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2014 NHL Playoffs: Bruising Bruins tie series vs. Detroit with 4-1 Game 2 win

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The Red Wings didn't have an answer for Zdeno Chara and the Bruins' physical play in Game 2 (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Detroit didn’t have any answers for Zdeno Chara (33) and the Bruins’ physical play. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

By Brian Cazeneuve 

A much more physical Bruins team evened its series with the resourceful Red Wings at one game apiece on Sunday afternoon with a 4-1 victory. Boston scored a pair of power-play goals and outmuscled its smaller opponent all afternoon, reasserting itself as a tough, stubborn bunch. The Bruins, who lost Game 1 by a score of 1-0, haven’t been shut out in consecutive playoff games since Martin Brodeur of the Devils blanked them twice in 1995. On Sunday, Boston was clearly not in the mood to be blanked for a second straight game.

The Bruins, who took just 25 shots Game 1, unloaded 18 in the first period and made it a point to push Detroit around. The Wings are one of the NHL’s least physical teams and don’t often get pulled into scraps and scrums. Detroit uses its turn-the-other-cheek approach to draw cheap power plays against aggressive opponents, but Boston felt it hadn’t been physical enough the Red Wings on Friday. There was ample pushing and shoving after whistles on Sunday. As the first period ended, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara and Detroit’s Brendan Smith began tussling near center ice. The 6-foot-9 Chara challenged Smith, who wisely declined to go — he’s listed at seven inches shorter than Chara — but the message was clear: The Wings were in for a bumpy ride.

Here are some notes and observations from a rough and tough Game 2 at TD Garden:

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  • Published On Apr 20, 2014
  • 2014 NHL playoffs: Blues rally for another OT win, 4-3, over Blackhawks

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    Brent Seabrook was ejected after a controversial hit on Blues captain David Backes. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

    Brent Seabrook was ejected after a controversial hit on Blues captain David Backes. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

    By Brian Cazeneuve 

    If the St. Louis Blues can survive a game such as the one they played against the Blackhawks on Saturday, then they could be heading to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. Forget their long history without a championship. Forget their six-game losing streak to end the season, which also dashed their hopes for the Presidents’ Trophy. Trailing 3-2 in the final minutes of the third period, the Blues cashed in on a huge opportunity after Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook received a game misconduct for leveling David Backes with a shoulder to the head. On the ensuing power play, Vladimir Tarasenko’s clutch goal with 6.4 seconds left sent this one to overtime where Barret Jackman of all people gave the Blues a thrilling 4-3 victory and a 2-0 lead in their first-round series against defending champion Chicago. This St. Louis team appears to be maturing before our eyes.

    Here are a few things we took away from a Game 2 that was full of bumps, thumps and lead changes:

    Game recap | Box score | Highlights

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  • Published On Apr 19, 2014
  • 2014 NHL Playoffs: Detroit Red Wings stun Boston Bruins in Game 1

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    By Brian Cazeneuve

    (Boston) — All week the talk had been that the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Boston Bruins were ripe for being taken down by a Detroit Red Wings squad that had scrambled to extend its franchise’s streak of playoff appearances, which now stands at 23.

    Well, here we go.

    The return of Detroit’s marvelous Pavel Datsyuk, even though he’s still working with a lingering knee injury, was widely cited as a possible series-changer, and sure enough he was the lone goal-scorer in Game 1, with only 3:01 left in regulation as the Red Wings neutralized Boston’s vaunted home ice advantage with a 1-0 win in a tightly contested defensive battle.

    “It’s a good start,” Datsyuk said after the game, ” but we know there are many tough games (ahead).”

    “I’ll take home-ice advantage any time,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said, “but that doesn’t mean you can’t win on the road … which is what we have to do in this series if we plan on winning this.”

    Here are a few more observations from Friday’s game:

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  • Published On Apr 19, 2014
  • NHL Playoffs: Canadiens nab overtime win over Lightning in sloppy Game 1

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    Dale Weise (left) and P.K. Subban celebrated after Weise won the game for Montreal in overtime. (Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

    Montreal’s Dale Weise (22) and P.K. Subban celebrated after Weise’s game-winner in OT. (Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

    By Brian Cazeneuve

    It wasn’t a huge surprise that the series opener between the Canadiens and the Lightning went to overtime, but the score itself was a bit of a stunner. After the teams combined for 11 goals in four games during the regular season, the clubs scored nine on Wednesday night in a 5-4 win for Montreal. Veteran forward Danny Briere set up Dale Weise at 18:08 of the extra period to end a mistake-filled Game 1. If there was a surprise during the contest, it was the significant number of errors made by two teams who had worked hard to keep mistakes to a minimum during the season.

    Some thoughts on the Canadiens’ series-opening victory:

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  • Published On Apr 17, 2014
  • 2014 NHL playoffs preview: Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild

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    Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche

    Don’t expect goalie Semyon Varlamov (1) and the Avalanche to wilt under pressure. (Michael Martin/Getty Images)

    By Brian Cazeneuve 

    Regular-season recaps

    Nov. 29: Avalanche 3, Wild 1

    Nov. 30: Avalanche 3, Wild 2 (SO)

    Dec. 14: Wild 2, Avalanche 1 (SO)

    Jan. 11: Avalanche 4, Wild 2

    Jan. 30: Avalanche 5, Wild 4

    Notable injuries

    Avalanche: F Matt Duchene (bruised knee, likely out for series), D Jan Hejda (upper body, day-to-day), F Alex Tanguay (hip surgery, out for season), D Cory Sarich (back spasms, day-to-day)

    Wild: G Darcy Kuemper (upper body, day-to-day), G Josh Harding (complications from multiple sclerosis, day-to-day), Nicklas Backstrom (abdominal surgery, out for series), F Jason Zucker (quadriceps, out for series)

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  • Published On Apr 16, 2014
  • The bests and worsts of the 2013-14 NHL regular season

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    LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks enter Dodger Stadium for NHL outdoor game

    The NHL’s outdoor craze grew palm trees this season, though fans froze at most of the other games. (Robert Beck/SI)

    By Brian Cazeneuve 

    Every NHL season has moments and events that stand out for better or worse. Here are 20 notables from the 2013-14 campaign as it draws to a close:

    1. COOLEST (AND COLDEST) IDEA

    There’s always a risk of having too much of a good thing, but nobody from the players to the fans to the owners seems to think we have reached that point with outdoor hockey, even with an all-time high six NHL games in the elements this season. The league earned some nice additional revenue to offset its losses from last season’s lockout, and with many players describing the al fresco experience as a career highlight and no shortage of teams wanting in — or is out? — the NHL is sure to keep at it, although likely not quite as frequently as it did this winter.

    GALLERIES: The NHL Outdoors | Musical acts at NHL outdoor games

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  • Published On Apr 10, 2014
  • SI.com NHL fan misery rankings: No. 1 Toronto Maple Leafs

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    Toronto Maple Leafs fan rants at the ref.

    Hey, what gives? With the Toronto Maple Leafs, it’s always something. (Marianne Helm/Getty Images)

    By Brian Cazeneuve 

    Sometimes it’s just plain awful to be a fan.

    We’re not talking about the occasional emotional bump and bruise, the kind fans get from a devastating last-second loss or a disastrous season-ending injury — or even when they watch their favorite team bow out in the conference finals, one round shy of a shot at the Stanley Cup. We mean years of suffering at the hands of a club that almost seems to delight in tormenting those who freely give to it their hearts, minds, time and money.

    This is the tenth in our series on the 10 NHL franchises that take an ongoing toll on their fans, the teams that suggest that their devoted followers are either bottomless wells of hope or certified masochists — or perhaps just a touch crazy. Today we look at the Toronto Maple Leafs, a storied Original Six NHL flagship that, despite now almost boundless riches and resources, remains on a decades-long roll of bad trades, lousy drafts, wacky ownership, front office ineptitude, on-ice disappointment and utter heartbreak that continues to torment one of hockey’s most devoted and eternally optimistic fan bases.

    10: Winnipeg Jets | 9: Dallas Stars | 8: Columbus Blue Jackets | 7: Vancouver Canucks
    6:
    Florida Panthers | 5. Edmonton Oilers | 4. Washington Capitals  | 3: Buffalo Sabres
    2. New York Islanders

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  • Published On Mar 28, 2014
  • Top 13 NHL storylines of 2013

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    George Parros of the Montreal Canadiens is loaded onto a stretcher.

    The sight of a stretcher on the ice was common during a year of player safety issues. (Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

    By Brian Cazeneuve 

    A turbulent year of controversy and major change in the NHL produced plenty of ongoing drama and surprises. Here are our top 13 sagas of 2013.

    MORE: 13 best players | Hits | Goals | Games | Memes | Tweets | Weirdest moments | Most painful injuries | Team moves

    13. The visor issue

    When Manny Malhotra of the Canucks was struck in the eye by a shot in 2011, his agony and jeopardized career should have been enough to make all NHL players realize that they needed to wear visors for the sake of their safety. Instead, it took two more years and the horrifying eye injury suffered in March by Rangers defenseman Marc Staal, with super slow-mo recording the puck’s full impact, to finally bring change to the league. And so, in June, the NHLPA voted to make visors mandatory for all new players coming into the league, effective at the start of the 2013-14 season. Those who had played 25 or more games in the league could choose to take the ice without such protection. But as the players who are grandfathered into this rule exception leave the league in the coming years, eyewear will no longer be optional. So it was for helmets when Brad Marsh and Craig MacTavish stayed in the league bareheaded until the bitter end.

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  • Published On Dec 30, 2013
  • Top Line: NHL shakes off holiday haze; Patrick Roy’s son pitches fit; more links

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    Coach Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche

    Avalanche coach Patrick Roy apparently passed the firebrand gene on to his son Frederick. (Jack Dempsey/AP)

    By Brian Cazeneuve 

    An abbreviated but annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Bloated by egg nog, grog and holiday chow, 20 teams must rouse themselves to action tonight as the NHL resumes play — 10 had to hop early morning flights. Looks like the NHL’s Christmas break may not be all that beneficial to players.

    • Bruce Boudreau actually likes the NHL’s extended three-day Christmas break (the new CBA mandates an extra day), but now comes the challenge of getting his Ducks to maintain their momentum after an excellent first half of the season.

    • Saturday night, the Blues and the Blackhawks — old rivals — will revive a holiday tradition that’s been missing for 12 years.

    • Outdoor hockey mania obviously has its limits. After sluggish ticket sales and some fan dismay about sky-high prices, passes for Anaheim’s outdoor game against the Kings at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25 will now be cheaper. Fans who have already bought tickets will get a refund for the difference in price.

    • The spiced apple doesn’t fall far from the fruit cart: Patrick Roy’s son Frederick was ejected from the first game of the Spengler Cup tournament, a 5-0 loss by his Rochester Americans of the AHL, for dropping the gloves and going after Cody Almond of the Swiss Geneva-Servette squad. Some patented Roy brand fireworks ensued.

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  • Published On Dec 27, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Bruins complete stunning sweep of Penguins in Eastern finals

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    Boston's Tuukka Rask stopped 134 of 136 shots in the series and recorded two shutouts. (Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

    Boston’s Tuukka Rask stopped 134 of 136 shots in the series and recorded two shutouts. (Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

    By Brian Cazeneuve 

    BOSTON — Repeat it all so you know it’s true: The Bruins swept the Penguins. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin played the whole series without recording a single point. Pittsburgh never had a lead in any of the games. Implausible as it is, Boston completed an astounding sweep, holding an offensive juggernaut to two goals in almost 14 periods of hockey, capped by a 1-0 win in Game 4.

    “Great, great, great, can I say that again?” said Bruins forward Milan Lucic after the game. “It feels great.”

    In a series where every inch of space was a struggle and star players were reduced to mush, it was Adam McQuaid, a little-known defenseman, who scored the only goal of the deciding game. Meanwhile, goalie Tuukka Rask turned in another great performance, making 26 saves, including several that came in the frenetic closing seconds as the Penguins fought desperately to tie the score.

    In the closing moments, Crosby and Malkin both slid pucks through the crease, but Rask made two stops without his stick. “It’s a scramble,” said Rask after the game. “You can’t see anything and people are laying everywhere. You don’t have a stick. You’re kind of just trying to throw yourself as big as you can and try to stop the puck.”

    HACKEL: Penguins proving talent alone not enough in playoffs

    Some notes from the game:

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  • Published On Jun 08, 2013


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