Archive for April, 2016

NHL Three Stars: Letang plays forever; Lightning wakeup and win (Puck Daddy)

By at 30 April, 2016, 11:34 pm

No. 1 Star: Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins Letang was a beast for the Penguins in their 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals. Due to the injury to Olli Maatta in the first period, the defenseman had to take on extra minutes on the ice. Like an insane amount of minutes – 35:22 in total. In that time he was a plus-2 with 6 shots on goal, 4 attempts blocked, and 1 missed shot. He also blocked 5 shots. No. 2 Star: Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning The forward recorded 2 goals and 1 assist in the Lightning’s 4-1 drubbing of the New York Islanders. The series is now tied at 1-1 as it heads to Brooklyn.  No. 3 Star: Matt Murray, Pittsburgh Penguins The goaltender improved his playoff record to 4-1-1 as he held the Capitals to 1 goal on 24 shots. Check out this series of saves he made. Honorable Mention: Braden Holtby made 33 saves in the loss … Thomas Greiss was 27 of 30 for the Islanders. Victor Hedman scored a goal and an assist. Same for Jonathan Drouin who picked up his first playoff goal: Did You Know?  Nicklas Backstrom won 18 of 20 draws, and was 14-1 against Sidney Crosby. Dishonorable Mention: Brooks Orpik is definitely going to get suspended for knocking Olli Maatta out of the game for his vicious, very late hit . Penguins power play was 0-for-5. No Pittsburgh center was above a 36% success rate on the dot … Both the Lightning and Islanders power play were 1-for-5. In the final 1:40, both teams started to tussle and took a total of six penalties. All of them minor infractions, but sets up a headed Game 3. – – – – – – – 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:

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Triplets line helps Lightning even series with Isles (AFP)

By at 30 April, 2016, 11:21 pm

Tyler Johnson was reunited with linemates Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat and it paid off, as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New York Islanders 4-1 in game two of their NHL second round playoff series. Johnson scored twice as the so called “Triplet…

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NHL-Lightning beat Islanders 4-1 to even series after two games (Reuters)

By at 30 April, 2016, 4:50 pm

April 30 (The Sports Xchange) – Tyler Johnson scored two goals as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New York Islanders 4-1 in Game 2 of an Eastern Conference second-round series on Saturday at Amalie Arena in Florida. The series is tied 1-1 as the teams head north for Game 3 in Brooklyn on Tuesday. Jonathan Drouin and Victor Hedman also notched goals for the Lightning and Ben Bishop made 19 saves. Nicolay Kulemin had the Islanders’ lone goal. (Editing by Andrew Both)

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Lightning bounce back, take puck and Game 2 away from Islanders (Puck Daddy)

By at 30 April, 2016, 4:21 pm

Ben Bishop was pulled in Game 1 of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s series against the New York Islanders. Which was sort of embarrassing on several levels, since it was also a day on which he was nominated for the Vezina Trophy.  But here’s what happens when Ben Bishop gets pulled: His team usually wins the next game. And the Lightning bounced back to take Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series, 4-1, over the Islanders. “It’s a team thing. The guys played really well in front of me,” said Bishop, who improved to 12-3-1 after being pulled. “We just wanted to get pucks deep. Last game, we had too many turnovers, fed their transition.” It was Tampa Bay’s transition game that fed the first goal, led by a reunited Triplets Line. It was set up by defenseman Victor Hedman thanks in part to having Cal Clutterbuck and Nick Leddy collide in the neutral zone. Ondrej Palat easily fed a puck to Tyler Johnson, with Matt Martin forced to play defense, and he converted for the 1-0 lead at 6:03 of the first period. Full marks to Nikita Kucherov, who forced the turnover that forced the Islanders to collide. “We had a little traffic in the neutral zone there, and Kuch made a great play,” said Johnson on NHL Network, who now has four goals in the playoffs.  Jonathan Drouin made it 2-0 as he stick-handled in a phone booth, and scored one that Thomas Greiss wanted back: Nikolay Kulemin cut the lead to 2-1 with a deflected shot on an Islanders’ power play. But Hedman scored a power-play of his own, off of Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan’s skate, to earn the 3-1 advantage. Johnson closed out the scoring with an empty netter. Like Bishop said, the Lightning played a hell of a game in front of him, as he bounced back with a 19-save effort. They limited the Islanders to three shots on goal in the third period, after a five-shot second period. (That included a seven-minute stretch without a whistle in the third.) The Lightning smartly held onto the puck more this game, ending with a lopsided possession advantage. “They had more puck possession in our zone,” said Islanders coach Jack Capuano.  The Islanders, meanwhile, played a tentative, pass-happy game. And when they did shoot, Bishop saw it. “We didn’t get in front of him enough. We started the game with power play after power play, and they pressured us all over the ice,” said Capuano. “We didn’t take his eyes away.” —  Greg Wyshynski  is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at  puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com  or  find him on Twitter.  His book,  TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK , is  available on Amazon  and wherever books are sold. MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY

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

By at 29 April, 2016, 3:44 pm

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

By at 29 April, 2016, 3:14 pm

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,…

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