cnotes Posts:32938 Followers:38
05/03/2013 12:52 AM

Preview: Wild (0-0) at Blackhawks (0-0)

Date: May 03, 2013 9:30 PM EDT

CHICAGO (AP) - The Minnesota Wild got a terrific effort from Josh Harding in a tough spot. Ryan Suter helped Minnesota keep Chicago's high-powered attack in check, and the Wild still lost Game 1 to the Blackhawks.

The problem for Minnesota is the same one Chicago presented all season long to the rest of the NHL, and it could become even more important as the series moves forward.

The Blackhawks are so deep that it's tough to keep track of everyone.

Take the overtime goal in Tuesday night's playoff opener, which went to Chicago's third line. Or the ice time on the score sheet, which showed a pretty even distribution for the Blackhawks compared to an astounding 41 minutes for Suter and 34 for fellow Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin.

``Every shift's critical, and it's important that you hold up your end of the bargain,' Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Wednesday. ``Your depth's going to get challenged and I think we found out all year it was one of the strengths of our team. This year, in the playoffs, I don't think that's changed at all, maybe it would even be that much more important.'

Minnesota's depth was challenged when goalie Niklas Backstrom was scratched with a leg injury after he hurt himself while reaching for a puck as he warmed up for Game 1. Harding, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis diagnosis last summer and played in just five games this season, responded with 35 saves.

``To not expect to play and halfway through warm-ups you find you have to play, to flip that switch, that's a tough thing,' Suter said. ``I thought he did great. That's a lot of pressure on a guy to come in and perform, and he did. Hopefully, he continues to have great success like he had.'

Backstrom and right wing Jason Pominville are day to day, according to coach Mike Yeo. Pominville missed the last two games of the regular season after he was elbowed in the chin by Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings.

That means Harding could be in the net again for Game 2 on Friday night at the United Center, a week after he replaced an ineffective Backstrom and allowed three goals himself in a 6-1 loss to Edmonton that nearly cost the Wild a playoff spot.

``I was anxious for a lot of reasons to see him have a chance to bounce back,' Yeo said. ``He was thrown into a tough situation in that Edmonton game and if you know Josh, he's a competitor and I'm sure he was looking for an opportunity to get back in there, too. Obviously he wasn't expecting it to happen like that. You've got confidence in the guys that are in your room.'

The Blackhawks rolled to an NHL-best 36-7-5 record this season, winning the Presidents' Trophy for the first time in 32 years and raising the expectations for a second championship in four years. Nine players had at least 20 points, helping Chicago to 149 goals - second only to high-scoring Pittsburgh.

Beyond Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, rookie Brandon Saad and speedy Viktor Stalberg are all capable scorers. Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland came up with a handful of big plays this year. Defensemen Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson can contribute on both sides of the ice.

Thanks to all that depth, Chicago kept winning even when injuries popped and forced Quenneville to shuffle the lines a bit. Bolland and goalie Ray Emery, who have been out with lower body injuries, could practice on Thursday, but Quenneville was uncertain about their availability for Game 2.

From the stars to the role players, the Blackhawks have received contributions up and down the roster this season. And they think it could make a difference as the series wears on against the Wild.

``That's supposed to be one of those advantages we have as a team, that if the game goes late like it did last night, that we still have a lot of energy,' Toews said. ``We still have a lot of legs and we can keep going and rely on whoever it is to score that overtime goal. It doesn't really matter who gets the job done. We'll find ways to wear teams down.'

The overtime goal in Game 1 went to Bickell, who went to his backhand to slide the puck between Harding's legs for the score. Defenseman Johnny Oduya helped set up the winning play with a long pass to Stalberg, who found Bickell in the middle of the ice.

That was the very end of Minnesota's first playoff appearance in five years, but the Wild remain confident.

``What if we score the overtime winner? What's the story today?' Yeo said. ``Are they saying what a great job that our top line did and how their top line needs to find more, because 5-on-5 they didn't have much either. And that's one important thing to remember. The difference in the game was we scored one 5-on-5 goal, and they scored one 5-on-5 goal, and they got one power play (goal) and we didn't.'


