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Habs name Bergevin as GM

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens believe Marc Bergevin can lead them back to the top of the standings.

The Canadiens introduced the Chicago Blackhawks assistant GM and former NHL defenseman as their new general manager Wednesday, more than a month after firing Pierre Gauthier.

Team president Geoff Molson pointed out the 46-year-old Bergevin was born in Montreal, played 20 seasons in the NHL, and served as a former scouting director, assistant coach and assistant GM.

Bergevin faces tough decisions after the Canadiens' dismal 31-35-16 season. They finished last in the Eastern Conference and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

"I believe the pieces are really good," Bergevin said. "Obviously finishing 15th in the conference, it's a lot of work that needs to be done, but you have a good base."

His first order of business was to inform interim head coach Randy Cunneyworth that he won't keep his job title. Bergevin said he told Cunneyworth that he'll return as an assistant coach for the time being.

Cunneyworth was under fire for his inability to speak French after he was promoted to interim coach midseason to replace the fired Jacques Martin.

Bergevin retired as a player in 2004 and moved into the Blackhawks front office. Last June, he became assistant GM to Stan Bowman after Kevin Cheveldayoff became GM of Winnipeg.


EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - David Backes was grateful the St. Louis Blues were out of their homes and comfort zones Wednesday, practicing in an opponent's practice rink just a few slapshots from the Pacific Ocean.

Still reeling from the shock of two home playoff losses, the St. Louis captain realizes that a strong road trip is the only way to save his team's season.

"It's good to get away from home and all the people that told us how good we were all year," Backes said. "We've had a little trouble dealing with success, with all the talk about Presidents' trophies and Jennings trophies . . . and now we're stumbling on our toes."

Indeed, St. Louis is in an 0-2 hole in its second-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings, giving up eight goals at home to the lowest-scoring team that made the NHL playoffs. Game 3 on Thursday night is vital to the Blues, who know that only three teams have overcome an 0-3 deficit and advanced.


Devils sitting in nice spot

NEWARK, N.J. - New Jersey let Philadelphia know it wasn't going to roll over for the Flyers, the perceived team to beat in the Eastern Conference. The No. 6-seeded Devils look for their second straight win when the two meet for Game Three tonight in Prudential Center (7:30 p.m., NBCSN and Ch. 5)

The Devils won Game Two, 4-1, after falling in overtime in the opener.

"We like the spot we are in," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said.

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