancouver Canucks. He had a 2.20 goals-against average and .931 save percentage but was pulled in Game 6 after allowing two goals on three shots. Karri Ramo, who also relieved Hiller in Game 2, allowed two goals on 19 shots to help the Flames to a series-clinching 7-4 victory.

But Hiller will receive the first chance to face the Ducks, who did not re-sign him after last season.

Built for playoffs, Ferland is Flames' X-factor

Monday, 04.27.2015 / 5:44 PM / X-Factor

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- A sign in Calgary's inner-city tells all that's needed about the impact forward Micheal Ferland has had on the Calgary Flames in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

'Sorry Nenshi, Ferland for mayor.'

Elected in 2010, Naheed Nenshi is the city of Calgary's current mayor, was the first Canadian voted 'World Mayor' prize in 2014 by the City Mayors Foundation and was ranked the second most-important person in Canada by MacLean's magazine.

Making his playoff debut this month, Ferland has quickly become a cult hero in Calgary after delivering 40 hits and scoring two goals and four points in helping eliminate the Vancouver Canucks in six games in the Western Conference First Round.

Wild get another crack at knocking off Blackhawks

Monday, 04.27.2015 / 4:06 PM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2015 SCP Second Round

NHL.com

The Minnesota Wild will hope the third time is the charm against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Rivals in the Central Division, this will be the third consecutive year when the Wild and Blackhawks face each other in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Wild were the first team the Blackhawks dispatched on the way to winning the Stanley Cup in 2013, needing five games to eliminate them in the first round. In 2014, the Wild were fresh off their first series win in more than a decade, ending with a Game 7 overtime victory against the Colorado Avalanche, when the Blackhawks defeated them in OT to wrap up that series in six.

Now, with the Wild coming off an upset of the Central Division champion St. Louis Blues and the Blackhawks eliminating the higher-seeded Nashville Predators, each in six games, they're set to play in the Western Conference Second Round.

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Quote of the Day

There's standards that this team is going to play to and there are expectations. We're going to hold these guys accountable to high standards.

— Coach Dave Lowry on Canada's junior team, the defending IIHF World Junior champions