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Stanley Cup Final
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Analysis: Hakstol can develop Flyers' young talent

Monday, 05.18.2015 / 5:36 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The idea that general manager Ron Hextall went off the board and stunned the hockey world Monday by hiring Dave Hakstol to be coach of the Philadelphia Flyers is true only because of how rare it is for teams to go outside of the NHL's insular network of coaches.

Sixteen coaches in the NHL are in at least their second stop in the League, including four who are coaching with their fourth organization. Six of the nine coaches who haven't been coaches elsewhere were at least assistants in the NHL at one point.

The three who weren't are Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche, Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and now Haksol. Roy won the Jack Adams Award last season. Cooper has the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final and was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award last season.

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Ducks' fourth line has unlikely yet successful reunion

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Jiri Sekac had not played a game in over a month. Emerson Etem was benched the previous two games. Rickard Rakell was recovering from the flu.

That's not the ideal recipe for a line to get thrown into the Western Conference Final, but it worked for the Anaheim Ducks against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1.

The fourth-line trio was reunited and coach Bruce Boudreau wasn't disappointed in a 4-1 win at Honda Center. Game 2 is Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"Well, they really gave us good energy at the proper time, before we scored our second goal," Boudreau said. "They were on the ice before Nate Thompson's line. They created the buzz in their zone. We followed that up with that shift. We ended up scoring the goal. I mean, I got to believe they'll be together at least [Tuesday]. Beyond that, I don't know what's going to happen."

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Capitals' Green enters offseason with uncertain future

Monday, 05.18.2015 / 4:08 PM / News

Katie Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green said he thinks the best years of his NHL career are ahead of him.

Green, who can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, will have to make some tough decisions about his future this summer. They could involve saying farewell to the place he's spent his entire NHL career.

"I just want to play on a competitive team that wants to win," Green said. "That's really the ultimate factor that comes into play for me, and I know that Washington's a competitive organization. It's hard to think of the uncertainty of this summer and what might happen. It's probably a little scary at times for myself to think that anything could happen."

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Worlds gave Eichel valuable experience as draft nears

Monday, 05.18.2015 / 3:50 PM / 2015 IIHF World Championship

Michael Langr - NHL.com Correspondent

PRAGUE -- When Jack Eichel arrives in Florida for the 2015 NHL Draft next month, he'll bring with him valuable experience from top-level international hockey. Eichel, NHL Central Scouting's No. 2-rated North American skater for this year's draft, performed well at the IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic, where he helped the United States win a bronze medal.

"It means a lot. I don't think anyone really thought we would be here at this position," Eichel said Sunday after he had an assist in a 3-0 win against the Czech Republic in the bronze-medal game. "For us to overcome a lot of odds and win a bronze medal in a tournament with a lot of skill and a lot of talent, it's really good for the confidence. We had a really young team. Our goaltender (Winnipeg Jets prospect Connor Hellebuyck) stepped up to play huge this entire tournament. For me personally it's really nice to get a medal from my first men's World Championship."

The 18-year old forward finished the tournament third on the United States in scoring with seven points in 10 games. Coach Todd Richards (Columbus Blue Jackets) put him on a line with forwards Trevor Lewis (Los Angeles Kings) and Brock Nelson (New York Islanders), and they developed into the best American line.

"Obviously there was a lot of good players around me that made me pretty successful here," Eichel said. "I've played with two NHLers and they helped me a lot. Not only them but everybody in the locker room. The coaches put me in really good situations."

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Melnyk appreciative of fans' efforts in liver search

Monday, 05.18.2015 / 2:50 PM / News

OttawaSenators.com

The Ottawa Senators issued the following statement on the health of owner Eugene Melnyk

We lead such busy lives in today's world it is often a challenge to appreciate how important and vitally dependent we are on being in good health.

The past few months have presented me with the greatest challenge of my life and up until most recently, it has been very personal and private.

Over the last few weeks, my declining health became considerably more critical and urgent. During this time, my family and a few very close friends have worked tirelessly to help save my life.

