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Posted On Wednesday, 06.10.2015 / 3:06 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2015 Stanley Cup Final blog

Lightning again mum on Bishop's status for Game 4

CHICAGO -- Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop took the morning skate Wednesday and was in the starter's net, but his status for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) remains up in the air.

If that sounds familiar to the situation prior to the Lightning's 3-2 win in Game 3 on Monday, that's because it is.

"I think we're in the same holding pattern as we were 48 hours ago," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

Bishop spoke to the media following the skate and did not have more to offer on the likelihood he would play, even though all signs pointed to him starting the game.

Posted On Wednesday, 06.10.2015 / 2:41 PM

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

Blackhawks' Oduya likely for Game 4, Versteeg in

CHICAGO --  Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya is likely to play in Game 4 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports), but there are changes coming to the lineup.

Defenseman Kyle Cumiskey will be replaced by 40-year-old veteran Kimmo Timonen, and  forward Kris Versteeg will re-enter the lineup to play left wing on the second line in place of Bryan Bickell. Versteeg played the first two games of the series when Bickell had vertigo, but was a healthy scratch for Game 3 on Monday.

"We wanted [Bickell] in Game 3, gave him an opportunity to get in," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "I don't think [Versteeg] deserved to come out. I think he gives us a threat offensively, [he's] defensively aware, [and has] strength in the puck area. He can make some plays. I think he can add to some of our offense."

Posted On Tuesday, 06.09.2015 / 6:50 PM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes: Pluses, Minuses for Lightning, Blackhawks

Kevin Weekes will be offering his pluses and minuses for the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning prior to each game in the Stanley Cup Final. He'll also assist fans with three must-watch elements of the game.

CHICAGO -- The one thing we have learned so far in the Stanley Cup Final is what we should have already known coming into the series; the Tampa Bay Lightning are not afraid and they're not going away.

The Chicago Blackhawks are finding out the hard way so far. They're down 2-1 in the best-of-7 series heading into Game 4 at United Center on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Blackhawks have to find a way to change the storyline if they want to hang with the Lightning, who are proving it on a national stage, or rather an international stage considering how broad our game is, how good they are.

Posted On Tuesday, 06.09.2015 / 6:21 PM

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

ICYMI: Tuesday, June 9



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:

Lightning D-man Hedman impressing Lidstrom
Future Hockey Hall of Fame member Nicklas Lidstrom sees Victor Hedman of Tampa Bay Lightning emerging as a star during the Stanley Cup Final.

Blackhawks defenseman Oduya uncertain for Game 4
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya has an upper-body injury and his status is unknown for Game 4 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.

Red Wings hire Blashill as coach
The Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday hired Jeff Blashill as their new coach. He is the NHL's second-youngest coach behind John Hynes of the New Jersey Devils

NEWS:

Emrick to receive Vin Scully Achievement Award
Mike "Doc" Emrick, the voice of the NHL on NBC, will receive the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting on Nov. 2 from WFUV Radio in New York.

FEATURES:

Goalie matchup: Inside Game 3 for Bishop, Crawford

The shot-tracking statistics for Game 3 on Monday showed that Chicago did not do as much as it would have liked to challenge the lateral movement of the hobbled Bishop, while Tampa Bay continues to try to exploit the post play of Crawford.

Chicago capable of comeback down 2-1 in Final
The Chicago Blackhawks are familiar with being down 2-1, having trailed the Boston Bruins after three games in the 2013 Cup Final, only to come back and win the championship in six games.



Unorthodox lineup paying dividends for Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper has been using an unorthodox lineup of 11 forwards and seven defensemen for most of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and it has paid off, giving him flexibility in his lineups.

Farrish: Issues on defense wearing down Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks' top-four defensemen have played big minutes in the Stanley Cup Final and it's catching up to them, says Dave Farrish.

Blackhawks know they need pucks, bodies at net
The Chicago Blackhawks know they need to get more pucks and more bodies to the Tampa Bay Lightning net in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Lidstrom says Blashill's 'new voice' will help Detroit
Nicklas Lidstrom told NHL.com the time seems right for Jeff Blashill to coach the Detroit Red Wings.


BLOG COVERAGE:

Top 2016 draft prospect Bellows to join USNTDP
Prospect Kieffer Bellows will play for the United States National Team Development Program under-18 team next season.

Posted On Tuesday, 06.09.2015 / 3:34 PM

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

Blackhawks defenseman Oduya uncertain for Game 4

CHICAGO – Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya has an upper-body injury and his status is unknown for Game 4 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Oduya apparently sustained the injury at some point during the Blackhawks' 3-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 on Monday, when his ice time was significantly reduced in the second and third periods.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was asked Tuesday about Oduya's status and whether there might be any lineup changes for Game 4 in relation to it.

Posted On Tuesday, 06.09.2015 / 1:05 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Top 2016 draft prospect Bellows to join USNTDP

Kieffer Bellows, a top prospect for the 2016 NHL Draft, will play next season with the United States National Team Development Program under-18 team, USA Hockey announced Tuesday.

Bellows, 16, played this season with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League. He led the Stampede with 33 goals, a USHL-record for a 16-year-old, and was second with 52 points. He also had nine goals in 12 playoff games. Bellows was named the USHL Rookie of the Year and made the All-USHL Third Team.

Posted On Tuesday, 06.09.2015 / 1:05 AM

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

Blackhawks unsure about Oduya for Game 4

CHICAGO -- After playing 11 shifts and 7:37 in the first period, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya played five shifts in the second and seven in the third in a 3-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at United Center on Monday.

Oduya left the game after his final shift of the second with 7:44 left in the period and didn't return until the third. He played a total of 16:47.

Asked about Oduya's status after the loss, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville made it sound as though there might be an injury.

"We'll see [Tuesday] how he presents," Quenneville said.

Posted On Monday, 06.08.2015 / 7:51 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2015 Stanley Cup Final blog

Lightning's Bishop on starting Game 3: 'We'll see'

CHICAGO -- Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop took part in the morning skate Monday ahead of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports), but neither coach Jon Cooper nor Bishop himself would confirm he was starting against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Bishop was the first goalie off the ice and was in the road team's net for the skate while Andrei Vasilevskiy was in the home net, which are usually indications Bishop would start.

Bishop held a news conference to discuss his status for Game 3 and said nothing about whether he will play.

"We'll see," Bishop said when asked if he felt well enough to play Monday.

Posted On Monday, 06.08.2015 / 6:15 PM

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

ICYMI: Monday, June 8

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:

Bishop skates; Cooper waits to name Lightning starter
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop was on the ice for the morning skate Monday.



Blackhawks likely to add Bickell, van Riemsdyk
The Chicago Blackhawks are expected to split up Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane for Game 3 and get Bryan Bickell and Trevor van Riemsdyk back.

Red Wings to name Blashill coach on Tuesday: report
Jeff Blashill will be named coach of the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, according to MLive.com. The Red Wings have scheduled an 11 a.m. press conference.

NEWS:

Sheldon Keefe named coach of Toronto Marlies
The Toronto Maple Leafs have named Sheldon Keefe coach of the Toronto Marlies. Keefe, 34, has spent the last three seasons as head coach of the Ontario Hockey League's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

Bruins sign NCAA champion Acciari
The Boston Bruins have signed forward Noel Acciari to an entry-level contract. Acciari won a national title with Providence College last season.

Oilers agree to terms with Hunt, Miller
The Oilers have agreed to terms with Brad Hunt and Andrew Miller on one-year contracts.

FEATURES:

Three keys for Lightning, Blackhawks to win Game 3

The 2015 Stanley Cup Final series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks is tied 1-1. Here are three keys for each team to win Game 3.

Lightning's Vasilevskiy prepared for Cup spotlight
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has already traveled a long road to make his impact on the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.

Blackhawks' van Riemsdyk has brother to offer advice
James van Riemsdyk of the Toronto Maple Leafs will have advice for brother Trevor van Riemsdyk, who is expected to see his first action in the Stanley Cup Final for the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

Strome, Marner continue a longstanding competition
Mitchell Marner and Dylan Strome, top prospects in the 2015 NHL Draft, were among a group of six prospects who got to meet players from the Chiacgo Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning before Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday.


BLOG COVERAGE:

Melrose Minute: Blackhawks stars need to step up
The Blackhawks' top players need to find a way to play like they did in the first three rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, writes Barry Melrose.



Blackwood among top goalies invited to Canada camp
Mackenzie Blackwood of the Barrie Colts was one of nine goaltenders invited to Hockey Canada's Program of Excellence goaltending camp.

Posted On Monday, 06.08.2015 / 4:32 PM

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

Blackwood among top goalies invited to Canada camp

Mackenzie Blackwood of the Barrie Colts, NHL Central Scouting's top-ranked North American goaltender for the 2015 NHL Draft, was one of nine goaltenders invited to Hockey Canada's Program of Excellence goaltending camp.

The camp, which will be held June 12-14 at Canlan Ice Sports in Etobicoke, Ontario, is the first step toward picking the goaltenders who will play for Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Blackwood, 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, went 33-14-2 with a 3.09 goals-against average, .906 save percentage and two shutouts in 51 regular-season games. He also had a 2.88 GAA and .922 save percentage in nine OHL playoff games.

"Mackenzie's overall net coverage is excellent," Central Scouting's Al Jensen said. "His size and explosive leg power pushes is a great asset in his lateral ability. He is able to get across laterally with ease and very quickly, always being in control. Another advantage is when he drops in the butterfly he covers the lower corners post-to-post with his excellent leg extension while sealing the ice. While he's in the butterfly he also keeps his upper body in an upright position with his glove in the proper position as well to cover the upper half of the net. There are not many holes for the shooters to shoot at."

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Quote of the Day

It's obviously not fun to not know, but on the other hand, I'm not in a rush. I'm going to be back to 100 percent before I start playing. I'm not going to play on 90 percent.

— Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom in an interview with Washington Post about whether he will be able to play in 2015-16 opener
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