Ducks score second-fastest three goals in NHL playoff history (Video)

 

In the third period of their Western Conference Final Game 4 against the Anaheim Ducks, the Chicago Blackhawks were feeling, well, ducky.

They had extended out to a 3-1 lead, and it looked like the Blackhawks would cruise to a win on home ice.

Then the Anaheim Ducks embarked on the second-fastest three goals scored in a Stanley Cup Playoff game in NHL history.

Center Ryan Kesler went to the net, banging his stick on the ice asking for the puck. It was Jakob Silfverberg that eventually found him, as Kesler snapped the puck past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford to cut the lead to 3-2 at 8:42.

Then it was Matt Beleskey, making a mockery of the Blackhawks’ trade deadline acquisitions to tie the game. He stripped Antoine Vermette of the puck, and then scored around Kimmo Timonen to knot the game at 3-3 at 9:05 of the third period. It was his sixth of the playoffs.

Fourteen seconds later, Ducks star Corey Perry scored his ninth of the postseason, sneaking behind Duncan Keith to collect the rebound of a Ryan Getzlaf shot and tuck it past Crawford for the 4-3 lead.

Three goals, 37 seconds. The second-fastest offensive outburst in NHL playoff history, second only to the 1979 Toronto Maple Leafs scoring three in 23 seconds against the Atlanta Flames in a 7-4 win.

One of the players in that game for the Leafs? Current Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville, who assisted on the third of the three goals.

So at least he knows these things happen. 

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Andrei Arlovski knocks out Travis Browne in Fight of the Year candidate

Andrei Arlovski (R) and Travis Browne trade blows at UFC 187. (AP)

LAS VEGAS – For being former roommates, Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne fought like bitter enemies on Saturday night at UFC 187. The fight didn’t even make it out of the first round as former heavyweight champion Arlovski scored a first-round TKO over Browne and took one step closer to a career resurgence that just a few years prior seemed unthinkable.

Arlovski has now rattled off three consecutive victories since his return to the UFC, toppling foes Brendan Schaub, Antonio “Bigfoot” Sivla, and now his former teammate at Jackson-Winklejohn in Browne.

In what many will remember as one of the most action-packed rounds in heavyweight history, both fighters exchanged powerful flurries from the pocket. Arlovski kicked off the action, pressuring Browne against the cage and landing accurate power combos as Browne found himself on wobbly legs.

Midway through the opening round Browne mustered a thudding shot of his own that floored Arlovski, but the 36 year old found his composure and rose from his feet.

It didn’t take long for Arlovski to shake off any cobwebs and get right back in the pocket with Browne. He continued to use the flurry punching that worked so well earlier in the round and eventually found space for an accurate straight right.

Andrei Arlovski (R) and Travis Browne engage during their heavyweight fight. (AP) Arlovski recognized the potency of his straight right and fired off a succession of devastating follow-ups. Browne once again found himself in trouble as he attempted a retreat. But Arlovski showed no mercy and finished Browne off with repeated blows, as the referee stepped in at 4:41 of Round 1.

“It’s not going to affect our friendship,” Arlovski said post-fight, “I love him like a brother.”

Making the Fight of The Year candidate that much more impressive was the post-fight revelation that Arlovski was dealing with a pretty serious injury heading into the fight. That, coupled with the mid-round blows by Browne, had Arlovski on the verge of quitting.

“Man, I was tired. I almost quit,” admitted Arlovski. “There were so many punches being thrown and I was so tired. I am injured, I hurt my leg during my last workout on Thursday. We finished up training and I told my coach I wanted to go one more round just to test my reactions. We were moving around and he kicked me on the inside of my shin and I got a little cocky and started dancing around and I felt something in my leg. I thought my coach kicked me again so I asked him, but he said no. I really don’t know how it happened, but the UFC doctors were there right away and they took care of me. I’m really grateful for the care they gave me.”

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NHL GM of the Year Finalists: Bob Murray vs. Glen Sather vs. Steve Yzerman

Winning the NHL’s General Manager of the Year Award doesn’t always bode well for your future. Two of the five winner’s in the short history of the award were fired by their respective teams not long after being chosen. Mike Gillis was canned three years after he won, while Ray Shero was shown the door less than twelve months after he was was given the honor.

On Friday night, the NHL announced its three finalists for the 2015 award: Bob Murray of the Anaheim Ducks; Glen Sather of the New York Rangers; and Steve Yzerman of the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

From NHL.com:

Why Bob Murray deserves to win

Murray crafted a Ducks team that posted the top record in the Western Conference for the second consecutive season, captured its third straight Pacific Division title with the second-best record in franchise history (51-24-7, 109 points) and has reached the Conference Finals for the first time since its Stanley Cup win in 2007. Murray acquired center Ryan Kesler in a draft-day trade last June and defenseman Simon Despres at the trade deadline in March, adding to a roster whose core was built through the draft (forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, defensemen Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen, goaltender Frederik Andersen). Murray is a finalist for the third consecutive season; he finished second in voting in 2012-13 and captured the award in 2013-14.

Why Glen Sather deserves to win 

Sather assembled a roster that went 53-22-7 (113 points) during the regular season to set franchise records for wins and points in capturing the third Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history. The Rangers also led the NHL and set club records for road wins (28) and points (58). With a successful mix of 25-and-under standouts (Kevin Hayes, Chris Kreider, Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan), veteran draft picks (Carl Hagelin, Henrik Lundqvist, Marc Staal), trade acquisitions (Derick Brassard, Kevin Klein, Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis, Keith Yandle) and free agents (Dan Boyle, Dan Girardi), the Rangers have advanced to the Conference Finals for the third time in the past four seasons. Sather is a finalist for the first time since the award was introduced in 2009-10.

Why Steve Yzerman deserves to win

After leading Tampa Bay to the Conference Finals in 2010-11, his first season in charge, Yzerman oversaw the rebuild to a roster that has returned to the final four with just two holdovers from the 2011 squad, cornerstone center Steven Stamkos and defenseman Victor Hedman. Bolstered by key acquisitions through the draft (Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat), via free agency (Brian Boyle, Valtteri Filppula, Tyler Johnson, Anton Stralman) and trades (Ben Bishop, Ryan Callahan, Jason Garrison), the Lightning set franchise records with 50 wins and 108 points during the regular season. They also led the League with 262 goals and 32 home wins. Yzerman is a finalist for the award for the second time, finishing second in balloting in 2010-11.

Voting was conducted by all 30 NHL general managers and a panel of league executives, print and broadcast media at the end of Round 2.

Maybe you could make a case for Nashville Predators GM David Poile to be a finalist, but the biggest oversight has to be Garth Snow of the New York Islanders. He upgraded in goal, on defense and up front, saw his team improved by 22 points and come within a Game 7 win of advancing to the second round. Not sure what else he needed to do to be included. 

Who Should Win: Garth Snow.

Who Will Win: Steve Yzerman. Overhauled his roster and raided the Stanley Cup finalist Rangers, while keeping his core intact, which includes extending two-thirds of the “Triplets” line and Alex Killorn. Also bolstered defense at the trade deadline with the acquisition of Braydon Coburn.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Rick Nash scores twice as Rangers even series with Lightning

A pair of second period goals from Chris Kreider and Keith Yandle 1:48 apart propelled the New York Rangers to 5-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final. The series is now tied 2-2 with Game 5 Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

After allowing six goals in each of the past two games, the Rangers found their defense again, holding the Lightning to a single Steven Stamkos goal in the second period. Henrik Lundqvist was kept busy and was back in form, finishing with 38 saves.

New York opened the scoring late in the opening frame when Rick Nash powered his way to his first goal in five games: 

Stamkos would tie the game midway through the second period, but that was quickly answered by the Rangers.

Chris Kreider regained the lead for New York after a Brendan Morrow defensive zone turnover led to an eventual rebound opportunity for the Rangers forward, which he pounced on for his seventh of the postseason. The lead would double 108 seconds later when a lucky bounce went in favor of the visitors as Keith Yandle’s shot from the point deflected off Victor Hedman’s leg and by Ben Bishop:

New York’s pair of quick goals in the second ended a period in which Tampa dominated everything but the scoreboard, outshooting the Rangers 19-6, but failing on two power play opportunities and leaving the ice with only one goal to show for it.

In the third period, it was an old friend of the Lightning who put the game out of reach. Martin St. Louis made it 4-1 with his first of the playoffs thanks to a great cross-ice pass from Derick Brassard: 

Nash would add his second of the game late in the third period as New York made it 5-1.

“It’s frustrating when you can’t help your team out offensively when you’re supposed to score goals,” Nash told NBCSN’s Brian Engblom afterward. “It’s not going in, you feel like you’re letting your team down. But I’m trying to help out in any area I can and tonight, finally, a couple went in.”

It was Nash who set up a private screening of the “Entourage” movie during the team’s day off on Thursday. After two goals and an assist in Game 4, and knowing how superstitious hockey players can be, might we suggest “Mad Max: Fury Road” for Saturday night? It’s really, really good.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Brewers’ Will Smith tossed for having foreign substance on his arm

(Getty Images)

Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Will Smith was ejected in the seventh inning of Thursday’s 10-1 loss to Atlanta after umpires found a foreign substance on his non-throwing arm.

Smith had just entered the game and hit the first batter he faced, Pedro Ciriaco, with a pitch. The Brewers left-hander then threw a strike to Jace Peterson when Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez asked the umpires to check on Smith. Crew chief Jim Joyce obliged and Smith was promptly ejected when Joyce discovered the shiny substance on the lower part of Smith’s forearm.

According to Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Brewers beat writer Tom Hadricourt, Smith did not react well to being tossed:


[Woah, The Stew has a podcast now?! Yep, you should listen.]

After the game Smith identified the goop on his arm as a mixture of sunscreen and rosin:


Based on precedent, additional discipline for Smith is on the way. Last year we saw Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda suspended 10 games for having a glob of pine tar on his neck during a start against the Red Sox.

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Israel Fehr is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at israelfehr@yahoo.ca or follow him on Twitter.