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Bruins' Rask, Canadiens' Price draw on past success

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 4:12 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- The hockey world was allowed to witness a goaltending clash between Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins and Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens once this season.

Rask faced the Canadiens four times. Price faced the Bruins once, as the schedule and Montreal coach Michel Therrien's desire to play backup Peter Budaj in an environment he's comfortable in at TD Garden conspired to keep the Canadiens' No. 1 on the bench for three other Boston-Montreal games.

While Price was leading Canada to the gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and Rask was carrying Finland to a bronze, their paths didn't cross on the ice (although Price said they had some chats in the mess hall).

Finally, the Stanley Cup Playoffs have given many fans what they've been waiting for: Rask vs. Price in a best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series, which starts Thursday at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

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Blackhawks' Versteeg focused on returning to lineup

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 3:33 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks got back on the ice Wednesday after taking two days off between series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Forward Kris Versteeg skated on the fourth line at right wing during line rushes and looks to get back in the lineup for the start of the Western Conference Second Round.

Versteeg, who was reacquired during the first quarter of the regular season in a trade with the Florida Panthers, was a surprising scratch Sunday in Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series against the St. Louis Blues. Instead, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville went with rookie forward Joakim Nordstrom, who made his postseason debut at right wing on the fourth line.

"You just have to get ready for the next one," Versteeg said. "Obviously you always want to play, but you have to understand what the coach feels and what's best for the team. It's something you want to fight through and come back and be a factor in helping the team."

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Bruins' hatred of Canadiens not openly returned

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 3:09 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The rivalry between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens appears to be rather one-sided.

Not necessarily in terms of wins and losses, even though the Canadiens have won six of their past seven games against the Bruins, but more in the sense of how emotional the rivalry is in each camp.

The Bruins are not shy to say they hate the Canadiens, with coach Claude Julien openly saying so Tuesday and forward Milan Lucic admitting as much Wednesday as the teams prepared for the start of their Eastern Conference Second Round series Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

“Yeah, I mean I do,” Lucic said Wednesday in Boston. “If you ask them the same question, I’m sure they’d give you the same answer about if they hate us. You know it’s just natural for me being here for seven years now, and just being a part of this organization."

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McCarthy: Home ice has its disadvantages for Bruins

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 12:56 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens, NHL.com enlisted the help of longtime NHL assistant/associate coach Kevin McCarthy.

McCarthy played in more than 500 NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks and Pittsburgh Penguins, then spent a decade as an assistant and associate coach with the Carolina Hurricanes, where he was a member of the staff that led them to a Stanley Cup championship in 2006. He joined the Flyers as an assistant during the 2009-10 season and stayed in Philadelphia until October 2013.

Teams play the regular season in order to not only earn a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but also to have home-ice advantage.

Except in the case of the Eastern Conference Second Round series between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens, Kevin McCarthy thinks home ice might in fact be a disadvantage for the Bruins, at least to start the series.

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'Cupnappers' help NHL find new commercial voice

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 11:42 AM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Davis Harper - NHL.com Staff Writer

Like the majority of New York Rangers fans this time of year, Nick Kroll had been dreaming about Mark Messier lifting the Stanley Cup in 1994.

"I had a dream one night that Mark Messier came to me and he was holding the Stanley Cup, the '94 Cup," Kroll said. "It was like when I was kid, but I was my age now. And he said to me, 'Go find this, and take this.'"

With a little help from the NHL and NBC, Kroll did exactly as The Captain commanded. The comedian and actor teamed with longtime comedy cohorts Seth Morris and Charlie Sanders to "lift" the Cup from its velvet-lined case as part of a viral video released on April Fools' Day to promote the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Jagr, Malhotra and Moore named Masterton finalists

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 11:00 AM / 2014 NHL Awards

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- Jaromir Jagr of the New Jersey Devils, Manny Malhotra of the Carolina Hurricanes and Dominic Moore of the New York Rangers are the three finalists for the 2013-14 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded "to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey," the National Hockey League announced today.

A $2,500 grant from the Professional Hockey Writers' Association (PHWA) is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.

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Triple-header of Game 7s set for Wednesday

Long-time rivals Rangers, Flyers to clash in Game 7 for first time since 1974

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 9:43 AM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers will contest Game 7 of their Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round series tonight at Madison Square Garden in New York (7 p.m., ET, NBCSN, TSN2, RDS), opening a triple-header that also features the Colorado Avalanche hosting the Minnesota Wild (9:30 p.m., ET, CNBC, TSN2, RDS) and the San Jose Sharks welcoming the Los Angeles Kings (10 p.m., ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS2). It marks the fifth time in NHL history and first time since April 22, 2003, that three or more Game 7s will be played on the same day.

This marks the fourth consecutive year that at least three Stanley Cup Playoff first-round series have extended to the limit, capping a thrilling two weeks that have featured 27 comeback wins in the 45 games contested (60%), including a first-round record 10 multi-goal comeback victories, six game-tying goals in the final 2:00 of regulation and 13 overtime games spread over seven series. The 20 seven-game series in the first round since 2008 is nearly triple the number of four-game sweeps (seven) over the same span.

For the first time in 40 years, the long-time division-rival Rangers and Flyers will meet in a Game 7. On May 5, 1974, the Flyers defeated the Rangers 4-3 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia to win their Semifinal series and advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history. Two weeks later, the Flyers became the first expansion team to claim the championship in a six-game triumph over Boston.

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It's such a privilege to be one of these 80 great players to do this milestone, and it doesn't get better than this doing it where I started. It means a lot to me. A big thanks goes to all the players tonight who helped me to achieve that and also all the players through my career.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa after scoring his 1,000th career point on Thursday night in Ottawa
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