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Mrazek, Howard to battle for No. 1 job with Red Wings

Friday, 05.01.2015 / 4:28 PM / News

Paul Harris - Correspondent

DETROIT -- Petr Mrazek was the Detroit Red Wings goaltender for their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning and played well in a seven-game defeat, but he'll have to compete with Jimmy Howard to claim the No. 1 job next season, general manager Ken Holland said Friday.

"My message to those guys today was professional sports is about competition and the competition begins again in September," Holland said as the Red Wings cleaned out their lockers at Joe Louis Arena.

"If you didn't like the way the season ended, then get in the gym and do the work and be ready to be better next season. If you liked the way it finished, then get in the gym and make sure things keep going your way."

Farrish: Rangers will get more aggressive in Game 2

Friday, 05.01.2015 / 3:41 PM / Rangers vs Capitals - 2015 SCP Second Round

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

For additional insight into the Eastern Conference Second Round series between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers, has enlisted the help of Dave Farrish to break down the action. Farrish will be checking in throughout the series.

Farrish was an assistant coach for the Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs from 2005-14. He won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007. He also coached 1,027 games in the minor leagues, including the American Hockey League. In addition, Farrish, a former defenseman, played 430 games over seven seasons in the NHL.

Dave Farrish has probably gotten hoarse at points during his career preaching to his teams about playing to the whistle, never stopping, and putting in a full 60-minute effort.

The New York Rangers found out the hard way what happens when you don't do all of that Thursday night in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Washington Capitals.

Forward Joel Ward scored with 1.3 seconds remaining because he was wide open in front of the net to receive a pass from Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin. Washington won the game 2-1 and took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 series that continues Saturday with Game 2 at Madison Square Garden (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports).

Red Wings coach Babcock not rushing into decision

Friday, 05.01.2015 / 3:25 PM / News

Paul Harris - Correspondent

DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he doesn't know where he'll be next season, but he does know it will be behind an NHL bench.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Friday he wants it to remain his team's bench.

Babcock, who coached this season in the final year of his contract, talked about his future as the Red Wings cleaned out their lockers two days after their season ended in a 2-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference First Round series.

"In the next 10 days Ken and I will talk about it," Babcock said. " … And I'm going to talk to my wife to see how she feels about it."

Rangers want to clean up mistakes in Game 2

Friday, 05.01.2015 / 2:47 PM / Rangers vs Capitals - 2015 SCP Second Round

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The devastation the New York Rangers felt after losing on a last-second goal Thursday gave way to a work day Friday that was about learning from their mistakes.

"It's just a loss," center Derek Stepan said. "We're moving on to Game 2."

Joel Ward's goal with 1.3 seconds remaining gave the Washington Capitals a 2-1 win and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series.

Game 2 is Saturday at Madison Square Garden (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports).

"A loss is a loss in the playoffs, and to tell you the truth none of them, whether it be playoffs or regular season, are easy to digest," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "What you've gotta do is you've gotta learn from the games that you play. There's definitely things that we can learn from [Thursday] night."

Goaltender Matchup: Inside Bishop vs. Price

Friday, 05.01.2015 / 2:00 PM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

Goaltending plays an integral part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. decided to break down the Eastern Conference Second Round matchup between Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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.

Chabot: Ducks stuck with script in Game 1 vs. Flames

Friday, 05.01.2015 / 1:36 PM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

Evan Sporer - Staff Writer

For additional insight into the Western Conference Second Round series between the Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames, has enlisted the help of Frederic Chabot to break down the action. Chabot will be checking in throughout the series.

Chabot was the goaltending coach for the Edmonton Oilers from 2009 to 2014. He played in the NHL for five seasons, spending time with the Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers and the Los Angeles Kings.

When the Anaheim Ducks were at their best during their Western Conference First Round series against the Winnipeg Jets, forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Cory Perry were leading the way. Anaheim's depth also was productive and problematic for the Jets' bottom-six forwards, and the result was a four-game sweep for the Ducks.

The Ducks successfully worked off that same blueprint in their 6-1 defeat of the Calgary Flames on Thursday in Game 1 of their Western Conference Second Round series, according to Frederic Chabot.