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32938 Followers:38
05/03/2013 12:53 AM

Preview: Sharks (0-0) at Canucks (0-0)

Date: May 03, 2013 10:00 PM EDT

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - After a loss in Game 1, coach Alain Vigneault is looking for more offense from the Canucks.

``I need more from the whole team,' Vigneault said after a short practice Thursday. ``There's no doubt there. All our players understand we have to get better and we're going to get better.'

Vancouver's only goal in Wednesday's 3-1 series-opening loss came after Sharks winger Raffi Torres inadvertently put the puck in San Jose's net.

Game 2 of the series is Friday night.

Vigneault is looking for his team to put more pressure on Sharks goalie Antti Niemi. Vancouver's best chances came mainly from outside in Game 1, and the coach wants his players to move the puck up ice and crash the net.

``Our players, in my mind, are battled tested, they're pressure tested,' Vigneault said. ``At the end of the day, it's about making plays. We need to make more plays. We need to make more plays out of our end to get through that neutral zone better.

``At this time of year, goals that are scored five on five are usually on second, third and fourth efforts - battles in front of the nets - and we need to do a better job there.'

Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo, who will start again as Cory Schneider continues to recover from an undisclosed injury suffered late in the regular season, said the Canucks also have to do a better job of getting the puck out of their zone and forechecking.

``We need to be a bit more assertive on our forecheck, break the puck out cleaner, whether that exchanges with myself and the D-men or D-men with forwards,' Luongo said. ``Communication is really key in situations like that. Just sharpen up in general.'

Henrik and Daniel Sedin also want to see the Canucks improve their forecheck after they remained winless in four matchups with San Jose, including three in the regular season. After the Game 1 loss, the twins said the Sharks were able to move the puck out of their zone with ease.

In another potential shakeup, the Canucks recalled forward Brendan Gaunce, the team's first-round pick, 26th overall, in the 2012 draft.

The Canucks played a dump-and-chase game in Game 1 that might be adjusted in Game 2.

Sharks captain Joe Thornton and coach Todd McLellan said the Canucks came at them with a heavy forecheck, notably in the first period, but the visitors were able to adjust. Strategy aside, the Sharks are expecting the Canucks to display much more intensity Friday.

``You've got to think they're going to come out (thinking) do-or-die next game,' Thornton said. ``I expect their best effort - and I expect our best, too.'

The Canucks have struggled at home in the playoffs though. The hosts will attempt to end a five-game home playoff losing streak that stretches back to the 2011 Stanley Cup finals.

But Vancouver's recent home record shows it could recover quickly at Rogers Arena. The Canucks won eight of their last nine regular season games at home.

Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle doesn't expect the Canucks to feel overly pressured at home, because they'll realize one loss does not automatically end their Stanley Cup hopes.

Vigneault wants his team's leaders to stress that point, too, while realizing the importance of the games.

``They're all must wins in the playoffs,' Vigneault said. ``Playoffs is a different animal. The leadership group has to come in and make sure everybody is on an even keel, whether we win or lose and realize this is not a sprint. It's a long series. We know it wasn't going to be easy.'

McLellan, whose club lost the Western Conference finals to Vancouver in 2011, believes that another win will put his club in good shape before the series shifts to San Jose for Games 3 and 4.

``Coming home with one (win) in the bank is good, but coming home with two in the bank is excellent - and that'll be the goal,' McLellan said.

Notes: The Canucks signed D Henrik Tommernes to an entry-level contract. ... McLellan declined to discuss F Martin Havlat's status for Game 2, other than to say he received treatment Thursday. Havlat left Game 1 after the first period. ... Vigneault defended the effort of F Ryan Kesler, who did little offensively in the first game after missing the morning skate. Kesler, Derek Roy and Chris Higgins were reunited in practice after being separated in Game 1. They excelled together late in the regular season. ... Vigneault declined to say whether Schneider has suffered a setback in his recovery. ... Thornton said he and F Logan Couture cheated on faceoffs in the first game, but Henrik Sedin and Kesler did likewise.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32938 Followers:38
05/03/2013 08:27 AM

2013 NHL Playoff Results

May 3, 2013

NHL First Round

-- Home teams are 7-3
-- Favorites are 7-3 straight up
-- Favorites that won are 4-3 on the puck-line
-- The Under has gone 7-2-1

Away Home Score ATS Result Total Result

Tuesday, Apr. 30, 2013

Minnesota Chicago (-270) 2-1 (OT) Favorite Under (5)

Los Angeles St. Louis (-125) 2-1 (OT) Favorite Under (5)

Detroit Anaheim (-145) 3-1 Favorite Under (5)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Toronto Boston (-180) 4-1 Favorite Push (5)

NY Islanders Pittsburgh (-220) 5-0 Favorite Under (5.5)

San Jose (+120) Vancouver 3-1 Underdog Under (5)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ottawa (+125) Montreal 4-2 Underdog Over (5)

NY Rangers Washington (-130) 3-1 Favorite Under (5)

Los Angeles St. Louis (-130) 2-1 Favorite Under (5)

Detroit (+120) Anaheim 5-4 (OT) Underdog Over (5)

Friday, May 3, 2013
NY Islanders Pittsburgh - - -
Ottawa Montreal - - -
Minnesota Chicago - - -
San Jose Vancouver - - -

Saturday, May 4, 2013
NY Rangers Washington - - -
Toronto Boston - - -
Anaheim Detroit - - -
St. Louis Los Angeles - - -

Sunday, May 5, 2013
Pittsburgh NY Islanders - - -
Chicago Minnesota - - -
Montreal Ottawa - - -
Vancouver San Jose - - -

Monday, May 6, 2013
Boston Toronto - - -
Washington NY Rangers - - -
Anaheim Detroit - - -
St. Louis Los Angeles - - -

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Pittsburgh NY Islanders - - -
Montreal Ottawa - - -
Chicago Minnesota - - -
Vancouver San Jose - - -

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Boston Toronto - - -
Washington NY Rangers - - -
Los Angeles St. Louis - - -
Detroit Anaheim - - -

Thursday, May 9, 2013
NY Islanders Pittsburgh - - -
Ottawa Montreal - - -
Minnesota Chicago - - -
San Jose Vancouver - - -

Friday, May 10, 2013
Toronto Boston - - -
NY Rangers Washington - - -
Anaheim Detroit - - -
St. Louis Los Angeles - - -

Saturday, May 11, 2013
Pittsburgh NY Islanders - - -
Montreal Ottawa - - -
Chicago Minnesota - - -
Vancouver San Jose - - -

Sunday, May 12, 2013
NY Islanders Pittsburgh - - -
Ottawa Montreal - - -
Washington NY Rangers - - -
Boston Toronto - - -
Minnesota Chicago - - -
Detroit Anaheim - - -

Monday, May 13, 2013
NY Rangers Washington - - -
Toronto Boston - - -
San Jose Vancouver - - -
Los Angeles St. Louis - - -

*If Neccessary

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32938 Followers:38
05/03/2013 07:36 PM

Date WLT Pct Net Units Record

05/02/13 5-­3-­0 62.50% +­935 Detail
05/01/13 3-­2-­1 60.00% +­600 Detail

Totals 8-­5-­1 61.54% +1535

Friday, May 3

Game Score Status Pick Amount

NY Islanders 1 1st 9:23 Pittsburgh -224 500
Pittsburgh 3 Over 5.5 500

Ottawa 0 1st 9:37 Ottawa +120 500
Montreal 0 Over 5 500

Minnesota - 9:30 PM ET Chicago -238 500
Chicago - Under 5 500

San Jose - 10:00 PM ET Vancouver -130 500
Vancouver - Under 5 500

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32938 Followers:38
05/04/2013 02:12 AM

Preview: Rangers (0-0) at Capitals (0-0)

Date: May 04, 2013 12:30 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - A year ago, the Washington Capitals played a defense-first brand of hockey under coach Dale Hunter.

Nearly all of their playoff games were decided by one goal.

Alex Ovechkin's ice time dwindled.

And their postseason ended with a Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers in the second round.

On Thursday night, the Capitals opened this year's playoffs against - who else? - the Rangers, using first-time NHL head coach Adam Oates' more free-flowing style and a re-energized Ovechkin to produce a 3-1 victory.

