Author: James O'Brien

Los Angeles Kings v Anaheim Ducks - Game Five

Boudreau: There’s ‘no doubt’ Perry will play in Game 1 of West finals

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There are plenty of questions heading into the Anaheim Ducks’ upcoming series against the Chicago Blackhawks. Bruce Boudreau’s putting a big one to rest, as he told the OC Register that he’s sure that Corey Perry will play in Game 1.

Boudreau said as much even as Perry skips a skating session or two.

“With the time we have off, there’s no rush to get Corey Perry back on the ice,” Boudreau said. “He’s going to get a couple practices before the game and he’s going to play Sunday. There’s no doubt in our minds about that.”

Many had their doubts considering how he left the ice in Game 5 against the Calgary Flames:

He looked tentative when he returned. Of course, he also scored the goal to send them to round three:

Now, Boudreau didn’t say that Perry will be 100 percent, but many would argue that few are at full-strength during this time of year.

Video: Kevin Hayes ties it on power-play beauty

New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers
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The Washington Capitals kept taking penalties until the New York Rangers finally burned them for their mistakes in the second period of Game 7.

Washington took three straight penalties, including two back-to-back infractions by Mike Green, but Braden Holtby kept them in it despite some strong Rangers chances. Finally, J.T. Miller’s beautiful setup opened the door for arguably the biggest goal of big forward Kevin Hayes’ career:

With that, the score is 1-1 and the plot thickens.

Fun fact:

Video: Holtby denies Nash on shorthanded breakaway

Braden Holtby
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Those who like to beat up on perceived “chokers” probably felt really sad to see perennial punching bag Alex Ovechkin score a big Game 7 goal. They probably received some relief later on in the period, though.

Rick Nash is no stranger to being a scapegoat, and his critics won’t be silenced after he failed to beat Braden Holtby with this backhand move on a shorthanded breakaway:

To some, this save was reminiscent of Marc-Andre Fleury stopping Ovechkin in Game 7 of that memorable Pittsburgh Penguins – Capitals series in 2009:

Restricted free agent or not, Holtby could make himself a lot of money in the playoffs.

Early delivery: Ovechkin scores 1-0 goal

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Seven
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All eyes are on Alex Ovechkin in Game 7 … yet even someone under such surveillance can occasionally break free.

Ovechkin sprang free to some open space in a small window of time, receiving a pretty pass from Marcus Johansson and beating Henrik Lundqvist up high to give the Washington Capitals a 1-0 lead against the New York Rangers:

There’s plenty of time for Ovechkin’s bold words to bite him back, but so far, he’s delivering.

Fehr replaces Glencross in Caps’ Game 7 lineup

Washington Capitals v Minnesota Wild
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With their season on the line, the Washington Capitals are favoring a familiar face over a trade deadline find. Eric Fehr steps back in the Caps’ lineup in place of Curtis Glencross against the New York Rangers in Game 7.

Fehr, 29, has missed the past 10 games. He hasn’t scored in the three playoff contests he appeared in, but he showed decent scoring punch during the regular season, with 19 goals (including four game-winners) in 75 games.

Fehr also had 14 assists for a total of 33 points.

He’s a big body who’s currently slotted in a lower line combination, yet he’s shown a decent amount of aptitude skating with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom when given the opportunity.

Glencross, 32, has been quiet during the playoffs, managing a single goal in 10 games. He hasn’t really produced many chances, either, with just 14 shots on goal.

On paper, this is a minor swap, but you never know when a bit player might steal the spotlight.