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Avalanche, Wild brace for absence of Barrie, Cooke (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:11:13 PDT)
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The momentum of this first-round playoff series has shifted to Minnesota. For the Wild to keep their edge, or for the Colorado Avalanche to recapture their advantage, they'll have to come up with a counter for the loss of an important player. Wild left wing Matt Cooke was summoned for a hearing at the NHL office in New York regarding his kneeing penalty that injured Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie on Monday night in Game 3.The league said Cooke's meeting will be Wednesday. Avalanche coach Patrick Roy maintained Tuesday his stance from the night before, that the knee-on-knee incident in the open ice during the second period was the most important moment in Minnesota's 1-0 overtime win.

Wings' Alfredsson out for Game 3 vs. Bruins (Comcast SportsNet New England)
(Tue, 22 Apr 2014 08:51:41 PDT)
DETROIT The Red Wings will be without one of their key veterans for Game 3 as Daniel Alfredsson will be out for Tuesday nights game against the Bruins at Joe Louis Arena. Normally its a cranky back with the 41-year-old Swedish winger, but Detroit coach Mike Babcock didnt specify what the ailment was for Alfredsson this time around. In his place the Red Wings will insert Joakim Andersson, who hasnt yet appeared in the first round series for Detroit. Andersson will slot in on a line with Darren Helm and Tomas Jurco, and gives the Wings some needed intangibles given the fact hes a bit healthier than Alfredsson.

Flyers-Rangers Game 3: 5 things you need to know (Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia)
(Mon, 21 Apr 2014 17:06:46 PDT)
The Flyers will try to take advantage of home ice when their first-round playoff series with the New York Rangers shifts from Broadway to Broad Street on Tuesday night. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center. With No. 1 netminder Steve Mason still recovering from an upper-body injury, the Flyers will again turn to backup Ray Emery to patrol the crease. But thats not really an issue because Emery has arguably been the Flyers' best player in the first two games of their series with New York.

Barry Trotz says goodbye; Senators falling apart; MacKinnon in arcade mode (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:40:14 PDT)
Here are your Puck Headlines: a glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

Mason not ready for Game 3; Emery to start again (Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia)
(Mon, 21 Apr 2014 10:38:17 PDT)
VOORHEES, N.J. -- When the Flyers take the ice at the Wells Fargo Center for Game 3 of their first-round series against the New York Rangers, Steve Mason will again be watching from the stands. As much as the goalie who started 61 games for the Flyers this season wanted to be able to suit up Tuesday night, he just wont be ready. You know how you feel when youre done practice, Mason said. The Flyers say only that Mason has an upper-body injury.