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Chabot: Andersen gave Ducks a chance in Game 1

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

For additional insight into the Anaheim Ducks during the Western Conference Final series, NHL.com 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.

The Anaheim Ducks are in the Western Conference Final for the first time since winning the Stanley Cup in 2007. Save for forwards Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, and defenseman Francois Beauchemin, no other current Ducks players were on that 2007 roster.

That may have been why the Ducks got off to a slow start in Game 1 on Sunday against the Chicago Blackhawks, but goalie Frederik Andersen made several key saves to lead the Ducks through the rough patch and instill confidence in his teammates, according to Frederic Chabot.

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Flyers hire college veteran Hakstol as new coach

Monday, 05.18.2015 / 2:12 PM / News

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Dave Hakstol was named coach of the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday.

Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said he wasn't interested in hiring a big-name coach, he wanted the right coach. And he said in making the announcement that he believes he found him.

"I wasn't going to choose the coach that was the people's choice, the popular choice," Hextall said. "I was going to pick the coach that I felt like for this franchise from today, next year and moving forward was the right coach. And Dave is the right coach for this franchise at this point."

Hakstol spent the previous 11 seasons as coach of the University of North Dakota. He replaces Craig Berube, who had been fired April 17 after two seasons.

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Three keys for Rangers, Lightning to winning Game 2

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Sunday that watching the replay of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final made him want to vomit because of how poorly he felt his team played against the New York Rangers.

The Lightning have a chance in Game 2 on Monday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) to put on a better show and even the best-of-7 series at 1-1 before it shifts to Tampa for Game 3 and 4 later this week.

Here are three keys for the Lightning in Game 2 that, if executed properly, will give them a chance to make their coach feel better and, more importantly, an opportunity to show the Rangers this will be a difficult series.

Below also are three keys for the Rangers that, if executed properly, give them their best chance to move within two wins of their second consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

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Palmieri delivers to spark Ducks to Game 1 win

Monday, 05.18.2015 / 12:08 PM / "Obvious Choice" Moments

NHL.com

The Anaheim Ducks won the Pacific Division and owned the best record in the Western Conference powered by their one-two punch of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. But in the Ducks' 4-1 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final, they showed off their depth with the third line combining for two goals and two assists.

The win was especially sweet for third-line right wing Kyle Palmieri, who scored 14 goals in 57 regular-season games but none in nine Stanley Cup Playoff games. When Palmieri connected at 4:17 of the second period, it was his first goal since March 28.

Trailing by a goal, the Blackhawks were making a push until Nate Thompson collected the puck and found Palmieri, who made it 2-0 Anaheim with a sliding shot that beat goalie Corey Crawford.

"It started with [linemate Andrew Cogliano]," Palmieri said after the game. "He had some good speed on the entry. I threw a puck at the net and it bounced off their pads and it kind of just cycled off that. We got the puck low and Nate made a great play taking the puck to the net and throwing it from a bad angle. The puck popped out, I was lucky enough to get it over his shoulder."

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Noel: Blackhawks must get secondary scorers going

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

For additional insight on the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final, NHL.com has enlisted the help of Claude Noel to break down the action. Noel will be checking in throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Noel was coach for the Winnipeg Jets from 2011-14 and interim coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2009-10. He also coached many years in the minor leagues, including the American Hockey League. In addition, Noel, a former forward, had 138 points in 353 regular-season games in the AHL and played seven games in the NHL with Washington Capitals in 1979-80.

The Chicago Blackhawks will need to get secondary scoring across the board if they are to have any chance of defeating the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference Final.

That's what Claude Noel strongly believes needs to happen in Game 2 at Honda Center on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

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Quote of the Day

I look forward to the process, the battle, the pain, the fun, the journey.  It's going to be a long one but it's going to be a lot of fun. If you think there is no pain coming, there is pain coming.

— Mike Babcock, introduced as coach of the Toronto on Thursday, had a warning for fans