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Capitals goalie Holtby healthy, ready for Game 3 at Isles (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 18 Apr 2015 15:39:53 PDT)
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- Capitals goalie Braden Holtby wasn't sure what felt worse: Sitting out a playoff game because of an illness, or watching the Capitals fall behind the New York Islanders by two goals before rallying for a victory.

Injury keeps Weber from traveling to Chicago with Predators (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 18 Apr 2015 13:00:49 PDT)
Nashville finished off a 6-2 victory Friday night, tying the series at 1-1. Game 3 is Sunday in Chicago, and a team spokesman said Saturday an update on Weber's status will be made Wednesday, the day after Game 4 in Chicago. Chicago's Brandon Saad checked Weber into the boards in the left corner of the Nashville zone At 9:17 of the second. We were able to find success doing that.'' Either Anton Volchenkov or Victor Bartley will step into the lineup for Weber.

NHL-Highlights of Friday's National Hockey League playoff games
(Fri, 17 Apr 2015 22:43:28 PDT)
(Adds late games) April 17 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Friday's National Hockey League playoff games: - - - Canadiens 3, Senators 2 (Overtime) Alex Galchenyuk scored at 3:40 of the first overtime to give the Montreal Canadiens a win over the Ottawa Senators. The victory put Montreal up 2-0 in their Eastern Conference first round series. Goaltender Carey Price made 29 saves for Montreal while Andrew Hammond stopped 37 shots for the Senators.

NHL Three Stars: Backstrom aids Caps' comeback; Galchenyuk nets OT winner for Habs (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 17 Apr 2015 22:29:27 PDT)
No. 1 Star: Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals Backstrom played a big part in Washington’s come-from-behind 4-3 win over the New York Islanders in Game 2. After assisting on the Capitals’ first tally, he helped set up Alex Ovechkin’s goal late in the second period. Early in the third, Backstrom’s power play goal tied the game at three: No. 2 Star: Alex Galchenyuk, Montreal Canadiens Galchenyuk’s goal 3:40 into overtime gave the Canadiens a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators to take a 2-0 series lead.   No. 3 Star: Craig Smith, Nashville Predators Smith scored twice and assisted on another as the Predators evened their series with the Chicago Blackhawks with a 6-2 win. The win was Nashville’s first since March 28. Mike Ribeiro and Filip Forsberg each recorded two points. Honorable Mention : Max Pacioretty returned to the Canadiens’ lineup and scored the game’s opening goal … Mark Stone played Game 2 for Ottawa, recording a pair of assists … P.K. Subban’s second-period goal nearly took off Andrew Hammond’s head: Ovechkin’s goal was the 32nd of his career in the postseason, a team record … Eddie Lack stopped 22 shots and the Canucks got goals from Daniel Sedin, Chris Higgins, Ronalds Kenins and Radim Vrbata as they tied their series with a 4-1 win in Game 2.  Did You Know?   Philipp Grubauer ( @washcaps ) also became 1st German-born goaltender to start a playoff game in NHL history. #WSHvsNYI — NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 18, 2015 Dishonorable Mention: Corey Crawford allowed all six Nashville goals, including three in a span of 2:19 in the third period … Shea Weber left the game and did not return after suffering a lower-body injury in the second period … A linebrawl at the end of Calgary-Vancouver ended with Deryk Engelland earning what is currently listed as  two game misconducts, which would result in an automatic one-game suspension once the officials figure out the penalty summary: MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:

Dose: Home Ice Advantage (Rotoworld)
(Fri, 17 Apr 2015 22:07:00 PDT)
The Saturday Dose looks at all four home teams winning Game 2 including a two goal performance by Nashville's Craig Smith.