What We Learned: Boston Bruins hypocrisy already dialed up to 11 (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 21 Apr 2014 06:26:19 PDT)
Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it. As if things hadn't gone sideways enough in Boston when Shawn Thornton slew-footed and concussed Brooks Orpik just days after talking about how he's viewed as being almost too honorable -- and in doing so highlighted everything that's awful about this current iteration of the Bruins. As if they needed the help being hated. There was no need at all for Milan Lucic to spear Danny DeKeyser in the nuts. None whatsoever. But that he did it at all shouldn't come as any kind of a surprise because this is Milan Lucic we're talking about here. You'll have to recall that he tried to spear Alexei Emelin in the same spot less than a month ago , and this too was a gutless sneak attack from behind that ended with Lucic casually skating away as though he'd done nothing wrong. In both cases, he was not assessed a penalty because of his diabolical away-from-the-play approach to Dr. Hook-ing his opponents McCrackens, and received no supplementary discipline for the Emelin run-in. He has now been suspended twice in his career, and fined twice. He also intentionally ran into Ryan Miller at 6,000 miles per hour and received no supplementary discipline for reasons that continue to baffle to this day. Which makes his protestations that he doesn't “make a habit” of dirty play, and spearing in particular, and “believe[s] in playing within the rules” a remarkably hot load of garbage. Milan Lucic is a player who has no respect for his opponents. Period. He also happens to be a very good power forward who scores a lot of goals for one of the best teams in the league, and a big guy who can play some very physical hockey. But if he was smaller, or European maybe, or didn't put up the numbers, the amount of times you'd hear “rat” in association with his name around this league would be off the charts. He is a rat, the worst kind of actor in the league because he repeatedly plays to hurt, in the cheapest ways possible, and then pulls an aww shucks attitude whenever he's called to account for it. Which, again, isn't often. And all that leads to a lot of intellectual dishonesty. Any sentence that starts with , “It’s just funny. I never do that, I haven’t done that,” and exactly zero words later concludes, “but unfortunately I’ve done it twice in the last little bit here,” shows an amount of cognitive dissonance that should really be studied by scientists. He also took a moment to note that he too has been on the receiving end of spears like this, saying, “It happens more times than not.” Perhaps only Abraham Zapruder has the video evidence though, because I've never seen any of it. But a lot of the reason for it is that people will turn away from it, and let his continued malfeasance go uncriticized. The NHL Department of Player Safety let this pattern of his getting off lightly continue unabated, when you consider that two separate and escalating spearing incidents (the DeKeyser incident being notably worse than Emelin's) about three weeks apart lost him zero games and just $5,000. For a player making Lucic money ($6 million), that's only about one-sixth of his pay for a single day of work this season. One can't and shouldn't expect any real accountability on the play — if you want to call it that given how far outside the bounds of hockey it fell — to come from his coaches. Maybe during the regular season, but certainly not during the playoffs, when Claude Julien has to swear up and down he never saw the spear, either live or on video, because you gotta have your guy's back. Everyone gets that, even if it does make for an eye-rolling quote. This is also true of the Bruins at large, because any time anyone even looks at them crooked they can't help complaining about it for some time (remember, Lucic was still whining about the alleged Emelin low-bridge that prompted the spear two days on). In a between-periods interview during Game 1, Marchand was already bemoaning the amount of hooking and holding the Red Wings were getting away with. And to their credit, the actual Boston media for once didn't fall all over itself to defend Lucic from those who would call his character into question. There was a lot of calling it a “bad” thing that happened, and someone even said that this kind of play had no place in the game. They were not quite so eager the first time this happened a few weeks back, and instead dutifully nodded in assent when Lucic call Emelin a chicken, as is their wont. But save for one dumbass mouth-breather proselytizing fanboy “Well I played the game, and...” Boston.com correspondent idiot who said that this is just what happens in playoff hockey (story not linked here for reasons which should be obvious), no one took to the ramparts to dump hot oil on Lucic's detractors as they did for Shawn Thornton. That tells you a lot, in and of itself, about the kind of puke Lucic was on this play. But the condemnations were also lacking, whether because this is just the kind of thing they expect in the playoffs (as the pom-pom waving, bottom-feeding moron suggested), or because this is The Big Bad Bruins we're talking about, or because Lucic is always going to play like this and it won't be a big deal as long as he keeps scoring. Had this been a DeKeyser-on-Lucic spear, instead of the other way around, and there'd only been a small fine doled out by the league, the pearl-clutching about What's Become Of Our Great Sport and what a cheap shot artist yellow-bellied punk DeKeyser is would have been splashed across the front page of every newspaper in the city. Hell, they still talk about what a dirtbag Matt Cooke is every time he finishes an innocuous check, and he's had a clean rap sheet for the last three seasons. The reason for that was intervention. Everyone universally agreed, “Matt Cooke has to change, or he has to go.” That's from the league, his team, and pretty much all observers of the game. Lucic isn't on his level — yet? — but at the same time, how many more of these incidents have to come down the pike before everyone agrees that he has to change his game? Lucic is a good player. But for a guy who says he believes in playing “the right way” (haha) it's really weird that this keeps happening to him, and no one seems to care too much. What We Learned Anaheim Ducks : The Ducks' penalty killing has been pretty damn good in the first two games of their series, but one supposes that you can't go around taking five or six penalties a night and hoping Tyler Seguin doesn't pop in a few. Not when you've won both games by a single goal. Boston Bruins : Did you know Reilly and Brendan Smith are brothers ? And they're playing each other in the playoffs? This has somehow not been mentioned yet in this series. I wonder what their mom thinks! Buffalo Sabres : Headline: “ Girgensons amazed by ‘A’ on jersey .” It's true. “Wow,” he said. “How did it get there? Was it magic?” It was magic! Calgary Flames : Hoo boy. A recent poll found that 82 percent of Flames fans were not disappointed the team didn't get a Top-3 pick this year, and 71 percent think Kari Ramo (he of the .911 save percentage this season and .902 career) is the team's goalie of the future. Carolina Hurricanes : Jeff Skinner and Justin Faulk want to become better leaders next season. See if you can get someone to take that Cam Ward contract and I'll believe it. Be men of action. Chicago Blackhawks : The Blackhawks say they're “ confident ” about their ability to come back after losing the first two games of their series in overtime. Huh, even with Corey Crawford back there and your second-best defenseman suspended? Okay guys. Colorado Avalanche : Here, indeed, is the million-dollar question . Columbus Blue Jackets : I am 100 percent shocked that there wasn't a single F-bomb in the Blue Jackets pile after Matt Calvert got them their first-ever franchise playoff win. That's the biggest surprise in all of this. Dallas Stars : Tyler Seguin bought Mike Modano's mansion for less than $2 million . Hell of a deal. He probably left that much in spare change and bills on the floor of his Swiss apartment. Speaking of which, how much does it cost to have a mansion cleaned regularly? Detroit Red Wings : It really is kind of surprising how little space there's been in this series, isn't it? You'd have thought things would be a lot more free-flowing given the quality of forwards on these two teams, but this is playoff hockey, one supposes. Edmonton Oilers : The Oilers' new arena is going to be 60 percent bigger than Rexall Place? Good lord. Florida Panthers : Panthers prospect Mac Weegar is racking up the points with the Halifax Mooseheads this postseason and one imagines that roughly three-quarters were on defensive-zone passes to Jonathan Drouin that were taken 200 feet and deposited in the back of the net. Los Angeles Kings : I just never want this series to end ever . Minnesota Wild : Yeah Darcy Kuemper probably starting a home playoff game . Surely what the team envisioned back in October. Montreal Canadiens : How badly have things gone for Tampa? Rene Bourque has three goals in as many games against them. Nashville Predators, America's Favorite Hockey Team: A nice experiment while it lasted, but Mike Del Zotto should basically not be back in Nashville next season. New Jersey Devils : What can Devils fans look forward to? Their owner, who also owns the Philadelphia 76ers, recently called the basketball team having won just 19 games this season “ a huge success .” Because they tanked good and hard. Imagine if bad hockey teams were smart enough to realize this is how things should go? What a world we would get to live in. New York Islanders : Would it actually be allowed for the Islanders to keep their first-round pick this year — instead of sending it to Buffalo as per the Thomas Vanek trade — and then move it for a first-rounder next year to cover the lack of pick in a deeper draft? It must be. Garth Snow should do that. New York Rangers : Oh, well then by all means . Ottawa Senators : Matt Kassian is almost certainly on the outs in Ottawa, and apparently the Sens are still looking for a “harder forward that can play the game hard and stick up for his teammates if necessary.” Good idea. How could that go wrong? Philadelphia Flyers : Steve Mason says he wants to start Game 3 . The way Ray Emery played in Game 2, I'm not sure that's the best idea. Phoenix Coyotes : Shane Doan says the Coyotes have a chance to win a Cup within the next few years . C'mon Shane. Pittsburgh Penguins : The speed and finish on this Brian Gibbons goal is something else. San Jose Sharks : Turns out Tomas Hertl and Matt Nieto are great . Who knew? St. Louis Blues : I don't know if you can really call not trying to kill someone when you have a five-minute power play at the end of regulation “ smart ” so much as “obvious.” Tampa Bay Lightning : Sorry, guys, but Ben Bishop's not walking through that door . Toronto Maple Leafs : Right now, Brendan Shanahan is only definitively a good hire for the Maple Leafs insofar as he can't do worse than the current guys. Vancouver Canucks : Alex Burrows is off to Worlds for Canada . So far, 12 of the 20 players named to the team play in Canada, which is a bad sign for that team's chances for success. Washington Capitals : I always forget teams can make trades during the playoffs . Thanks to the Caps and Preds for the reminder. Winnipeg Jets : Now that the Blue Jackets won a postseason game, the Jets/Thrashers are the only franchise in the league to have never picked up a playoff W. Play of the Weekend Which is more impressive on this goal: Nathan MacKinnon's speed, Paul Stastny's no-look pass, or Gabriel Landeskog's finish? Boy oh boy, what a line. Gold Star Award

