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Rangers Top Canadiens 3-1, Take 2-0 Series Lead

Rangers Top Canadiens 3-1, Take 2-0 Series Lead

Francois Lacasse/National Hockey League/Getty Images(MONTREAL) -- Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves as the New York Rangers defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 on Monday night to take a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference final series.

"I thought we played well, and the only reason we lost was Lundqvist," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. "He stole that game."

The Canadiens found out before the game that star goalie Carey Price will miss the remainder of the postseason with a lower body injury.  In a surprising move, Dustin Tokarski started the game over backup Peter Budaj.

Ryan McDonough, Rick Nash, and Martin St. Louis all scored on Tokarski to help New York took a commanding lead in their best-of-seven series.

Max Pacioretty scored 6:14 into the first period to give Montreal a 1-0 lead.  McDonough answered with his own goal 17 seconds later to tie the game, and that was all the momentum the Rangers needed.

"We knew they were going to come hard, but we put ourselves in a tough spot there by not getting pucks out," Lundqvist said. "They were all over us.

Game 3 will be played on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

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Crawford Leads Blackhawks to 1-0 Series Lead

Crawford Leads Blackhawks to 1-0 Series Lead

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images(CHICAGO, Ill.) -- Duncan Keith scored the go-ahead goal twelve minutes into the second period, and Corey Crawford made 25 saves as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated Los Angeles, 3-1 on Sunday. The win gave the defending champs a 1-0 series lead. 

"I think (he) just keeps getting better and better," said teammate Jonathan Toews. "As a team we have to give raising our level of play as the stage gets bigger and bigger. I think if anyone is doing that, it's (him)."

The Chicago netminder leads the NHL with a 1.90 goals against average and a .933 save percentage during the postseason. Crawford has allowed just one goal in each of his last three games.

Chicago opened the scoring on Brandon Saad's power play goal late in the first and looked to have a 2-0 lead after the puck trickled into the back of the net off the skate of Kings' defenseman Slava Voynov. However, upon video review, officials ruled that Toews made incidental contact with goalkeeper Jonathan Quick and waved off the goal.

That allowed Tyler Toffoli a chance to things up five minutes into the second period. As LA looked to take a lead, Crawford came up with multiple big saves before Keith netted his third of the playoffs. Toews would add another goal in the third to give the Blackhawks a two-goal advantage.

Quick made just 17 saves in the loss, even though his team outshot the Hawks 26-20. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks improved to 7-0 at home in the playoffs. Game 2 is set for Wednesday night in Chicago.

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Kings Rout Anaheim in Game Seven

Kings Rout Anaheim in Game Seven

Jeff Gross/Getty Images(ANAHEIM, Calif.) -- Justin Williams scored four and a half minutes in to the start of Game Seven and the Los Angeles Kings never looked back. Six different players scored as the Kings polished off the Anaheim Ducks 6-2 to advance to their third straight Western Conference Finals.

"I think we just focused on trying to have a good start," said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter. "If you score the first goal it's been an advantage in this series."

So far in the NHL Playoffs, the team that scores first has won 25 of 26 games. Los Angeles has also won six straight games this postseason when facing elimination, including rallying from down 3-0 in their opening round series with San Jose.

The Kings jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first period and added another goal thanks to Anze Kopitar just two minutes into the second. That chased rookie goalkeeper John Gibson but a change in net did not deter Los Angeles. Marion Gaborik would eventually score on Jonas Hiller to make the score 5-0 before Anaheim finally got on the board thanks to Kyle Palmieri.

Jonathan Quick allowed just two goals and made 25 saves in the win. Los Angeles will face the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks for the second consecutive season. The Kings hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2012.

Friday's game also marked the end of the career of Anaheim's Teemu Selanne. Affectionately known as "The Finnish Flash", Selanne played 15 of his 21 season with the Ducks and helped bring the franchise its only championship in 2007. Both teams stayed on the ice following the game as fans in Anaheim saluted the soon-to-be retired forward.

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Canadiens Bounce Bruins from Playoffs with 3-1 Game 7 Victory

Canadiens Bounce Bruins from Playoffs with 3-1 Game 7 Victory

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images(BOSTON) --  The Montreal Canadiens are heading to the Eastern Conference finals.

Dale Weise, Max Pacioretty, and Daniel Briere all scored goals as the Canadiens beat the Boston Bruins 3-1 on Wednesday night in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Bruins came into the playoffs as the defending Eastern Conference champions and the NHL's top team in the regular season.  They took a 3-2 series lead after Game 5, but were unable to close out their heated rivals.

"You have an opportunity to get one step closer to the Stanley Cup," said Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban. "We deserve it. We played hard. Nothing has come easy for us all year."

Carey Price made 29 saves for the Canadiens, who will face the New York Rangers in the conference finals. Game 1 will be played on Saturday in Montreal.

"Carey Price was outstanding. Gave them a chance to win every night," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of the goalie who backstopped Canada to Olympic gold in February. "You play the way he did, it gives his team a lot of confidence and one of the keys to their success."

It's just the second time since 1993 that the Canadiens have reached the third round of the playoffs.

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Kane’s OT Goal Vaults Blackhawks into Western Conference Finals

Kane’s OT Goal Vaults Blackhawks into Western Conference Finals

Bruce Kluckhohn/National Hockey League/Getty Images(ST. PAUL, Minn.) --  Patrick Kane lives for the dramatic moments.

Kane scored the game-winning goal 9:42 into overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Minnesota Wild 2-1 in Game 6 on Tuesday night to advance to the Western Conference finals.

"He's a special player, and guys have that instinct, have that knack of finding pucks, wanting to be out there, wanting to score," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.

