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Ducks, Kings look to capitalize on Freeway Faceoff

Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 9:47 PM / Ducks vs. Kings - 2014 SCP Second Round

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

Emerson Etem grew up in Long Beach, California, and attended a handful of Los Angeles Kings games at The Forum every season.

Much like his pal Matt Nieto, he grew up a Kings fan and dreamed of being a professional hockey player. Nieto, a rookie for the San Jose Sharks this season, and Etem, who retained rookie status despite debuting with the Anaheim Ducks in 2012-13, are two of the best examples of the meteoric rise of youth hockey in Southern California.

The sport is flourishing at all levels in California, and the three NHL teams were all among the League's elite this season. Etem's Ducks will try to do what Nieto's Sharks could not: Eliminate the favorite team of his youth from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I definitely listened to [Kings play-by-play announcer] Nick Nickson a lot on the radio, that sort of stuff. It's a dream come true to play against them in a series," Etem said. "It's huge. Even the last matchup between San Jose and the Kings. Both of them combined, it's huge for the game here.


Wild must find proper response in Game 3

Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 8:32 PM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2014 SCP Second Round

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo believes Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks was there for the taking. The only problem was his players couldn't muster the response needed against the defending Stanley Cup champion.

The Blackhawks were once again spurred by a late offensive surge, scoring two third-period goals, on the way to a 4-1 victory on Sunday at United Center which gives Chicago a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.

"The one thing that was clear to me right from the start, and I'm surprised we didn't see more of it [in Game 1], was we didn't have the legs [Sunday]," Yeo said. "You could see it in our puck support, can see it when we weren't taking two or three strides and we were making a lot of stationary plays in a wide stance.


Blackhawks' Bickell again finds playoff success

Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 8:15 PM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2014 SCP Second Round

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks usually don't make much of a splash at the NHL Trade Deadline.

They didn't this season either, and the reason might be the guy wearing No.29 for them.

Bryan Bickell, a 6-foot-4, 233-pound power forward, has again transformed into a different player during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, giving Chicago the same boost some teams get from deadline acquisitions. After a disappointing, injury-marred regular season, Bickell is again a major factor for the defending Stanley Cup champions.

He had a goal and two assists Sunday in a 4-1 victory against the Minnesota Wild at United Center in just the latest example.

Bickell has points in five straight playoff games and has scored goals in three straight. His production is a big reason Chicago leads the best-of-7 Western Conference Second Round series against the Wild 2-0.


Canadiens focused on keeping third-period leads

Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 4:47 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

The Montreal Canadiens are trying their best to have a selective memory.

The Canadiens had a day off Sunday after blowing a 3-1 third-period lead in the final 10 minutes of regulation to lose Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Boston Bruins 5-3 on Saturday.

The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1 and shifts to Montreal for Game 3 on Tuesday at Bell Centre (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Coach Michel Therrien and defenseman Josh Gorges chatted with reporters on a conference call Sunday and both preached the message that the past is behind them. The only thing they want to remember about the Canadiens' trip to Boston is that they came back with the series tied.


Kings hero Gaborik has found a home in Los Angeles

Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 1:18 AM / Ducks vs. Kings - 2014 SCP Second Round

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

ANAHEIM -- The Los Angeles Kings were able to land Marian Gaborik from the Columbus Blue Jackets before the NHL Trade Deadline, while the Anaheim Ducks reportedly attempted to acquire Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler but were unsuccessful.

Each team was looking for another impact forward to add to a Stanley Cup-contending roster. Though Gaborik had struggled with injuries and inconsistency, he's been a boon for the Kings and never more so than when he scored the game-tying goal with seven seconds remaining in regulation and the winner 12:07 into overtime Saturday night in a 3-2 victory against the Ducks at Honda Center in Game 1 of this Western Conference Second Round series.

Gaborik has settled in on the top line for Los Angeles, and he now has five goals in eight postseason games for the Kings.

"When you play him and [Anze Kopitar] together, they're like this dynamic duo," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "When they're both on their games, it's hard to stop them. [Gaborik] was a huge part to our win tonight, three points, two huge goals. When those two are on their game and when all of lines are on their game, we're a tough team to play against. That's what we need."


L.A.'s Robyn Regehr leaves Game 1 with injury

Saturday, 05.03.2014 / 10:09 PM / Ducks vs. Kings - 2014 SCP Second Round

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

ANAHEIM -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr left Game 1 of this Western Conference Second Round series against the Anaheim Ducks midway through the first period with an undisclosed injury and did not return.

Regher's last shift ended with 10:05 remaining in the period. He was hit into the boards behind his own net by Ducks forward Teemu Selanne midway through the shift but was able to remain involved in the play and made a pass to help get the puck out of the zone.

He did not return for the second period, and the Kings announced early in the third that he was done for the night.


Canadiens find comfort in split after blowing lead

Saturday, 05.03.2014 / 6:58 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

BOSTON -- The Montreal Canadiens did exactly what they set out to do by splitting the first two games on the road in their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Boston Bruins.

It's how that split came about that may linger in the Canadiens' minds for a couple of days.

Montreal did not lose in regulation time once in 42 games when it led after two periods, going 35-0-3 in the regular season and 4-0-0 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs entering Game 2 on Saturday.

The Canadiens were 10 minutes away from making that 43 games and 5-0-0 in the playoffs, but a 3-1 lead turned into a 5-3 loss in a matter of minutes, and now Montreal is left to wonder what might have been.


Bruins turned frustration around in Game 2

Saturday, 05.03.2014 / 6:45 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins have been one of the top teams in the NHL for years, but the Montreal Canadiens have consistently found a way to give them problems.

A big reason has been frustration.

Frustration with the Canadiens' speed, frustration with officiating, frustration with their inability to beat a team that is not nearly as good as they are, at least on paper.

As the second period of Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series progressed Saturday, that frustration began to rear its ugly head again.

Bruins defenseman Andrej Meszaros, playing for the first time in two weeks, was called for roughing against Tomas Plekanec at 16:23 of the second, giving Montreal a rare 4-on-3 power play.

Just as that power play became a standard 5-on-4, Thomas Vanek scored to put the Canadiens ahead 2-1.


Bruins forward Smith making name for himself

Saturday, 05.03.2014 / 6:27 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins forward Reilly Smith scored two goals in his last 30 games of the regular season.

Bruins coach Claude Julien kept trust in the 23-year-old, and that faith has been rewarded in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Smith scored the game-winning goal Saturday, when the Bruins evened their best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Montreal Canadiens with a 5-3 win at TD Garden.

Game 3 is at Bell Centre at Montreal on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), and Smith will start it with three playoff goals.


Ramsay: Defense is key for Blackhawks and Wild

Saturday, 05.03.2014 / 6:23 PM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2014 SCP Second Round

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks, 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 Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Minnesota Wild 5-2 in Game 1 of their Western Conference First Round series Friday. But longtime coach Craig Ramsey told that the score in that game was not indicative of how well the Wild played. In fact, he believes Minnesota gave Chicago all it could handle before Patrick Kane scored two third-period goals that decided the game.
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