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Stephenson could be the next Pacers player to strike it rich

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The Montreal Canadiens are going to the Eastern Conference Final and the Los Angeles Kings force a Game Seven; Scott Cullen has notes on Daniel Briere, Dale Weise, Nathan Beaulieu, Carey Price, Trevor Lewis, Jake Muzzin, Ryan Getzlaf and more. Greg Holland Jersey . HABS HEADED TO CONFERENCE FINAL The Montreal Canadiens scored early in Game Seven, built a lead and protected it well on their way to a 3-1 series-clinching win over the Boston Bruins. While this game or series isnt necessarily a referendum on the value of fourth lines, the Canadiens certainly benefitted from production lower down their forward depth chart. In Game Seven, the scoring was opened by Dale Weise, who has been a nice surprise for the Canadiens, contributing three goals and five points in 11 playoff games. The last goal of the game came from Daniel Briere, and while it was a power play goal, Briere did centre the fourth line (with Weise and Brandon Prust) and his two-point effort in Game Seven left Briere with six points in 10 playoff games. With two points in Game Seven, Briere moves past Sidney Crosby for fifth place among active playoff scorers. No Canadiens forwards have averaged less time on ice in this postseason than Briere and Wiese, but their contributions cant be ignored. Canadiens RW Brendan Gallagher had two assists in Game Seven, giving him nine points in the postseason, tied with Lars Eller for most points among Montreal forwards. Another depth player that made a useful contribution for Montreal was rookie D Nathan Beaulieu, the rookie who replaced Douglas Murray in the lineup and while he hasnt played much, hes been effective. In Games Six and Seven, Beaulieu had two assists and was on for 63.8% of the 5-on-5 shot attempts when he was on the ice. Michel Therrien thinks Murray is hard to play against? Beaulieus harder. The supporting cast was valuable for the Habs, but so too was their franchise goaltender. Carey Price stopped 219 of 234 shots he faced in the series (.936 SV%), outdueling his Boston counterpart, Tuukka Rask, who stopped 177 of 196 shots (.903 SV%). Its not as though Rask let in glaring bad goals -- Brieres goal in Game Seven was banked in off Zdeno Charas skate -- but Price stopped more pucks and, in a series this close, that made the difference. While RW Jarome Iginla scored Bostons only goal, that didnt erase the trouble that Bostons first line experienced in the postseason. David Krejci, who far-and-away, had more playoff points than anyone in the past three postseasons, finished this years playoffs with no goals and four assists in a dozen games. LW Milan Lucic had points in the first three games of the series against Montreal, but was held off the scoresheet in the last four games, registering two shots on goal, total, in the final three games. Iginla did lead the Bruins with five goals in the playoffs, but seven points in a dozen playoff games is hardly earth-shattering production. Such is the nature of an upset in the playoffs, though. The lower-seeded Canadiens got better goaltending, some unexpected production from players on the low-end of the depth chart and that was enough to overcome a Bruins team that held a consistent territorial edge throughout the seven games. This may result in some changes for the Bruins, but not likely anything drastic. They had the best record in the league this season and, while improvements are needed, they will be contenders again next year. As for the Canadiens, they are in their second Eastern Conference Final since 1993, when they last won the Stanley Cup. That season, the Canadiens had a fortunate path once the New York Islanders eliminated the Cup-favourite Pittsburgh Penguins. This time, the Habs bounced the top seed and take on a New York Rangers team that may be favoured, but not by much, making for what should be a competitive series. KINGS AND DUCKS GOING SEVEN With their season the line, the Los Angeles Kings locked down against the Anaheim Ducks, taking a 2-1 decision in Game Six to force a seventh game in the Freeway Series. While the final shot count in the game barely favoured the Kings, 23-22, they dominated at score close, with nearly two-thirds of the 5-on-5 shot attempts and not one Kings player was on the ice for less than 50% of the 5-on-5 shot attempts. The winning goal in Game Six was scored by Kings RW Trevor Lewis. Soft as it may have been (a wrist shot from the top of the circles), Lewis now has four goals in 13 playoff games after scoring six goals in 73 regular season games. In the past four games, Lewis has been on the ice for 65.4% of the shot attempts when hes on the ice at 5-on-5. More contribution from unexpected sources. Los Angeles first goal came from D Jake Muzzin, his third of the playoffs and Game Six was the second straight game in which he played more than 25 minutes in regulation. In the past three games, Muzzin has been on the ice for 74 of 108 (68.5%) of shot attempts at 5-on-5. It wasnt all unheralded performers getting the job done for the Kings, though. C Anze Kopitar had an assist, to give him a playoff-leading 17 points. On the other side, Game Six was the first game in the series in which Ducks C Ryan Getzlaf didnt register a point; it was also the first time in the playoffs that Getzlaf didnt register a shot on goal. That probably means some credit is due to the Kings defence tandem that matched up against Getzlaf, so, take a bow, Jeff Schultz and Slava Voynov. Schultz, who spent the entire season in the AHL, isnt exactly driving play, but has been on the ice for more than 55% of the shot attempts at 5-on-5 in five games since being inserted into the lineup. Lewis questionable goal aside, its not as though the Kings found a great secret to beating Ducks G John Gibson, who has still stopped 86 of 92 shots (.935 SV%) in three games against the Kings but, with the Kings season on the line, two goals was enough to force Game Seven. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. Gerardo Parra Jersey . - Jason Day and Cameron Tringale shot an 8-under 64 on Friday in modified alternate-shot play to increase their lead to three strokes in the Franklin Templeton Shootout. Carlos Gonzalez Jersey . During the furious first few hours of free agency Tuesday, the team agreed to terms with strong safety Donte Whitner, a Cleveland native who cant wait to play in his hometown. http://www.rockiesapparelsshop.com/trevor-story-jersey-c-13/ . Kalish got his first hit since Sept. 11, 2012, when he rapped an RBI triple in the first inning Sunday in the Chicago Cubs 8-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Pacers bizarre season came to a familiar end Friday night. Another embarrassing loss at Miami. Now Larry Bird must spend the off-season trying to figure out what went wrong and what must be fixed to finally beat the Heat in the playoffs. "You just have to go into the off-season with the mindset that were going to reload. We have a core, a system, a culture thats going to give us a chance every year," coach Frank Vogel said after Fridays 25-point, season-ending loss. "Weve got to make whatever adjustments we have to make to come back and be here again next year." There are plenty of questions heading into what could be a turbulent off-season. Will Vogel be back after leading the Pacers to 42, 49 and 56 wins in his first three full seasons as coach, capturing back-to-back Central Division titles, reaching the last two conference finals and earning the No. 1 seed for only the third time in franchise history? Will the Pacers re-sign free agent Lance Stephenson, their 23-year-old energizer, whose erratic behaviour became a major distraction in the Eastern Conference finals? Could Hibbert be on the trading block after struggling through Indianas confounding second-half swoon and nearly disappearing, at times, during the playoffs? Might Bird make other moves to cope with the NBA trend of spreading the floor, add scorers or rebuild the bench yet again? Or do the Pacers simply need more time to mature? While those answers might not come for months, one thing is clear: They must find a way to get past Miami after three straight playoff series losses, the last two in the Eastern Conference finals. "Obviously, theyre more prepared, theyre more seasoned for this moment," David West said. "Theyve been able to embrace these moments to get to a level that we, for some reason, cant compete." Bird spent last summer revamping the bench, and Indiana responded with a 33-7 start — the best in the NBA. But after signing Andrew Bynum in February and trading Danny Granger for Evan Turner at the trade deadline, the Pacers went into a confounding second-half swoon in which they looked disengaged and disinterested. Two-time All-Star Paul&nbbsp;George acknowledged Friday that the Pacers seemed to hit a wall, thinking they could turn it on whenever they needed it. Jason Motte Jersey. Somehow, they still managed to finish with the best record in the East, rallied to win the final two games against eighth-seeded Atlanta after twice giving away home-court advantage and rallied again against a young Washington team after giving away home-court advantage in Game 1. When they did it again by failing to close out the Heat at home in Game 2, Miami responded by winning all three of its home games decisively to clinch the series. "You know at times it feels like were there, and then theres games where it still feels like were not at that point yet," George said when asked if he thought the Pacers had closed the gap on Miami. "Coach says it, I mean, in order for us to beat this team, weve got to play like champions. More times than not, we didnt do so." Most of the problems were self-inflicted. Indiana struggled with infighting, prolonged slumps, unseemly rumours and constant criticism. Hibbert epitomized much of it. In late March, he complained about "selfish dudes" in the locker room, a barb directed at Stephenson, later apologized and was so bad, at times, in the playoffs that fans and analysts called for his benching. And its unclear what the Pacers will do after a second straight blowout in an elimination game at Miami. Bird acknowledged the Pacers were going "all in" this season when they re-signed David West, gave George a max deal and traded away their first-round pick to get Luis Scola from Phoenix. Stephenson could be the next Pacers player to strike it rich. But after calling out LeBron James publicly before Game 4, blowing in his ear in Game 5 and tapping James on his chin early in Game 6, some wonder if the Pacers even want Stephenson back. It all depends on whether Bird thinks Stephenson can help beat the Heat. "I dont know what the future holds for us," West said. "Obviously, everything starts and ends with the Miami Heat. You have to have a team that can get through a tough regular season but ultimately, you have to be able to beat Miami to get to the finals." Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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