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2015 NHL Draft
Posted On Wednesday, 05.27.2015 / 2:39 PM

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

Ducks hope to put last year's lesson to use

CHICAGO -- The similarities to last season's playoff run are too strong to ignore, so the Anaheim Ducks have embraced the heartbreak as a teaching tool.

The Ducks lead the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in their best-of-7 Western Conference Final heading into Game 6 on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Last spring the Ducks had a 3-2 series lead against the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Second Round but lost 2-1 on the road in Game 6 and then lost 6-2 at home in Game 7.

Los Angeles went on to win the Stanley Cup while Anaheim had a longer-than-expected summer of what-ifs.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.27.2015 / 2:19 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Ducks-Blackhawks series blog

Rundblad likely in for Timonen for Blackhawks

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks appear to have another lineup change coming to their fifth and sixth defensemen for Game 6 of the Western Conference Final at United Center on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports), with David Rundblad replacing Kimmo Timonen.

"It could happen," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after Chicago's morning skate.

If so, Rundblad and Kyle Cumiskey will be the fifth and sixth defensemen playing against the Anaheim Ducks. It would be the third time the Blackhawks have reconfigured their bottom pairing against Anaheim; the Ducks hold a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.27.2015 / 1:36 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Connor named USHL Player of the Year

Youngstown Phantoms forward Kyle Connor, a projected first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, was named the United States Hockey League Player of the Year and Forward of the Year on Wednesday.

Connor, who led the USHL with 80 points in 56 regular-season games, broke his single-season Youngstown record for points, which he had set last season with 74. His 34 goals and 46 assists ranked second in the league, and he led the USHL with nine game-winning goals and 32 power-play points. Connor also had three goals and four points in four playoff games.

"Being named both player and forward of the year is a great honor," Connor told the Phantoms website. "It all goes back to my teammates and coaches this year always challenging and pushing me to be better. After the season we had two years ago we wanted to come back strong and they pushed me every day on the ice and in the weight room."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.27.2015 / 3:00 AM

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

Weekes: Pluses, minuses for Ducks, Blackhawks

Each Wednesday throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Kevin Weekes will be offering his pluses and minuses for the teams competing in the game that intrigues him most that night. Weekes will also be assisting fans with three must-watch elements of the game.

The Western Conference Final between the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks has been amazing so far with tons of skill, tons of speed, and a lot of strength.

It's funny, as I watch the Ducks play, and I know their fans won't like this, but in many ways they remind me of the Los Angeles Kings. They also have shades of the Boston Bruins from a few years ago, but they are playing like the Kings.

This is big-man hockey the Ducks are playing. It's a big reason why they're up 3-2 in the best-of-7 series.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.26.2015 / 11:48 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Oshawa tops Kelowna, moves to Memorial Cup final

Cole Cassels (Vancouver Canucks) and Tobias Lindberg (Ottawa Senators) each scored to help the Oshawa Generals earn a spot in the 2015 Memorial Cup championship game with a 2-1 win against the Kelowna Rockets on Tuesday at Pepsi Colisee in Quebec City, Quebec.

Oshawa goaltender Ken Appleby made 20 saves.

"That's a good hockey team we just beat," Cassels told the Memorial Cup website. "We can thank [Appleby] for saving us in the final minutes there on a 5-on-3, as well as the guys on the ice. That's a character win."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.26.2015 / 10:31 PM - 2014-2015 Situation Room blog

NYR @ TBL - 6:00 of the Third Period

At 6:00 of the third period in the New York Rangers/Tampa Bay Lightning game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that the puck deflected off Rangers forward James Sheppard and into the Tampa Bay net in a legal fashion, before the net was displaced. According to Rule 78.4 "If an attacking player has the puck deflect into the net, off his skate or body, in any manner, the goal shall be allowed" and "The goal frame shall be considered in its proper position when at least a portion of the flexible peg(s) are still inside both the goal post and the hole in the ice." Good goal New York.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.26.2015 / 9:23 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Ducks-Blackhawks series blog

Rookie van Riemsdyk may play for Blackhawks

CHICAGOChicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville might consider playing rookie defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks at United Center on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The 23-year-old van Riemsdyk, younger brother of Toronto Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk, hasn't played in the NHL since Nov. 16 against the Dallas Stars when he blocked a shot and fractured his left patella (kneecap).

He returned to the ice after surgery for the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League and sustained another major injury. He needed surgery in April to repair his right wrist, ending his AHL season.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.26.2015 / 6:06 PM

By Staff -  / - In Case You Missed It Blog

ICYMI: Tuesday, May 26

Have #FOMO? Simply want to catch up after a busy day? No worries, 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 content.


Hitchcock agrees to one-year contract with Blues
Ken Hitchcock, 63, coming back to coach St. Louis Blues after agreeing to one-year contract.

Keys to victory for Rangers, Lightning in Game 6
Three keys for the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning to winning Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final.
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Posted On Tuesday, 05.26.2015 / 1:25 PM

By Corey Long - Correspondent / - Rangers-Lightning series blog

Lightning can advance to Cup Final with Game 6 win

TAMPA -- For the third consecutive series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Tampa Bay Lightning have the opportunity to advance on home ice when they face the New York Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final at Amalie Arena on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Lightning hold a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series. However, the Rangers have proven they will not leave the playoffs quietly after trailing the Washington Capitals 3-1 in the second round and winning Game 6 on the road 4-3 before advancing in seven games.

"Their backs are against the wall, and we've seen how resilient they have been all year," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. "We need to not only match their desperation, their compete level ... everything. We need to be at another level [Tuesday] than we've shown all playoffs."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.26.2015 / 1:24 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Rangers-Lightning series blog

Lightning's Callahan wants his turn playing Cup Final

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Ryan Callahan insists he doesn't need the extra motivation at this time of the season. It's nice to have it anyway.

Callahan has an opportunity Tuesday at Amalie Arena in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) against the New York Rangers to knock his former teammates out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs so he can get to the Stanley Cup Final. Tampa Bay leads the best-of-7 series 3-2 after its 2-0 win Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Callahan's not looking at it as retribution, but in a way it is because Callahan watched, admittedly with mixed emotions, as the Rangers advanced to the Stanley Cup Final without him last season.

Contract talks between the Rangers and Callahan broke down to the point he was sent to the Lightning on March 5, 2014, in a trade that involved Martin St. Louis coming to New York and draft picks changing hands.

"By mixed emotions I mean I wanted to be part of it," Callahan said of the Rangers' run to the Cup Final last season. "That's something we'd been working towards. Being a captain of that team and being a part of that organization, that's something you wanted to be part of. By no means did I have anything negative toward them making that run. When I left I knew they were a great team and they had a great shot at it, so it was good to see."

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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