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Capitals win thrilling Game 7, eliminate Islanders (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 27 Apr 2015 19:08:31 PDT)
WASHINGTON, DC – To win Game 7 against the New York Islanders, the Washington Capitals had to overcome Jaroslav Halak and history.  They turned to a player that had never faced the pressure of either in the playoffs.  Evgeny Kuznetsov, playing in his first postseason, scored his third goal of the playoffs on an awesome individual effort at 12:42 of the third period, giving the Capitals a lead they wouldn’t relinquish to eliminate the Islanders in seven games, 2-1. "This is a new group," said Capitals coach Barry Trotz. "All that old stuff? Get rid of it. Let's build something. We could feel the energy [from the fans]. We weren't going to let that game go." Kuznetsov took the puck on right wing and just flipped on the afterburners, skating through the slot with Frans Nielsen of the Islanders giving chase, out-waiting Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak and then scoring on an unstoppable shot to the top corner of the net. Since Alex Ovechkin arrived in Washington, the Capitals had played seven Game 7s. They had won just two of them, and were 1-4 on home ice in Game 7s since 2008. “I think the reason we lost those Game 7s was that we weren’t desperate enough," said center Nicklas Backstrom. "We came out hungrier tonight. We were quick. We wanted to win. I think you can tell that watching the game too. The last few years when we lost Game 7s, we came out a little flat. But not tonight.” Coming into Game 7 on Monday night, Halak (24 saves) was 4-0 in games in which Washington could eliminate his team. He was the netminder that led the Montreal Canadiens back from a 3-1 deficit to shock Washington in 2010, winning Game 7 as a No. 8 seed at Verizon Center. He was the goalie that was 2-0 with a .963 save percentage in Game 7s in his career. From the opening whistle, the Capitals brought the thunder, throwing the body. Controlling the puck. Playing with more confidence, and less panic, than they had in previous series finales. "It seemed like we were worried or on our heels a bit. We didn't want to make a mistake, and I think in these games you've got to play a little bit more aggressive," said Islanders captain John Tavares, who didn't have a shot in Game 7.  The first 40 minutes were some of the most dominating hockey the Capitals have played in recent memory: a 70.6-percent team corsi-for in the first, a 69.7-percent corsi-for in the second, where the Capitals controlled the Islanders in their own zone on several shifts. “We didn’t turn the puck over like we did in Game 6. In Game 6, we tried to make plays through the neutral zone and that’s a recipe for disaster," said defenseman Brooks Orpik.  “They were tired. You could see it on some of the guys.” The Islanders were on the ropes. It felt like a matter of one play, one bounce for the home team to get the lead. They had a few close calls, none closer than a wide-open net for trade deadline acquisition Curtis Glencross with just over eight minutes left in the period. He waited too long to pull the point-blank trigger, then whiffed on the shot, meekly pushing it into Halak’s pads. The Capitals’ next point-blank chance wouldn’t miss. They took the lead at 18:35 of the second period, as Alex Ovechkin sent the puck to Brooks Orpik at the left points. Meanwhile, Joel Ward and Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuck were doing battle in front of the crease. Ward shoved Boychuk out of the way as Orpik released the shot. Halak gave up a short rebound, Ward tucked it through his pads and into the net, and Verizon Center exploded in well-earned bedlam. The Islanders tied the game on a bad goal surrendered by Holtby. Tomas Hickey cut through the top of the zone, before dishing to Nielsen. He took a low wrist shot that Holtby dropped to his knees to deflect … only to have the puck trickle through to the back of the net. The Islanders celebrated. The crowd did not. The Capitals outshot the Islanders 11-3 in the first, and 10-4 in the second. The penalties called in the first two periods? Zero and zero. Whistles were swallowed during the game, as obstruction reigned and brutal hits went unpunished, none more brutal an Alex Ovechkin hit square in the numbers on Hickey: no call here either pic.twitter.com/nABwzQXsOT — Stephanie Vail (@myregularface) April 28, 2015 Hey, it’s Game 7. They let’em play until a John Carlson roughing penalty with less than three minutes to go in the game.  But the story of the game was the Capitals vs. Halak, who played brilliantly for the Islanders, especially in the third after his team tied the game. There was a funky bounce to Jay Beagle that he flashed his right pad out to stop. There was an awful turnover by Nik Kulemin to Troy Brouwer, who fired the puck by was robbed by Halak.  But that’s just what Jaro Halak does in Game 7s. It was nearly enough.  For the Islanders, it was a hard-fought series. In the end, their Game 6 win will go down as the last Islanders game at Nassau Coliseum until their move to Brooklyn next season.  MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY

Drew Doughty, Erik Karlsson, P.K. Subban voted Norris Trophy finalists (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 27 Apr 2015 17:38:37 PDT)
Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings, Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators and P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens are the three finalists for the 2014-15 Norris Trophy “given to the defenseman who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position,” the National Hockey League announced Monday. To be perfectly blunt, there were really no super great choices for the award this year. Mark Giordano was the likely winner – provided enough East Coast Professional Hockey Writers’ Association voting members watched Calgary play – but he got hurt in early March and missed the last month and a half of the season, basically crushing the whole “throughout the season” element of the award. This left us with defensemen having not-as-awesome years who normally are in the conversation (Shea Weber), one having an excellent year but playing for a team that missed the playoffs (Doughty), someone who actually had a solid all-around year, but didn’t get a ton of Norris love (Subban) and Karlsson who a lot of voters love, because he is a really good hockey player but doesn’t play on the penalty kill – 33 seconds per-game to be exact. In my opinion, this should muddle his candidacy for an award that is given to the best “all-around” defenseman, since penalties do happen, and not playing on the penalty kill is important for an “all-around” defenseman. Regardless, he’s an incredible hockey player, so it’s easy to overlook this detail as the award is defined. So, here are your finalists for the Norris Trophy, which was probably the toughest one to pick, just because there really was no clear-cut favorite with Giordano out. Why Drew Doughty Deserves The Norris From the NHL: Doughty anchored a Los Angeles defense that finished in the top 10 in  the NHL in goals against for the sixth consecutive season. He played in all  82 games for the second time in his career (also 2009-10), pacing the  League in total time on ice (2,377:40) and ranking second in average time  on ice (28:59). Doughty also posted 7-39—46, his second-best offensive  season behind 2009-10 (16-43—59), and led the NHL in a number of enhanced statistics categories, including the team puck possession metric SAT (shot attempts differential) – the Kings registered 410 more shot attempts than they allowed with him on the ice at 5-on-5. Doughty is a Norris Trophy finalist for the second time after finishing third in voting in 2009-10. So if Doughty had made the playoffs would he be a slam-dunk Norris Trophy winner? Perhaps. As the NHL notes, his advanced stats are there. He played basically half a game every game because of LA’s thinness on defense. He put up these numbers playing with Jake Muzzin, Robyn Regehr and Brayden McNabb at various times. Goo! But it’s hard to win this award – which has basically become defenseman MVP – if you don’t make the postseason. Also, his 46 points were far-and-away the lowest of the finalists. Some voters probably just vote based on point totals. It’s this way with every award. Why Erik Karlsson Deserves The Norris From the NHL: Karlsson (21-45—66) led all defensemen in points for the third time  in the past four seasons, including a career-high 21 goals (second only to  Oliver Ekman-Larsson: 23). He appeared in all 82 games for the second  consecutive campaign, ranking third in the NHL in total time on ice  (2,234:55) and average time on ice (27:15) to carry the Senators to a  23-4-4 record down the stretch en route to their 15th playoff berth in  franchise history. Karlsson also shared first among defensemen in  power-play points (30), highlighted by a career-high six power-play goals.  He is a Norris Trophy finalist for the second time after capturing the  award in 2011-12. He scores a lot of points. Defensively he’s underrated because in spite of his smallish frame, he gets the puck out of his zone quickly and can regroup on odd-man rushes (he creates with his offensive play) because of his speed. Also, his advanced stats are quite excellent. The Senators often possess the puck when Karlsson is in the game. His inability to play on the penalty kill isn’t his fault. It’s the coach’s decision to not employ Karlsson in this spot so why must we as voters penalize him for this fact? Why P.K. Subban Deserves The Norris From the NHL: Subban powered a Montreal defense that shared first in the NHL in  goals against (189), helping the Canadiens to their best single-season  performance since 1988-89. He also skated in all 82 games, producing career highs in goals (15), assists (45), points (60), plus/minus (+21),  game-winning goals (5) and shooting percentage (8.8%). Subban ranked fifth in the League in total time on ice (2,148:40) and sixth in average time on ice (26:12) – both career highs. He is a Norris Trophy finalist for the  second time after winning the award in 2012-13, when he became the first  Canadiens defenseman to earn the honor since 1988-89 (Chris Chelios). The NHL forgot to include Subban’s ability with a GoPro camera! That’s maybe his best attribute. Per the NHL’s enhanced stats website, Subban is solid – so he passes this test with a plus-124 SAT. He’s an all-situation player, playing 2:09 per-game short handed. In a lot of ways, Subban is a better all-around version of Karlsson … minus the diving issues of course. Who Wins The Norris? Karlsson He has some weird voodoo when it comes to Norris voters. And coaches love him, as evidenced by Bob McKenzie’s end-of-season poll on TSN. Karlsson is one of the top talents in the game and a fantastic offensive player. His offense in some ways masks how he helps his defense, by preventing plays from occurring in his own zone because his team possesses the puck a lot when he is on the ice. He’s an understandable choice in today’s puck analytics world. But as an all-around defenseman? There are much better options. If you were trying to protect a one-goal lead at the end of a game, or needed a late penalty kill, is he the guy you want on ice? Our Top Choice Giordano? I add the question mark, because how do you rate a guy who played 61 games, but was absolutely the best all-around defenseman in the NHL this season when he did play. He had 48 points, played 25:10 per-night and was one of the few Flames who were decent in the fancy stats department. It’s hard to know if Giordano would have folded the final month of the season – probably not, but again you never know – but he seemed to be the best all-around defenseman this year. So yeah, he’s our choice, I guess.  - - - - - - - Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY

What We Learned: How bad is NHL officiating in Stanley Cup Playoffs? (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 27 Apr 2015 06:51:01 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.) The big complaint about these playoffs is that a lot of penalties are going uncalled, and how much that's affecting play. Anecdotally, this is happening a lot. Guys get taken out of the play, or even slowed up, by a hook or obstruction in the neutral zone, and what should have been a 3-on-2 that might have resulted in a scoring chance all of a sudden becomes a 2-on-2 that very much doesn't. Now, what isn't mentioned when people complain about this stuff is that this is part of a larger trend that's been going on for a while now. In terms of what is and is not being called, it's become pretty obvious over the last few years that refs are putting the whistles away, to an extent never before seen in the league. We don't have data from earlier than 1962-63 on this kind of stuff, but this year's 3.06 power plays drawn per team per game is the lowest in that time — we're talking 52 years — by a pretty wide margin. Only 1977-78, at 3.19 power plays each comes close. So it's fair to say that refs are letting a lot go to begin with. And as a result, the number of power play goals scored per team per game has slowly slumped as well (the blue line below), while there has been next to no change in teams' ability to score on power plays (the green line is league-wide power play percentage).

Brendan Gallagher, pest supreme, taunts Mark Stone’s wrist injury (Video) (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 27 Apr 2015 06:08:22 PDT)
Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens is one of our favorite players, because he possesses that unique blend of offensive, physicality and the ability to be an unrepentant little weasel that gets under the skin of opposing players by any means necessary.  Like, for example, mocking an injury. Please recall Game 1 of the Habs’ six-game victory over the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, in which rookie sensation Mark Stone took a stiff slash from P.K. Subban in front of the Montreal net. Stone went down in a heap, writhing in pain, before leaving for the locker room. Subban was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct. Stone returned to the game, and even tried to get into an altercation at the end of the game. Which probably didn’t set well with the Habs, judging from what Gallagher did in Game 6. As Stone and Gallagher jawed at each other, Gallagher skated away smirking, and then shook his right wrist at Stone, which was the wrist he suffered a micro-fracture on after the Subban slash. (Reading some lips, it’s pretty obvious their scholarly discussion was about their relative toughness.) True to form, Gallagher had the game-winning goal in the 2-0 Canadiens win, sending the Senators home. But at least he was kind enough to give Mark Stone a hand before doing so… The same hand Stone used to shake Gallagher’s in the handshake line!    

Dose: Sens pay the Price (Rotoworld)
(Mon, 27 Apr 2015 01:38:00 PDT)
Monday's playoff hockey Dose says goodbye to the Senators and Blues as the Canadiens and Wild move on to round two.

Canadiens advance with 2-0 win over Senators (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 26 Apr 2015 20:12:26 PDT)
The Montreal Canadiens felt both after ending their first-round playoff series against the Ottawa Senators. Carey Price made 43 saves, Brendan Gallagher scored in the first period, and the Canadiens won 2-0 Sunday night to advance to the second round of the NHL playoffs. Max Pacioretty sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 1 second remaining. ''Price stepped up and he was the difference,'' Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban.

NHL Three Stars: Price, Parise help respective clubs advance to Round 2 (Puck Daddy)
(Sun, 26 Apr 2015 18:37:17 PDT)
No. 1 Star: Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens Montreal eliminated the Ottawa Senators in Game 6 thanks to a 2-0 win Sunday night. Price made 43 stops, including 9 in the final 3:14, for his first shutout of the playoffs. He’s currently second among goaltenders with a .957 even-strength save-percentage through the first round. No. 2 Star: Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild Parise scored the opening goal and the insurance marker as the Wild beat the St. Louis Blues 4-1 to advance to Round 2. His first goal came shorthanded and from a tough angle, beating Jake Allen to open the scoring:  No. 3 Star: Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild Dubnyk continued his amazing run since January by stopping 30 shots in Game 6 and 67 total in the final two games of the series. Minnesota will now face the Chicago Blackhawks for the third straight year. Honorable Mention : Mikko Koivu won 20 of 32 face-offs … Minnesota blocked 23 shots to St. Louis’ six … The Parise/Jason Pominville/Mikael Granlund line combined for 4 goals and 12 points at even strength in the series … Brendan Gallagher opened the scoring for the Canadiens 13:26 into the first period: Montreal’s empty-net goal with 0.3 seconds left to give them a 2-0 lead was their first two-goal lead of the series.  Did You Know?  "This was the first time in three years that none of the Western Conference series in the first round went to seven games." (AP) Dishonorable Mention: St. Louis has been knocked out the playoffs in the first round three straight years … The Blues have lost 10 straight playoff games when facing elimination … A quick whistle cost Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Ottawa the tying goal in the second period … The Senators failed on four power play opportunities, including one with 3:14 left in the third period. MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:

NHL-Highlights of Sunday's NHL playoff games
(Sun, 26 Apr 2015 18:28:37 PDT)
(Adds late game) April 26 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Sunday's National Hockey League playoff games: - - - Wild 4, Blues 1 Minnesota left winger Zach Parise had a pair of goals as his team clinched a playoff series on home ice for the first time in franchise history, beating St Louis 4-1 to win their Western Conference playoff series in six games. Right wingers Justin Fontaine and Nino Niederreiter also scored for Minnesota and goalie Devan Dubnyk had 30 saves as the Wild advanced to a second-round showdown against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Canadiens end Senators' fairy-tale season, advance to Round 2 (Puck Daddy)
(Sun, 26 Apr 2015 18:19:37 PDT)
Only one team during the 2014-15 NHL regular season and playoffs had avoided being shut out before Sunday. The Montreal Canadiens made sure to finally add the Ottawa Senators to the list of those who had.  The Canadiens advanced to the second round after a 2-0 win in Game 6 against the Senators Sunday night. Montreal now waits to play the winner of the Tampa Bay Lightning-Detroit Red Wings series. After storming out to a 3-0 series lead, the Canadiens failed to close out Ottawa in Games 4 and 5, thanks to some stellar netminding from Craig Anderson. In Game 6, Brendan Gallagher opened the scoring 13:26 into first period and never looked back: Once the Canadiens grabbed the lead, they sat on it. Over the game’s final 40 minutes, Montreal recorded only six shots, while the Senators pressed for an equalizer, throwing 30 at Carey Price, who stopped them all and finished with 43 saves. The even strength scoring chances differed by a wide margin beginning in the second period. Here’s what it looked like in graph form, via War on Ice :

Quick whistle costs Ottawa Senators tying goal in Game 6 (Video) (Puck Daddy)
(Sun, 26 Apr 2015 16:57:00 PDT)
The Ottawa Senators are playing for their season in Game 6 against the Montreal Canadiens. Down 1-0 in the second period, Jean-Gabriel Pageau thought he had tied the game after pouncing on a loose puck in front of Carey Price, but a quick whistle cost them a goal: That’s a bad call, for sure, and referee Chris Lee knew it. He was in a tough position to spot the puck squirting out, and Lee was already raising his arm to blow the whistle as soon as Mark Borowiecki’s shot hit Price. The blown call would cost Ottawa as they fell 2-0 to Montreal, ending their season in six games. "I think the referee there just had bad puck luck," said Senators coach Dave Cameron afterward. - - - - - - - Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:

Revenge of Craig Anderson has Senators believing again (Puck Daddy)
(Sun, 26 Apr 2015 08:30:21 PDT)
When Andrew Hammond grabbed the Ottawa Senators’ starting goaltender job, Craig Anderson couldn’t grab a stick.  His right hand had a deep bone bruise, keeping him out of the lineup. With Robin Lehner injured as well, Hammond was given his shot as a 27-year-old rookie on Feb. 18. He would go on to finish the regular season with a 20-1-2 record, going 14 straight starts without a regulation loss. Anderson became a forgotten man, a footnote to a folk hero. He wanted to take part in this Senators’ resurgence, but he physically couldn’t; at one point , he was teary-eyed in front of reporters in discussing how the situation was “killing” him. Yet there was also the inescapable notion that the rally might not be happening were it not for Hammond. No one was throwing fast food on the ice in celebration of Anderson’s wins. This was a fresh, new vibe; Anderson was the oft-injured veteran who seemed to be a placeholder for the Next Big Thing – signing a three-year contract last summer right after Lehner did , a clear indication they wanted Anderson around but just until they could trust the younger model. To that end, he was an insurance policy, much like he was when the Senators began their series with the Montreal Canadiens with Hammond between the pipes. By Game 3, Ottawa cashed in the policy, yanking their folk hero and turning back to their former starter. All he’s done since then is stop 120 of 123 shots, posting two wins with a .976 save percentage. "We've been focusing on the right things. We've been in situations where we're not where we want to be and we've found ways to dig ourselves out of the hole," said Anderson after the Game 5 win over Montreal, forcing Sunday’s Game 6. "We're in that situation right now where we're still in the hole and we're still digging. We're not out of it yet. We still need to continue to win but we're kind of in the moment of just coming together as a group, sticking together, and just winning one game at time." You can see the Senators finding that swagger, that chemistry, that momentum that carried them from over a dozen points out of the playoffs to a wild card. It’s been missing all series, and some of that can be attributed to Hammond turning into a pumpkin at midnight. A team can play with reckless abandon when it knows its backend is covered. But that security they had in the regular season was lost in the first two games of the postseason, until Anderson started saving everything he saw. He’s helped restore their confidence, helped them find their fight. Look no further than the stickwork he had with Brandon Prust in Game 5 to see his compete level; said Anderson , “I got the stick in the gut and then I started hacking and whacking. It was a battle of emotions.” Beating Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens four straight times is unlikely. The Habs still have two chances to close out their series. But we’ve seen Anderson do this before – get locked in, save 50 pucks a game, save his team’s bacon in close wins, and have it continue for several games. In a League where you’re only as good as your goalie, Anderson can make teams look quite good in stretches. And we’ve seen Ottawa do this before: Thrive when counted out, defy the odds and make believers out of the logical and the cynical. This isn’t to say Anderson and the Senators have another miracle comeback left in them; but who among us had this thing tabbed for a Game 6 last week? MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY

Canadiens-Senators Preview (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 26 Apr 2015 08:05:00 PDT)
The Ottawa Senators had no shortage of confidence during their second-half playoff push, though some self-doubt may have crept in after three consecutive playoff losses. A dominant showing in Game 5 against Montreal quickly resolved that issue. Two wins shy of extending their spectacular run, the Senators may have stolen the momentum from the Canadiens as the series shifts back to Ottawa for Sunday night's Game 6. Ottawa suffered three one-goal defeats to open their first-round tilt with the Canadiens - two of them in overtime - but has rebounded nicely with a gritty 1-0 victory and a 5-1 rout Friday in Game 5.

Home-ice advantage overrated in Wild-Blues series (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 25 Apr 2015 23:15:00 PDT)
The Rangers won twice on the road while eliminating the Penguins, whose lone win came on the road. Anaheim's first-round sweep of Winnipeg included two road wins, Calgary seized the advantage by winning the opener at Vancouver, and every other series featured at least one triumph by the invaders, including Ottawa's victory at Montreal to stay alive Friday night. Wild-card Minnesota has a 3-2 series edge against St. Louis, the Central champions, and can advance to the second round for the second straight season with a victory on Sunday. The Blues dominated the last time they were in the Twin Cities, chasing goalie Devan Dubnyk from the net in a 6-1 rout.

NHL Three Stars: Dubnyk bounces back for Wild; Hagelin wins in OT (Puck Daddy)
(Sat, 25 Apr 2015 00:03:16 PDT)
No. 1 Star: Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild   The Minnesota goalie had yet another great bounce-back game, stopping 36 shots in the Wild’s 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 5. He made 19 saves in the third period alone.   No. 2 Star: Carl Hagelin, New York Rangers The forward’s second goal of the playoffs turned out to be the series clincher, as his leaping tally past Marc-Andre Fleury gave the Rangers a 2-1 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5.  No. 3 Star: Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators The starter who became a backup and is now a starter again made 45 saves in the Sens’ 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens, including 19 in the third period. Montreal now leads 3-2 in the series. Honorable Mention: Marco Scandella and Nino Niederreiter scored their second of the playoffs. … Vladimir Tarasenko scored his sixth. … Bobby Ryan scored two goals, breaking a long slump. … Mike Hoffman and Mika Zibanejad had two assists each. … Fleury made 34 saves, while Lundqvist made 37.   Did You Know? The Penguins scored eight goals on 132 shots against Lundqvist. Dishonorable Mention: Jay Bouwmeester, Paul Stastny, Alex Pietangelo and T.J. Oshie were a minus-2. … Brandon Prust, Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn were a minus-2. … Prust got into it with Anderson:

NHL -Highlights of Friday's National Hockey League playoff games
(Fri, 24 Apr 2015 21:47:09 PDT)
(Adds late game) April 24 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Friday's National Hockey League playoff games: - - - Rangers 2, Penguins 1 (Overtime) Carl Hagelin scored with 9:08 remaining in overtime as the New York Rangers clinched their first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Rangers won the best-of-seven series 4-1 and will face the winner of the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals series in the second round.

Dose: Sens live to play again (Rotoworld)
(Fri, 24 Apr 2015 21:38:00 PDT)
The Saturday Dose looks at the Senators extending their series and the elimination of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Erie Otters earn road split vs. Soo Greyhounds, North Bay rolls Oshawa in Game 1: OHL post-game questions (Buzzing The Net)
(Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:59:52 PDT)


Senators beat Canadiens 5-1 to force Game 6 (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:27:47 PDT)
Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson brushed off a stick battle with Montreal forward Brandon Prust as easily as turned back the Canadiens on Friday night. It's just a battle of emotions there,'' Anderson said. I got a little stickwork, but no harm, no foul.'' Anderson made 45 saves and Ottawa avoided elimination with a 5-1 victory in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference first-round series. Game 6 is Sunday night in Ottawa.

Senators not dead yet, send 3-2 series back to Ottawa (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:13:17 PDT)
Man, ever since game 3, Subban has completely disappeared.. pic.twitter.com/KtkJ80mHrC — Callum Fraser (@CallumFraser18) April 25, 2015 "[We're] not dead" - Monty Python and The Holy Grail. Also (possibly) said by the Ottawa Senators.  Today just so happens to be the 40th anniversary of one of the best movies of all time. As a tribute to the classic line in the film, the Senators kept their playoff run on life support by forcing a Game 6 with a 5-1 over Montreal. You saw that right. 5 goals scored by Ottawa. Every single one of them was on Vezina nominee Carey Price. At home. It started midway through the first with a goal from the guy who needed to score in this series to stop the millions of questions as to why he hadn't scored yet: Bobby Ryan. Ryan sent a wrist shot on net that hit Price and dribbled backwards into the net.  Looking back, it was a pretty good indication of the night ahead for Price and the Habs. About five minutes later, Price was left helpless as he was screened by almost everybody in red and in white. Patrick Wiercioch's wrister from near the blueline went over Price's shoulder and in the net. It would stand as the game winning goal. Erik Karlsson scored on the power play in the second period to put the game close to out of reach for the Canadiens at 3-0. What do you think about that Mr. Karlsson? From Steph : GIF: much-requested Karlsson wink pic.twitter.com/eHabjSkvBR — Stephanie Vail (@myregularface) April 25, 2015 Montreal brought hope back to life just 1:44 into the third period. Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, annoyed by Dale Weise for invading his crease, gives the Habs forward a nice whack in the back of the knees for his troubles. Anderson's preoccupation with Weise left him unprepared for a Tom Gibert slapshot.  Despite cutting into Ottawa's lead, it would be too much for the Canadiens to overcome.  Erik Condra scored on a breakaway to put the Sens back up by three goals. Bobby Ryan scored his second of the game on the power play to ice it at 5-1. In between Condra and Ryan's second goal, there was a general 'game is out of hand' meltdown by the Habs.  It started with Brandon Prust taking a nasty whack at Anderson and the goaltender stood his ground. Again, from Steph: GIF: ugly exchange between Anderson and Prust at the end of the game included Prust spearing Anderson pic.twitter.com/rsEAGG7kjX — Stephanie Vail (@myregularface) April 25, 2015 Prust then got into it with Wiercioch, earning both gentlemen a trip to the box for roughing. Away from the action, PK Subban and Eric Gryba had a wrestling match resulting in the literal turtling of Subban in his gear (shown above). Both guys received game misconducts and were yapping at each other, and the other's benches, as they left the ice. Afterward, Senators coach David Cameron had some choice words for Montreal and their behavior after the game. From John Lu of TSN Montreal , " A sure sign of frustration is when they take cheap shots at your goalie ...  I've known Prust for a long time and what he did was cheap." Cameron also noted that Clark MacArthur and Jean-Gabriel Pageau are day-to-day with lower body injuries. MacArthur did not come out to play the third. Pageau was visually hobbled as he blocked a Subban shot on the penalty kill.  Not one to mince words, Subban spoke to Pageau's possible injury in the post-game: "My shots are only going to get harder as the series go on. I wish (Pageau) the best of luck." P.K. Subban #Sens — Sylvain St-Laurent (@Syl_St_Laurent) April 25, 2015 Could that be more of a line straight out of the WWE or what... Anyway, closing the gap in the series to 3-2, the Sens aren't dead yet. However, it remains to be seen if the Habs can follow-up with another classic line delivered later in the scene , " Well, [they] will be soon..." - - - - - - - Jen Neale is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @MsJenNeale_PD . MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:

NHL-National Hockey League roundup
(Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:04:22 PDT)
Peter Chiarelli, fired by the Boston Bruins last week, was named president of hockey operations and general manager of the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. Chiarelli will report to chief executive officer Bob Nicholson and be responsible for all aspects of hockey operations. Nicholson, named CEO on Monday, and Chiarelli know each other from Nicholson's time with Hockey Canada. Chiarelli was part of the group of NHL general managers who helped assemble Canada's gold medal-winning team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Price, Dubnyk, Rinne finalists for Vezina Trophy (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 24 Apr 2015 16:37:19 PDT)
NEW YORK (AP) -- Montreal's Carey Price, Minnesota's Devan Dubnyk and Nashville's Pekka Rinne are the finalists for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goalie.

Vezina Trophy Finalists: Devan Dubnyk vs. Carey Price vs. Pekka Rinne (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 24 Apr 2015 16:32:07 PDT)
The NHL announced on Friday that Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild, Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators are the three finalists for the 2014-15 Vezina Trophy, which is awarded “to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position,” as voted on by the League’s 30 general managers. 

Mad Dash: NFL player applies to be Uber driver in offseason (NBC on Yahoo Sports)
(Fri, 24 Apr 2015 07:58:15 PDT)
If you're a particularly enterprising individual, a second job is something you'd consider without a second thought. That's exactly how Miami Dolphins defensive lineman A.J. Harris feels about applying for a second job this offseason as an Uber driver . Sure, he's already paid pretty well to play in the NFL, but like he said on Twitter, the only thing better than NFL money is more money. Besides, when you've got an awesome Dodge Charger like he does, you'll probably find any extra opportunities you can to cruise around in it. Sign us up for that first ride. If you can't be at the arena for your favorite hockey team's playoff series, it's hard to create the same atmosphere at home. But one Montreal Canadiens fan found a solution that comes as close to the original as anything we've seen. Francois Maillet has a light show in his home wired to go off every time the TV announcer screams "goal," and the effect is pretty awesome . We think a new business opportunity may have been discovered.  It seems Rajon Rondo's tumultuous time in Dallas is about to come to an end , and one Mavericks fan couldn't be happier. Musician J. Paul Slavens wrote and performed a song called "Rajon Rondo is the Worst," leaving no doubt about how Mavericks fans feel about how that trade with Boston has turned out.  - - - - - - - The Yahoo Sports Mad Dash is a roundup of the morning's trending stories from across the sports landscape. Check it out every day to see what's buzzing.

Senators-Canadiens Preview (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 24 Apr 2015 06:23:46 PDT)
Having essentially been in must-win mode since mid-February, the Ottawa Senators' desperate play in a Game 4 victory against the Montreal Canadiens came as no surprise. Neither should a similar effort in Game 5 on Friday night, when the Senators will again try to stave off elimination as their opening series shifts back to the Bell Centre. "It feels like we've been playing games like this for awhile now," defenseman Erik Karlsson said. "Our approach hasn't really changed." The urgency may seem identical, but a dramatic postseason run for Ottawa would not exactly resemble their regular-season surge.

Rangers, Canadiens out to clinch 1st-round series (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 23 Apr 2015 23:19:29 PDT)
The New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens lead their series 3-1 with every game decided by one goal. It remains to be seen whether the St. Louis Blues can build momentum off the five-goal rout of the Minnesota Wild on the road. After St. Louis ended a nine-game playoff road losing streak with a 6-1 victory, coach Ken Hitchcock was emphatic he expected more of the same when the Central Division champions return home for Game 5 tonight. This is the way it's going to be for the next little while and if they can match it, great on them.'' One more win on Friday night, and it's on to Round 2 for the Presidents' Trophy-winning Rangers and the Canadiens.

Canadiens search for power-play success (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 23 Apr 2015 16:58:23 PDT)
Being lousy on the power play didn't stop the Montreal Canadiens from finishing first in the Atlantic Division, and being even worse in the first round of NHL playoffs hasn't prevented them from taking a 3-1 lead over the Ottawa Senators. The Canadiens' power play ranked 15th out of the 16 playoff teams Thursday, with only one goal in 16 attempts. Yet, Montreal can close out the best-of-seven series Friday night at the Bell Centre. We just have to match their desperation level and the power play is a part of it.'' Coach Michel Therrien said his team works regularly, on the ice and in meetings, to find ways to get scoring chances.

Canadiens fan creates ultimate goal celebration in living room (Video) (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 23 Apr 2015 12:30:30 PDT)
Imagine sitting in your living room watching your favorite NHL team playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. You’re probably on the edge of your seat reacting to each moment of the game. The big hits. The big saves. The scoring chances. Now imagine, since you can’t be at the arena, when your team scores a goal you can still feel the experience and celebrate in your own unique way. This is the idea Francois Maillet , a Montreal-based computer scientist, had in mind when he created a goal celebration light show in his living room.  A Montreal Canadiens fan, Maillet trained a machine learning model to know when a goal was scored just by the sound of the announcer yelling GOAL! . Once the Canadiens scored and the announcer did his thing, this is what happened: Maillet originally planned to create a light show like this that was triggered by someone pushing a button after a goal was scored. But wrrying about finding a button to push while celebrating is too much to remember, so Maillet went the automatic route and the final result is awesome.  Tested during two games of the Ottawa/Montreal series, Maillet found a 75-percent success rate between the goal being scored, the announcing’s call and the party getting started in his living room. He explains his entire construction process on his blog in great detail. This really puts those Budweiser red lights to shame.  Stick-tap Information Age - - - - - - - Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:

Dose: Jets depart playoffs (Rotoworld)
(Thu, 23 Apr 2015 00:51:00 PDT)
Thursday's Dose waves goodbye to Winnipeg, the first team out of the postseason. Four recaps for your reading pleasure.

NHL Three Stars: Kesler advances Ducks; Tarasenko dazzles Wild (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 22 Apr 2015 22:49:25 PDT)
No. 1. Star: Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks His two third period goals pushed Anaheim past the Winnipeg Jets and into the second round of the playoffs in a 5-2 win. Kesler notched three goals in this series, all on the road, proving his worth as an offseason acquisition for Anaheim from the Vancouver Canucks. He was also a plus-3 and won 54 percent of his face offs in Game 4.   No. 2. Star: Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues There is absolutely no way Tarasenko could pull another ‘Forsberg’ move in the middle of a game again. No … wait … he did what? Tarasenko dazzled with the below one-handed goal score in the Blues’ 6-1 blasting of the Wild. His two goals helped tie the series at 2-2. No. 3 Star: Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators In his second start of the postseason, the Senators netminder stopped 28 of 28 Montreal shots on goal to keep Ottawa alive this playoff. The series is now 3-1 in favor of the Canadiens as it heads back to Montreal for Game 5. Anderson lost his starting job down the stretch of the season to Andrew Hammond, but has now started the last two games for Ottawa in the playoffs. Honorable Mention: St. Louis defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk notched three assists in the drubbing of Minnesota … Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester was a plus-4 in 20:36 of action … St. Louis forward David Backes scored one goal and added one assist … Rangers forward Kevin Hayes scored a goal in overtime to help give New York a commanding 3-1 series lead over Pittsburgh in a 2-1 win  … Rangers forward Derick Brassard also scored … Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman scored a goal in the Sens’ win … Anaheim forward Corey Perry notched two assists. Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen scored a goal and added one assists. Did You Know?: Hayes is the first Rangers rookie to score his first career playoff goal in overtime since Don Murdoch in 1978.   Dishonorable Mention: Pittsburgh forwards Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby were each held without a point in the Penguins’ Game 4 loss to the Rangers … Jets defensemen Tyler Myers and Tobias Enstrom were each a minus-3. Fellow Winnipeg blueliner Dustin Byfuglien was a minus-4 and had just one assist in the series … Minnesota defenseman Jordan Leopold and forward Jason Pominville were each a minus-3. Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk was yanked after allowing six goals on 17 shots on goal.  MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY  

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