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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.”


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."


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.


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:


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.


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."


Bruins' Fraser proving time in AHL was well-spent

Friday, 05.09.2014 / 5:20 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- During a 14-game stint with the Boston Bruins over the winter, forward Matt Fraser scored two goals and had a couple fights.

He was doing whatever he could to make an impression in his first season in the Boston organization during his first call-up.

In his debut in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Thursday in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre, Fraser found a way to make a huge statement.

Fraser’s game-winning goal in overtime evened the best-of-7 series 2-2 heading into Game 5 on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS) at TD Garden. Back home where the Bruins held an optional skate Fraser did not take part in Friday, the 23-year-old wing was his humble self a little more than 12 hours after his heroics.


France stuns Canada, U.S. routs Belarus at Worlds

Friday, 05.09.2014 / 4:50 PM / News


Forward Pierre-Édouard Bellemare, who stars in the Swedish Hockey League for Skelleftea, scored in the third round of a shootout Friday to give France a stunning 3-2 victory against Canada in preliminary-round action of the 2014 IIHF World Championship at Chizhovka Arena in Belarus.

The victory was the second by France against Canada at the World Championship dating back to 1931; the French previously defeated Canada 4-1 in April 1995. The Canadians, who defeated France 9-1 at the 2011 WC and 7-2 in 2012, fall to 8-2 all-time against France.

"You look at that team after they won that game, that's like winning a Stanley Cup for them," Canada coach Dave Tippett told The Canadian Press.


Therrien cautions Canadiens need more from top line

Friday, 05.09.2014 / 2:06 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The inability of Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais to make an offensive impact in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is beginning to wear on Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien.

Friday, a day after the Canadiens' 1-0 loss at home to the Boston Bruins in Game 4 that tied their best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series 2-2, Therrien was asked about his top two offensive players all season.

His answer, while not directly naming them, was revealing.


Murphy: Penguins' speed presents Rangers problems

Friday, 05.09.2014 / 2:01 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL.com has enlisted the help of former NHL assistant coach Gord Murphy to break down the action. Murphy will be checking in throughout the series.

Murphy enjoyed a 14-season career as an NHL defenseman before spending seven seasons as an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets and most recently serving as an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers.

After watching four games of the Eastern Conference Second Round series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers, longtime NHL assistant coach Gord Murphy says the most impressive part of the series has been how the Penguins have used speed to their advantage against a Rangers team that is starting to look fatigued.

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Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres