Author: James O'Brien

2007 NHL Awards Show

2015 Lady Byng finalists: Datsyuk, Kopitar and Hudler

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The NHL announced the three finalists for the 2015 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy on Tuesday: Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings and Jiri Hudler of the Calgary Flames.

To refresh your memory, the award is handed out to the player who “exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” Voting comes down to members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

If you gauage award chances by past victories, then Pavel Datsyuk stands as a heavy favorite. The Red Wings star won it four times in a row from the 2005-06 season through the 2008-09 campaign.

Hudler and Kopitar haven’t won a single Byng in their careers, on the other hand.

Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly took the 2014 award.

Here are some quick factoids about each finalist via the NHL:

Burakovsky to make playoff debut as Caps scratch Glencross

Andre Burakovsky

Sometimes desperate times force coaches to lean on talented young players more than the trusty, comfortable old hands they’re more comfortable with. That may be the case, to some extent, with Andre Burakovsky making his playoff debut for the Washington Capitals in Game 4.

The 20-year-old showed flashes of brilliance during 53 games of regular season action at the NHL level, scoring nine goals and 22 points with a +12 rating. One got the sense that head coach Barry Trotz and the rest of the Caps’ management group wanted to bring such a young player along incrementally, though.

Burakovsky believes that getting a few games in toward the end of the season will be useful.

“The last couple of games I played, I felt really good,” Burakovsky said. “I think I created chances and my legs were feeling really good. I had good speed. I just need to bring [the way I played] my last three games into the playoffs here and do what I’m doing good. I’m going to use my speed and try to create a lot of chances for the team. Hopefully I’m going to get in do a little bit different and get a win here next game. But I’m really excited to get into my first NHL playoff game.”

Considering his talent, Capitals fans should be excited that he’s getting into the lineup.

Update: Speaking of Washington’s lineup, it looks like Curtis Glencross is out of it as a healthy scratch.

Vey likely to take Burrows’ spot in Canucks lineup

Mike Green, Linden Vey
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Whatever the nature of Alex Burrows’ strange injury situation may be – it sounds like a broken rib – he’s not playing for the Vancouver Canucks against the Calgary Flames in Game 4 tonight. Linden Vey will get that nod, according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon.

The Canucks do have other options if they lean away from Vey, though. They recalled Sven Baertschi, but he’s expected to be a healthy scratch.

Then again, there’s always a chance that there could be more than one move.

Vey, 23, has 93 regular-season games under his belt, including 75 from the 2014-15 campaign with Vancouver. This would be his first career postseason appearance, though.

Suspension-worthy? Perry hit by Byfuglien after scoring a goal

byfuglienfrombehind
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The Winnipeg Jets lost Dustin Byfuglien in their postseason push thanks to the hybrid player’s errors of judgment. They might lose him in the playoffs for a similarly questionable decision.

It wasn’t “Dale Hunter on Pierre Turgeon” bad, yet many evoked the notorious moment in postseason history after seeing Byfuglien take down Corey Perry after the Anaheim Ducks scored a 2-1 goal:

The infraction draw a two-minute roughing penalty, yet one cannot help but wonder if supplemental discipline may come for Big Byfuglien. Even if it ends with that minor penalty, it’s another bit of evidence that Byfuglien may want to keep a cooler head.

Apparently it’s just been that kind of night, too.

WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game Two
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Three series pivot to teams that didn’t carry home-ice advantage into their first-round series on Monday, so will we see some major shifts in dynamics? We’ll find out soon enough, and here’s how to follow each of the three contests.

With their series tied, the Penguins host the New York Rangers in Pittsburgh to kick things off. You can watch the game on NBCSN and also stream it via NBC Sports Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

The Minnesota Wild managed to score one win in St. Louis, too, and now they hope to take a lead against the Blues at home. Two tough teams square off on CNBC, and you can stream it below.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Last but not least, Winnipeg finally gets to host a playoff game as the Jets hope to get back into a series that the Anaheim Ducks lead 2-0. It’s been competitive so far, but it’s clear how huge this game is for Winnipeg. NBCSN is televising the game, while you can also watch it online via the link below.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE