CHICAGO - Maybe it was the extra rest, or another raucous crowd at the United Center. Maybe it was just the resumption of one of the NHL's biggest rivalries.
Whatever it was, the Chicago Blackhawks finally found that extra gear they talked about for days.
Johnny Oduya and Marcus Kruger scored in the third period, Corey Crawford made 20 saves and the Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 in the opener of their second-round playoff series Wednesday night.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Raffi Torres spent the past year in Phoenix and San Jose trying to shake his reputation as a dangerous player.
His hit on Los Angeles centre Jarret Stoll might have erased much of that work and put both players' post-season futures in doubt.
DENVER - Teenager Logan Piz's request was simply to spend the day with the Stanley Cup trophy. Hanging out with Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere as well?
Hey, he will gladly take that, too. This was certainly an experience Piz won't soon forget, a day made possible through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
ARLINGTON, Va. - As the Washington Capitals gathered at their practice facility Wednesday for exit meetings and the annual explanations about what went wrong in the playoffs, there were references to bad luck and bad bounces in their first-round elimination against the New York Rangers.
"If you're asking me if there's one specific thing, I don't know," defenceman Mike Green said, two days after Washington's 5-0 home loss in Game 7. "Does anybody know? Do you know?"
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Dan Bylsma has been hearing it seemingly from the moment he took over at Pittsburgh Penguins head coach four years ago.
Every time the Penguins hit a rough patch, the murmurs about finding a polished winger to play alongside superstar Sidney Crosby pop up. Bylsma understands the sentiment. It's just that it's a little misplaced.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Los Angeles Kings hadn't held a two-goal lead in the entire post-season until Slava Voynov's shot fortunately caromed off Mike Richards' body and into San Jose's net midway through their second-round series opener.
A two-goal lead was one more than Jonathan Quick needed against the Sharks.
Quick made 35 saves in his sixth career playoff shutout, and the Kings opened the fourth all-California playoff series with a 2-0 victory Tuesday night.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Jonathan Quick made 35 saves in his sixth career playoff shutout, and the Los Angeles Kings opened their second-round series with a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.
Slava Voynov and Mike Richards each had a goal and an assist in the defending Stanley Cup champions' 11th straight victory at Staples Center since March.
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Ottawa Senators know there is little margin for error if they want to upset the Pittsburgh Penguins.
If they don't slow down Pittsburgh's potent power play, they'll have a difficult time against Sidney Crosby and the rest of the Penguins.
Paul Martin and Chris Kunitz scored power-play goals and Pascal Dupuis added his sixth goal of the playoffs and the Penguins beat the Senators 4-1 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Tuesday.
FRISCO, Texas - Glen Gulutzan couldn't end the longest playoff drought in franchise history for the Dallas Stars and the second-year coach didn't hold the option on the remaining season in his contract.
When the general manager who hired him was dumped two weeks ago, Gulutzan's firing looked like the inevitable next step in an overhaul of the staff and it came Tuesday in an announcement from new general manager Jim Nill. He nevertheless said the move wasn't a foregone conclusion in his mind.
BOSTON - Patrice Bergeron tied it with 51 seconds left in regulation then scored the game-winner 6:05 into overtime on Monday night to give Boston a 5-4 victory over the Maple Leafs in Game 7 as the Bruins turned back Toronto's comeback with a rally of their own.
Tuukka Rask stopped 24 shots for Boston, which led the best-of-seven series 3-1 before the Maple Leafs won two in a row to force a seventh game.