``We play more well-rounded now,' Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner said. ``We have guys that can score goals and are allowed to go up there and do their thing. There's really no reins on anybody. At the same time, they know what their defensive responsibilities are.'

Ovechkin's franchise-record 31st career playoff goal got Washington started before less-heralded teammates Marcus Johansson and Jason Chimera scored 46 seconds apart, while Braden Holtby made 35 saves to outplay New York's Henrik Lundqvist.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday in Washington. It's the third consecutive season these two teams are facing each other in the playoffs and the fourth time in five years.

After starting 0 for 3 in extra-man situations Thursday and trailing - ``We feel, like, a little bit maybe nervous,' Ovechkin explained - the Capitals got a big boost when their captain put the puck in the net on their fourth power play.

When Washington defenseman Mike Green sent the puck past the net nearly seven minutes into the second period, it ricocheted off the boards and right to a charging Ovechkin, who flipped the puck past Lundqvist to make it 1-1.

``Kind of a lucky bounce,' two-time league MVP Ovechkin acknowledged, ``but I'll take it.'

Carl Hagelin had put sixth-seeded New York ahead 1-0 in the first period - the only puck that made it past Holtby.

``We kind of hung him out to dry once or twice,' Capitals forward Troy Brouwer said about the second-year goalie, ``and he helped us out with some huge stops.'

Washington is playing a livelier brand of hockey under Oates, a Hockey Hall of Fame forward who shifted Ovechkin from left wing to right wing and helped design the Capitals' league-best power play. Oates also is not as apt to demand that his players sit back and protect a lead, the way his predecessor did.

And perhaps the Capitals' aggressiveness helped accumulate all of those power plays Thursday.

The Rangers drew six minor penalties, matching their regular-season high.

``Against a power play like that, if you're killing that much, eventually they're going to capitalize,' Rangers captain Ryan Callahan said. ``They've got enough talent out there to do that, and we've just got to stay out of the box.'

Coach John Tortorella agreed, saying: ``We can't take that many penalties. ... Hopefully we'll discipline ourselves in the next game.'

Only 33 seconds after New York's Arron Asham was whistled for an illegal check to the head, Ovechkin broke his tie with Peter Bondra for most postseason goals by a Washington player. Ovechkin slammed his shoulder into the glass to celebrate, and chants of ``M-V-P!' cascaded from the red-clad fans in the stands.

Ovechkin put his name in that conversation by scoring 22 times in the last 21 games to collect his third Maurice ``Rocket' Richard Trophy - first since 2009 - and propel Washington to the Southeast Division title.

That goal energized the Capitals. So did wiping away a 5-on-3 chance the Rangers had for nearly a minute in the second period.

``Big kill,' Oates said.

Shortly after that power play ended, Capitals rookie defenseman Steve Oleksy - who got hit on his left jawline by a puck later in the second period - sent a pass about 80 feet down the middle of the ice and between Rangers defensemen Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh to set up Johansson.

``I didn't know Steve had that club in his bag,' Washington forward Eric Fehr joked. ``But he made a great pass, and JoJo made a good shot.'

Johansson collected the puck at the blue line and beat Lundqvist at the 14:21 mark to make it 2-1.

``We've got to know the guy's behind us,' Girardi said. ``That's not really acceptable.'

It was Chimera's turn less than a minute later, when he took a pass from Mathieu Perreault, spun around near the boards and put the hosts ahead 3-1. That led to mocking choruses of ``Luuuundqvist' from spectators.

``Anytime you kill a 5-on-3, especially in playoffs, the momentum goes the other way, for sure,' said Chimera, who's scored six of his eight career playoff goals against the Rangers. ``If they get a goal, they're feeling it. If we get a kill, obviously the crowd gets into it or we get into it. Everyone's pumped up.'

Notes: The Rangers were 13-0-1 when leading after the first period during the regular season. ... Capitals RW Joel Ward returned to action after missing the last nine regular-season games with a bruised left knee. ... The Rangers were without injured LW Ryane Clowe, C Brian Boyle and D Marc Staal.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32938 Followers:38
05/04/2013 02:13 AM

Preview: Maple Leafs (0-0) at Bruins (0-0)

Date: May 04, 2013 7:00 PM EDT

BOSTON (AP) - Claude Julien had no choice.

