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Elliott, Allen aim to end Blues playoff struggles in goal

Monday, 03.30.2015 / 3:00 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

Louie Korac - Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- When St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock decided to start rookie goalie Jake Allen in a recent set of back-to-back games against the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins, that looming question that seems to hover around the Gateway City came to light again.

"Is there a goalie controversy in St. Louis?"

The question is understandable, considering the events of the past couple of seasons involving Jaroslav Halak, Brian Elliott and last season, when the Blues traded for Ryan Miller.

Elliott always seemed to be in the middle of those events, but Hitchcock made no mistake when asked: Elliott will be the guy going forward into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and Allen will be right there as the capable backup to give the Blues a formidable 1-2 punch.


Around the League notebook for Sunday, March 29

Monday, 03.30.2015 / 12:14 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


The Washington Capitals defeated the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins defeated the Carolina Hurricanes in overtime. Washington, which occupies the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, improved to 41-25-10 (92 points) and Boston, which holds the second wild-card spot in the East, improved to 38-25-13 (89 points).

* With the game knotted at 2-2 heading into the third period, the Capitals scored three unanswered goals to defeat the New York Rangers 5-2.

* Alex Ovechkin (2-0—2) opened the scoring with an even-strength goal and added a power-play marker to record his League-leading 14th multigoal game of the season. Ovechkin leads the League in goals (49) and power-play goals (22).


Gillies, Welman lead Providence to Frozen Four

Sunday, 03.29.2015 / 11:42 PM / News

Connor Mellas - Correspondent

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Less than 24 hours after giving up five goals to Miami, Providence goaltender Jon Gillies was back on his game.

Gillies, a third-round pick (No. 75) by the Calgary Flames in the 2012 NHL Draft, made 23 saves Sunday to lead the Friars to a 4-1 victory against Denver in the NCAA East Regional final, sending Providence to the Frozen Four for the first time in 30 years. Providence will face Nebraska-Omaha in one of two national semifinal games.

Gillies, a junior, leads all Hockey East goaltenders with a .929 save percentage and a 2.01 goals-against average. He had no trouble shaking off the wild ending to the semifinal game against Miami, in which the RedHawks nearly overcame a four-goal deficit in the third period.


Providence, Nebraska-Omaha win, make Frozen Four

Sunday, 03.29.2015 / 11:02 PM / News

Tom Parisi scored a tie-breaking power-play goal with 5:01 left and Providence College defeated Denver 4-1 on Sunday to win the NCAA East Regional final and advance to the Frozen Four.

Providence (23-13-3), of Hockey East, will face Nebraska-Omaha, which defeated Rochester Institute of Technology 4-0 in the Midwest Regional final later Sunday, on April 9 at TD Garden in Boston. North Dakota will play Boston University in the other semifinal.


Panthers agree to terms with forward Kyle Rau

Sunday, 03.29.2015 / 12:38 PM / News

SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida Panthers Executive Vice President and General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the club has agreed to terms with F Kyle Rau on an entry-level contract. Rau will report to San Antonio (AHL) on an amateur try-out.

“We are very pleased to have agreed to an entry level contract with Kyle,” said Tallon. “He played extremely well at the University of Minnesota, leading the Gophers to back-to-back Big Ten regular-season championships and four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. He is another one of our young and talented prospects who is prepared to take the next step in his hockey career.”

Rau, 22, played in 160 games for the University of Minnesota (2011-2015), recording 164 points (67-97—164).

To read more from the Florida Panthers website, CLICK HERE.


Penguins defenseman Letang out with concussion

Sunday, 03.29.2015 / 12:32 PM / News

Wes Crosby - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is out indefinitely after sustaining a concussion against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.

With 4:45 remaining in the second period, Coyotes forward Shane Doan shoved Letang to the ice, causing the defenseman to fall backward. Letang’s head snapped back into the end boards when he made contact with the ice, where he sat for several minutes while being treated by team trainers.

Penguins forward Steve Downie, who later fought Doan, and defenseman Rob Scuderi, helped Letang to his skates and to the runway. He struggled to walk toward the Pittsburgh locker room before being taken to a hospital.

“Watching the hit … It was just him going back,” Penguins coach Mike Johnston said. “It was just such a distance from the boards. When he landed and his head snapped back into the boards that was the main impact of the injury. We’ll see how he feels over the next couple of days and go from there.”


Playoff clinching scenarios for Sunday, March 29

Sunday, 03.29.2015 / 11:26 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

With 14 days remaining in the regular season, there are 12 berths up for grabs in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs:

Clubs that can clinch their spots Sunday:

* The Tampa Bay Lightning would clinch a playoff berth if the Boston Bruins lose to the Carolina Hurricanes in regulation.


Around the League notebook for Saturday, March 28

Sunday, 03.29.2015 / 10:46 AM / News


* Frederik Andersen made 29 saves and Andrew Cogliano's second period goal stood as the game-winner for the Anaheim Ducks, who clinched a playoff berth with a 3-2 win against the New York Islanders. The League-leading Ducks (48-22-7, 103 points) reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 11th time in franchise history and third consecutive season.

* Andersen improved to 33-11-5 with a 2.40 goals-against average and .914 save percentage, and has won three of his past four starts.

* Rickard Rakell and Kyle Palmieri also scored for the Ducks. Palmieri's goal was his 14th of the season, matching his career-high set last season.


Hanifin finishes freshman year at Boston College

Sunday, 03.29.2015 / 10:27 AM / Prospects

Connor Mellas - Correspondent

PROVIDENCE -- Boston College’s offensive zone possession collapsed, and suddenly, Denver forward Daniel Doremus faced a stretch of wide-open ice. With a few seconds remaining in the second period, Doremus skated through the neutral zone and into Eagles territory, focusing his attention on the only player in front of the net, BC goaltender Thatcher Demko.

He should have been more worried about who was behind him.

BC freshman defenseman Noah Hanifin skated about 130 feet and caught Doremus before he could challenge Demko, defusing the threat with a sweeping poke check.

“The puck is transitioning, and he picked it up,” Hanifin said. “I saw the trail guy behind, so I didn’t know if it was going to be a 2-on-1 or not, so I was kind of pacing myself because I didn’t want to go to him and have him throw it across for an open guy. I looked back and [Michael Matheson] was there, so I told him to go to him, and I basically got stick on puck and luckily, the puck went into the corner.”


Playoff Countdown: Predators, Ducks, Canadiens in

Sunday, 03.29.2015 / 3:00 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

Saturday, April 11, marks the conclusion to the 2014-15 regular season. Yet, much remains to be decided in the frantic run to the finish line, including playoff positioning and numerous individual accomplishments and milestones. To celebrate the countdown to the end of the season and the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 15, will provide a piece of playoff-related content each day.

Three teams joined the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday.

The Nashville Predators, Anaheim Ducks and Montreal Canadiens assured themselves of playing beyond April 11 by clinching playoff berths.

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Quote of the Day

Now we have an 'X' next to our name, which is nice. Now we have to keep trying to climb and catch these guys.

— Lightning goalie Ben Bishop on clinching a Stanley Cup Playoff berth and trailing the Canadiens by one point for the division lead
AMP No Bull Moment of the Week