-Note: We plan on hosting a live chat for all three Game 7s in the NHL this evening. Please tune in.
Penguins - Blue Jackets
-“We’ll definitely learn from this series. That’s what you have to do if you want to win.” - James Neal (right).
-Only three defensemen in franchise history have scored more points in a postseason series than Paul Martin did against the Blue Jackets.
-“We’re really proud of the steps we’ve taken, but we know we have a long ways to go. We see it in a team like Pittsburgh, where they just keep coming, keep coming. And that’s a team that’s won. We can learn from them.” - Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno.
-The Blue Jackets revealed the specific nature of injuries for some of their players. Forward R.J. Umberger (broken right index finger, a separated right shoulder, a herniated disc and a bruised left hand) as well as defensemen James Wisniewski (torn cartilage on his ribs), defenseman Ryan Murray (broken right foot) and defenseman Fedor Tyutin (head) were all dealing with some various ailments.
-Blue Jackets management wants to sign head coach Todd Richards and assistant coaches Craig Hartsburg, Dan Hinote and Ian Clark to contract extensions.
-The Blue Jackets assigned goaltender Jeremy Smith to Springfield of the AHL.
-After the Jump: The Flyers push the Rangers to a Game 7.
Rangers - Flyers
-A hat trick by Wayne Simmonds led the Flyers to a 5-2 defeat of the Rangers in Game 6. Captain Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist for Philadelphia while teammate Steve Mason made 34 saves. The series is tied, 3-3.
-Simmonds' hat trick:
-New York's Brian Boyle got into an ugly fight with Flyers forward and former Penguin Adam Hall:
-New York's Henrik Lundqvist did not seem to care for the celebration of Simmonds' hat trick:
-It was that kind of night for the Rangers:
-New York's Rick Nash looked mad:
-Mason was all over this puck:
-Even hockey referees are tough. Steve Kozari sported a mean shiner:
-"Those were moments that send chills down your spine. Those type of moments don't happen too often, so you just kind of take it in." - Mason on having fans chant his name late in regulation.
-Stepping into the lineup in place of former Penguins defenseman Hal Gill, Flyers defenseman Erik Gustafsson came through with a breakaway goal.
-“Game 7 in the Garden — when you’re growing up, that’s what you’re dreaming of. Just kind of ‘go, have fun and hope you’re on the winning side.’" - Flyers forward Jakub Voracek on tonight's Game 7 in Madison Square Garden.
-"We have to move on and don't think too much about this game. They did pretty much everything better than us, even goaltending, so we all have to step up tomorrow and play our best game of the series. We're going to need it." - Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist on Game 7. Lundqvist was pulled at the start of the third period of Game 6.
-Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossman will miss the rest of the season following surgery on his right ankle.
Bruins - Red Wings
-“It’s more about controlled emotions. It’s making sure that the rivalry is what it is, but that your game remains under control. I think that’s what’s going to be the big challenge for both teams in this series.” - Bruins coach Claude Julien on facing the Canadiens in the second round.
-The NHL announced Game 1 of the Bruins-Canadiens series will be held Thursday.
-After being in and out of the lineup as a rookie last season, Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton (right) is much more consistent this season.
-Bruins forward Daniel Paille resumed practicing for the first time since suffering a suspected head injury April 12.
-“Of course it’s nice to keep the streak going but this is an organization and club that thrives for titles and wins. So it’s just not good enough.” - Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall on his team reaching the postseason for the 23rd consecutive season but failing to reach the Stanley Cup final for the fifth straight season.
-Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard said he missed Games 4 and 5 of the series due to the flu and dismissed a rumor he was suffering from the flu.
-"We worked on the power play (Monday) and we'll work on it more. We want to create momentum on the power play and we're working with that in mind." - Canadiens coach Michel Therrien on his team going 2 for 13 on the power play in the first round against the Lightning.
Avalanche - Wild
-"Yes, it's a Game 7, a bigger stage, but at the same time it's hockey, and we need to have fun with it. It's a great experience for us. We've been playing well at home. We need to go into this game being confident after playing a very good Game 6. Most teams that win the Stanley Cup have to go through a Game 7. We'll have fun with it." - Avalanche forward and former Penguin Maxime Talbot (right) on tonight's Game 7.
