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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NHL - New York Islanders News on April 30, 2016 at 12:21 pm



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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NHL - New York Islanders News on April 30, 2016 at 7:23 am



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Penguins and Capitals expect Crosby to respond in Game 2 (The Associated Press)

The Pittsburgh Penguins can't win this playoff series without you. Crosby was ineffective offensively and on the ice for three Washington Capitals goals Thursday night in the Penguins' 4-3 overtime loss in Game 1. ''You don't like being on for goals, definitely not,'' Crosby said Friday.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NHL - New York Islanders News on April 30, 2016 at 2:39 am



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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NHL - New York Islanders News on April 29, 2016 at 11:54 pm



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Islanders-Lightning Preview (The Associated Press)

The New York Islanders were once again Ben Bishop's nemesis in the opening game of the Eastern Conference semifinals, but they remain humble entering their next matchup with the Vezina Trophy finalist. The Islanders will seek to cause more woes for the Tampa Bay goaltender while taking a commanding lead over the Lightning on Saturday. Bishop failed to make it through a start against the Islanders for the second straight time in Wednesday's series opener in Tampa, giving up four goals on 13 shots in a 5-3 defeat.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NHL - New York Islanders News on April 29, 2016 at 7:04 pm



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Stanley Cup Playoff Preview: 11 keys to victory in Sharks vs. Predators (Puck Daddy)

(Ed. Note: Welcome to Round 2 coverage of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, where we flip the format and get right to the point with 11 keys to each series. Enjoy!) The San Jose Sharks (46-30-6, 98 points) calmly eliminated the Los Angeles Kings in five games, ousting their arch rivals. The Nashville Predators (41-27-14, 96 points) rallied to eliminate the Anaheim Ducks in seven games, costing Bruce Boudreau his job. The Sharks and Predators met in the first-round in 2006 and 2007, with the Sharks winning both series in five games. Not to say that was a while ago, but Paul Kariya was the leading scorer for the Preds. They meet again in the Western Conference Pacific Division Final, despite the Predators playing in the Central. Such is playoffs. Here are 11 keys to victory for the Sharks and Predators. 1. The Top Line   Arguably the best line in the playoffs thus far was the freight train of Joe Thornton (1 goal, 2 assists), Joe Pavelski (5 goals) and Tomas Hertl (1 goal, 1 assist). Together, they scored seven of the team’s 16 goals overall against the Kings, and five of their 10 even strength goals. They were also the only three Sharks forwards to out-possess the Kings in 5v5 score-adjusted Corsi, which is seriously impressive against the best possession team in the NHL. They’ll see copious amounts of Shea Weber and Roman Josi. Speaking of which … 2. Josi and Weber Josi skated 27:16 and Weber skated 26:36 per game, scoring two goals and notching three assists. More importantly, they limited Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf to a lone assist in the final two games of their first-round series win. They're as good a defensive pair as you’ll find, on one of the league’s deepest blue lines. Oh, and the goalie’s not bad, either.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NHL - New York Islanders News on April 29, 2016 at 5:44 pm



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Penguins and Capitals expect Crosby to respond in Game 2 (The Associated Press)

The Pittsburgh Penguins can't win this playoff series without you. Crosby was ineffective offensively and on the ice for three Washington Capitals goals Thursday night in the Penguins' 4-3 overtime loss in Game 1. ''You don't like being on for goals, definitely not,'' Crosby said Friday.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NHL - New York Islanders News on April 29, 2016 at 5:14 pm



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Stanley Cup Playoff Preview: 11 keys to victory in Blues vs. Stars (Puck Daddy)

(Ed. Note: Welcome to Round 2 coverage of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, where we flip the format and get right to the point with 11 keys to each series. Enjoy!)   1. Tyler Seguin’s presence   After missing a month with a sliced Achilles, Seguin returned for Game 2 against the Minnesota Wild before irritating something related his to injury. He hasn’t played since and it’s unknown when he’ll begin skating again. Should he return at some point during this series, will Lindy Ruff shelter him? How cautious will he be with Seguin’s minutes? GM Jim Nill said Seguin would need at least four or five days on the ice before returning to game action. 2. Vladimir Tarasenko’s ice time The Russian sniper’s ice time in the final two games of Round 1 became an issue because the Blues were losing. Everyone seemed to forget that in Games 2-4 Tarasenko played 16:05, 16:33 and 15:14, respectively, which was down from the 18:38 he averaged during the regular season. Of course you want your most dangerous offensive weapon out there when you need a goal. This, Hitchcock understands, as he explained the ice time drop was a situational thing. Considering who they're up against, Tarasenko probably won't be waiting too long to get the shoulder tap telling him it's time to hop over the boards. 3. Fight the power (play) Both the Blues and Stars feature lethal power play units, ranking third (St. Louis, 27.8 percent) and fifth (Dallas, 21.1 percent) of the eight second-round teams. That’s a biggie considering both penalty kills weren’t great in Round 1. The Blues allowed six goals on 19 opportunities (68.4 percent), while the Stars gave up four on 16 chances (75 percent). St. Louis took the fourth-most minors last round (27). Dallas was a bit more disciplined taking only 17 minors. Special teams are vital to survive this time of year. 4. Contain the top lines Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz and Jori Lehtera combined for 17 points in their seven-game series against the Chicago Blackhawks. They also recorded a quarter (52) of St. Louis’ total shots (205). Meanwhile, Jamie Benn, Cody Eakin and Patrick Sharp posted nine goals and 18 points in Round 1. Those six carried a big offensive load. Can their secondary scorers continue to contribute? 5. Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi… or both? Antti Niemi began Round 1 on the bench and was given an opportunity in Games 4 and 5. He allowed seven goals in those two starts, winning one and losing one while posting an ugly .857 ESSV. Lehtonen finished the job with a .942 ESSV and will start the Blues series as Ruff’s No. 1. The pair split the workload during the regular season, but for now it looks like it's Lehtonen's job to lose... again. 6. Hold on to your lead Both the Blues and Stars had some issues holding multi-goal leads in Round 1.. With each team entering the second round following strong offensively performances (Nos.1 and 2 in EV GF), getting a lead will mean withstanding a ton of pressure just to hold that lead.  7. Coaching Lindy Ruff vs. Ken Hitchcock. A rematch of the 1999 Stanley Cup Final which ended in controversial fashion and 2006 when their two sides met in the opening round. Combined the pair have 37 seasons of NHL coaching experience under their belts and 249 playoff games on their resumes. Old pals, there's not much unknown between the two, so this will be a series of finding new ways to gain an edge on the other.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NHL - New York Islanders News on April 29, 2016 at 4:36 pm



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Thornton’s greatness; Ruff vs. Hitchcock (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)

