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Posted On Tuesday, 04.19.2011 / 3:11 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 ECQF: Washington-New York Live Blog

Knuble doesn't practice, but expects to play

Mike Knuble did not practice for the second straight day, but Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said he expects the 38-year-old forward to play Wednesday in Game 4 at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers.

Boudreau called it a maintenance day for Knuble. When asked if it was related to Knuble looking at his hand of scoring Washington's second goal Sunday, Boudreau replied, "That's why it is called a maintenance day."

Knuble has spent most of the past two seasons on the team's top line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. He was third on the team with 24 goals in the regular season -- his eighth straight campaign with more than 20 goals.

"He's a big part of our game and if he's out, it is a big loss," Marco Sturm said. "I think we played pretty good all year when guys are out – guys are jumping in. everyone has to do their job there and work maybe a little bit harder."

Jason Chimera replace Knuble on the top line for practice Tuesday, while Eric Fehr and Jay Beagle both rotated in on the third line. It is possible Fehr or Beagle could play and Chimera could be a healthy scratch if Knuble is indeed going to play, but Chimera is the only player not among the top six forwards who has a goal in this series.

Fehr said he "has no idea" if he's going to play or not after being a healthy scratch the first two games. He was one of the team's most effective forwards against Montreal last postseason, finishing third on the team with three goals.

"He's coming on the trip so there's a chance," Boudreau said of Fehr's chances of playing.
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Posted On Tuesday, 04.19.2011 / 2:34 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 WCQF: Vancouver-Chicago Live Blog

Hossa still looking for first point

For most of the games that he was healthy enough to play this season, the Blackhawks fared as Marian Hossa did.

When he scored goals or even a point in games, they usually won. When he didn't, they usually didn't. It's been the same so far in three games against the Canucks in a Western Conference quarterfinal series.

Hossa hasn't scored a single point and has a minus-3 rating and the Hawks are in a 3-0 hole trying to climb out in Game 4 tonight.

"I don't think right now … I don't feel like myself," Hossa said Tuesday morning. "I had some good chances, but sometimes you make a good play and we can not score the goals. Just because you're not having points, it doesn't mean you're not in a comfort zone, but obviously the points would help, the goals would help. Definitely, I'm looking forward to it."
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Posted On Tuesday, 04.19.2011 / 2:15 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2011 WCQF: Vancouver-Chicago Live Blog

Toews staying loose with pressure off

CHICAGO -- Jonathan Toews was smiling Tuesday morning, even cracking a small laugh at one point.

You'd think being in a 0-3 hole against the Canucks and facing elimination in Game 4 Tuesday night at United Center would have the Blackhawks leader, known in these circles as 'Captain Serious' in a sour mood -- but that clearly was not the case.

He was as loose as I've seen him in the series, maybe as loose as I've seen him since spending two summer days with him in his hometown of Winnipeg during his Stanley Cup celebration.

"You've gotta be (loose), I guess," Toews told NHL.com. "What are you going to do? Just go out there and play your best hockey tonight and you've got nothing to lose. Just do your best, nothing more to say."

Toews expects the Blackhawks to follow his lead and play a pressure-free game.

"That's what we're going to do," he said. "We can play loose. We're not feeling sorry for ourselves. We're going to go out there and play. We're men. We're professionals in here and we care about each other in the locker room. From Day One every guy, we've all gotten along, we all like each other, and when you think about it that way it makes you want to go play harder for each other. We've got a lot of pride in this locker room and we know that's a good team across the way there. We've just got to find a way to win one."

Toews compared the Blackhawks situation to the predicament Philadelphia was in down 0-3 against Boston last season. The Flyers came back to win the series, becoming just the third team in NHL history to do it.

"The way they got into the playoffs, they're kind of like us with the last day of the year," Toews said. "That's our dream right now, is to win tonight and we'll go from there."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Tuesday, 04.19.2011 / 1:32 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 WCQF: Vancouver-Chicago Live Blog

Crawford not worried about Calder debate

Blackhawks rookie goalie Corey Crawford came into this season as Marty Turco's backup but eventually won the starting job and wound up being one of the main reasons Chicago qualified for the Western Conference playoffs.

It just wasn't enough to be included as a top-three finalist for the League's Calder Trophy that goes to the top rookie. Instead, Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner, San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture and New York Islanders forward Michael Grabner were named as finalists on Tuesday morning.

Crawford, who will start for the Hawks in Game 4 of their quarterfinal series against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night, said he doesn’t have time to have much a reaction to the news.

"That's the least of my worries right now," said Crawford, who went 33-18-6 with a 2.30 goals-against average and .917 save percentage. "We've got bigger and more important things to think about and focus on."

His teammates, however, did express regret that Crawford wasn't included as a finalist and took up his care for him.

"He's been unbelievable for us this season and he's a big reason we were able to make the playoffs," Chicago forward Troy Brouwer said. "There's a pretty good crop of rookies out there this year … but (Crawford), I'm sure they had a pretty good discussion about him because of what he's been able to do with this team."

Marian Hossa was informed about Crawford not being named a Calder finalist by reporters after Chicago's morning skate and seemed stunned by the news.

"He wasn't," Hossa said. "Wow. That's a big surprise to me. He played so many games. He won so many games. That's a big surprise."
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Posted On Tuesday, 04.19.2011 / 11:33 AM

NHL.com - Situation Room blog (2010-2011 season)

LAK-SJS: Game 3, End of first period clock

With 1:26 remaining in the first period, the game clock stopped running for approximately 12 seconds. Before the face-off that was to have occurred with 9 seconds remaining on the game clock, Hockey Operations informed the on-ice officials of the discrepancy. As 20 minutes had been played, the period was ruled to have been completed and the teams were sent to their dressing rooms.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.19.2011 / 11:25 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2011 WCQF: Vancouver-Chicago Live Blog

One more chance to fix the problem

CHICAGO -- Third periods have been an issue for the Chicago Blackhawks all season long and nothing has changed in this series against the Canucks.

The Blackhawks and Canucks each have two goals in the third period through three games, but the Canucks were able to hold the Blackhawks back in Game 1 and outscore them in Game 3. The Hawks needed to play their best period of the series in the third period of Game 3, but they wound up playing one of their worst.

They were 0-for-2 on the power play and managed only seven shots on goal. Mikael Samuelsson scored a goal off a rebound from the slot 6:54 into the period and that was enough for the Canucks to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series.

"It was 2-2 going into the third and we've got to fight to get that goal," Patrick Sharp said. "Giving one up and chasing from behind is not the answer we're looking for. Every game presents different situations, but we'd like to be better in the third period, that's for sure."

Fourteen times this season the Blackhawks entered the third period tied or with a lead only to come away with no points. If they forced even half of those games into overtime, they would have at least opened the playoffs at home as the fourth seed.

The Hawks are still searching for answers for their third period woes.

"If I knew we would have found a solution to that already," captain Jonathan Toews said. "It's just been a re-occurring theme where maybe it's something that snowballs on us, we put added pressure on ourselves to make plays and we end up making mistakes off of them."

Patrick Kane said the Blackhawks sometimes fall into the habit of feeling good after the second period.

"And we start playing a little bit differently (in the third) to kind of force and get another goal," he said, "But, I think the biggest part of our game that we want to get going is to play a full 60 minutes and keep it the same way. If we play like we did in the first period (Sunday) throughout the whole night we should be successful."

Toews said the Hawks can't be worried about the trends that have dogged them all season. Not now at least.

"We've got one more game to go out there and play our best hockey, keep ourselves alive in this series," Toews said. "We can't be focused on things like that."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Tuesday, 04.19.2011 / 8:57 AM

NHL.com - Situation Room blog (2010-2011 season)

VAN-CHI: Game 4, 19:35 of first period

Video review confirmed that a puck shot by Chicago's Bryan Bickell did not cross the goal line behind Vancouver's Roberto Luongo with 25 seconds remaining in the first period.