Kris Versteeg scored 1:58 into the first period to set the tone for Chicago.  Corey Crawford made 34 saves, but in the end, the story was all about Kane's heroics.

"We probably didn't play our best tonight, but just finding a way to win is something this team has done for many years now," Kane said. The 25-year-old now has four playoff overtime game-winning goals in his career.

Erik Haula scored a goal during the second period to tie the game at 1, but it wasn't enough as the Wild were eliminated from the playoffs.

"We really believe that we were capable of doing more than just winning this game," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "Our guys did everything that we asked and they laid it on the line, and that's what hurts."

The Blackhawks will face either the Anaheim Ducks or the Los Angeles Kings in the next round.

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Rangers Rally to Advance to Eastern Conference Finals

Rangers Rally to Advance to Eastern Conference FinalsElsa/Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) --  Henrik Lundqvist made 35 saves as the New York Rangers topped the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on Tuesday night to advance to the Eastern Conference finals. Brian Boyle and Brad Richards scored goals for the Rangers, w...

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/10/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/10/14Getty Images/Hemera(NEW YORK) -- NHL Playoffs: Eastern Conference Semifinals: Boston Bruins 4 - Montreal Canadiesn 2 (Bruins lead series, 3-2)  NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Semifinals: Brooklyn Nets 104 - Miami Heat 90 (Heat lead series, 2-1) ...

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/9/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/9/14Getty Images/Hemera(NEW YORK) -- NHL Playoffs - Eastern Conference Second Round: New York Rangers 5 - Pittsburgh Penguins 1 (Penguins lead series, 3-2) Minnesota Wild 4 - Chicago Blackhawks 2 (Blackhawks lead series, 2-1) NBA Playoffs - Eastern Co...

Maple Leafs Extend Head Coach Randy Carlyle

Maple Leafs Extend Head Coach Randy CarlyleLen Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images(TORONTO) -- Despite an early playoff exit, the Toronto Leafs are hanging onto head coach Randy Carlyle as the two sides have agreed on an extension. Carlyle agreed on a two-year extension with the club, but assistants...

Predators Hire Peter Laviolette as New Coach

Predators Hire Peter Laviolette as New CoachLen Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images(NASHVILLE) -- The Nashville Predators have hired Peter Laviolette as their new coach, the team announced on Tuesday. He will replace Barry Trotz, who served as the Predators coach since the club’s inception into...

Hurricanes Fire Coach Kirk Muller

Hurricanes Fire Coach Kirk MullerLen Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images(RALEIGH, N.C.) -- Newly hired Carolina Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis fired coach Kirk Muller on Monday after the team finished 36-35-11 this season. Francis also fired most of Muller's coaching staff and is l...

Kings Take 2-0 Series Lead over Anaheim

Kings Take 2-0 Series Lead over AnaheimHarry How/Getty Images(ANAHEIM, Calif.) -- Marian Gaborik scored just 34 seconds into the game and Jonathan Quick made 36 saves as Los Angeles defeated Anaheim 3-1 in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinals. The win gives the Kings a 2-0 series e...

Crosby Scores as Penguins Take Series Lead over Rangers

Crosby Scores as Penguins Take Series Lead over RangersBruce Bennett/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sidney Crosby has had a knack for scoring big goals, except in this year's playoffs. That changed on Monday night, when the Penguins star tallied his first score of the postseason to lead Pittsburgh to a 2-0 win ...

Scoreboard Roundup 5-5-14

Scoreboard Roundup 5-5-14Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA Playoffs: Washington Wizards 102 - Indiana Pacers 96 (Wizards lead series 1-0) Clippers 120 - Thunder 101 (Clippers lead series 1-0) NHL Playoffs: Pittsburgh Penguins 2 - New York Rangers 0 (Penguins lead series 2-1...

Bruins Defenseman Adam McQuaid Officially Out for the Season

Bruins Defenseman Adam McQuaid Officially Out for the SeasonSteve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid has officially been ruled out for the season due to a right ankle injury."McQuaid underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on Thursday, May 1 on his right ankle," ...

Bruins Top Canadiens 5-3, Even Series at 1-1

Bruins Top Canadiens 5-3, Even Series at 1-1Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Despite trailing 3-1 early into the third period, the Boston Bruins were able to rally back and defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-3 to even their series 1-1 on Saturday afternoon. 6:30 in the third period, ...

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/2/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/2/14Getty Images/Hemera(NEW YORK) -- NBA Playoffs - First Round: Brooklyn Nets 97 - Toronto Raptors 83 (Series tied, 3-3) Dallas Mavericks 113 - San Antonio Spurs 111 (Series tied, 3-3) Portland Trail Blazers 99 - Houston Rockets 98 (Trail Blazers win seri...

Jaromir Jagr Returning to the Devils Next Season

Jaromir Jagr Returning to the Devils Next SeasonGlenn James/NHLI via Getty Images(NEWARK, N.J.) -- Instead of hanging up his skates, Jaromir Jagr is returning to the NHL for his 21st season as he has informed the New Jersey Devils he will be returning next season. One of the most decorated players i...

ESPN: Canucks to Fire Head Coach John Tortorella

ESPN: Canucks to Fire Head Coach John TortorellaLen Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After just one season at the helm, ESPN reports that the Vancouver Canucks will fire head coach John Tortorella. Totorella just finished the first season of a five-year deal after spending the previous fi...

Kings Cap Comeback, Stun Sharks to Advance

Kings Cap Comeback, Stun Sharks to AdvanceEzra Shaw/Getty Images(SAN JOSE, Calif.) -- The historic comeback for the Los Angeles Kings is complete. Anze Kopitar scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, Jonathan Quick made 39 saves, and the Kings came back from being three games down to st...

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