The Bruins coach was forced to juggle his defense when Andrew Ference was suspended.

Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle could have kept things the same, but that wouldn't have been wise.

Not after Boston dominated Toronto 4-1 in the first game of their series.

Not after his players were outshot 40-20.

And certainly not after they kept committing turnovers and having trouble getting the puck out of their zone.

``We'll have some changes,' Carlyle said after practice on Friday for Game 2 on Saturday night. ``What we've tried to do is just try to up the tempo of moving the puck.'

Did that message at practice get through?

``Of course, I think it's gotten through,' he said, ``but the results are what's going to determine whether it has or hasn't.'

The loss of Ference, a 13-year veteran and part of Boston's second defensive pairing, is a setback.

The NHL suspended him for one game for elbowing Mikhail Grabovski in the head near the boards midway through the first period Wednesday night.

One possible replacement is Dougie Hamilton, who has had a strong rookie season but was a healthy scratch for the last three regular-season games and the first playoff game. He was drafted in the first round in 2011 with a pick acquired when the Bruins traded Phil Kessel to the Maple Leafs in September 2009.

``I grew up watching the playoffs and dreaming about playing in the playoffs,' Hamilton said. ``Hopefully, I can bring some intensity.'

Ference didn't think his absence would be costly.

``Guys will step right in and it'll be no problem,' he said. ``Whether it's an injury or something like this, guys step up and do the job.'

During practice on Friday, Julien broke up his top pairing of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg. Chara skated with Adam McQuaid, Seidenberg was with Johnny Boychuk, and Hamilton was paired with Wade Redden, who had a goal and an assist Wednesday night.

Julien wouldn't say he'd use that setup on Saturday or even that Hamilton would play.

``He might be a young player for the playoffs, but to me at this stage and the amount of games he's played, he's a veteran,' Julien said. ``We don't look at guys necessarily as rookies. We look at them as young players. But he's a young player that's probably going to be playing his first game, if not tomorrow, soon.'

Carlyle wasn't relying on Boston's loss of a key defenseman to solve his team's problems, not when the Bruins have capable players to fill Ference's role.

``They're going to be looking for those guys to make it a seamless transition,' Carlyle said. ``Obviously, Ference plays a lot of minutes. He's one of their leaders. Again, it's a team game. It's not one individual that can win or lose a hockey game.'

For the Maple Leafs, it was a team performance that lost in the club's first postseason game since 2004. After James van Riemsdyk put them ahead 1-0 on a power play 1:54 into the game, they had few solid chances.

The problems began in their defensive zone.

``The main thing for us is just being a little calmer in our own end and making better plays in getting it out,' forward Tyler Bozak said.

Defenseman Mike Kostka broke a finger in the game and is expected to be sidelined on Saturday. Jake Gardiner could fill that vacancy.

But Toronto's defense also has to worry about stopping four lines that all played well in the opener after some inconsistency late in the regular season.

``That's the way we do it,' said right wing Nathan Horton, who scored the go-ahead goal with 12 seconds left in the first period of the opener.

``Claude, he plays four lines. Everybody plays and whether you play a little bit less, for the most part everybody plays. I think that's why we're such a good team and guys can get a break and they can really work hard during their shift.'

Boston led 2-1 after one period and David Krejci and Boychuk scored in the second against James Reimer. The goalie, like 14 of his teammates, was making his playoff debut.

The Maple Leafs are ``a pretty inexperienced group,' Bozak said. ``There might have been a few nerves there.'

The Bruins, with 17 players from the team that won the Stanley Cup two years ago, were much more poised.

``It doesn't matter to me what the Leafs do. What matters to me is what we do,' Julien said. ``That's what I plan on doing, keeping the focus on our team.'

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32938 Followers:38
05/04/2013 02:15 AM

Preview: Ducks (0-0) at Red Wings (0-0)

Date: May 04, 2013 7:30 PM EDT

ROMULUS, Mich. (AP) - The Detroit Red Wings had a setback during their series-evening victory at Anaheim.