Flyers rally past Rangers to tie series at 1-1 (The SportsXchange)
(Sun, 20 Apr 2014 13:19:18 PDT)
NEW YORK -- Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ray Emery won his first playoff game in exactly three years, stopping 31 shots in a 4-2 win over the New York Rangers in the quarterfinals of the Eastern Conference playoffs at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. The win evened the series at 1-1 and represented the Flyers' first win at the Garden since Feb. 20, 2011, a losing streak of nine games. Emery, who won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks last season, recorded his first postseason victory since April 20, 2011 when he was a member of the Anaheim Ducks. Emery registered 20 playoff wins with the Ottawa Senators from 2002-2007.

Flyers 4, Rangers 2 (The SportsXchange)
(Sun, 20 Apr 2014 12:17:29 PDT)
NEW YORK -- So much for Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ray Emery being considered a backup. The 31-year-old veteran stopped 31 shots to lead Philadelphia to a 4-2 win over the New York Rangers in the quarterfinals of the Eastern Conference playoffs at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. The win evened the series at 1-1 and represented the Flyers' first win at the Garden since Feb. 20th, 2011, a losing streak of nine games. Emery, who won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks last season, recorded his 21st playoff win.

Jackets’ Foligno out for Game 2, aiming for Game 3 return (NBC Sports)
(Sat, 19 Apr 2014 10:29:12 PDT)
He's been out since April 3.

Rangers continue home dominance of Flyers in Game 1 (The SportsXchange)
(Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:06:14 PDT)
NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers continued their home ice dominance over their bitter rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers, with a 4-1 win Thursday in the opening game of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers, who scored three third-period goals to break it open, extended their home winning streak against the Flyers to nine straight games. Philadelphia's last win at the Garden was Feb. 20, 2011. Rangers' centers Brad Richards and Derek Stepan and left winger Carl Hagelin recorded three unanswered goals, snapping a 1-1 tie.

Rangers 4, Flyers 1 (The SportsXchange)
(Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:53:42 PDT)
NEW YORK -- Breaking open a close game with three third-period goals, the New York Rangers knocked off the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 in the opening game of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series Thursday at Madison Square Garden. Rangers centers Brad Richards and Derek Stepan and left winger Carl Hagelin recorded third-period goals to send the Flyers to their ninth consecutive loss at Madison Square Garden. Philadelphia's last win at the Garden was Feb. 20, 2011. New York struck twice on the same power play in the third period.

Flyers Skate Update: Akeson's playoff debut (Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia)
(Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:00:54 PDT)
NEW YORK A week ago, Jason Akeson had played in just one NHL game in his career and had never even been to New York City. But Thursday night, the 23-year-old will make his playoff debut in Game 1 of the Flyers' first-round series against the Rangers. Its pretty crazy, Akeson said. Akeson will play in the same spot he occupied in the Flyers 6-5 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes last Sunday, his only game with the Flyers this season, on Sean Couturiers line with Matt Read.

