Author: Cam Tucker

Video: Stoner penalized after dangerous cross check from behind


Anaheim Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner was given a minor penalty for cross checking after a hit from behind on Chicago Blackhawks forward Marcus Kruger.

The incident occurred early in the first period.

The cross check sent Kruger dangerously head-first into the end boards. Kruger remained in the game. After the play was stopped, Stoner got his hands up in the face of Chicago’s Andrew Shaw, who went to confront the Ducks’ blue liner, but was called for only the one initial infraction.

Video: Blackhawks power play strikes twice early in Game 2


The Chicago Blackhawks, trailing 1-0 in this Western Conference Final, got off to a quick start in Game 2 against the Anaheim Ducks, courtesy of their power play.

Andrew Shaw opened the scoring just 2:14 into the first period with his second of the post-season, making Patrick Maroon pay for an earlier boarding penalty.

Just over four minutes later, the Blackhawks increased their lead thanks to a Marian Hossa power play goal, also his second of these playoffs.

However, any Blackhawks’ euphoria from the dream start was short-lived. The Ducks, on a goal from Andrew Cogliano, cut Chicago’s lead to 2-1 just before the midway point of the first period.

The puck deflected in off the skate of Cogliano, but the goal stood after a brief review.

Senators owner Melnyk undergoes successful liver transplant


Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk underwent a successful liver transplant Tuesday in Toronto General Hospital, the club announced on its website.

From the Ottawa Senators:

Mr. Melnyk went into surgery at noon today and the transplantation was successfully completed at 8:05 p.m.

Mr. Melnyk and the anonymous donor are both resting comfortably and doing well.

The University Health Network’s Multi-Organ Transplant Program will provide a progress update on Mr. Melnyk and the anonymous donor later this week.

Mr. Melnyk and his family would like to thank everyone for their continued support and wish to extend their immense gratitude to the anonymous donor and the donor’s family.

Only five days ago, Melnyk was hospitalized and in “urgent need” of a liver transplant. In the days that followed, there were more than 500 donor applications received.

Kesler has ‘upped’ his game in the playoffs


It’s been almost 11 full months since the Vancouver Canucks traded Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks in a draft day blockbuster.

The Ducks are winning this trade.

The Canucks had a rebound season but it ended in disappointment with a first-round playoff loss to Calgary. The Ducks and the 30-year-old Kesler are in the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

With four wins in this round, the Ducks would advance to the Stanley Cup Final. Should that happen, it would be Kesler’s second trip to the championship series in five years.

And he’s been a big part of the Ducks’ success this post-season, too.

From the Orange County Register:

Twenty goals and 27 assists were welcomed and appreciated over the 82-game schedule, but not the primary reason why Murray kept talking to Vancouver about acquiring him. He’s got four goals and five assists in the Ducks’ playoff games, but it’s more than that.

Kesler has been dominant in the faceoff circle, winning 63.7 percent of his draws. He’s an essential part of a penalty-killing unit that’s allowed only four power-play goals. And each of his scores has made a difference.

“There’s been a lot of moments like that,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Those are the things that probably stand out more for me than anybody scoring three goals or getting booed or any of those things.

“So far, what I’ve seen, he’s upped his game.”

Stamkos doesn’t mind winging it


Steven Stamkos can often be the center of attention with the Tampa Bay Lightning. It happens when you put up 51 and 60 goals in single seasons.

But, it appears sometimes a move to the wing can benefit Stamkos, which was the case late in the second round against Montreal, according to the Tampa Tribune.

“Yeah, I mean, it’s worked well the two games that we’ve done it. You know, sometimes it’s just a little change,” Stamkos told reporters on Friday.

“Some things aren’t going well, and you want to try some different combination playing on the wing. It’s definitely a little different. Your responsibility is maybe not as great as playing center. For me, I felt like my legs have been a little better. Got some pucks in space coming down the wing, being able to get some shots.

“But definitely in my opinion I’ve been able to get more quality chances and been able to use my speed down the wing a little more and get some more pucks on that. So it’s been a good change.”

Tampa Bay’s Tyler Johnson still leads all players in goals this post-season with eight.

After a slow start — three points in the first eight playoff games — Stamkos seems to have found his scoring touch, with three goals and seven points in the last five games.