Detroit defenseman Danny DeKeyser broke his right thumb in the third period of the 5-4 overtime win in Game 2 on Thursday night, and is out for rest of the playoffs.

DeKeyser signed with the Red Wings on March 29, soon after finishing his college career at Western Michigan.

``It was a big loss and it's hard to believe a kid out of college would be a big loss, but he is,' Detroit coach Mike Babcock said Friday night after stepping off the team plane.

Babcock has said the Red Wings wouldn't have rallied for a spot in a 22nd straight postseason without DeKeyser.

Now, they have to try to advance without him on the blue line.

Babcock is putting another rookie in the lineup, Brian Lashoff, instead of one of two veterans, Ian White and Carlo Colaiacovo.

``He's smart, knows how to play and competes hard,' Babcock said. ``He makes a good first pass and he's a good penalty-killer.'

Detroit blew a three-goal lead in the third period of Game 2 against the Ducks, who sent the game to an overtime that ended quickly. Gustav Nyquist scored a power-play goal 1:21 in the period.

The seventh-seeded Red Wings hope home ice is an advantage against second-seeded Anaheim that helps them take a 2-1 lead in the first-round series Saturday night in Game 3.

``If you would've been in their building, you would've known how deafening it is,' Babcock said. ``We expect that to be what it should be like for us in our building in warmups.'

The Ducks are simply planning to play as well as they did in their last game at Joe Louis Arena. They beat Detroit 5-2 on Feb. 15 - breaking a 2-all tie after two periods - before losing two games in the regular-season series at home by a combined score of 7-2.

``We'll draw back on what we did earlier in the season,' Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf said. ``We went into a tough building and played real well. We know we can win there, but we're in the playoffs now and it'll be fun.'

Both teams said they learned lessons Thursday night.

Detroit scored two goals in the first 4:20 of the game, went ahead 3-0 just more than a minute into the second period and had another three-goal cushion 20 seconds after the puck dropped in the third.

``We weren't ready to play at the start of the game, and the start of the periods,' Getzlaf said. ``They scored three goals in the first minute of each period. We've got to be ready to hit the ice and be flying for the next game.'

And if the Red Wings get ahead again, they plan to keep the pressure on Anaheim after giving up three goals in a 10-minute span of the third period.

``You can't stop playing,' Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. ``We got up 4-1 there in the start of the third, then we just kind of relaxed, sat back and let them come wave after wave.'

What if the Red Wings ended up losing in OT and falling behind 0-2 in the Western Conference best-of-seven, first-round series?

``I'd rather not think about that right now,' Kronwall said. ``We found a way to win, now it's 1-1. We haven't really won anything yet. We have to stay grounded and make sure we focus on the task at hand.'

The Ducks, meanwhile, were lamenting the loss that looked like it could've been quite a comeback win.

``We lost an opportunity to put a stranglehold on the series,' said Bobby Ryan, who scored the tying goal with 2:22 left in regulation for the Ducks. ``And, we let it get away.'

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32938 Followers:38
05/04/2013 02:16 AM

Preview: Blues (0-0) at Kings (0-0)

Date: May 04, 2013 10:00 PM EDT

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) - The Los Angeles Kings made playoff hockey look almost easy last season, steamrolling four straight opponents on the way to their first Stanley Cup title.

The Kings are back to NHL reality this spring, and it's considerably less pretty.

They've managed just two goals in two games against the hungry St. Louis Blues. Conn Smythe Trophy-winning goalie Jonathan Quick, nearly unbeatable throughout last spring, has made just enough mistakes to put the Kings into a 0-2 series hole with consecutive 2-1 road defeats.

Although Quick sought the blame for those losses because of his disastrous puck-handling in the overtime opener and the Blues' last-minute goal in Game 2, his teammates know he doesn't deserve it.

``That's just the type of guy he is,' Mike Richards said Friday. ``He's a first-class teammate, and he'll say those things.'

A goalie isn't supposed to score goals, and unless the rest of the Kings start doing their jobs in Game 3 on Saturday night, their Stanley Cup defense will be over quickly.

``That won't cut it,' Jarret Stoll said with a grimace. ``That won't win very many games when you score one goal.'

