Posted On Friday, 06.21.2013 / 9:00 AM

By NHL Green -  / - NHL Green Slapshots™

At the NHL, water is in our DNA

Since 2010, the League has worked in partnership with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) to restore over 20 million gallons of water to streams and rivers in the Northwest, directly aiding in the recovery of the economic, recreational and ecological viability of waterways.

For the third consecutive year, the Stanley Cup Final will be “water neutral.” Total water used in the United Center and TD Garden will be tracked, from the faucets to the ice surface, and the equivalent will be restored through BEF’s Water Restoration Certificates.

With the end of the 2013 regular season, NHL Green wrapped up the second year of Gallons for Goals, a regular-season initiative focused on combating water scarcity in critically dewatered ecosystems. Beginning in the 2011-2012 season, NHL Green pledged to restore 1,000 gallons of water to a river or stream in critical shape for every goal scored.

The 2013 NHL regular season was not lacking in the scoring department. Beginning with a 5-on-3 powerplay goal from Patrick Kane in January, and ending with a goal from Bruins’ center Rich Peverley in April, skaters League-wide scored 3,822 goals, effectively restoring 3.8 million gallons of water.

The League and its Clubs are also working proactively to reduce water waste throughout League headquarters and Club arenas. Through the implementation of NHL Green Metrics, an online tracking tool for all 30 Clubs to input and track their energy and water consumption and waste output, the League works to promote positive environmental change. This initiative is the first step toward reducing hockey’s environmental footprint and ensuring a future for hockey’s birthplace on the frozen ponds and lakes of North America.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 8:04 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Blackhawks likely to use Leddy more in Game 5

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy appears to be going through one of those turbulent dips in the ongoing maturation process of a talented young player.

The 22-year old played 2:37 over four shifts in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, which the Blackhawks won 6-5 in overtime against the Boston Bruins to even the best-of-7 series 2-2 heading into Saturday’s Game 5 at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Leddy took one shift in the first period, two in the first nine minutes of the second, and one early in the OT that lasted 12 seconds.

After the game, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Leddy was fine from a health perspective. Quenneville was again asked Thursday about the decision to sit Leddy so long.

"In the course of a game, I think every game is different," Quenneville said. "We went into the game, I think we were waiting to see how things played out, certain matchups you're looking for in the course of a game. And we're on the road, sometimes you can't get it, and sometimes the score reflects it, and sometimes you get deeper in the game and you're going to wait and see -- but I think that was probably the case last night with the lead. Later in the game we didn't go to him too much, but we'll definitely visit with him as we go along here before the next game."

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Posted On Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 6:49 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Blackhawks confident in Crawford for Game 5

CHICAGO -- The answer, in case anybody's wondering, is that Ray Emery will not start in goal for the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Barring an unforeseen injury to Corey Crawford in practice Friday or during Saturday's morning skate, Emery will remain on the bench for the next chapter of what's already been a memorable Final.

Crawford, who allowed five goals in Chicago's 6-5 overtime win Wednesday that evened the best-of-7 series 2-2, will instead get a shot at redemption, something he's done a couple of times already this season following tough games.

Joel Quenneville was asked Thursday if he'd even consider starting Emery, who went 17-1-0 in the regular season, and the Blackhawks coach squashed the notion quickly.

"No, not at all," Quenneville said. "No, we're very comfortable with Corey. Corey has been rock solid all year for us, and when he's got the [start], he's been outstanding, and he's the biggest reason why we're here [right now]."

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Posted On Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 3:13 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Riding bikes aiding Chara, Ference in playoffs

BOSTON -- In a Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins that has been flush with indelible moments, there might not be a more surreal sight than that of 6-foot-9 Bruins captain Zdeno Chara riding his bicycle to and from practice.

It's a regular routine for one of the League's premier defenseman, who first fell in love with bicycling as a child when his father helped train cycling teams in their native Slovakia. Among the League's best-conditioned athletes, Chara is dedicated to his cycling regimen.

"He's been riding more than me lately. I think it's pretty fun," said Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, himself a big cycling enthusiast. "During the offseason, it definitely has helped us with our training and whatnot. Both him and I like to take it to an extreme, as far as what kind of hills we're climbing."

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Posted On Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 2:52 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Kelly, Marchand talk missed opportunities

BOSTON -- In a 6-5 game, there were obviously plenty of offensive chances players cashed in during Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at TD Garden.