-"It's the best, and it's also the worst. And I said that only kidding. Every moment is so meaningful in the game. And I really do mean it's the best because you've got so much on the line, you've got the players laying it all out there, you've got the passion and energy of the building and the fans and there's just so much at stake." - Wild coach and former Penguins assistant Mike Yeo on Game 7.
Blues - Blackhawks
-“That was a physical series. Hat’s off to them; they threw everything they could to get us off our game and get separation. But for us to capitalize on the little things, to get our rest now and see who (our opponent) is going to be, it’s crucial to get rest now.” - Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell on beating the Blues in the first round and getting some downtime.
-“It’s like going to the dentist. The freezing is coming out and now it hurts. I’m going through that freezing coming out and it’s really painful. Today is a lot harder than it was yesterday, I know that. We got to figure out a way to get better.” - Blues general manager Doug Armstrong on his team being eliminated within the first two rounds yet again.
Ducks - Stars
-"They know ... I want to be out there and win at any cost. You want to show your team you're going to do what it takes to win in the playoffs." - Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf (right, with athletic trainer Joe Huff) on his role as captain and helping his team despite playing with facial injuries in the first round.
-“There are a lot of unknowns still. I’m optimistic…We’ll have to wait and see. I’m literally taking it day to day.” - Stars forward Rich Peverley on his recovery from surgery to correct an irregular heart beat.
-The Stars assigned forwards Chris Mueller and Dustin Jeffrey, a former Penguin, to Texas of the AHL.
Sharks - Kings
-"It's not our most conventional way to go through a series. But you've got to win, I guess, in different ways." - Kings forward Mike Richards on his team coming back from a 3-0 series deficit to force tonight's Game 7.
-The Sharks could become the third team in NHL history to lose a series after holding a 3-0 lead.
-"Whatever. I don't think it's the best chant I've ever heard. It's not even a good chant." - Kings defenseman Drew Doughty dismissing Sharks fans using the classic "Beat L.A.! chant.
-Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell is dealing with an unspecified injury.
-The Kings assigned forward Colin Fraser to Manchester of the AHL.
Minor league playoff stuff
The Wheeling Nailers will face the Greenville Road Warriors in the ECHL's Eastern Conference semifinal round. The schedule for the best-of-seven series:
Saturday, May 3rd - at Wheeling, 7 p.m.
Sunday, May 4th - at Wheeling, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, May 6th - at Greenville, 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 8th - at Greenville, 7 p.m.
*-Friday, May 9th - at Greenville, 7 p.m.
*-Monday, May 12th - at Wheeling, 7 p.m.
*-Wednesday, May 14th - at Wheeling, 7 p.m.
-Happy 39th birthday to former Penguins forward Steve Webb. Claimed off waivers from the Flyers early in the 2003-04 season, Webb's Penguins career amounted to five games and no points that campaign. At the trade deadline, he was dealt to the Islanders in exchange for defenseman Alain Nasreddine.
Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division
-The Devils are expected to announce a one-year contract extension with former Penguins captain/forward Jaromir Jagr (right) today. Jagr, 42, signed a one-year deal worth $2 million with the Devils as a free agent last offseason and played in all 82 games while leading the team in scoring with 67 points (24 goals, 43 points).
-The Islanders signed defenseman Loic Leduc, a fourth-round pick in 2012, to a three-year entry-level contract.
-The Panthers fired interim head coach Peter Horachek. Taking over for former head coach Kevin Dineen Nov. 8, Horaceck had a 26-36-4 record.
-Longtime Flames radio broadcaster Peter Maher announced his retirement. Maher worked for Flames since the franchise moved from Atlanta in 1980.
-Jagr, Rangers forward Dominic Moore and Hurricanes forward Manny Malhotra were named finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
-Former Blackhawks defenseman Shawn Lalonde and Maple Leafs/Coyotes goaltender Justin Pogge have joined Färjestad of Sweden's SHL.
(Photos: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, Jeff Gross/Getty Images, Marianne Helm/Getty Images, Kirk Irwin/Getty Images, Dave Sandford/Getty Images, Chris Szagola/Associated Press, Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images and Post-Gazette archives)