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Sharks-Kings series casts spotlight on California kids

LOS ANGELES -- When Matt Nieto watched games during the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, there was a good chance one of his old pals was on the television screen. Three of Nieto's former teammates with the L.A. Hockey Club, a trave...

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Kings vow they won't go quietly

LOS ANGELES -- There wasn't a sense of shock in a nearly-empty Los Angeles Kings dressing room. Perhaps that's because they long ago realized what they're up against with the San Jose Sharks in this Western Conference First Round series. The Ki...

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Canadiens' Pacioretty writes own story with winner

MONTREAL -- Max Pacioretty would have remembered his first career goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs no matter how it was scored. The way he did it will make that memory much nicer. Pacioretty scored a power-play goal with 42.6 seconds to play...

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Rangers' shot-blockers foil Flyers in Game 3

PHILADELPHIA -- Before the Philadelphia Flyers' skilled shooters can even think about beating New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, they'll have to figure out a way to outsmart the first line of defense and get pucks on the net. The Rangers...

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Stamkos optimistic about Lightning's future

MONTREAL -- A difficult season for Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos came to a disappointing end Tuesday night. Stamkos could only watch in frustration as Max Pacioretty's power-play goal with 42.6 seconds left in regulation gave the Mont...

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Red Wings lament bad first period in Game 3 loss

DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard had no idea what was coming as he sat in the home dressing room prior to the start of Game 3 on Tuesday. "I thought we were ready to go in here," Howard said. "You could sense that everyone was f...

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Bruins defenseman Hamilton proves to be quick study

DETROIT -- Boston Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton is a quick learner. That attribute, combined with his immense ability, allowed him to become a regular in the NHL as a 19-year-old in 2012-13 and a top-pair defenseman in his second season. It...

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Mason could start in goal for Flyers in Game 4

PHILADELPHIA -- Steve Mason may reclaim his role as starting goaltender when the Philadelphia Flyers host the New York Rangers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series at Wells Fargo Center. Mason saw his first action of the serie...

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Stars' Ryan Garbutt savoring first trip to playoffs

FRISCO, Texas -- No one on the Dallas Stars is enjoying the franchise's first trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2008 more than forward Ryan Garbutt. That's probably because he had to work so hard to get there. Five years ago, Garbutt had f...

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Ducks have options on defense to replace Robidas

DALLAS -- The loss of defenseman Stephane Robidas early in the second period of Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday left the Anaheim Ducks with a big void at their blue line. Robidas is gone...

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Toews-Kane tandem comfortable fit for Blackhawks

CHICAGO -- Playing forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane together has become like pulling out a trusty, comfortable pair of slippers for Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. Their chemistry, developed over seven years together with the...

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Ramsay: Blackhawks in good position to win series

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks, NHL.com has enlisted the help of former NHL coach Craig Ramsay to break down the action. Ramsay will be checking in throughout the serie...

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Johnson front and center in Blue Jackets' revival

COLUMBUS -- Defenseman Jack Johnson joined the Columbus Blue Jackets at one of the rock-bottom moments for the franchise, but instead of shying from the challenge of being part of the turnaround, he embraced it. Monday night, before a frenzied ...

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Five Questions: Blues' Oshie talks playoffs, family

NHL.com's weekly Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game today and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news. The latest edition features St. Louis...

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Blackhawks' Crawford answers own challenge

CHICAGO -- Corey Crawford took it upon himself to say he needed to be better if the Chicago Blackhawks were going to mount a comeback against the St. Louis Blues after blowing leads and losing in overtime in Games 1 and 2. "We're not going to w...

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Blues focus on Blackhawks, not last season's exit

CHICAGO -- The St. Louis Blues' course through the first three games of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs has an eerily similar feel to the path that resulted in their early postseason exit last season. It was Game 3 of the 2013 Western Conference ...

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McCarthy: Challenges awaiting Canadiens, Lightning

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens, NHL.com has enlisted the help of longtime NHL assistant/associate coach Kevin McCarthy to break down the action. McCarthy will be ch...

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Five issues Kings must address heading into Game 3

LOS ANGELES -- Because of their ability to possess the puck and their playoff pedigree, the Los Angeles Kings were a popular pick for a deep run in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. After two lopsided losses to the San Jose Sharks to open their W...

