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Rangers hope to make amends for mistakes in Game 5

Wednesday, 05.28.2014 / 12:54 AM / Canadiens vs Rangers - 2014 Eastern Conference Final

Sean Farrell - Correspondent

MONTREAL -- The New York Rangers failed to take advantage of their first opportunity to make it to the Stanley Cup Final in 20 years on Tuesday. Fortunately for them, they have two more chances to beat the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Final.

New York lost 7-4 to Montreal in Game 5 at Bell Centre, but the Rangers hold a 3-2 series lead. Game 6 is Thursday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Trailing 4-1, New York coach Alain Vigneault pulled goalie Henrik Lundqvist before the midway point of the second period. Cam Talbot made his second relief appearance of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Rangers rallied to tie it 4-4 before Canadiens left wing Rene Bourque scored twice to complete a hat trick and David Desharnais scored into an empty net with 4:17 remaining in the third.

"We made a lot of mistakes and were lucky it was only 2-1 after the first period," Rangers right wing Martin St. Louis said. "We fought hard in the second. That's hockey sometimes. They're a good team on the other side. We had to expect them to come hard, and we struggled to adapt."

Centers playing big role in Kings' playoff run

Tuesday, 05.27.2014 / 10:26 PM / Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Two years ago, the Los Angeles Kings fashioned their own version of the old "Pittsburgh model" of roster construction en route to winning the Stanley Cup.

Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards and Jarret Stoll became Los Angeles' version of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal, and the Kings rolled through the Stanley Cup Playoffs, going 16-4 on their way to their first championship.

Late this season, coach Darryl Sutter moved Jeff Carter to center. Given the way this postseason is progressing, having four quality centers might be referred to as the "Los Angeles model" moving forward.

"Doesn't matter who we have there, we feel we match up with anybody," Carter said. "I think with the way we have it set up now, four solid lines, it's tough matchups for teams. Any of our lines can play against the top line on the opposing team. It's been working well for us. I think we found some chemistry on all our lines. I think everybody is comfortable in the roles they're in. It's been going good."

Special teams hurting Blackhawks against Kings

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup with a lagging power play before, but if they have any chance of defending their 2013 championship they must fix a broken unit in the Western Conference Final.

The Blackhawks, who've lost three straight games and trail the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 in the best-of-7 series, have allowed five power-play goals on 10 man-advantage opportunities for the Kings.

The 50-percent success rate is stunning heading into Game 5 on Wednesday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), considering the Blackhawks led the NHL postseason in killing penalties at 91.3 percent through the first two rounds, allowing four goals on 46 power plays.

Five ways Blackhawks can extend series vs. Kings

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks will have history and confidence on their side when they try to win three games on the run to escape a mess that has them on the verge of losing the Western Conference Final and forfeiting the opportunity to defend the Stanley Cup they won last June.

They begin the quest in Game 5 on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Kings at United Center (8 p.m.; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Trotz aims to build bond with Capitals' Ovechkin

Tuesday, 05.27.2014 / 7:59 PM / News

Adam Vingan - Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Barry Trotz has been coach of the Washington Capitals for less than two days. He knows his defensive-minded reputation precedes him. He also knows how important offensive-minded forward Alex Ovechkin will be to his success.

Tuesday at his introductory press conference, Trotz did not offer any particular insight into how he might employ the three-time Hart Trophy winner who led the NHL with 51 goals this season, but he's ready to figure it out.

"It starts with a relationship. I know I'm going to work at that, but it can't happen until I have a relationship with him because there's no trust," Trotz said. "To me, Alex has to trust that I'm giving him the best advice for the team, for him to grow his game.

"My job as a coach is to find a way to allow Alex and the other players to reach their potential as a group and be able to play together. One of the very fundamental things, if you have a [kindergartner], they give you your report card and they say, 'Do you play well with others?' My job is to get everybody to play well with the others."

Hurricanes sign Karlsson; Sabres sign Ullmark

Tuesday, 05.27.2014 / 5:08 PM / News

The Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday signed left wing Erik Karlsson to a three-year, entry-level contract.

On the NHL level, Karlsson will be paid $550,000 in the first year, $600,000 in the second year and $650,000 in the third year. He will receive $60,000 in the American Hockey League in year one, and $65,000 in years two and three. Karlsson receives a signing bonus of $185,000.

Richards signs two-year extension with Blue Jackets

Tuesday, 05.27.2014 / 4:22 PM / News

Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards signed a two-year contract extension Tuesday that will take him through the 2016-17 NHL season. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Richards, 47, has led Columbus to an 85-70-16 record in 171 games, including a franchise-best mark of 43-32-7 in 2013-14. The Blue Jackets qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time and won their first playoff games in taking the Pittsburgh Penguins to six games before losing an Eastern Conference First Round series.

Murphy: Kings winning net-front battles at both ends

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings, has enlisted the help of former NHL assistant coach Gord Murphy to break down the action. Murphy will be checking in throughout the series.

Murphy enjoyed a 14-season career as an NHL defenseman before spending seven seasons as an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets and most recently serving as an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers.

In the Stanley Cup Playoffs there are very few of what fans might call pretty goals. The pucks that go in are not much farther than a stick blade away from the front of the net.

According to longtime NHL assistant coach Gord Murphy, the Los Angeles Kings lead the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 in the best-of-7 Western Conference Final because they're winning the majority of the battles in front of both nets.

Corsi hired as Blues goaltending coach

Tuesday, 05.27.2014 / 11:26 AM / News

The St. Louis Blues on Tuesday named Jim Corsi goaltending coach.

Corsi, 59, spent the past 16 seasons as goaltending coach for the Buffalo Sabres, working with Vezina Trophy winners Dominik Hasek and Ryan Miller, among others.

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Quote of the Day

(The tribute) was great, brought back a lot of memories. I felt I wanted to give them the thank you they deserved. I understand the booing and it was expected. They are great fans.

— Martin St. Louis after playing his first game in Tampa Bay since being traded to the Rangers last season
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