Galchenyuk scores in OT, Canadiens top Senators 3-2 (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 17 Apr 2015 21:09:22 PDT)
P.K. Subban figured he needed to make up for being ejected from the opening game of the Montreal Canadiens' first-round playoff series. I don't think I did a good enough job of setting an example (to teammates) in the first game.'' Subban was tossed from the opener, a 4-3 win by Montreal, in the second period with a slashing major and a game misconduct for a two-handed chop to the wrist of Senators scoring leader Mark Stone. As he was standing around outside the dressing room after the ejection, Elise Beliveau passed by him and told him not to worry, that he would be better in Game 2. After the win, he said Beliveau, whose husband's death in December was honored with a state funeral, stood up in her seat behind the Canadiens' bench and showed she was wearing a Subban No. 76 jersey.

Habs' PK Subban steps up in Game 2 in front of Elise Beliveau: 'I want to be better for her' (Yahoo Sports)
(Fri, 17 Apr 2015 20:59:32 PDT)
NHL playoffs: PK Subban rises to the occasion in Game 2 vs. the Ottawa Senators, and the Montreal Canadiens star defenseman said his stirring performance was due to a show of support from Elise Beliveau, wife of Habs legend Jean Beliveau.

Alex Galchenyuk's OT goal gives Canadiens 3-2 win, 2-0 series lead over Senators (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 17 Apr 2015 19:42:52 PDT)
Mark Stone played for Ottawa. Max Pacioretty returned for Montreal. But the story coming out of Senators-Canadiens Game 2 will be Alex Galchenyuk, whose overtime goal sends the series to Ottawa with the Habs up 2-0.  There was no controversy this time around, only two highlights from the Canadiens. Late in the second period, P.K. Subban fired a laser that had it hit Senators netminder Andrew Hammond, it may have gone straight through him.  That goal gave Montreal a 2-1 lead. It would last until late in the third when Patrick Wiercioch’s power play tally tied the game, which would eventually head to overtime. In the extra period, it was Galchenyuk picking up a rebound, spinning and firing one by Hammond: Hammond faced 42 shots and didn’t look great on Pacioretty’s opening goal or Galchenyuk’s winner. Down 0-2 and heading home, does Senators head coach Dave Cameron turn to Craig Anderson? That will be the big question over the next 48 hours. According to TSN’s Ian Mendes , Ottawa has never come back to win a series from an 0-2 deficit. With the way the second half of the season has gone for the Senators, it’s tough to toss in the towel on this after two games, as Clarke MacArthur put it. ”When have we ever made things easy on ourselves this year?" - - - - - - - Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:

Canucks prospect Cole Cassels scores hat trick, Oshawa Generals off to Eastern final: OHL post-game questions (Buzzing The Net)
(Fri, 17 Apr 2015 19:28:00 PDT)

Pacioretty returns to Canadiens' lineup after concussion (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 17 Apr 2015 16:22:44 PDT)
MONTREAL (AP) -- Montreal scoring leader Max Pacioretty returned to the Canadiens' lineup Friday night, and Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone also took the ice in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference playoff series.

