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Posted On Monday, 06.01.2015 / 7:25 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2015 Stanley Cup Final blog

Blackhawks forwards Bickell, Kruger to play Game 1

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was coy Monday when asked whether forward Bryan Bickell sat out the final 40 minutes of Game 7 of the Western Conference Final because of injury or poor play.

"We'll say it was my decision, but we'll say a little bit of both," Quenneville said.

Bickell and center Marcus Kruger each will play in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports), Quenneville said.

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Posted On Monday, 06.01.2015 / 5:06 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - In Case You Missed It Blog

ICYMI: Monday, June 1

Have #FOMO? Simply want to catch up after a busy day? No worries, NHL.com has you covered. Welcome to our new ICYMI blog, a daily digest of all news, features and blogs we publish. Consider it your one-stop shop for all written NHL.com content.



TRENDING:

Blackhawks face youthful Lightning in Final
NHL.com previews the Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks.

Rangers' Zuccarello had hairline fracture of skull
New York Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello sustained a brain contusion and a hairline fracture in his skull in the first round against the Pittsburgh Penguins.



Penguins defenseman Letang cleared for workouts
Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, who suffered a concussion late in the 2014-15 season, has been cleared to resume workouts.

NEWS:

Lightning acquire Walcott from Rangers for draft pick
The Tampa Bay Lightning acquired defenseman Daniel Walcott from the New York Rangers on Monday for a seventh-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Canadiens agree to terms with Dumont, Ellis
The Canadiens have agreed to terms on one-year, two-way contracts with forward Gabriel Dumont and defenseman Morgan Ellis.

Coyotes name Chayka, O'Hearn assistant GMs
The Arizona Coyotes have named John Chayka and Chris O'Hearn assistant general managers.

Hurricanes sign Ganly to entry-level deal
The Carolina Hurricanes have signed defenseman Tyler Ganly to an entry-level contract.

Blue Jackets sign two to entry-level contracts
The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defensemen Blake Siebenaler and Dean Kukan to multi-year entry level contracts.

FEATURES:

Goaltender Matchup: Inside Blackhawks' Crawford
NHL.com's Kevin Woodley breaks down positive and negative trends of Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford.



Five reasons Lightning can win Stanley Cup
The Tampa Bay Lightning have the wherewithal to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final.

Rangers' St. Louis unsure about what future holds
New York Rangers forward Martin St. Louis said Monday he doesn't know what his future holds, including if he would be playing hockey next season.

Rangers confident they can contend with core group
Despite being older next season, most of the New York Rangers players feel their chance of winning the Stanley Cup with the current group is still very high.

BLOG COVERAGE:

Stamkos, Lightning ready to experience Cup Final
Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said it hasn't sunk in that he will be going to his first Stanley Cup Final.

Melrose: Speed of Blackhawks, Lightning defines Final
NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose breaks down the Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning and offers his prediction.
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Posted On Monday, 06.01.2015 / 3:14 PM

By Corey Long -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2015 Stanley Cup Final blog

Stamkos, Lightning ready to experience Cup Final

TAMPA - Despite having two days off, Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said it hasn't sunk in that he will be going to his first Stanley Cup Final.

The Lightning advanced with a 2-0 win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers on Friday. They will face the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of the Cup Final at Amalie Arena on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

Tampa Bay returned to the ice for a light practice Monday, and Stamkos said he's ready for the challenge.

"I don't think it's really truly going to sink in until we drop the puck, to be honest," Stamkos said. "I know there's going to be a lot of smoke and mirrors with the media attention and all that. We came [Monday] and it was sort of a light day to get things organized. We just want to focus in on the business aspect, the game itself. That's what we're preparing to do. Get these next couple of days out of the way and it's game on."

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Posted On Monday, 06.01.2015 / 12:40 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose: Speed of Blackhawks, Lightning defines Final

When the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning open the 2015 Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports), it won't take long before you recognize how similar these two teams are. They each feature a skilled group of deep forwards, a strong, mobile defense and two solid goalies who have had some bumps in the road, but have been there for their teams when needed.

Given how balanced Chicago and Tampa Bay are, it's a bit tricky to know what we're going to see. Will we see 60 minutes of fire wagon hockey with end-to-end rushes or will the defenses each focus on locking down the opposition's top line and keep the score low? Either style of play is possible, but I think the speed the Blackhawks and Lightning each have will win out.

We're going to see tons of scoring opportunities. Each of these teams is good defensively, but it's very tough not to give up chances when you're facing top-line talent like Steven Stamkos and Patrick Kane. That doesn't mean we're going to see seven 6-5 games, but I think the opportunities to put the puck in the net will be there. Strong goaltending or collapsing, shot-blocking defense might keep the score low, but the action at the net will be there. It will be fantastic to watch.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.31.2015 / 10:53 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Oshawa tops Kelowna in OT to win Memorial Cup

Anthony Cirelli scored his second goal 1:28 into overtime to give the Oshawa Generals a 2-1 win against the Kelowna Rockets in the championship game of the 2015 Memorial Cup played at Pepsi Colisee in Quebec City.

Oshawa forward Tobias Lindberg (Ottawa Senators) carried the puck into the Kelowna zone and sent a pass back to Chris Carlisle, who one-timed it from above the right circle. Kelowna goalie Jackson Whistle stopped the shot with his left pad, but Cirelli, who had been screening Whistle, knocked the loose puck into the net.

"I came off the bench, Lindberg had it, made a nice pass to Carlisle at the point and I went to the net," Cirelli said on Sportsnet. "He made a nice shot. Fortunately for me I just banged it in."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.31.2015 / 1:23 AM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Blackhawks series blog

Blackhawks forwards Bickell, Kruger 'should be fine'

ANAHEIM -- It isn't clear whether Chicago Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell was injured or benched in the last two periods of Game 7 of the Western Conference Final at Honda Center on Saturday.

According to the official play by play, Bickell took one 10-second shift in the second period of the Blackhawks' 5-3 victory against the Anaheim Ducks and didn't play again. Forward Andrew Desjardins double shifted between the fourth and second lines in his place.

Asked about Bickell's extended absence, Chicago coach Joel Quenneville was vague.

"I think he should be fine," Quenneville said.

He was then asked about fourth-line center Marcus Kruger, who took five shifts in the third period at played 10:34 in the game.

"He should be fine too," Quenneville said.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.30.2015 / 9:42 PM

NHL.com - 2014-2015 Situation Room blog

CHI @ ANA - 13:45 of the Second Period

At 13:45 of the second period in the Chicago Blackhawks/Anaheim Ducks game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that the puck deflected off Marian Hossa's skate and into the Anaheim net in a legal fashion. According to Rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal." Good goal Chicago.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.30.2015 / 7:09 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Blackhawks series blog

Blackhawks need Rundblad, Cumiskey to contribute

ANAHEIM -- They likely won't play a lot, but the Chicago Blackhawks still need solid efforts from defensemen David Rundblad and Kyle Cumiskey in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final at Honda Center on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

Each will play in his first Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and will be expected to do what he did in Game 6 of the best-of-7 series at United Center on Wednesday. Cumiskey and Rundblad combined to play just 13:08, but they weren't on the ice for any Anaheim goals and the Blackhawks defeated the Anaheim Ducks 5-2 to force Game 7.

"Yeah, comparable," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Saturday when asked about his expectations for the two defensemen. "Same game, same type of approach. They both did a good job. We'll see how the game goes tonight."


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Posted On Saturday, 05.30.2015 / 2:40 PM

By Shawn Roarke -  Director, Editorial /NHL.com - Ducks-Blackhawks series blog

Ducks' Fleischmann in for Etem vs. Blackhawks

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks may look a bit different when they take the ice against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final at Honda Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

It appears that veteran forward Tomas Fleischmann will replace Emerson Etem in the lineup for the second time during the series. Etem played in the first four games but was taken out for Fleischmann in Game 5. Etem returned to the lineup in Game 6, a 5-2 loss in Chicago.

Now Fleischmann is back in as coach Bruce Boudreau will opt for an experienced player he trusts. Boudreau and Fleischmann have a relationship that dates to the 2005-06 season when Fleischmann played for Boudreau with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League during the 2005-06 season. That spring Fleischmann had 11 goals and 32 points in 20 games to help the Bears to the 2006 Calder Cup championship

"I just think an experienced guy, he's been through these wars, he's played in Game 7s, he's been in championship games," Boudreau said of Fleischmann, who has one assist in five games in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. "Like I said, when I was with Hershey, it was a while ago but he was the MVP in the playoffs. So he knows what to do in these situations."

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Posted On Saturday, 05.30.2015 / 11:52 AM

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

Fans flock to airport to greet East champion Lightning

Hundreds of fans were waiting for the Tampa Bay Lightning early Saturday morning when their flight arrived at Tampa International Airport Center, according to the Tampa Tribune.

The Lightning defeated the New York Rangers 2-0 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final at Madison Square Garden to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2004.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper held up four fingers to the cheering fans, signifying the four more wins needed to win the Stanley Cup.

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Quote of the Day

It's very special, obviously; there is draft day and then there's the day that you sign your first deal. It's been a crazy couple of weeks and I'm very honored to be able to do that."

— Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid on signing his first professional contract