Flyers' Ray Emery to start Game 1 versus Rangers (NBC on Yahoo Sports)
(Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:14:25 PDT)
In the back of his mind, Ray Emery knew there was a chance he would be in net for the playoffs. His suspicions were confirmed Wednesday, when Flyers coach Craig Berube announced that Emery would start Game 1 of the team's first-round series against the New York Rangers Thursday at Madison Square Garden. Steve Mason will not make the trip to New York. He remains day to day with an upper-body injury. Berube called the decision "precautionary." “He’s out,” Berube said. "He’s not 100 percent. I said if he weren’t 100 percent, he would not play." Mason was injured Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, didn't play in that game's third period and didn’t suit up for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Carolina Hurricanes. He practiced for just 15 minutes Tuesday, and wasn’t even present at Skate Zone for Wednesday's session. Berube said only that Mason "didn't feel good." There's no way to know yet whether Mason could return for Game 2 Sunday in New York, he said. “It’s part of the game sometimes," Berube said. "Things happen. We have other people. We’re a team. That doesn’t change." The Flyers’ playoff hopes now rest on the shoulders of Emery, who has appeared in 36 playoff games in his career with the Ottawa Senators and Anaheim Ducks. He won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks last year, but didn't get into any of the team's postseason games. He has a 20-15 playoff record. Mason, by contrast, has never won a playoff game. He's 0-4. "I take everything as a learning experience," Emery said. "You learn from successes, you learn from failures as well. I’ve had a lot of both. I get excited to play in these situations. Especially playoffs, especially in a group like this." Emery said nothing will change about his preparation. He admitted, however, that he took a little extra care of himself in recent days after Mason was injured. As a veteran, he knows to expect the unexpected. Twice before in his career he's been given starts in key games he wasn't expecting: with the Senators in place of Dominik Hasek and with the Ducks after Jonas Hiller was hurt. “You’re always trying to be prepared, trying to stay healthy and ready and fill in when needed, which was mainly my goal this year,” Emery said. “But … I’m excited about it. I feel like I can do well.” Cal Heeter, who played his first NHL game Sunday against the Hurricanes, will serve as backup goaltender while Mason is out. Yann Danis -- who, unlike Heeter, has NHL experience -- is out for the season with a knee injury and is therefore unavailable as call-up from Adirondack. Emery is 7-2-0 lifetime against the Rangers, with a 1.87 goals-against average and .936 save percentage. This season, however, he struggled in the sole game he played in New York, a 4-1 loss on Jan. 12. “It wasn’t the best game for the boys and myself,” he said. “They come out fast, they came out fast up there. Like I said, you take the negatives and positives out of things. You’ve got to be aware, but I’m not too worried about that.” As they've said all season, Emery's teammates agree they are just as confident in him as they are in Mason. While things might change a bit for the defense -- Mason is better at handling the puck, for instance -- the changes are small. The Flyers' game plan is the same. "Mase or Razor, I think we have a lot of confidence in them," Giroux said. "They’ve played some big games for us this year. Obviously, Razor has some experience in the playoffs. He’s won a Cup. For him to bring that experience, it’s good." Though Mason didn't travel to New York Wednesday with the rest of the team, he could in theory join them later this week. Or not. But whatever happens, Berube said, he's certain the Flyers can deal with it. "Things happen," Berube said. "Good teams find a way to get it done." - Sarah Baicker, CSN Philly

Flyers goalie Steve Mason out for Game 1 vs. Rangers (NBC on Yahoo Sports)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:57:31 PDT)
In the back of his mind, Ray Emery knew there was a chance he would be in net for the playoffs. His suspicions were confirmed Wednesday, when Flyers coach Craig Berube announced that Emery would start Game 1 of the team's first-round series against the New York Rangers Thursday at Madison Square Garden. Steve Mason will not make the trip to New York. He remains day to day with an upper-body injury. Berube called the decision "precautionary." “He’s out,” Berube said. "He’s not 100 percent. I said if he weren’t 100 percent, he would not play." Mason was injured Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, didn't play in that game's third period and didn’t suit up for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Carolina Hurricanes. He practiced for just 15 minutes Tuesday, and wasn’t even present at Skate Zone for Wednesday's session. Berube said only that Mason "didn't feel good." There's no way to know yet whether Mason could return for Game 2 Sunday in New York, he said. “It’s part of the game sometimes," Berube said. "Things happen. We have other people. We’re a team. That doesn’t change." The Flyers’ playoff hopes now rest on the shoulders of Emery, who has appeared in 36 playoff games in his career with the Ottawa Senators and Anaheim Ducks. He won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks last year, but didn't get into any of the team's postseason games. He has a 20-15 playoff record. Mason, by contrast, has never won a playoff game. He's 0-4. "I take everything as a learning experience," Emery said. "You learn from successes, you learn from failures as well. I’ve had a lot of both. I get excited to play in these situations. Especially playoffs, especially in a group like this." Emery said nothing will change about his preparation. He admitted, however, that he took a little extra care of himself in recent days after Mason was injured. As a veteran, he knows to expect the unexpected. Twice before in his career he's been given starts in key games he wasn't expecting: with the Senators in place of Dominik Hasek and with the Ducks after Jonas Hiller was hurt. “You’re always trying to be prepared, trying to stay healthy and ready and fill in when needed, which was mainly my goal this year,” Emery said. “But … I’m excited about it. I feel like I can do well.” Cal Heeter, who played his first NHL game Sunday against the Hurricanes, will serve as backup goaltender while Mason is out. Yann Danis -- who, unlike Heeter, has NHL experience -- is out for the season with a knee injury and is therefore unavailable as call-up from Adirondack. Emery is 7-2-0 lifetime against the Rangers, with a 1.87 goals-against average and .936 save percentage. This season, however, he struggled in the sole game he played in New York, a 4-1 loss on Jan. 12. “It wasn’t the best game for the boys and myself,” he said. “They come out fast, they came out fast up there. Like I said, you take the negatives and positives out of things. You’ve got to be aware, but I’m not too worried about that.” As they've said all season, Emery's teammates agree they are just as confident in him as they are in Mason. While things might change a bit for the defense -- Mason is better at handling the puck, for instance -- the changes are small. The Flyers' game plan is the same. "Mase or Razor, I think we have a lot of confidence in them," Giroux said. "They’ve played some big games for us this year. Obviously, Razor has some experience in the playoffs. He’s won a Cup. For him to bring that experience, it’s good." Though Mason didn't travel to New York Wednesday with the rest of the team, he could in theory join them later this week. Or not. But whatever happens, Berube said, he's certain the Flyers can deal with it. "Things happen," Berube said. "Good teams find a way to get it done." - Sarah Baicker, CSN Philly