Sens to celebrate life of Mark Reeds; McDavid on lottery; stolen Cup ring (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 17 Apr 2015 11:59:04 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. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at . Our Pg 1: Sens-Habs Game 2. And things could get nasty. Real nasty. #ottnews #sens #habs — Ottawa Sun (@ottawasuncom) April 17, 2015 • Could there be a more perfect headline for a different story on top of Chris Neil's menacing photo and quote? [Ottawa Sun] • Senators host celebration of life ceremony for Mark Reeds. Great story. [Ottawa Citizen] • Consensus overall No. 1 pick and now professional scout? "Connor McDavid analyzes five teams with best odds to pick No. 1." [Toronto Sun] • Toronto police are asking for public help to recover a Stanley Cup ring that was stolen during a break-and-enter last month. Police say the 1947-1948 Toronto Maple Leafs championship ring belongs to former Leafs defenceman Philip Samis and is a family heirloom. [TSN] • Drew Remenda: Thornton's comment 'wasn't a jab' at McLellan. YOU AREN'T GOING TO GET YOUR JOB BACK, DREW. [Fear the Fin] • Do NHL players get paid anything in the playoffs? If so, how much do they receive and how are funds distributed? Answers held within.  [Colligan Hockey] • "Willie Desjardins needs to take a page from John Tortorella." Wait. What?  [PITB] • "The real question Q should be asking himself, and the rest of the [Blackhawks] for that matter, is why they’re depending on their goalie so much."  [The Committed Indian] • If the Flames want to continue to be successful, they'll need to find a way to utilize their depth.  [Flames Nation] • 2015 NHL Playoffs: Good isn't good enough anymore.  [Blueshirt Banter] • "Time to grow a backbone, Caps fans." Not my words! [Japers' Rink] • How the Canadiens fourth line blitzed the Senators. [EOTP] • Is Kings GM Dean Lombardi TOO loyal to his players?  [JFTC] • Kings assistant GM Rob Blake and AHL affiliate coach Mike Stothers excited for newly-signed Adrian Kempe’s U.S. debut. [Mayor's Manor] • In spite of Tank-a-Palooza, Buffalo leads the way in NHL markets this year. No, seriously. It did.  [Awful Announcing] • Goodbye for now: Why the Islanders could return to Nassau Coliseum.  [Yahoo Sports] • Kudos to the PBS NewsHour for taking time in Thursday evening’s newscast to tell the story of the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, the nation’s oldest minority-oriented youth hockey program. [Color of Hockey] • A graphical look and analysis of a half season's worth of goal scoring trends for the Ducks. [Anaheim Calling] • CWHL vs. NWHL: Competition is good, war is not. [Puckology] • All The Kings Men Podcast: EP 442 Western Conference Preview with some of the best and brightest around the interwebs. [The Royal Half] • Jakub Voracek: 'I had one good season,' ready to work harder.  [CSN Philly] • Czech ice-hockey star Jaroslav Holik dies at age 72. [AFP] • The Avalanche are moving AHL affiliate from Lake Erie to San Antonio.  [Denver Post] • Final report from [30 games - 30 nights]   • "When Terry Trafford died in March 2014 , many pointed out the fact that Terry only had hockey in his life. One year after the tragedy, while some players are still in the high of the playoffs but at a time when many others have to deal with the end of their season (and sometimes their young career), this video takes a closer look at how important it is for young hockey players to define themselves not solely around hockey." [Yahoo] - - - - - - - Jen Neale is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter! Follow @MsJenNeale_PD . MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:

Senators-Canadiens Preview (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 17 Apr 2015 11:02:25 PDT)
Montreal's 4-3 victory in Game 1 of the first-round series Wednesday night - a game that saw Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban ejected for slashing and injuring Ottawa's Mark Stone - has set the tone for a physical, testy series between the rivals heading into Friday night's Game 2. ''The intensity level is there,'' Brendan Gallagher said after Montreal's morning skate Thursday. ''That's what their side is doing and that's what our side is doing.'' The Canadiens are anticipating more grit and robustness from the Sens in what has already been a hard-hitting matchup. Ottawa had 44 hits to Montreal's 42 in the series opener.

Gary Bettman: No need to change NHL standings point system (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 17 Apr 2015 08:19:39 PDT)

Dose: Perry Impressive (Rotoworld)
(Fri, 17 Apr 2015 00:04:00 PDT)
Friday's Playoff Hockey Dose has praise for Corey Perry and Petr Mrazek, in particular.

In Friday's NHL games, 3 home teams try to avoid 2-0 hole (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 16 Apr 2015 23:04:02 PDT)
It's not impossible, of course, for an NHL team to erase a two-game series deficit.

Slash aftermath: Subban, Stone and the hack heard 'round the hockey world (Yahoo Sports)
(Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:46:46 PDT)
P.K. Subban escaped further punishment for his slash on Mark Stone that resulted in a "microfracture" on the rookie's right wrist – and the back-and-forth barbs continue between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators.