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Canadiens' patience with Eller, Bourque paying off

BROSSARD, Quebec -- There were times this season when Lars Eller and Rene Bourque might have wondered whether they would even be in the Montreal Canadiens lineup when the Stanley Cup Playoffs began. Those times were not so long ago. But now,...

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Sharks avoid overconfidence heading into L.A.

SAN JOSE -- Now the hard part begins for the San Jose Sharks. After routing the Los Angeles Kings in back-to-back games at SAP Center to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series, the Sharks face two straight gam...

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Cooper confident Lightning can extend series

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...

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Columbus ready to rock as playoff hockey returns

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 througho...

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Fourth line sparks Sharks in Game 2 rout of Kings

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 ...

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Subban sparks Canadiens with highlight-reel assist

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 ...

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Stamkos: Lightning determined not to be swept

MONTREAL -- The Tampa Bay Lightning were frustrated and disappointed Sunday after a 3-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens left them in a three-game hole in their Eastern Conference First Round series. But after playing their best game so far, they...

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Blues' Jackman has knack for timely playoff goals

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 d...

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Five ways Chicago can get back into its series

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. "You're almost there," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. ...

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Ramsay: Leddy can help overcome loss of Seabrook

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks, NHL.com has enlisted the help of former NHL coach Craig Ramsay to break down the action. Ramsay will be checking in throughout the serie...

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Stastny thriving with MacKinnon, Landeskog

DENVER -- Rookie forward Nathan MacKinnon is the teenage wunderkind with blazing speed. Gabriel Landeskog is the young captain, power forward and local heartthrob with the flowing locks. Paul Stastny? He's the unsung member of the Colorado Aval...

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Blackhawks face uphill battle without Seabrook

CHICAGO -- With one illegal hit late in the third period Saturday, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook may have changed the fate of two teams who believe they can win the Stanley Cup this season. He certainly changed the fate of two pl...

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Rangers lament missed opportunities on power play

NEW YORK -- Early in Game 2 against the Philadelphia Flyers, the New York Rangers appeared on their way to capturing a 2-0 series lead in their Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round series. But as the game wore on, they struggled to capitalize on their...

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Flyers' Akeson redeems himself in Game 2 win

NEW YORK -- Philadelphia Flyers rookie forward Jason Akeson enjoyed his postgame media session far more Sunday than he did Thursday. Akeson scored the game-tying goal in Game 2 of the Flyers' Eastern Conference First Round Stanley Cup Playoff s...

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Stars upbeat despite two-game deficit vs. Ducks

FRISCO, Texas -- The Dallas Stars trail their best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series against the Anaheim Ducks 2-0, but the Stars don't sound like a team trailing in a series. "To be honest, we feel good," Stars rookie right wing Alex ...

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Blackhawks face major challenge after two OT losses

ST. LOUIS -- The Chicago Blackhawks have the type of composure and swagger befitting a team that has won the Stanley Cup twice since 2010. Now they need to show their thick skin and resiliency as well. The Blackhawks were hoping to win at least...

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Blues use smarts rather than emotion to win Game 2

ST. LOUIS -- They saw their captain down, victimized by a hard, high and illegal hit into the end boards. This was not good, not ever. The St. Louis Blues' players don't want to trade the skill, size, strength and heart of David Backes for anyo...

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Pavelski continues to play big role in Sharks' success

SAN JOSE -- The Los Angeles Kings were the best possession team in the NHL this season. Teams generally create more shot attempts per minute after offensive-zone faceoffs, especially faceoff wins, than at any point during a game, and the Kings are...

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McCarthy: First goal, beating trap keys for Lightning

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens, NHL.com has enlisted the help of longtime NHL assistant/associate coach Kevin McCarthy to break down the action. McCarthy will be ch...

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Canadiens know perils of coming home with 2-0 lead

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Three years ago, the sixth-seeded Montreal Canadiens came home with a 2-0 series lead against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Bell Centre was rocking when the Canadiens and Bruins took the ice for Gam...

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Pearn: Kings need fewer turnovers, more zone time

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings, NHL.com has enlisted the help of former NHL coach Perry Pearn to break down the action. Pearn will be checking in throughout the series. ...

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Lightning hope to have Palat to challenge Canadiens

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning are hoping to have rookie forward Ondrej Palat back in the lineup when they play the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference First Round series on Sunday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS, SUN). The C...

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