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Ekblad, Gaudreau, Stone voted Calder Trophy finalists

Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 7:00 PM / 2015 NHL Awards

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK -- Defenseman Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers and forwards Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames and Mark Stone of the Ottawa Senators are the three finalists for the 2014-15 Calder Memorial Trophy, awarded "to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition," the National Hockey League announced today.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association submitted ballots for the Calder 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.

Rangers' Brassard becoming leader on, off the ice

Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 4:49 PM / Rangers vs Penguins - 2015 SCP First Round

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers center Derick Brassard doesn't hide from the fact that he's a big fan of Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

Brassard played against Crosby as a member of the Drummondville Voltigeurs in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League when Crosby was with the Rimouski Oceanic.

He enjoyed the battle then, and is enjoying it now in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Blues' Tarasenko not fazed by individual success

Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 4:18 PM / Blues vs Wild - 2015 SCP First Round

Louie Korac - Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- When St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko speaks with the media, nothing but a sincere attitude emerges.

Tarasenko isn't interested in basking in the fantastic, take-your-breath-away goals he scores, like the one Wednesday in the Blues' 6-1 win against the Minnesota Wild in Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round that tied the best-of-7 series at 2-2.

Instead Tarasenko chooses his words carefully. They come from his mind and heart, and normally involve talking about his teammates and the Blues' attitude and goals.

With Tarasenko, it's all about winning games.

Farrish: Penguins must stick to strategy in Game 5

Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 4:18 PM / Rangers vs Penguins - 2015 SCP First Round

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

For additional insight into the Eastern Conference First Round series between the Pittsburgh Penguins 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.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers have been close through four games in the Eastern Conference First Round, as in an inch here and a bounce there kind of close. They've played four one-goal games, but the Rangers have the Penguins on the ropes with a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

Despite the two-game hole and being on the brink of elimination, former NHL assistant coach Dave Farrish thinks it would be a mistake if the Penguins change their game plan or panic heading into a must-win Game 5 on Friday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports, ROOT, MSG).

Oilers captain Ference has tips for kids to go green

Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 4:12 PM / NHL Green

Evan Sporer - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- What began as Andrew Ference's personal project quickly spread to players throughout the NHL, and eventually to the League itself. The Edmonton Oilers captain said his parents grew up on farms, and though they were not environmentalists they did things a certain way.

It's that upbringing that has made Ference conscious of how his actions affect the planet. On Thursday, a day after Earth Day, Ference spoke with a group of children at the NHL Powered by Reebok Store about a variety of topics, from his work with the NHL Green Initiative to things they can do in their everyday lives to make a difference.

"Kids get it. The way they see the world is more black and white," Ference said. "It's just, this makes sense, this doesn't. That's what a lot of this is.

"Being an environmentalist, or whatever you call it, a lot of stuff now, especially with the technology, it's common sense stuff. Do you want to waste a lot of stuff, or do you not want to, and do the exact same thing?"

Defenseman Gill retires after 16 NHL seasons

Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 3:18 PM / News

Defenseman Hal Gill, who played 16 NHL seasons and won the Stanley Cup in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Penguins, has announced his retirement.

Gill was an eighth-round pick (No. 207) of the Boston Bruins in the 1993 NHL Draft. He played 1,108 games for the Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Penguins, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators and Philadelphia Flyers.

Five reasons Jets were eliminated from playoffs

Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 3:16 PM / Ducks vs Jets - 2015 SCP First Round

Patrick Williams - Correspondent

Once the sting of elimination from the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Anaheim Ducks wears off, the Winnipeg Jets can begin to prepare for what could be a bright future.

The franchise reached the playoffs for the first time since 2007. A month-and-a-half stretch run and four games against elite competition in the Western Conference First Round can provide an effective, if painfully blunt, blueprint for a growing team.

A stretch drive to the playoffs is one thing; the Jets learned that a best-of-7 series is a different experience altogether.

Here are five reasons the Jets were eliminated:

Start times, TV info set for Saturday playoff games

Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 2:56 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League today announced updated start time and national television information for two potential 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round games scheduled for Saturday, April 25.

The remainder of Saturday's schedule will be announced later this evening.

· The starting time for the potential Game 6 of the series between the Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks, if necessary, has been set for 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT in Chicago. In the U.S., the game would be televised on NBC. In Canada, the game would be televised on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

· The starting time for the potential Game 6 of the series between the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames, if necessary, has been set for 9 p.m. ET/7 p.m. MT/6 p.m. PT in Calgary. In Canada, the game would be on CBC and TVA Sports. In the U.S., the game would be televised on NBCSN.

Chabot: Jets' playoff push hurt them vs. Ducks

Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 2:22 PM / Ducks vs Jets - 2015 SCP First Round

Evan Sporer - Staff Writer

For additional insight into the Western Conference First Round series between the Anaheim Ducks and Winnipeg Jets, 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 teams squeak into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, fighting through the last portion of their schedule to clinch a postseason berth, it can give them momentum when playoff hockey begins.

It also can create a late-season grind, and that's something Frederic Chabot said finally might have caught up to the Winnipeg Jets in their Western Conference First Round series four-game loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

Anderson, penalty kill helped extend Senators' season

Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 2:13 PM / Canadiens vs Senators - 2015 SCP First Round

Chris Stevenson - Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Instead of packing to go home for the summer, the Ottawa Senators were packing for another trip to Montreal on Thursday.

The Senators avoided being swept out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Wednesday with a 1-0 win against the Montreal Canadiens. They trail the best-of-7 series 3-1 and will have a chance to get more momentum on their side in Game 5 on Friday at Bell Centre (7 p.m. ET; CBC, CNBC, TVA Sports).

"Live another day. We're not eliminated," Senators coach Dave Cameron said Thursday. "We're not packing our bags. We're going to Montreal and now we have a series."

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You could feel it. You could feel that they were going after each other and trying to win the game for their team.

— Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom on Game 2 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinals, in which Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin and Penguins forward Sidney Crosby each scored hat tricks
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