Bishop is Tampa's rock; Dubnyk's rise; Crawford gets Game 2 start (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:39:12 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. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at .  

Ottawa general manager says P.K. Subban threatened Mark Stone before slash (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:26:47 PDT)
Of course this P.K. Subban/Mark Stone slash thing got weirder after Thursday’s practice media availability following Montreal’s Game 1 win over the Senators. Why? Because it’s the playoffs. And both teams hate each other. And they’re both Canadian and on the East Coast, which means a ton of media is covering this series. Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray said Montreal's Subban threatened Ottawa's Stone before the slash which may or may not have given Stone a ‘microfracture’ in his wrist (I'd still love to see the how and when of the team doctor examination) and sent Subban out of the game. He was also assessed a 5-minute major penalty.  From Murray’s news conference: “There was a threat made before, by Subban to Stone, there were two attempts — on faceoffs — to slash him, one connected and then he two-handed him in the wrist in front of the net,” Murray said “I don’t want to use the phrase that I was told,” Murray added, referring to the alleged Subban threat. “Because we have players wearing (microphones) now, because we have four officials on the ice, probably one of the officials heard it. It’s not, ‘I said something, somebody else said something.’ I’ve asked the officials to investigate.” Ottawa? Investigation? DRINK! Also, isn't it somewhat fascinating that Murray complained about Subban threatening Stone after his coach, Dave Cameron, threatened the entire Montreal team if the NHL didn't take extra action on Subban? Note Ottawa tough guy/dirty shot artist/old time hockey dude who 'plays the game the right way' forward Chris Neil skated with the fourth line in Thursday's practice. Neil has been injured and not played since mid-February. Per the Montreal Gazette’s Dave Stubbs, Subban said he didn't make a threat. Subban denies threatening Stone or anyone else in hockey — Dave Stubbs (@Dave_Stubbs) April 16, 2015 We envision Subban's answer went something like this. Just remove the word "hit" with "slash" and "her" with "Stone" (NSFW, sort of). This is all drama. It’s all theater. It’s the NHL playoffs. It’s another reason why we love this time of year. As for the discipline, again, the Canadiens played most of Game 1 without their best defenseman and were assessed a 5-minute major. They were already without the awesome Max 67 . That’s a bad punishment, especially in the playoffs – regardless of Stone’s injury. Plus, if Ottawa had won the game and scored three goals on the PP, would this be as big a deal? Stone's one of Ottawa's best forwards. It stinks for the Senators if he's indeed hurt because of that play. But this is starting to come off as a little bit petty by Ottawa. It's hockey, it's a physical game, and Subban WAS punished. Ottawa's best retribution is to win Game 2, not whine about Game 1.  - - - - - - - Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY  

Senators: Stone has right wrist fracture after slash (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 16 Apr 2015 10:45:18 PDT)
Senators general manager Brian Murray says forward Mark Stone suffered a microfracture of his right wrist and some ligament damage, and his status is ''very questionable'' for Ottawa's first-round playoff series with Montreal. Stone was slashed by Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban at 8:23 of the second period of Wednesday's series opener. He was back at the Senators' bench roughly 10 minutes after the incident, left the game again in the third period and returned once more.