Los Angeles will have a raucous sellout crowd at Staples Center for its first home playoff game since raising its only Stanley Cup banner. The fifth-seeded Kings have been dominant at home lately, winning seven straight since March 23.

Nearly every player returned from last season's championship team for this defense, and that's why the Kings know it's vital to avoid a 0-3 series deficit. They put all four of their opponents in 0-3 holes last spring, never even facing an elimination game.

``Last year we had a 3-0 series lead in every series we had, and it's not always going to be that easy,' Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi said. ``We've been in series before when we've been down and come back. You've just got to keep your head about you, make sure you pick up the desperation in your play, and try to get the next one.'

But they'll need goals to do that. The Kings were the third highest-scoring team in the Western Conference this season, erasing their reputation as a grind-it-out team with skill shortages, but that scoring potency hasn't translated to the playoffs, where they still haven't scored at even strength in the series.

Jeff Carter led the conference with 26 goals this season, finishing fourth in the Richard Trophy race with his power-forward toughness and impressive shot. The Kings have no goals against St. Louis from Carter - or Richards, or 2012 playoff heroes Stoll and Dustin Penner, or puck-moving defenseman Drew Doughty, who dominated long stretches of the last postseason with his aggressive offensive play.

But the Kings' most prominent absence from the scoresheet has been Anze Kopitar, the sublimely talented Slovenian center who scored 25 goals in each of his previous five seasons and finished last spring as the postseason's co-scoring leader with captain Dustin Brown.

Kopitar failed to score a goal in the Kings' final 16 games of the regular season, finishing with just 10 in 47 games, and he hasn't found the net against St. Louis. While Kopitar's playmaking and faceoff acumen are still strong, his goal drought is getting tougher to ignore.

The Kings aren't generating enough shots or good scoring chances against Brian Elliott. St. Louis' rugged defense has kept Los Angeles' top forwards largely outside the best scoring areas, limiting the traffic in front and the Kings' rebound chances.

On the other end, the Blues' confidence is growing with every successful shift against the Kings' sturdy defense, which helped Quick to his playoff MVP award last season.

``We're starting to get to him right now,' Blues forward David Perron said. ``We're trying to get some traffic going as many times as we can. We know he is a really good goalie. You've got to keep him in the back of his crease.'

St. Louis lost twice at Staples Center last season while getting swept out of the second round, and the Blues blew a three-goal lead in a fight-filled, 6-4 loss in their only trip to Los Angeles this season. St. Louis finished one point ahead of Los Angeles in the conference race this season, forcing the Kings to start this series on the road, where they've lost eight straight games.

``It's really good to be up two games, but it's going to be a long series,' said Blues forward Patrik Berglund, who didn't even see the puck that bounced off him for St. Louis' first goal in Game 2. ``We've got to get bodies in front of him, obviously. Those are the kind (of goals) we have to score. There are not going to be too many pretty ones. ... They're going to come out really hard in L.A. I think we're going to have to play the same kind of game, really physical, and do the right things.'

The Blues are in command of the series, but the Kings have the confidence of last season's run and the knowledge they played two fairly even games against St. Louis despite the results - losing Game 1 on a fluke goal and blowing a third-period lead in Game 2. The Kings are betting heavily on a win in Game 3 to get their title defense rolling again.

``It's not an easy situation to be in, but they held court in St. Louis,' Penner said. ``We're planning to do the same thing here.'

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32938 Followers:38
05/04/2013 08:29 AM


Anaheim at Detroit
The Ducks look to bounce back from their Game 2 loss and take advantage of a Detroit team that is 2-10 in its last 12 home games against a team with a winning road record. Anaheim is the pick (+115) according to Dunkel, which has the Ducks favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Anaheim (+115). Here are all of today's picks.


Game 79-80: NY Rangers at Washington (12:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Rangers 12.513; Washington 11.406
Dunkel Line & Total: NY Rangers by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Washington (-130); 5
Dunkel Pick: NY Rangers (+110); Over

Game 81-82: Toronto at Boston (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 10.297; Boston 11.336
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 1; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Boston (-185); 5
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-185); Under

Game 83-84: Anaheim at Detroit (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Anaheim 12.568; Detroit 11.631
Dunkel Line & Total: Anaheim by 1; 5 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit (-135); 5
Dunkel Pick: Anaheim (+115); Over

Game 85-86: St. Louis at Los Angeles (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis 11.069; Los Angeles 12.410
Dunkel Line & Total: Los Angeles by 1 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Los Angeles (-155); 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (-155); Under

Armadillo's Write-Up

Saturday, May 4

Capitals won 12 of last 14 games to position themselves as one of favorites in the Eastern Conference; they've won seven of last eight home games. Under is 9-0-5 in last 14 series games, as all five pushes ended 3-2. Capitals scored three goals on just nine second period shots to win Game 1; Caps blocked 25 shots, 10 more than NY. Rangers beat Washington in seven games in LY's playoffs, with last six games all decided by a goal, Rangers winning both games that went OT. New York scored 4+ goals in its last five wins, 1-2-2 in its last three losses.

Bruins gave up power play goal 1:54 into Game 1, but won easily 4-1, just their third win in last ten games overall; Boston outshot Maple Leafs 40-20, as Toronto wound up with 39 PIM. It was only second time in last ten games Bruins scored more than two goals; they're 10-1 in last eleven games vs Toronto, winning 4-2/3-2so/4-1 in three played in this building this year. Maple Leafs lost five of last seven games- they're 4-8 in last twelve road games. Over is 9-3-2 in last fourteen series games. D Kostka was -3 for Toronto, not too good in a 4-1 game.

Red Wings got power play goal 1:21 into OT to win Game 2; they were +15 on faceoffs, +8 in blocked shots, and scored three power play goals on six tries. Home teams are 9-5 so far in playoffs, with under 8-4-2; Detroit got split it wanted out in Anaheim, now returns home, where they've won last three games, outscoring opponents 12-3. Anaheim won four of last six games, with under 8-2-1 in their last 11. Ducks won last three road games, allowing total of two goals. Detroit split its last six visits here- they're 9-4 in last 13 games overall with Ducks. Seven of last nine Detroit games stayed under the total.

Defending champ Kings swept Blues 4-0 in LY's playoffs, but now find themselves in 2-0 hole after losing pair of 2-1 decisions in St Louis; LA won its last seven home games, last five all by a single goal. Kings outshot Blues 23-15 in first two periods in Game 2, but led just 1-0, then St Louis scored twice in third period, getting winner with 0:51 left. Kings are 9-5 in last 14 series games, winning four of last five here, but Blues won last visit here; St Louis won five in row, 14 of its last 17 games; they allowed one goal in each of last five games. Under is 8-1-1 in Blues' last ten games overall, 5-1-1 in last seven series games.


Saturday, May 4

Trend Report

12:30 PM
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the NY Rangers last 6 games when playing Washington
The total has gone UNDER in 15 of the NY Rangers last 21 games when playing on the road against Washington
Washington is 12-2 SU in its last 14 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Washington's last 6 games when playing NY Rangers

7:00 PM
Toronto is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Boston
Toronto is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games on the road
Boston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Toronto
Boston is 3-7 SU in its last 10 games

7:30 PM
Anaheim is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games on the road
Anaheim is 1-8 SU in its last 9 games when playing on the road against Detroit
Detroit is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Detroit's last 9 games

10:00 PM
St. Louis is 2-8 SU in its last 10 games when playing Los Angeles
St. Louis is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Los Angeles's last 5 games
Los Angeles is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:32938 Followers:38
05/04/2013 12:11 PM

Date WLT Pct Net Units Record

05/03/13 2-­5-­1 28.57% -­2370 Detail
05/02/13 5-­3-­0 62.50% +­935 Detail
05/01/13 3-­2-­1 60.00% +­600 Detail

Totals 10-­10-­2 50.00% -­835

Saturday, May 4

Game Score Status Pick Amount

NY Rangers - 12:30 PM ET Washington -123 500
Washington - Under 5 500

Toronto - 7:00 PM ET Toronto +164 500 POD # 1
Boston - Over 5 500

Anaheim - 7:30 PM ET Detroit -127 500
Detroit - Under 5 500

St. Louis - 10:00 PM ET Los Angeles -140 500
Los Angeles - Under 4.5 500

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: