Sean Leahy

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor of Puck Daddy since the blog started in April 2008. Having covered Stanley Cup Finals, NHL All-Star Games and NHL Drafts, his highlight might have been getting blown out playing Ryan Kesler in NHL2K11 on Nintendo Wii. That, or coercing an All-Star Game goal judge to let him control the goal light for a period. He currently resides on Long Island.

  • Your 2013 Stanley Cup Playoff second round TV schedule

    Getty ImagesHave you caught your breath yet from a pretty wild first round? Too bad. Round 2 kicks off Tuesday night. Now that the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers complete the second round pairings, here's how the schedule looks:

    • Remember, now that we're in Round 2, there are no more local broadcasts of games. In the U.S., NBC, NBCSN and CNBC will have every game.

    • According to Steve Lepore, May 25 may feature a pair of Game 5s between the Bruins/Rangers and Red Wings/Blackhawks. One of those games will be played on NBC in primetime should one of those series need at least five games.

    • Each series will feature two full days off over the course of the seven games thanks to building availability and television considerations. No games will be played on back-to-back days.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Your 2013 Stanley Cup Playoff second round TV schedule
  • Three years ago Tuesday, the Boston Bruins completed a 3-0 series collapse by blowing a 3-0 first period lead to the Philadelphia Flyers in a Game 7. Three years later, they were on the other end of an dramatic, in-game comeback to save themselves from another series collapse.

    Patrice Bergeron's goal 6:05 into overtime finished off the Bruins' turnaround and ended the Toronto Maple Leafs' season, giving Boston a 5-4 win in Game 7.

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    The Bruins will move on to the second round to face the New York Rangers.

    When Nazem Kadri scored his first playoff goal 5:29 into the third period, the Maple Leafs held a 4-1 lead. Toronto had taken advantage of a flat Boston team and were on their way to a series victory.

    It was then that the desperation finally set in for the Bruins.

    Nathan Horton scored four minutes after Kadri to cut the Toronto lead to 4-2. Then, with Tuukka Rask on the bench for the extra attacker late in the third

    Read More »from Patrice Bergeron’s OT goal completes stunning Bruins’ Game 7 comeback over Leafs (Video)
  • Here are your Puck Previews: Spotlighting the key games in NHL action, news and views as well as general frivolity. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.

    Getty ImagesPreview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m. ET. (Series tied 3-3) The Maple Leafs are the 48th team in NHL history to force a Game 7 after falling behind 3-1 in a playoff series. They're also 1-13 in series when they've trailed 3-1, with their last comeback coming in 1942 over the Detroit Red Wings when they were behind 3-0. But you throw out history in Game 7s. Anything can happen. Anyone can step up. So far, it's been James Reimer carrying Toronto to this point, while the Bruins are hoping to finally get contributions from the likes of Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand to put them in the second round.

    Preview: New York Rangers at Washington Capitals, 8 p.m. ET (Series tied 3-3) Another seven-game series between the Capitals and Rangers ends Monday night with the expectation that it will be another tight one. The last five games in this series have been decided by a single goal and the home team has won every game so far. New York has not won any of their five road Game 7s in franchise history, with their last coming in 2009 when Sergei Fedorov scored a late winner for the Capitals.

    NOTE: We'll be live chatting during both games tonight, so please join us beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Rumor has it Mayor McBoobs will be there.

    Evening Listening

    • Here's today's Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast featuring Scott Morrison of Sportsnet. [MvsW]

    Read More »from Two Game 7s end Round 1; latest Coyotes bid rejected by NHL (Puck Previews)
  • Bruins face the pressure, Maple Leafs ride momentum in Game 7

    Getty ImagesThe Toronto Maple Leafs are in the postseason for the first time since 2004; and after a nine-year absence, they're reminding fans just how up and down the emotions of the playoffs can be.

    After falling behind 3-1 in their series to the Boston Bruins, the Maple Leafs, specifically James Reimer, rose to the occasion and forced a Game 7 with two convincing wins. The crowds outside Maple Leaf Square have grown as the series has gone on; and with the series' final game in Boston, Monday night's will be the biggest yet.

    Read More »from Bruins face the pressure, Maple Leafs ride momentum in Game 7
  • Getty ImagesUNIONDALE, N.Y. -- When comparing the statistical careers of Mario Lemieux and Brooks Orpik, there are many, many differences in many, many categories. But on Saturday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman achieved something that his boss never did in his NHL career: score a playoff overtime goal.

    Through 78 career postseason games, this playoff goal was Orpik's biggest because it was his first ever and it gave the Penguins a 4-3 overtime victory to eliminate the New York Islanders in Game 6.

    “I’d much rather get one there than in the regular season when it doesn’t really matter," said Orpik.

    Before overtimes, Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma rattles his brain thinking of a player on his team who he believes will score the game-winner. In his five seasons behind the bench in Pittsburgh, he's had no reason to choose Orpik, but who doesn't love a pleasant surprise?

    Another player Bylsma didn't predict to net an important goal was Paul Martin, whose shot from the point with 5:16 left in regulation deflected off Frans Nielsen's stick to force the extra period.

    “[We] just feel fortunate to get that goal from Paul Martin to tie it up and be able to get the game winner here today and get that fourth win and move on," said Bylsma.

    Coming off an impressive Game 5 shutout, the Penguins' struggles from Games 2-4 returned and they once again couldn't keep up with the Islanders' speed and forecheck. Their inability to exit their own zone cleanly energized the sold-out Nassau Coliseum crowd.

    The Islanders didn't allow many shots on Evgeni Nabokov, outshooting Pittsburgh 38-21, and they would take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission - -but, as has been shown throughout this series, the rollercoaster ride was just beginning.

    “We responded being down three different times in the game," said Orpik. "We could have easily just packed it in and not battled back.”

    Through three periods, the Penguins kept answering the Islanders on the scoresheet, but never held a lead until Orpik's winner. The Islanders, behind the energy of their 16,170 fans, once again outplayed the Penguins at 5-on-5 and controlled possession during many points of the game. By the time Orpik's goal went behind Nabokov, you could hear the sigh of relief from the Pittsburgh bench.

    “Right now it just feels great to close it out and move on," said Jarome Iginla. "Nobody was taking anything for granted. We wanted to end it tonight.”

    The Penguins will move on to the second round to face the Ottawa Senators for the fourth time in seven seasons. While they'll be able to take the next few days before Game 1 to shift their focus, Pittsburgh cannot forget what happened in this series.

    They cannot forget how the Islanders were successful at dictating the play. They cannot forget some of the undisciplined penalties that, without the help of a strong penalty kill, could have flipped this series in the Islanders' favor. They cannot have a short memory of this series. The memories of these six games have to factor in their improvement if they're to get by the Senators.

    For now, though, it's all about surviving and advancing.

    Read More »from Penguins survive Islanders in six games, advance to second round vs. Senators
  • Islanders not fazed staring down elimination vs. Pens in Game 6

    Getty ImagesThe New York Islanders have been playing playoff hockey for over a month now. So facing elimination Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum against the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins won't bring about any nerves as they attempt to force a Game 7.

    "I wasn't sure how the locker room would feel, but guys are loose; guys are positive," said Islanders forward Colin McDonald after Saturday's morning skate. "We've been down in games before. It's just a no-quit type team."

    This isn't the first must-win game for the Islanders this season. Going through most of the season on the Eastern Conference playoff bubble, points came at a premium; and it took an April that saw them take points in 11 straight games that helped clinch their first playoff berth since 2007.

    Through the first four games, the Islanders outplayed the Penguins at 5-on-5, capitalized on bounces and had the benefit of Marc-Andre Fleury playing in goal on the other side. They took advantage of his continued postseason struggles and split the opening four games. But Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma had enough and made the decision to turn to Tomas Vokoun for Game 5. Whether it was the shakeup in net or the post-Game 4 anger in the locker room channeled into better focus and attention to detail on the ice, the Penguins returned to their form from Game 1 and produced a similar performance during a 4-0 shutout on Thursday.

    Knowing how difficult it was to keep the Islanders at bay in Games 3 and 4 at the Coliseum, the Penguins know their attempt to advance to the second round won't be easy.

    "That is our mentality. We don't have six period. We just have three," said Bylsma. "The fourth game is the hardest to win and we expect their very best from their team tonight. We have to be ready for that."

    If you're an Islanders fan and one to rely on history, your team is in a good place. They've never dropped a series to the Penguins in franchise history (3-0). The last four Game 6s they've needed to win, they've won, as Lighthouse Hockey points out. And if you're an Islanders fan praying to your David Volek shrine, you can rest on the fact that if 1993 is to repeat itself, things are on schedule. Before Volek's goal in Game 7 ended the Penguins' dreams of a three-peat, both teams split the opening two games in Pittsburgh and Games 3 and 4 in New York. The Penguins would take a 3-2 advantage at home, just like 2013, and, well, we know how the final two games played out.

    This Islanders team isn't thinking about history. They have to find a way to solve Vokoun and recapture the gameplan that worked from Games 2-4.

    "Our approach doesn't change," said Islanders head coach Jack Capuano. "We've been in must-win games just to get into the playoffs. You can't look at [elimination] that way -- that our backs are against the wall.

    "This team has put it on the line all year. They play hard and I expect they'll do the same tonight."

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Islanders not fazed staring down elimination vs. Pens in Game 6
  • Getty ImagesNo. 1 Star: James Reimer, Toronto Maple Leafs

    Reimer kept the Maple Leafs' playoff hopes alive with 43 saves, including 18 in the third period as Toronto edged the Boston Bruins 2-1. Tyler Bozak (shorthanded) and Clarke MacArthur were the goal scorers for the Maple Leafs as they forced a Game 6 Sunday at Air Canada Centre.

    No. 2 Star: Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings

    Needing a victory to force Game 7, Zetterberg stepped up and delivered with a 3-point night as the Red Wings beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 in overtime. Zetterberg scored Detroit's second goal of the night early in the third period and ended his evening with the overtime winner 1:04 into the extra frame. According to the AP, the Detroit captain has the most playoff goals (50) among all players since 2006.

    No. 3 Star: Dustin Penner, Los Angeles Kings

    Penner scored the go-ahead goal with 0.2 seconds left in the second period to give the Kings a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish as they eliminated the St. Louis Blues in six games. Jonathan Quick made 21 saves and finished the series with a .944 save percentage. LA has won 10 consecutive games at Staples Center.

    Read More »from NHL Three Stars: Reimer keeps Leafs alive; Kings advance to second round
  • AP"We knew we could win four games," Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick told NBCSN's Daryl Reaugh after Game 6. Quick, the 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, rebounded after a shaky start to the series and helped backstop the Kings to four straight wins en route to eliminating the St. Louis Blues for the second straight year.

    All six games were decided by one goal, with Game 6 ending as the third 2-1 final score of the series. Just to add to the late scoring drama of the series, Dustin Penner took until almost the final tick of the clock to put the Kings up 2-1 with 0.2 seconds left in the second period:

    The Blues will have a long summer to look back and wonder where some of their top scorers disappeared to. David Perron, Andy McDonald and Chris Stewart went goalless in the series and combined for three assists. If not for Alex Steen (3 goals), this series might have ended sooner.

    GM Doug Armstrong will be busy considering his options with Stewart, Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk and Patrik Berglund scheduled to become restricted free agents.

    However the rest of the first round finishes, the Kings will face a California opponent in either the San Jose Sharks or the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference semifinals.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from LA Kings win fourth straight, eliminate Blues for second straight year (Video)
  • Getty ImagesWhen Justin Abdelkader scored his second goal of the playoffs midway through the third period, it gave the Detroit Red Wings a 3-1 lead, a cushion that seemed like a Game 7 was a sure thing.

    But the Anaheim Ducks had other ideas as Emerson Etem and Bobby Ryan scored in a 51-second span later in the period to force overtime.

    In the OT, the Ducks were whistled for icing, and with the faceoff in their own zone, head coach Bruce Boudreau called a timeout to give his players a rest. That allowed the Red Wings to draw up something special. Six seconds after the enusing face-off, captain Henrik Zetterberg scored his second of the game, forcing a Game 7 on Sunday:

    Over the final four games of the regular season, with Detroit needing points to make the playoffs, Zetterberg led the charge compiling 10 points to extend the Red Wings' consecutive seasons with playoff streak to 22. On Friday night, he stepped up again when they needed it most, finishing with a 3-point night.

    This will be the second straight Game 7 between the Ducks and Red Wings. When they last met in the second round in 2009, Detroit edged Anaheim 4-3, thanks to a late Danny Cleary goal.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Henrik Zetterberg’s OT goal halts Ducks’ comeback, forces Game 7 (Video)
  • APIt should come as no surprise to see how tight the New York Rangers/Washington Capitals series has been. Entering Game 5, nine of their last 10 meetings had been decided by one goal, with three of them needing overtime.

    Game 5 kept with that theme as Mike Ribeiro's goal 9:24 into overtime gave the Capitals a 2-1 victory and moved them a win away from the second round:

    Capitals head coach Adam Oates said before Game 5 he was "worried" about how his team would start the game. His fear became a reality when Brian Boyle scored just 53 seconds into the game to give New York the early lead.

    Boyle would later watch from the penalty box as Joel Ward evened the score 11 seconds into Washington's first power play (drawn by Ribeiro) of the game 7:44 into the second period. That set the scene for Ribeiro to step up in the OT and score his first goal of the playoffs and first since April 18.

    With the Maple Leafs also winning Friday night, Game 6 for Capitals/Rangers will be Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET.

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from Mike Ribeiro’s OT goal puts Caps on brink of eliminating Rangers (Video)


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