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(Page 166 of 237)
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Kings will lean on experience for Game 7 vs. Ducks

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 7:19 PM / Ducks vs. Kings - 2014 SCP Second Round

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Darryl Sutter isn't a big believer in many of the narratives that seem to be popular at this time of a hockey season.

Does home-ice advantage matter in a Game 7? Nope. In his mind, if there's a Game 7 it is because the teams are too close for it to matter.

Does momentum carry over from one Stanley Cup Playoff game to the next? Nope. He believes in momentum from shift-to-shift, but each game is its own entity.

Is a Game 7 different than other elimination games? Nope. Sutter feels every playoff game is of the elimination variety.

The Los Angeles Kings coach does believe in what he sees from players at this time of the season. He believes that experience matters, and the veterans he has have earned theirs.

Thirteen of the 19 Kings expected to be on the ice Friday in Game 7 against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS) played in every game of Los Angeles' march to the Stanley Cup in 2012. Three others played in at least 12 of the 18 playoff games last season.

It is an experienced group, one that will lean on that experience Friday.

"It's confidence. When you've done special things together, you have the confidence no matter what happens to do that again," center Mike Richards said. "That's a big thing in playoffs. When you're down in a game, down in the series, you've been through comebacks and good things with the guy beside you, it is a good thing to lean on. It's a nice feeling to have that you have confidence in being able to do whatever is needed to win."

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Malkin to join Russia for World Championship

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 6:57 PM / News

NHL.com

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin will join Russia for the remainder of the 2014 IIHF World Championship being played in Belarus.

The Penguins were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday with a Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Second Round.

The IIHF website said Malkin will join the Russian team Sunday. It plays Germany that night in a preliminary-round game, and faces Belarus on Tuesday.


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Ducks see Game 7 loss last year as teaching point

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 6:34 PM / Ducks vs. Kings - 2014 SCP Second Round

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Players typically forget about losses within minutes of stepping off the ice, or at least that's what they say publicly. The term "short memory" is tossed out a lot when it comes to turning the page.

That's not true for the Anaheim Ducks.

Since their Game 7 meltdown against the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Quarterfinals last season, Anaheim has literally worn the loss on their chests in the form of "Unfinished Business" T-shirts. Some of them wore the shirts Thursday in preparation for Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Los Angeles Kings on Friday at Honda Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

"I think the guys in this room have used Game 7 against Detroit, and the entire series against Detroit, as a teaching point this entire year," Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy said. "We know we did not play our best against them. We wanted to prove to ourselves and prove to the rest of the League that that was a fluke, and we have another opportunity to do that tomorrow night."

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Five reasons why the Bruins were eliminated

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 5:39 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Teams that win the Presidents' Trophy are supposed to win more than one round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That's why no matter what way you shake it, the Boston Bruins' loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Second Round is a major disappointment.

The Bruins were 54-19-9 in the regular season and dispatched the Detroit Red Wings in five games in the first round. Boston led the best-of-7 series with Montreal 3-2 but lost in seven games.

For a team that had such a great first seven months of the season to unravel the way it did in the space of a few days, much must go wrong.

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Blackhawks brush off fatigue, focused on winning

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 5:01 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks have played the most games in the NHL the past two seasons and are halfway to repeating as Stanley Cup champions.

Between the regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs they've played a whopping 165 games in the past 16 months, and that's not including games played by the 10 Blackhawks who participated in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

That's a lot of hockey, with a lot of high-intensity games and wear and tear on their bodies and minds. Coming off a six-game victory against the Minnesota Wild in the Western Conference Second Round, there are murmurs that some of Chicago's players are running on fumes heading into the Western Conference Final, which will start Sunday. They'll play the winner of Game 7 on Friday between the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings.

The Blackhawks strongly disagree.

"I don't think we're worried about anything right now," said right wing Patrick Kane, who scored the series-clinching overtime goal in Game 6 on Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center. "We're in a pretty good position that not a lot of teams get to go through. We're in a conference final and it's going to be a great matchup whoever we face, so there's no real cause for concern and we feel our best game's ahead of us. So it's exciting."

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Latvia upsets U.S., Canada routs Denmark at Worlds

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 4:18 PM / News

NHL.com

Zemgus Girgensons (Buffalo Sabres) scored the go-ahead goal with 5:25 remaining Thursday and Latvia pulled off a 6-5 upset of the United States in a preliminary-round game of the 2014 IIHF World Championship played at Minsk Arena in Belarus.

Latvia (3-1, 9 points), which is led by Sabres coach Ted Nolan, ended a six-game losing streak to the U.S. in the tournament by beating the Americans for the first time since 2001.

"It was an up-and-down game. We went up there, they went up there," Girgensons told the IIHF website. "But we have to stop taking so many penalties. A lot of them were our own fault."

Brock Nelson (New York Islanders) and Tyler Johnson (Tampa Bay Lightning) scored power-play goals in the second period to rally the U.S. (2-2, 6 points) from a 3-1 deficit, but Latvia never let the United States pull in front in the third.

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Rangers excited to start conference final in Montreal

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- A matter of hours after learning they would be playing the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Final, the New York Rangers were already looking forward to Game 1 on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Most Rangers did not participate in New York's optional skate Thursday, leaving plenty of free time to get excited about the next round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"It's going to be an exciting series. I've been fortunate enough to play in the playoffs up there, there's really nothing like it," forward Brad Richards said. "I can't wait to get up there."

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Konopka releases statement regarding suspension

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 2:32 PM / News

NHL.com

Buffalo Sabres forward Zenon Konopka released the following statement on Thursday following the announcement that he has been suspended 20 games for violating the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program:

"I deeply regret that I have tested positive for a prohibited substance in violation of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program. I accept full responsibility for this error. As a professional athlete I am responsible for what I put in my body, and I am to blame for this mistake.

"I want to make it clear that this violation occurred because I ingested a product that can be purchased over-the-counter and which, unknown to me, contained a substance that violated the program. Unfortunately, I did not take the necessary care to ensure that the product did not contain a prohibited substance. I want to stress, however, that I did not take this substance for the purpose of enhancing my athletic performance.

"I apologize to my teammates and to the Buffalo Sabres organization, as well as to my friends and family. I have learned a great deal from this experience, something I hope to be able to share with younger players. I will accept this suspension and continue to work hard to prepare for the 2014-15 season."

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Penguins forward Bennett to have wrist surgery

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 2:24 PM / News

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Beau Bennett needs surgery to repair a hand/wrist injury that never fully healed.

He is scheduled to have surgery next week and said he expects to be prepared for training camp next season.

Bennett was expected to return in early March after missing three months. A setback kept him out for another few weeks; he finally returned March 28 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He played in the final nine regular-season games and the Penguins' first 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games but was scratched for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers. He said Thursday he wasn't completely healthy in the postseason.

"Unfortunately that setback I had was a back-to-square-one setback," Bennett said. "They gave me the option to either play with it or get [the surgery] done then and there in February, and I was kind of sick of watching and I was taping it and hoping for the best and that kind of limited me in that way."

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Penguins feel right players, coaches are in place

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 2:11 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will not speculate on any potential organizational changes.

Two days after being eliminated by the New York Rangers in seven games in the Eastern Conference Second Round, Penguins players reflected on another failed Stanley Cup Playoff run but avoided looking toward the future. They were consistent in their belief that the relationship between the players and coach Dan Bylsma and his staff was not fractured.

"You're going to hear a lot of that stuff and a lot of negativity and a lot of different rumors," captain Sidney Crosby said. "That's normal when you lose, and there's always people looking for reasons. But if we win [Game 7 against New York] we don't have to answer these questions. But that's the difference between winning and losing."

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