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  puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com .    @NHLstoreNYC made hockey's new fan @soIoucity a personalized jersey! Also a warm hat for the 'room full of ice' pic.twitter.com/fS1T9TuAV5 — NHL Store NYC (@NHLstoreNYC) April 28, 2016 • The NHL Store in Manhattan is going all-in on St. Louis Blues superfan Tony X . ( NHL Store ) • Why San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton is still the NHL’s most underappreciated star player. The 36-year-old Thornton had a renaissance year with 82 points in 82 games. [ USA Today ] • Sharks forward Joonas Donskoi was the team’s secret weapon. After a strong first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings, the secret is out. [ Sports Illustrated ] • The Sharks should provide a tougher test for the Nashville Predators in the second-round than the Anaheim Ducks did in the first-round. [ The Predatorial ] [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today ] • The St. Louis Blues knocked out the Chicago Blackhawks with a particular style of play. Will this brand of hockey work against the Dallas Stars in the second-round of the playoffs? [ St. Louis Gametime ] • Stars coach Lindy Ruff and Blues coach Ken Hitchcock go back a long way. The two met during the 1999 Stanley Cup Final when Ruff’s Buffalo Sabres went against Hitchcock’s Stars. They then formed a friendship. [ Dallas Morning News ] • New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano has made a lot of stellar moves this postseason. Examining what he’s done right in the playoffs. [ Islanders Insight ] • Tampa Bay Lightning forward Erik Condra feels better after taking a nasty fall following a Casey Cizikas hit in Game 1 of his series against the Islanders. Lightning coach Jon Cooper seemed encouraged with how Condra is felt Thursday. [ Tampa Bay Times ] • A closer look at Game 1 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. T.J. Oshie scored a hat trick and the Caps beat the Penguins 4-3 in overtime. [ Japers’ Rink ] • Auston Matthews' non-traditional road to the NHL could end up in a traditional market. Matthews is the top prospect for this year's NHL Draft, and it's highly probable that he'll end up in a Canadian market. Matthews is from Scottsdale, Arizona [ Toronto Sun ] • One name that is glaringly absent from that list of Vezina Trophy finalists is Chicago Blackhawks netminder Corey Crawford, who was arguably the best all-around goaltender in the league throughout the 2015-16 season. This exposes issues with the goaltending evaluation system. [ Second City Hockey ] • Vancouver Canucks president Trevor Linden will bring a 1970-71 playing card of Pat Quinn in a Canucks uniform to the NHL Draft Lottery. The Canucks have an 11.5 percent chance of winning the top overall pick. [ The Province ] • Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar explains why he had a disappointing 2015-16. Tatar had 21 goals – eight fewer than his team-leading total of 2014-15. His point total dipped from 56 to 45. [ MLive ] • Enforcer Colton Orr retired from the NHL. Said Orr, “I look forward now to the next chapter of my life which I could not be happier to share with the two loves of my life - my wife Sabrina and daughter, Charlotte.” [ NHLPA ] • Orr still sees a place for fighting in hockey as the enforcer role plummets. [ CP via Yahoo ] • Taking a look at the New York Riveters’ offseason, centering around Janine Weber and Nana Fujimoto. [ Today’s Slapshot ] • This NWHL salary cap tracker breaks down the salary cap for each team. The first page has all of the players and their former team, country, and position, and also tracks their 2016 – 2017 contract, the difference from their 2015 – 2016 contract and the impact on their team’s cap. [ Along the Boards ] • OHL finalists Niagara IceDogs and London Knights have engaged in a Twitter battle in advance of their series. [ Buzzing the Net ] • Breaking down the Vezina Trophy finalists and taking a look at where Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson slots next season, along with other fantasy topics. [ Dobber Hockey ] • University of North Dakota defenseman Paul LaDue signed a contract with the Los Angeles Kings, giving up his final year of college eligibility. LaDue was a sixth-round draft pick of the Kings in 2012 and they have been pursuing him for two years. [ Grand Forks Herald ] • The Ottawa Senators are one step closer to procuring a new downtown arena. In a long and drawn out meeting of the NCC Board of Directors, the RendezVous LeBreton proposal for the redevelopment of LeBreton Flats was selected as the preferred bid. This is the bid by Sens owner Eugene Melnyk. [ The 6th Sens ] •   The St. Louis Blues will face off against the Washington Capitals at the Spring Center on Oct. 5. [St. Louis Blues] • Defending The Blue Line and the Minnesota Wild today announced Wild defenseman Matt Dumba donated $8,900 to the organization as a result of “Dumba’s Hit’s for Heroes” – an initiative announced in October to raise money for the charity throughout the 2015-16 season. Dumba donated $100 for every hit he had during the season. He finished the year with 89. [ Minnesota Wild ] • Arizona State's men's hockey program is completing a deal with the National Collegiate Hockey Conference to join the group as early as 2017-18, or perhaps for 2018-19. [ College Hockey News ] • Finally, looking into the life of Hillary Knight. MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY    

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NHL - New York Islanders News on April 29, 2016 at 1:58 pm



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Yahoo Sports’ NHL Playoff Picks, Round 2! (Puck Daddy)