Mason out for Game 1; Murray on MacLean; another NHL concussion lawsuit (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:31:00 PDT)
Here are your Puck Headlines: a glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

Pressing question: How much pressure is on the Pens? (NBC Sports)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:00:59 PDT)
Short answer: Plenty.

Steve Mason out for Game 1 vs. Rangers (Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:08:20 PDT)
VOORHEES, N.J. --In the back of his mind, Ray Emery knew there was a chance he would be in net for the playoffs. His suspicions were confirmed Wednesday, when Flyers coach Craig Berube announced that Emery would start Game 1 of the team's first-round series against the New York Rangers Thursday at Madison Square Garden. Steve Mason will not make the trip to New York. Mason was injured Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, didn't play in that game's third period and didnt suit up for Sundays regular-season finale against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Pass or Fail: Tampa Bay Lightning playoff anthem 'We Want the Cup' (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:55:10 PDT)
The Stanley Cup Playoffs have finally arrived and that means it's also time for those ultra-supportive playoff anthems to be released among the various NHL markets involved. You might remember Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" used in support of both the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators last year. Some riff off popular music, while others create their own. This is the case for this anthem for the Tampa Bay Lightning, featuring rapper Jinx , who mixed up Lil Jon's "Turn Down For What," proclaiming one simple thing: They want the Cup. What, no namecheck for Ondej Palat or Valtteri Filppula? The message is pretty simple, aside from wanting said Stanley Cup, Jinx has another message: "Someone tell Lord Stanley, come home to his Tampa Bay family." Tampa's quest for their second Stanley Cup since 2004 will begin without goaltender Ben Bishop,  who's been ruled out for Game 1 . It'll be a grind, but if the Lightning are indeed crowned champions in June, we can look back to this playoff anthem as to where the journey all began. So, what did you think going by playoff anthem standards? Pass or Fail: Tampa Bay Lightning playoff anthem 'We Want the Cup' Stick-tap Alexis Boucher

Panthers win NHL draft lottery (The SportsXchange)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:58:00 PDT)
The Florida Panthers, who finished with the second-worst record in the NHL this season, won the league's draft lottery Tuesday.