Stone has 'microfracture' in wrist; Subban won't face discipline for slash (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:34:57 PDT)
Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban will not face supplemental discipline after his slash of Ottawa’s Mark Stone in Wednesday’s Game 1 4-3 Canadiens win.  Subban was ejected from the game and assessed a five-minute major. According to a Twitter report from ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, that was enough for NHL Department of Player Safety head Stephane Quintal. NHL discipline chief Stephane Quintal confirms P.K. Subban not facing any more discipline for slash on Stone. Penalty last night sufficed. — Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) April 16, 2015 And Stone seemed to go in and out of the lineup quite a few times after the play as he tried to determine if he could actually return. The Senators announced, after the LeBrun report, that Stone had a microfracture in his wrist and his status is “unknown.” Playoff injury drama for $200 CAD, Alex Trebek. Oh, and there was the morsel from Ottawa coach/ prime minister Dave Cameron after fielding a question from the media/parliament. “I think it’s an easy solution. You either suspend him, or if one of their best players gets slashed, you just give us five. It’s not that complicated.” As LeBrun also notes, Mr. Prime Minister will not be fined for these comments. NHL won't fine Senators head coach Dave Cameron but certainly will be a chat/warning about his comments from last night — Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) April 16, 2015 Hockey justice for $300 Alex! As our own Nick Cotsonika wrote in his most excellent story off Thursday night’s game: Rule 61.3 says the referee has the discretion to call a slashing major “based on the severity of contact.” It says he has no discretion if there is an injury: “A major penalty must be assessed.” Rule 61.5 says whenever a slashing major is assessed, a game misconduct penalty “must also be imposed.” The Canadiens were assessed a major penalty in a playoff game. They played most of it without their best defenseman. Stone may return to the series. Give it a rest. But there’s more … oh yes there is, because it’s the playoffs, and these teams hate each other of course. According to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch Chris Neil is practicing on the fourth line for the Sens on Thursday . Oh great, that Chris Neil. The one who ‘plays the game the right way’ even though he runs around like a lunatic half the time 'unintentionally' injuring people. He has been out since mid-February with a fractured thumb.  Well, it is an all-Canada series. Old time hockey for $500 Alex! - - - - - - - Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY    

QMJHL's Gatineau Olympiques accommodate fans' divided attention amid Habs-Sens conflict (Buzzing The Net)
(Thu, 16 Apr 2015 05:28:06 PDT)

Dose: Just Darling (Rotoworld)
(Wed, 15 Apr 2015 23:56:00 PDT)
The playoff Dose reviews a very, very promising first night of postseason action.

NHL Three Stars: Blackhawks, Darling stun Preds in 2OT (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 15 Apr 2015 22:49:52 PDT)
No. 1 Star: Scott Darling, Chicago Blackhawks The journeyman goalie replaced Corey Crawford after the first period, and was a perfect 42 saves on 42 shots for the next 67 minutes and 44 seconds. Duncan Keith’s goal ended the double-overtime affair, 4-3, at 7:49 of the second extra session. Jonathan Toews had a goal and two assists. But it was Darling whose star shined in Game 1.   No. 2 Star: Brian Flynn, Montreal Canadiens Flynn had a goal and two assists as the Habs won a wild Game 1 against the Ottawa Senators, 4-3. Flynn assisted on Torrey Mitchell’s game-tying goal and Lars Eller’s go-ahead shorthanded goal; then, with the game tied again, Flynn scored a goal of his own, the eventual game-winner. No. 3 Star: Jonas Hiller, Calgary Flames Hiller and Eddie Lack were in a goaltending duel in Game 1, with Hiller pulling out the ‘W’ in a 2-1 victory. Kris Russell’s point shot fooled Lack, while Hiller made 13 saves in the third and 29 for the game. Honorable Mention: Brock Nelson scored two goals and Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves, as the New York Islanders topped the Washington Capitals, 4-1. Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist. … Patrick Kane had two assists in his return to the Blackhawks’ lineup. … Colin Wilson had two goals. Did You Know? Sam Bennett, 18, picked up an assist in only his second career NHL game for the Flames.  Dishonorable Mention: Luca Sbisa was a minus-2. … Matt Niskanen was a minus-4, while Karl Alzner was a minus-3. … P.K. Subban was ejected from the game for a slashing major against Mark Stone in the first period; Stone would return to the game. … Kyle Turris earned 16 PIMs at the end of the game during a fracas; Tom Gilbert earned 12.    

