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Posted On Saturday, 05.17.2014 / 3:40 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Blackhawks expect 'heck of a series' from Kings

The Chicago Blackhawks will meet the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Final for the second consecutive year when the puck is dropped to start Game 1 on Sunday at United Center (3 p.m. ET; NBC, TSN, RDS).

"Compare them last year to this year, who knows," Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp said Saturday. "They're a tough team every game we play them. I'm sure it will be a heck of a series again."

The Kings have made some changes to their lineup since being eliminated in five games by the Blackhawks last season. But the core that led Los Angeles to a Stanley Cup championship in 2012 remains, and 2013 champion Chicago is expecting that formidable group to give them a tough time.

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Posted On Friday, 05.16.2014 / 5:12 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Blackhawks resting, waiting for Kings-Ducks winner

The Chicago Blackhawks continue to try to take advantage of their time off while they await their Western Conference Final opponent to be determined.

The Blackhawks will play the Anaheim Ducks or Los Angeles Kings, who play Game 7 of their second-round series Friday at Honda Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

The conference final begins Sunday, either in Anaheim or Chicago.

"I think a bunch of us will probably be watching the game, and one way or another we'll be getting ready for Sunday, regardless who we play at this point," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said Friday.

The Blackhawks have not played since Tuesday, when they defeated the Minnesota Wild 2-1 in overtime in Game 6 of their second-round series.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 8:12 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Kings forward Williams thrives in Game 7s

Maybe Justin Williams is so good in Game 7 because the Los Angeles Kings forward has been practicing for them since he was a kid.

"Of course it's Game 7 and it's usually the Stanley Cup Final too," Williams said Thursday of his childhood imaginations. "It's the same thing with any other sport. It's the last second of the game and buzzer is coming down, it's the ninth inning, two outs, football game, fourth quarter or last play. It's everything. It's you or them, and this is what you relish as a kid, coming out on top."

Williams will play the sixth Game 7 of his NHL career on Friday when the Kings and Anaheim Ducks compete at Honda Center to decide their Western Conference Second Round series (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Williams is 5-0 with 10 points (five goals) in his previous Game 7s of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has two game-winning goals.


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Posted On Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 5:39 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Palmieri looks ahead to Game 7 of Ducks-Kings

Anaheim Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri joined NHL Live to discuss the Ducks' Game 7 showdown against the Los Angeles Kings on Friday at Honda Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

After losing the first two games of their Western Conference Second Round series at home, the Ducks won the next three before falling 2-1 in Game 6 on Wednesday at Staples Center. The winner of Game 7 will play the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 10:52 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live sets up Penguins-Rangers, Blackhawks-Wild

NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, has the lead-up to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers. We'll go out to Consol Energy Center and welcome in NBCSN analyst Pierre McGuire via the Arena Cam to talk about this do-or-die matchup.

In the Western Conference, the Chicago Blackhawks try to close out the Minnesota Wild in Game 6 and Blackhawks insider Tracey Myers will talk about the importance of Chicago finishing the series in their first opportunity.

Paul Steigerwald and Dave Strader will also go inside the series with hits in Pittsburgh and Minnesota.

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Posted On Friday, 05.09.2014 / 4:06 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Ducks recall goalie Gibson from AHL

The Anaheim Ducks recalled goaltender John Gibson from Norfolk of the American Hockey League on Friday.

Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen was injured in the third period of Game 3 of the Western Conference Second Round on Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.08.2014 / 3:12 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Rangers' Vigneault 'looking at all possibilities'

In a game the New York Rangers knew they had to have in order to regain precious momentum in their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the star players were unable to come through in the clutch.

That was the main talking point following New York's 4-2 defeat in Game 4 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday and a theme that continued during the team's optional skate at its training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y., on Thursday afternoon.

The only player absent was left wing Carl Hagelin. Coach Alain Vigneault said Hagelin is fine and should be in the lineup for Game 5 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), with the Rangers down 3-1 in the series and facing Stanley Cup Playoff elimination.

The coach also shuffled his line combinations at the skate. According to The (Bergen) Record, Derek Stepan was centering the top line with Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello, and Brad Richards centered a line with Rick Nash and Daniel Carcillo, who might very well have been holding a placement for Hagelin.

"I'm looking at all possibilities right now," Vigneault told The Record. "We've had a fair amount of success by being consistent [with the line combinations]. With [Kreider] coming in [for Game 4], we basically mixed two lines; [Kreider] went in on one and we took Marty [St. Louis] off that line. So we did make some changes [Wednesday] and those didn't work out to our advantage. So we've got the whole night to think about it and try and come up with a plan."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.08.2014 / 2:42 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Wild's Koivu talks home success on NHL Live

NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will preview Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens as analyst Darren Pang joins us from the Arena Cam at Bell Centre.

The Anaheim Ducks are also in action Thursday, trying to get back in a Western Conference Second Round series which they trail 2-0 to the Los Angeles Kings. Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register will talk about what the Ducks must do to close the gap in the series.

Minnesota Wild forward Mikko Koivu joins the show to talk about their success at home during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Wild are 4-0 at Xcel Energy Center heading into Game 4 Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 7:31 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Orpik returns for Penguins; Kreider in for Rangers

NEW YORK -- The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers each will have one of their injured players back in the lineup for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Madison Square Garden.

Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik will play after missing five games with an undisclosed injury. New York forward Chris Kreider, who's been out with a hand injury, will play his first game in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 7:00 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Kopitar talks Kings' playoff run, Selke nomination

Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar was a guest of NHL Live to break down the Kings' performance in their Western Conference Second Round series against the Anaheim Ducks.

Chasing their second Stanley Cup in three seasons, the Kings lead the best-of-7 series 2-0 with Game 3 on Thursday at Staples Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS). Los Angeles has won six straight games since trailing 3-0 in the Western Conference First Round against the San Jose Sharks and is the fourth team in NHL history to win a seven-game series after losing the first three.

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Quote of the Day

It's something that you don't really envision starting this way, but when you put the work in you don't feel like it's unwarranted. You definitely don't envision it unfolding this way, but you do think you can be successful at this level.

— Senators goalie Andrew Hammond, who defeated the Jets on Wednesday to improve to 6-0-1 since making his first NHL start on Feb. 18