Florida Panthers win 2014 NHL Draft lottery, leaping over Buffalo (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:33:53 PDT)
The Buffalo Sabres had a 25 percent chance of taking the top spot in the 2014 NHL Draft Lottery, which would have been a nice consolation prize after a terrible, imploding season. Alas, they got more sand kicked in their face – Floridian sand. The Florida Panthers, with an 18.8 percent chance of getting the top pick, won the NHL Draft Lottery on Tuesday night. Last season the Panthers had the best odds and fell to No. 2 overall, taking forward Aleksander Barkov. “We’re looking to continue to build on our core talent of the players,” said Travis Viola, VP of hockey operations. “We’re anxious to put a winner in Florida, but if we take our time and make a really good plan with Mr. Dale Tallon and Mr. Bill Torey … a little slower pace than rushing right away.” It’s the second time the Panthers will have the first overall pick, the last time coming in 1994 when Florida took defenseman Ed Jovanovski at No. 1. Will it be another defenseman at No. 1 for Florida? Defenseman Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts is one of three players expected to go at the top of the draft, along with Sam Reinhart and Sam Bennett. The rest of the lottery field: 2. Buffalo Sabres 3. Edmonton Oilers 4. Calgary Flames 5. New York Islanders 6. Vancouver Canucks 7. Carolina Hurricanes 8. Toronto Maple Leafs 9. Winnipeg Jets 10. Anaheim Ducks (from Ottawa Senators) 11. Nashville Predators 12. Phoenix Coyotes 13. Washington Capitals.

Tavares loves Long Island; MacLean gets vote of confidence; Playoff nails (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:24:30 PDT)
Here are your Puck Headlines: a glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. • Here's an interesting way to pick the first round: by painting your nails. Why didn't I think of that? Anyway. I would say she... nailed it . And now I nailed it with that joke. [ Sports-Kings ] • John Tavares in response to rumblings that he's unhappy with the Islanders: "there's no part of me that wants to leave." [ Newsday ] • Eugene Melnyk gives Paul MacLean a vote of confidence. [ Senators Extra ] • Canada could support three more NHL teams, say economists. [ Ottawa Citizen ] • Andrew MacDonald: good in the defensive zone, terrible in the neutral zone. [ Broad Street Hockey ] • Katie Baker on the Red Wings' incredible playoff streak. [ Grantland ]  • Speaking of the Red Wings, they'll begin this year's playoffs without Henrik Zetterberg, who still isn't ready to return to the lineup following back surgery. [ FreeP ] • Meanwhile, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are back for the Blackhawks and ready to start their Stanley Cup defense. [ Daily Herald ]  • Remembering the support from around the NHL following the Boston Marathon tragedy, on it's one-year anniversary. [ Bruins Daily ] • Pierre LeBrun on Barry Trotz's next challenge. [ ESPN ] • Kari Lehtonen has matured as a player, and now he's ready to carry the Stars into the postseason. [ Dallas News ] • The top 15 fantasy winners in the Eastern Conference. [ Dobber Hockey ] • Mike Liambis remembers the hockey hit that changed his life, and almost ended his career. [ Fox6 Now ] • Union's Mat Bodie has signed a deal with the New York Rangers. [ Times Union ] • Meanwhile, Union's Shayne Gostisbehere signs with the Flyers. It's all just playoff posturing! [ Daily Gazette ] • Behind the scenes with ESPN's biggest hockey fans at the Frozen Four. [ Awful Announcing ] • Peter Laviolette has been named the head coach of the 2014 US Men's National team. [ USA Hockey ]  • A closer look at the on-ice evaluation of head and neck injuries in the NHL. [ Undisclosed Injury ] • Randy Carlyle tries to explain what happened with the Leafs this season. [ TSN ] • Finally, this year's playoffs as the intro to Advance Wars 2.

Bruins solemnly remember Marathon attacks one year later (Comcast SportsNet New England)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:34:17 PDT)
BOSTON The timing of the horrid Boston Marathon bombings ensured that the Boston Bruins will always be linked with the tragic day for the city of Boston. The Bruins were supposed to play an April 15 game that Monday night against the Ottawa Senators that was quickly postponed. The Black and Gold were also the first Boston sports team that resumed activity a couple of days later in a Wednesday night game against the Buffalo Sabres, and had that moving, emotional moment when the TD Garden fans came together to sing the Star Spangled Banner with one voice. ...

Welcome Jason Spezza to the trade rumor mill (NBC Sports)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 09:38:01 PDT)
"I'm not naive to the talk. I've been asked the question lots."

Pressing question: How will Habs handle carrying Canada’s Cup hopes? (NBC Sports)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 09:30:19 PDT)
A nation's hopes hang in the balance.

PHT Morning Skate: Who will be Nashville’s next head coach? (NBC Sports)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 05:02:38 PDT)
Tuesday's collection of links.

NHL Three Stars: Simmonds, Smith standouts on last day of the regular season (Puck Daddy)
(Sun, 13 Apr 2014 21:30:48 PDT)
Romance in Phoenix. No. 1 Star: Craig Smith, Nashville Predators Smith led the way in a strong Predators finish, with 2 goals and 2 assists in a 7-3 win over the Minnesota Wild. That's the second time in as many nights the Predators have scored 7. Perhaps this is Barry Trotz showcasing a new coaching style in a last-ditch effort to save his job? No. 2 Star: Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers Simmonds scored his 28th and 29th of the year in the Flyers' 6-5 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. His 29th is the reason Philadelphia left with a point, as he tied the game up with 10 seconds to go: No. 3 Star: Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks Sedin scored twice in the first period of the Canucks' 5-1 win over the Calgary Flames. (He may have had a hat trick if not for the unfortunate, nasty hit he took late in the second that sent him to the hospital. It was a sad end to a rough season for the Sedins, who looked like themselves only briefly this year.) Honorable mention:  Martin Brodeur was named the game's first star in what's likely to be his final start as a member of the New Jersey Devil, and maybe the last start of his career. He made 16 saves in a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins... Jason Spezza and Kyle Turris scored in the shootout as the Ottawa Senators closed out the season with their fifth straight win, a 3-2 decision over the Pittsburgh Penguins... It was a goalie duel between the Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning, with both Anders Lindback and Braden Holtby stopping every shot they faced until Matthew Carle won it 1-0 in a shootout for Tampa. The win gave the Lightning home ice advantage in the first round, so Montreal probably didn't appreciate Alex Ovechkin treating the shootout like an All-Star game: ... Nick Bonino scored the overtime winner in the Anaheim Ducks' 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche, but this was Teemu's night, and he opted to share it with Jean-Sebastien Giguere ... David Moss scored the game-winner in a 2-1 Phoenix Coyotes triumph over the Dallas Stars. This Colton Sceviour goal was beautiful: ... Anders Lee scored twice as the New York Islanders finished the year with a 4-3 shootout win over the Buffalo Sabres... Justin Abdelkader scored two goals for the Detroit Red Wings, who won 3-0 over the St. Louis Blues. Did You Know? The Capitals' game was decided in a shootout for the 21st time this season, an NHL record. Dishonorable mention: Ilya Bryzgalov was pulled after allowing 5 goals on 21 shots for the Wild, who have to be a little bit concerned about their goaltending heading into the postseason... How have the Blues lost six straight?

Spezza lifts Senators to SO win over Penguins (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 13 Apr 2014 21:10:40 PDT)
The Pittsburgh Penguins are ready for the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Ottawa Senators aren't headed to the postseason, but captain Jason Spezza wanted to make sure his team finished the season strong. Spezza scored in the shootout to help the Senators beat the Penguins 3-2 on Sunday night and stretch their season-ending winning streak to five games. ''We wanted to play for each other,'' said Spezza, who finished his first season as captain.

Canucks' Daniel Sedin injured by hit from behind (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 13 Apr 2014 20:54:51 PDT)
Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin was taken off the ice on a stretcher and hospitalized after being hit from behind by Calgary's Paul Byron on Sunday night. Sedin crumpled to the ice after getting hit in the numbers by Byron in the Vancouver zone with 2:44 left in the period. The Vancouver trainer rushed to Sedin's side and immediately signaled for a stretcher. Sedin was fitted with a neck brace and placed on a backboard.

Senators beat Penguins for fifth straight win (The SportsXchange)
(Sun, 13 Apr 2014 20:34:16 PDT)
PITTSBURGH -- The Ottawa Senators won't be participating in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2011 but at least they could go into the offseason on a high note. Centers Kyle Turris and Jason Spezza scored during the shootout as the Senators closed their season with a 3-2 victory over the playoff-bound Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday night. Turris and Spezza both beat Penguins backup goaltender Jeff Zatkoff. "It's obviously a nice way for us to finish," said Spezza, the Senators' captain.

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