NHL-Highlights of Wednesday's National Hockey League games
(Wed, 15 Apr 2015 22:03:19 PDT)
(Adds late games) April 15 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Wednesday's National Hockey League playoff games: - - - Islanders 4, Capitals 1 Center Brock Nelson, right winger Ryan Strome and left winger Josh Bailey all scored their first career playoff goals and goaltender Jaroslav Halak stopped 24 of 25 shots to lead the New York Islanders to a series-opening 4-1 road victory over the Washington Capitals. Winger Marcus Johansson scored the lone goal for the Capitals, who, like the Islanders, are returning to the playoffs after a one-year absence. - - - Canadiens 4, Senators 3 Right winger Brian Flynn scored the game-winner and added two assists in his playoffs debut to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-3 home win over the Ottawa Senators in the opening game of their series.

Flynn scores winner, Canadiens take Senators 4-3 in Game 1 (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 15 Apr 2015 20:54:00 PDT)
Lots of scoring and wild action took a back seat Wednesday night to a slash that could lead to a suspension for Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban. Brian Flynn's goal was the winner at the end of a wild second period that saw five goals scored and Subban ejected for slashing as Montreal downed the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in the opening game of their NHL playoff series. Montreal takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series into Game 2 on Friday night. ''I agree it was a slashing penalty but I don't agree that it deserved five minutes,'' said Montreal coach Michel Therrien.

Instant playoff drama for Canadiens, Senators after 'vicious slash' by Subban (Yahoo Sports)
(Wed, 15 Apr 2015 20:13:53 PDT)
P.K. Subban's ill-conceived slash on Ottawa Senators rookie Mark Stone resulted in ejection for the Montreal Canadiens star defenseman – and immediate controversy in the first-round NHL playoff series.

Canadiens D Subban ejected for slashing Stone (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 15 Apr 2015 19:32:02 PDT)
Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban was ejected from the first game of the Canadiens' first-round playoff series against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday for a slash on Ottawa rookie Mark Stone. Subban was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for slashing Stone midway in the second period. With the puck near Carey Price's net, Subban lifted his stick in the air and chopped hard, bringing it down on Stone's right wrist. The 22-year-old Stone fell to the ice writing in agony, then skated off to the dressing room.

P.K. Subban ejected from Game 1 after slashing Ottawa’s Mark Stone (Video) (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 15 Apr 2015 17:57:50 PDT)
P.K. Subban jumped up and down, stretching his arm out in a pose of disbelief as Mark Stone of the Ottawa Senators fell to the ice.  Subban didn’t think the play warranted a penalty. Later, he stood at the bench incredulously, as it was announced he had been ejected from Game 1 of their series against the Ottawa Senators. Not for a nasty hit from behind. Not for a hit to the head. No, for a slash to the hands of Mark Stone that sent the rookie down to the ice in excruciating pain and then immediately to the dressing room. For that, Subban was given a 5-minute major and a game misconduct. Stone and Subban were lined up at the faceoff circle, where Stone gave Subban a shot to the gloves after the draw. Stone went to the front of the net, where Subban cracked him on the right hand with his lumber. Stone dropped like someone had taken a chainsaw to this wrist, and then left the ice. The officials discussed the play for a few minutes, but upheld the call. The Sens scored two power-play goals by Kyle Turris and Mika Zibanejab during the major, but also gave up a shorthanded goal to Lars Eller. Rule 61.3 for the NHL states that a major penalty must be assessed if there’s an injury on the slash. And as per Rule 61.5, if a major penalty is handed out for slashing, “a game misconduct penalty must also be imposed.” Ah, but was there an injury? Stone RETURNED TO THE OTTAWA BENCH during the second period. So this is either a terrible call, or someone with Wolverine-like healing powers, or one of the most devious things we’ve ever witnessed, a clever ruse to get Subban ejected. MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:

Andrei Markov scores epically bad own-goal in Game 1 vs. Ottawa (Video) (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 15 Apr 2015 16:57:22 PDT)
One of the big questions about the Ottawa Senators entering their series against the Montreal Canadiens was how they’d put the puck past all-world goalie Carey Price. Turns out they just had to wait for one of his teammates to do it for them. Defenseman Andrei Markov had an all-time goof on Wednesday night, as he beat his own goalie five-hole while standing in his crease. Milan Michalek dumped the puck into the Montreal zone at Bell Centre. It was chased to the end boards by Mika Zibanejad and P.K. Subban. It took a tricky bounce back towards Price’s crease, and actually passed through the forechecking Senator. Markov then … just puts the puck behind his own goalie. Maybe he was trying to corral it or clear it. Maybe he was trying some weird Red Amry voodoo and passing it off his own goalie’s pads.  Or maybe he’s an Ottawa sleeper agent. Nah, Melnyk couldn’t afford his quote. Whatever the case, the goal was credited to Michalek and gave Ottawa the first goal of the series at 12:25 of the first period. It also gave the Senators something the Habs should be otherwise draining from them in Game 1 – even more confidence.  MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:

Puck Daddy’s 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Predictions; who wins it all? (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 15 Apr 2015 15:28:19 PDT)
The seedings are set. The beards are growing. The 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs have arrived, which can only mean one thing: Time to throw a bunch of crap at the wall like hyperactive primates and see what sticks!  Here are your Puck Daddy and Yahoo Sports staff prognostications for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including Stanley Cup champions and playoff MVP selections… Sean Leahy, Puck Daddy Editor Canadiens in 6 Lightning in 5 Rangers in 6 Capitals in 7 The opening round serves up a number of potential upset possibilities. Devan Dubnyk vs. the Blues? The Return of the Whiteout vs. the Anaheim Early Exits? J.P. Pageau and the Hamburglar vs. the Habs? It could be a wild Round 1. But I don't see much of that craziness happening and will stick with mostly chalk. The Canadiens may have been riding Carey Price all season, but that will only take them so far -- and that will be only through the first round. Ottawa's been a great second-half story, and while they'll put up a good fight, their run will come to an end. Tampa should take care of a Red Wings side entering the playoffs not sure who their No. 1 goalie is. Today it's Petr Mrazek. Who will it be tomorrow?  You can't spell Pittsburgh Penguins without "IR." A healthy Penguins side might make for some interesting betting against the Rangers, but there are too many key parts out and New York will ride the PDO wave a bit longer. Their long-time rivals won't send-off Nassau Coliseum with a deep run. The Islanders' late-season struggles, coupled with a penalty kill that won't know what to do against Alex Ovechkin and the NHL's top power play will be their demise in Round 1.  Blues in 7 Blackhawks in 7 Ducks in 6 Canucks in 6 Dubnyk has started nearly every game for the Wild since being acquired in January. He's played himself into both the Hart and Vezina Trophy conversations and saved Mike Yeo's job. He's the reason why Minnesota will put a scare into the Blues. While St. Louis is a team some have faltering early, I think this is their best roster yet to get over that hump ... once they figure out that goaltender thing. Patrick Kane could be back for Game 1. That means even if he isn't back for the start of the series, he'll return at some point vs. Nashville. That's a huge game-changer for Chicago, a veteran group about to go for their last ride. Radim Vrbata is going to be your Conn Smythe leader after Round 1. That, along with a healthy defense will be able to slow Sean Monahan, Jiri Hudler and Johnny Gaudreau. Anaheim is another team may are expecting to go out early, because that's what Bruce Boudreau teams do. Winnipeg has dealt with injuries and a goaltending situation that's flipped from Ondrej Pavelec to Michael Hutchinson and now back to Pavelec. Both have been playing some good possession hockey since the trade deadline, but like the Blues, the Ducks should have enough offense to advance. STANLEY CUP: Lightning over Blackhawks in 6 games. CONN SMYTHE: Tyler Johnson The bracket/divisional playoff format will mean some good teams go home early, opening the doors for others. Tampa and Chicago won't have to worry about avoiding any potential threats in my bracket, with the Lightning taking on the Canadiens and the Blackhawks knocking out the Blues in Round 2.  In the end, a Tampa team that ended top-5 in score-adjusted Fenwick during the regular season will have the firepower, defense and goaltending to win the franchise's first Cup since 2004. The underrated Johnson will continue to excel as Steven Stamkos garners most of the attention, and rightly so.  Josh Cooper, Puck Daddy Editor Canadiens in 6 Lightning in 5 Rangers in 7 Capitals in 7 I picked the Caps to win it all at the start of the year and I have to stick with my gut.  In the past, Washington has been undone by trying to play either too offensively or too defensively. New coach Barry Trotz finally has brought a balanced attack, scoring 2.89 goals per-game and allowing 2.43 per-contest. Washington’s twin defense signings of Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen were much-maligned in the summer. Those deals are long, and probably won’t look good on the back end, but they’re going to add some much-needed depth in the Caps’ postseason run. While winger Alex Ovechkin deservedly gets publicity for scoring goals, this playoff we’re going to see the wonderful all-around talent of center Nicklas Backstrom at its finest.   Blues in 5 Blackhawks in 6 Ducks in 7 Canucks in 6 If the Ducks – the Western Conference’s top team – didn’t draw the Jets in the first round and drew the Flames – the Western Conference playoff team with the lowest point total – I would have taken the Ducks in the Cup Final. But alas, in the NHL’s bizarre-o world of how it structures its postseason, the best team doesn’t always play the worst team to make the playoffs? Alas … The Ducks will be too bruised from a seven-game series over the punishing Jets. The Blues have incredible center depth in Paul Stastny, David Backes and Jori Lehtera. They have two solid goaltending options with Jake Allen and Brian Elliott and one of the most underrated defensemen in the game in Alex Pietrangelo. Also, if St. Louis is down a goal with a minute left, there are few better options for a score than Vladimir Tarasenko. I’m taking the Caps because I have to go with my preseason pick, but I could easily see the Blues winning it all. STANLEY CUP Capitals over Blues in 7 CONN SMYTHE: Nicklas Backstrom Jen Neale, Puck Daddy Editor Canadiens in 6 Lightning in 5  Penguins in 6 Capitals in 6 The first round of the playoffs seem to have laid out perfectly with the pretty even competition across the board.  My big upset pick is Pittsburgh over New York. I know what you’re saying, “But Jen, you crazy woman with your estrogen clouded judgment, the Penguins are playoff chokers, the Sharks of the East, if you will.” You’re right reader, the Penguins will eventually drop the big one, but not in the first round. Their meltdown will come after knocking off a goaltending conundrum filled New York Rangers. Trust me, I know it sound weird to give a goaltending advantage to Fleury over Lundqvist in the playoffs, but I’m riding a hunch that the King isn’t in post-season form. Wild in 6 Blackhawks in 5 Ducks in 6 Calgary in 7 As far as upsets in the West, I have Minnesota taking St. Louis. Minny is riding a wave of Dubnyk-ian glory that will lift them over St. Louis in the first round. Chicago over Nashville isn’t really an upset. Unless Pekka Rinne is absolutely perfect, the Blackhawks are simply the better team. Calgary and Vancouver are both iffy in net, but the Flames can out-score the Canucks. STANLEY CUP: Chicago over Montreal in 7 CONN SMYTHE: Carey Price My final is Chicago vs. Montreal. I have Chicago winning with Carey Price going all kinds of J.S. Giguere over the series. The Blackhawks have the scoring depth that I don’t see with the Habs. Plus, by the time the conference final and Cup final roll around, Patrick Kane is going to be back in game shape. If he’s any semblance of what he was before he broke his collarbone, watch out. Even the best goaltender in the league will have a hard time stopping him. 

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