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Posted On Monday, 04.18.2011 / 9:26 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 ECQF: Pittsburgh-Tampa Bay Live Blog

Pens maintain 2-1 lead on Tampa after two periods

After combining for three goals in the opening period, the teams went scoreless in the second. It appeared as though each team wasn't willing to risk making a mistake and give its opponent an offensive opportunity. Both goalies were sharp throughout, though, with Roloson making his best save off a shot from the point by Michalek Zbynek with Chris Connor on the doorstep at 5:13.

The Penguins fourth line of Craig Adams centering Mike Rupp and Arron Asham has been Pittsburgh's best line in this series. In three games, the trio has accrued 3 goals, 5 points and a plus-9 rating. The play did get a little chippy in the final five minutes of the second when Steve Downie was whistled for delay of the game at 16:43, giving Pittsburgh its second power-play of the game.

The Lightning did deny the Penguins for the 15th straight time with the man advantage but not without some bit of assistance from veteran goalie Dwayne Roloson. He stopped a tip by Jordan Staal with his left pad following the ensuing face-off, before later turning back a big shot from the point by Kris Letang and Alex Kovalev's rebound attempt at the right post.  

Pittsburgh held a 9-6 advantage in shots in the second and maintain a 21-17 shot edge through two periods. Pittsburgh's Kris Letang has 5 of the team's 23 hits for the game and Lightning defensemen Mattias Ohlund and Pavel Kubina each have 4 of the team's 30 body checks.

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Posted On Monday, 04.18.2011 / 8:32 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 ECQF: Pittsburgh-Tampa Bay Live Blog

Pittsburgh opens 2-1 lead in opening period of Gm 3

The Pittsburgh Penguins stole a page out of the book of the Tampa Bay Lightning in opening period of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal round matchup at St. Pete Times Forum on Monday night.

For once, they came out with the quick start en route to grabbing a 2-1 lead through 20 minutes in the process.

The Lightning pared the deficit to 2-1 on a power-play goal by Martin St. Louis at 15:19 of the opening period. Simon Gagne skated with the puck to the side of Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury before throwing a pass in front. St. Louis took one stab at the disk before backhanding a shot between the goalie and the post.

The Penguins opened a 2-0 lead on goals by Maxime Talbot at 5:46 and Arron Asham just 45 seconds later. Talbot's goal came off a transition following a tremendous body check by Tampa Bay's Steve Downie on Ben Lovejoy behind the Penguins cage. Instead of rallying the Lightning, however, the hit fired up the Penguins as Talbot eventually grabbed the loose puck and skated hard down his right wing before unleashing a wrist shot from the right circle that beat Roloson to the short side.

Asham's 8th career playoff goal came off a 2-on-1 breakout with Michael Rupp. After banking a pass to himself along the right wing half boards, Rupp spotted Asham streaking down the opposite wing and feathered a pass underneath a Tampa Bay defenseman. Asham easily snapped his attempt past Roloson for the two-goal lead.

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Posted On Monday, 04.18.2011 / 8:12 PM

NHL.com - Situation Room blog (2010-2011 season)

BOS-MTL Game 3, 14:38 of first period.

Through video review, NHL Hockey Operations confirmed referee Brian Pochmara's call on the ice that Boston's Nathan Horton's shot completely crossed the goal line before the puck was swept out by Montreal defenseman Jaroslav Spacek 14:38 into the first period.

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Quote of the Day

He seemed to thrive on his own and didn't really need any push from me. I certainly don't want to get in the way of the coaches. You see how that goes sometimes. I never really worried about it and just enjoyed the ride.

— David Ekblad on his son's [Aaron Ekblad] journey to the NHL, signing with the Florida Panthers