However, two Boston Bruins forwards missed great opportunities to turn the game in their club's favor. Instead the Bruins fell to the Chicago Blackhawks and now the teams head to the Windy City for Game 5 on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) at United Center with the best-of-7 series tied 2-2.

Boston's Chris Kelly hit the left post with enough room in the net to fit a St. Bernard in the closing minute of the second period with the Bruins trailing 4-3. Rich Peverley had just threaded a cross-ice pass to his linemate.

The goal horn sounded, but play continued.

"No, I knew I didn't score. But the horn kind of threw me," Kelly said Thursday on his team's off day at the Garden. "I thought the period was over. And then I looked up and I think there was 40 seconds left. But no, it didn't throw me off to think I had scored. I knew I didn't score."

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Posted On Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 2:21 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Despite disappointing loss, Bruins find positives

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien admitted he wasn't a very happy man the morning after his team's 6-5 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 that squared the Stanley Cup Final at two games apiece heading back to United Center for Game 5 Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

But despite a loss in which their defense appeared uncharacteristically porous, Julien and his troops came away with some positives. Most notably, the Bruins' ability to come back from several deficits.

"We scored five goals. We should be happy with that," Julien said before the team boarded a flight to Chicago on Thursday. "The goals that we gave a lot of times were just guys not being in the right place where they should have been. Instead of stopping in our positions, we did a lot of curling last night, which is usually a sign of our team struggling."

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Posted On Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 2:06 AM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Leddy odd man out on Blackhawks blue line

BOSTON -- The Chicago Blackhawks have played a lot of extra hockey lately. They played some more Wednesday night while essentially using five defensemen.

Nick Leddy took four shifts in Game 4 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, logging a total of 2:37 of ice time in a 6-5 overtime victory against the Boston Bruins that evened the best-of-7 series at two wins each. Three of the four games have gone to overtime.

"Nick is fine," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said when asked if Leddy was OK.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 2:00 AM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Game 4 win brings back 2010 memories for Chicago

BOSTON -- Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at TD Garden, in which the Chicago Blackhawks topped the Boston Bruins 6-5 in overtime, was an exciting back-and-forth affair that will go down as one for the ages.

The prior time a Stanley Cup Final game was decided by a 6-5 score in overtime, the New York Islanders defeated the Vancouver Canucks in Game 1 of the 1982 Final. But the Blackhawks don't have to look too far back to recall the lst 6-5 non-overtime game in the Final.

It was in Game 1 of the 2010 Final, when Chicago topped the Philadelphia Flyers, setting the stage for a wild series the Blackhawks would win in six games. Following Game 4 in Boston, some Blackhawks players from that 2010 Cup team started recalling the similar game against the Flyers.

"We've had some back-and-forth games. Game 1 in the 2010 Final in Philly was a similar kind of story," said forward Patrick Sharp, who scored Chicago's third goal in that 2010 game. "I know [Chicago coach] Joel [Quenneville] probably had a high heart rate there. Probably wasn't too happy with the chances we were giving up. But at the end of the day, I'm sure he's proud of the way we competed and battled and fought for each other."

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Posted On Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 1:53 AM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Hossa provides boost in return to Hawks lineup

BOSTON -- Throughout the day Wednesday, heading into Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden, the expectation was that forward Marian Hossa would return to the Chicago Blackhawks lineup, even when he skipped the morning skate after being a surprise scratch in Game 3 on Monday. Hossa, however, didn't make the decision he was good to go until moments before the puck dropped.

Regardless of when he got the green light to play, Hossa's return gave the Blackhawks a noticeable boost in a 6-5 overtime win against the Boston Bruins that evened the best-of-7 series at two games apiece. Perhaps just as important, it gave Chicago coach Joel Quenneville some much-needed flexibility with his lineup.

"I felt so-so, but the decision was for me to play and I'm glad I could help a little bit," Hossa said. "We have a couple of days off so it's nice, but we have to be ready for the next game [Saturday]."

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.19.2013 / 4:00 PM

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

Weekes: Hawks need quantity over quality in shots

Game 4 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final must be approached like a must-win for the Chicago Blackhawks.

When you are desperate, you have to do different things and you have to do more of the good things. For the Blackhawks, the first thing I'd say is they need to have 40-50 shots Wednesday at TD Garden on Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. They can't necessarily be worried about shot quality.

They might not get the ideal shots they want in terms of quality per se, but they need volume shots, shots from every angle, shots from the goal line, sharp angles -- put everything at the net.

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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