"Perry and Getzlaf really set the tone and showed the way in the first game," Chabot said. "You can expect the rest of the crew to follow suit in the next games."

Seguin back in Prague hoping to lead Canada to gold

Friday, 05.01.2015 / 1:30 PM / 2015 IIHF World Championship

Michael Langr - Correspondent

PRAGUE -- It's almost impossible for Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin to remember all of the 130 goals and 282 points he scored in his five NHL seasons. But he certainly remembers the first one. It happened far away from home, in Prague, Czech Republic. In the same arena where Seguin has come back to play at the 2015 IIHF World Championship as one of the stars for Canada.

"I remember I scored my first NHL goal here in Prague, in this arena, which is kind of cool," Seguin said after he and his teammates first showed up at O2 Arena on Thursday. "That was kind of a cool feeling to walk in this morning. I've been here to Prague before, it's a great city and I'm looking forward to walk around and see it again. But although it's a beautiful city, I didn't come here just because of some scenery. I came here to win gold and do the best for my country."

Leipsic's arrival in Toronto 'catalyst' for AHL success

Friday, 05.01.2015 / 12:14 PM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to

When Brendan Leipsic got the call, he was headed to brunch with his parents.

Then a member of the Milwaukee Admirals, affiliate of the Nashville Predators, the 20-year-old wing was one of the top-scoring rookies in the American Hockey League. Milwaukee had an afternoon game that day against visiting Lake Erie, but its game the previous Friday would turn out to have been the last appearance of Leipsic in an Admirals jersey.

"In your first pro season, you never expect to be traded," Leipsic said. "You never expect to get a call from your general manager saying that. It was definitely a surprise, but I'm glad the way it turned out. I'm happy to be here."

"Here" is the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, which acquired Leipsic along with Olli Jokinen and a 2015 first-round draft pick in a Feb. 15 trade with Nashville that saw forward Mike Santorelli and defenseman Cody Franson head to the Predators. Leipsic was dropped into a Marlies team in the midst of playoff hockey two months too soon.

Local boy Darling took long road to Blackhawks

Friday, 05.01.2015 / 3:00 AM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2015 SCP Second Round

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- The story of Scott Darling started about 25 miles from United Center, but his journey from childhood Chicago Blackhawks fan to a place in their Stanley Cup Playoff lore is as remarkable and improbable as any player's path to the NHL.

A series of fortunate occurrences combined with hard work and a strong support group helped Darling overcome much and experience an incredible rise from the depths of professional hockey and the lowest moments in his personal life.

Darling helped save Chicago's chances of winning the Stanley Cup in 2015 by replacing Corey Crawford in goal and winning three games against the Nashville Predators. Crawford will start Friday when the Blackhawks face the Minnesota Wild in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round series at United Center (9:30 p.m.; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports 2), but Darling, a Lemont, Ill., native, has already, with a lot of determination, saved his career.

"Some pretty amazing things had to fall into place. Obviously it is a combination of my mindset and my drive, but also I had to get lucky along the way," the 26-year-old said.

Flames' Hiller off to shaky start against former team

Friday, 05.01.2015 / 2:38 AM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- It didn't take long for Calgary Flames goalie Jonas Hiller's former fans to turn against him at Honda Center on Thursday.

"Hil-ler, Hil-ler," Anaheim Ducks fans mockingly chanted.

Hiller allowed three goals on 14 shots in his first Stanley Cup Playoff game against his former team in a 6-1 loss in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round.

Flames coach Bob Hartley pulled Hiller for Karri Ramo 2:13 into the second period with the Ducks leading 3-0.

"I thought that he had a rough start," Hartley said. "There was a few goals that I'm sure that he'd like to see again. At the same time, we're trying to turn the game around and get some work for Ramo."

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Quote of the Day

It's obviously not fun to not know, but on the other hand, I'm not in a rush. I'm going to be back to 100 percent before I start playing. I'm not going to play on 90 percent.

— Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom in an interview with Washington Post about whether he will be able to play in 2015-16 opener