The NHL had some premature congratulations for the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders, as the second round started before the first round was finished.  So we locked in our picks for that series while waiting to see if the Anaheim Ducks or Nashville Predators would advance. (Spoiler: It was a Game 7, so you fill in the blank.) Now, here are the picks for the rest of the second round series, as the Pittsburgh Penguins take on the Washington Capitals; the Dallas Stars face the St. Louis Blues; and the San Jose Sharks face the Nashville Predators. And here … we … go. Sean Leahy, Puck Daddy Editor Penguins in 7 You could basically flip a coin for these Round 2 series and come up with a prediction that wouldn't be too crazy.  Pens-Caps? Alex Ovechkin and Barry Trotz are long overdue to get out of the first round. But with the way the Penguins have been playing in the second half and with the fact that Matt Murray has kept their goaltending situation stable as Marc-Andre Fleury recovers from a concussion, it's tough not to see them continuing this run. Blues in 7 Blues-Stars? St. Louis just finished off an emotional series win and face a Dallas offense -- while lacking Tyler Seguin for the near future -- that is dangerous. The series will probably come down to goaltender where the Brian Elliott will get an edge over Kari Lehtonen first, and potentially Antti Niemi later in the series. Sharks in 6 Sharks-Preds? This one might be a tad easier to predict, but with the way Pekke Rinne is playing and the balanced scoring Nashville is supplying, it's tough to make this an easy out for the Sharks. But much like the Blues and Islanders, San Jose exorcised a playoff demon and looked like a well-oiled machine in Round 1. How will the Preds find a way to slow down Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and crew? Josh Cooper, Puck Daddy Editor Capitals in 6 The Capitals are the most talented left in the NHL playoffs. They can beat you so many ways and I think this is enough to overcome the Penguins’ star players in what should be the best series of the second-round. So much publicity goes to Alex Ovechkin and Washington’s powerful offense, but  the Capitals are also one of the best defensive teams in the NHL. Their ability to marginalize Pittsburgh’s powerful attack will be the difference. Past Capitals teams didn’t have gritty two-way players on the blueline like John Carlson and Matt Niskanen. And they didn’t have playoff-tested all-around players at forward like Justin Williams. Stars in 6 Dallas captain Jamie Benn will be the driving force for the Stars in the second-round. He’s a matchup nightmare for teams and tough to stop both on the wall and in open ice. The Blues don’t have a player with the all-around talents of Benn, and he’ll be the biggest difference-maker in this series. The Blues climbed a major mountain in beating the Chicago Blackhawks in the first-round, but Chicago isn’t as deep as the Stars. Dallas developed a strong defensive identity near the end of the season, and I think their balance of speed and size will be too much for the Blues to handle.   Sharks in 6 The Sharks are arguably the deepest team left in the Western Conference. They can roll four lines and three defense pairs and when they get on the power play, it’s almost an automatic goal. The Predators did a nice job beating the Anaheim Ducks in seven games, but the Sharks are a motivated group that’s playing the right type of playoff hockey. The line of Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and Tomas Hertl will get a heavy dose of Shea Weber and Roman Josi, which will open up Logan Couture’s trio on the second-line to have a big series. Pekka Rinne will keep the Predators stable, but it just feels like a special year is brewing for the Sharks. Jen Neale, Puck Daddy Editor Capitals in 7 This series is going to come down to goaltending. Matt Murray may be able to steal a couple games for the Penguins; however, Braden Holtby continues to be a beast. All he needs is the run support in front of him, something surprisingly lacking in this first round. Blues in 6 I don't trust Dallas's goaltending tandem, and the series against Minnesota showed why. Said it the first round: it doesn't matter if you can score a million goals when your goalie can't stop a million and one. Plus the Blues have finally accepted Brian Elliott as their goaltender and savior. He's coming up huge for them. San Jose in 6 Pekka Rinne is holding the Predators together. They have a couple dangerous forwards and two extremely talented defensemen. San Jose has the size and skill to exploit everything the Ducks couldn't. Ryan Lambert, Puck Daddy Columnist Penguins in 7 These are the two best teams remaining in the East by a good distance, and it's going to be a slugfest. The way Pittsburgh has played since Mike Sullivan took over is still only just enough to convince me they can dispatch the Capitals by the slimmest of margins. Both are teams that can go strength-against-strength with anyone in the league and expect to come out on top, so for all intents and purposes I think we may as well consider this the unofficial Eastern Conference Final. I'm pumped for every second of this series. Blues in 7 The amount I trust Dallas's goaltending against anyone is very small, and while the Blues obviously don't have the knockout punchers in a quality or quantity that can match Dallas, I also fear for what Vladimir Tarasenko is going to do to Antti Niemi or Kari Lehtonen in this series.  There's a legitimate possibility things get very ugly, hockeywise. Meaning coaches probably won't be happy with how their clubs play. This feels like a series with a lot of 4-3 games. In the end, because the Stars struggled with the Wild — as deeply mediocre a team as there was in the league this year — I have to give the edge to St. Louis. Sharks in 6 I love the Sharks and I want them to win. If they can crush the Kings in five games, the Predators, for as good as they have been and as well-coached as they will continue to be, don't look like a particularly significant threat.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NHL - New York Islanders News on April 28, 2016 at 6:41 pm



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