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Cooper confident Lightning can extend series

Monday, 04.21.2014 / 4:05 PM / Lightning vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP First Round

James Murphy - Correspondent

MONTREAL -- As Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos fielded questions from a large media scrum outside the Lightning dressing room after practice at Bell Centre on Monday, his coach, Jon Cooper, made his way to the front of the scrum without Stamkos noticing him.

"Any questions from the rookie reporter?" the reporter next to Cooper asked.

"How you feeling today?" Cooper asked using a water bottle as a mic.

"Ah, I feel better than I did yesterday. I'll probably be a game-time decision," Stamkos said, laughing.

Another reporter then asked, "How do you think the coach has done in this series?"

"I'd like to get out there a little more. I'm not complaining. We'll see," Stamkos said with a smile.

This was just another example of how Cooper, a potential Jack Adams Award candidate, is keeping things loose and positive despite his team heading into Game 4 on Tuesday down 3-0 in their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens.


Columbus ready to rock as playoff hockey returns

Monday, 04.21.2014 / 1:59 PM / Penguins vs Blue Jackets - 2014 SCP First Round

Craig Merz - Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- Fans began lining up at 5 a.m. Monday outside Nationwide Arena for the few tickets the Columbus Blue Jackets hold back every game day.

By 10 a.m., a radio station had put up a tent near the ticket office to host programming throughout the day, and inside the home of the Blue Jackets, the red, white and blue bunting had been installed around the arena seating.

Monday is no ordinary day in Blue Jackets history, because the first Stanley Cup Playoff game in nearly five years is coming to Columbus.


2014 NHL Awards return to Las Vegas on June 24

Broadcaster George Stroumboulopoulos to host event at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas

Monday, 04.21.2014 / 12:40 PM / 2014 NHL Awards

NEW YORK -- The NHL Awards™ return to Las Vegas this summer at the world-famous Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, the National Hockey League announced today. Renowned television and radio broadcaster George Stroumboulopoulos, the recently-named host of the NHL on Rogers, will host the NHL Awards, which will be held on Tuesday, June 24, at the Encore Theater. The NHL Awards will air live at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on NBCSN in the U.S. and CBC in Canada.

When the biggest stars from the NHL® and hockey fans from around the world descend on Las Vegas in June, it will mark the fifth time the NHL has honored the best hockey players in the world and the top performances of the season in Las Vegas, the second year at Wynn Las Vegas, and the sixth year of a successful partnership with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).

A first-time host of the NHL Awards, Stroumboulopoulos, popular in Canada and the U.S. for his work as a television and radio broadcaster as well as an advocate of numerous charitable efforts, is no stranger to hockey. Beginning October 2014, the long-time NHL fan, with a particular affinity for the Montreal Canadiens, will anchor NHL coverage on Rogers, including hosting Hockey Night in Canada. Strombo also will be the studio anchor for Sunday night NHL Hometown Hockey broadcasts on City, and will host additional NHL broadcasts on Sportsnet and other Rogers networks and platforms.


Fourth line sparks Sharks in Game 2 rout of Kings

Monday, 04.21.2014 / 2:38 AM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Eric Gilmore - Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks were down 2-0 and looking for a spark when the second period began in Game 2 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Los Angeles Kings.

The fourth line of center Andrew Desjardins and forwards Raffi Torres and Mike Brown lit the match that ignited a seven-goal explosion and a 7-2 victory for the Sharks on Sunday night.

Brown scored the first playoff goal of his career at 4:25 of the second period, and Torres scored less than five minutes later as the Sharks pulled even. Desjardins assisted on each goal.


Subban sparks Canadiens with highlight-reel assist

Monday, 04.21.2014 / 1:19 AM / Lightning vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP First Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- P.K. Subban could have wound up benched.

The Montreal Canadiens defenseman has certainly found himself glued to Michel Therrien's bench on similar plays to the one he made near the end of the second period of a 3-2 win in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Bell Centre on Sunday night.

Instead of being benched, however, Subban set up a goal that demoralized the Lightning, coming 2:32 after an apparent go-ahead goal for Tampa Bay had been disallowed and 2:01 after Lightning captain Steven Stamkos left the game with an injury, though he eventually returned for the third period.


Stamkos returns after injury in second period

Monday, 04.21.2014 / 12:12 AM / Lightning vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP First Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos left Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens at 16:09 of the second period with an injury.

Stamkos was skating through the neutral zone when he got tangled up with Canadiens forward Brandon Prust and fell. As he was falling, Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin was skating back toward his own zone when he tried to step over Stamkos and struck him in the head with his right knee.

Blues' Jackman has knack for timely playoff goals

Sunday, 04.20.2014 / 11:18 PM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Louie Korac - Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Asked if his game-winning goal Saturday in the Western Conference First Round against the Chicago Blackhawks meant more than the one he scored against the Los Angeles Kings in the conference quarterfinals a year ago, St. Louis Blues defenseman Barret Jackman offered a proper perspective.

"I'll let you know at the end of the playoffs," Jackman said with a smile.

Like his goal a year ago, the goal against the Blackhawks put St. Louis up 2-0 in a best-of-7 series. But the Blues lost four straight to the Kings last year and saw their season end. They hope history doesn't repeat itself this year, and they can take a step toward that goal by beating the Blackhawks in Game 3 of their first-round series Monday (8:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, CBC, RDSI, FS-MW, CSN-CH).


Five ways Chicago can get back into its series

Sunday, 04.20.2014 / 8:15 PM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- Add it up and the Chicago Blackhawks are exactly 1:51.4 away from having a 2-0 lead in their best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series against the St. Louis Blues.d.

You know the saying about when "almost" counts, and it's not in horseshoes, hand grenades and hockey. "Almost" wasn't good enough for the Blackhawks to win either game at Scottrade Center. They gave up one-goal leads late in regulation in each game and wound up losing in overtime.

What do the Blackhawks have to do to get back in the series, to turn what they almost did in St. Louis into something they actually do in Chicago?


Ramsay: Leddy can help overcome loss of Seabrook

Sunday, 04.20.2014 / 7:49 PM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- Losing defenseman Brent Seabrook for three games is a bigger blow for the Chicago Blackhawks than the St. Louis Blues' potentially losing center David Backes for an indeterminate amount of time, longtime NHL coach Craig Ramsay said.

Seabrook was suspended three games by the NHL's Department of Player Safety for his illegal hit on Backes with 4:51 to play in regulation of Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round series on Saturday.

Backes is questionable for Game 3 and beyond. Seabrook, who leads Chicago with four points and has played more than 60 minutes through two games, definitely won't play.

Ramsay said the best way for the Blackhawks to adjust to Seabrook's loss is to put more faith in defenseman Nick Leddy, who has averaged less than 12 minutes of regulation ice time per game in the series while playing on Chicago's third defense pair with Michal Rozsival.

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My focus is always just to play as well as I can and do my job, no matter where the faceoff is.

— New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin on using his speed to his advantage
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