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Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Wednesday, 06.12.2013 / 12:19 PM

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

Governors place friendly wager on Cup Final

For Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, there will be a little more than bragging rights on the line when the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins drop the puck Wednesday for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

In a show of friendly competition, the governors placed a well-intentioned wager on the outcome of the series. Under terms of the bet, the losing team's state governor will spend a day volunteering at a food bank of the winning governor's choice. If the Bruins win, Quinn will work at the Greater Boston Food Bank. If the Blackhawks win, Patrick will volunteer at the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

"Gov. Patrick is skating on thin ice by betting against the mighty Chicago Blackhawks," Quinn said in a statement. "But the Greater Chicago Food Depository can always use extra help, so after he works a shift there, I'm happy to take Gov. Patrick to the United Center to see the Stanley Cup return home."

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.12.2013 / 11:24 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Marchand, Shaw appear to be mirror-image pests

CHICAGO -- While Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final remains a few hours away Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS), it's never too early for the Boston Bruins' Brad Marchand and the Chicago Blackhawks' Andrew Shaw to begin waging a personal war of words.

During media day here at United Center on Tuesday, the agitators and big fan favorites couldn't resist the opportunity to speak about the other when the questions came fast and furious.

"We're both agitators," Shaw said. "We both play physical and we're always chirping. He's perfected it, and that's what I'm trying to do to my game. We both walk a fine line, and I've always looked up to him and admired him. It's going to be great to actually play against him once."

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.11.2013 / 9:55 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Comeback started Bruins on path to Final

CHICAGO -- The Boston Bruins have been all but unbeatable since their monumental comeback against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Boston won eight of nine games in the conference semifinals and finals, moving them into the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks. Game 1 is scheduled for Wednesday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

There's no question that if Boston regains the Cup it won in 2011 that the 5-4 overtime victory against the Maple Leafs at TD Garden on May 13 will go down as the turning point of its season. The Bruins were just over 10 minutes away from losing a series they led 3-1 -- they lost Games 5 and 6, then fell behind by three goals in Game 7.

"When we got down to Toronto 4-1 in the third period, no one talked about it but knew that if we lost that game, no one would know who's coming back [on the roster]," Bruins forward Tyler Seguin said during media day at United Center on Tuesday. "We didn't know if we'd stick together one more year. But the boys dug down deep and won that game, and we've been a great hockey team ever since."

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.11.2013 / 9:12 PM

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

Hossa, Chara put friendship aside for Final

CHICAGO -- There is a street in a small city in Western Slovakia that might have divided allegiances during the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

On one side of the street in Trencin, Slovakia lives Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. On the other side resides Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa.

“It's going to be really interesting,” Hossa said. “Obviously we are good friends. He's my neighbor. He lives right across the street. But this coming up two weeks, that has to go on the side and we just have to play the roles. I’m going to play my game, he's going to play his game. I'm sure right after we'll be friends again. It's going to be hard two weeks, hard battle. It's going to be also fun and I really looking forward to it.”

Game 1 is Wednesday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.11.2013 / 7:40 PM

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

Stalberg skates as extra at Blackhawks practice

CHICAGO -- Viktor Stalberg again appears to be out of the regular group of Chicago Blackhawks forwards.

After playing all five games of the Blackhawks' Western Conference Final victory against the Los Angeles Kings, Stalberg wasn't among the top 12 forwards at Chicago's workout Tuesday before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Brandon Bollig, who didn't play at all against the Kings, played left wing on the fourth line while Dave Bolland was bumped up to play on the third line with Brandon Saad and center Andrew Shaw.

"We had a discussion about it," Stalberg said on media day Tuesday, referring to a conversation with Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. "I don't want to get into what was said in that, but I think this is what he wanted. He wanted a tougher lineup against them for the first game, so we'll take it from there. It's how it is right now."

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.11.2013 / 6:45 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Blackhawks' Keith grateful to be back in Final

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith has heard the stories and has even spoken to legendary Hall of Fame member Bobby Hull about the unfortunate set of circumstances.

Bottom line is, the world-class blueliner knows opportunities like this don't happen very often.

Hull recently told Keith that after winning the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 1961, he expected many more to follow, but that wouldn't happen over his next 11 seasons in Chicago. It's a conversation Keith remembers well. In fact, the Blackhawks wouldn't hoist the Cup again until 2010.

"I've heard that story and talked to Bobby Hull quite a bit about how they thought they would win several but never ended up getting back again and winning another," Keith said. "I take a lot of pride in being here and I'm excited about the opportunity. I'm going to try to make the most of it."

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.11.2013 / 5:33 PM

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

Weekes: Bruins' power vs. Hawks' skill

First of all, I just love that the 2013 Stanley Cup Final is going to be an "Original Six" series. It is the first time since 1979, so these things are very rare.

If you look at these two franchises and all that they've been able to accomplish, the fact that this is the first time they've met in the Final is crazy. You think of the history of both franchises, and the iconic players who have played in both places -- Bobby Orr is the first one that comes to mind.

It is an unbelievable experience, not only for the players, the coaches and everybody associated with the teams, but the fans and all of us who are fortunate enough to work in and around the game. I think it is going to make for a special Stanley Cup Final.

Looking at Boston, I love the way the Bruins are playing. After they were able to get out of the noose against the Maple Leafs, they've been outstanding. Tuukka Rask has been outstanding the whole time, by the way.

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.11.2013 / 4:00 PM

By NHL Green -  /NHL.com - NHL Green Slapshots™

Help Recycle the Game in NYC!

As part of the League’s ongoing initiative with Restore Hockey, NHL Green will soon unveil a one-of-a-kind equipment donation net.  Swing by the NHL Powered by Reebok Store this weekend and help us recycle the game!

What? Donate your used hockey equipment! Upon collection, non-profit Restore Hockey will refurbish all donated gear, which will be delivered to youth community-based hockey programs in need of support. Accepted items include helmets, shoulder pads, elbow pads, hockey pants, shin pads, gloves, skates and sticks.

Where?
The NHL Powered by Reebok Store, in New York City (1185 Avenue of the Americas at 47th street)

When? Friday, June 14 – Sunday, June 16

Donors will receive a 15% discount at the NHL Powered by Reebok store.


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Posted On Monday, 06.10.2013 / 5:38 PM

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

Shaw on Chara, Marchand and kissing Kane

CHICAGO -- Practice Monday was optional for the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center, which meant only a handful of options for TV crews and writers looking for players to interview.

Blackhawks rookie Andrew Shaw was one of those available afterward and he chatted about a number of different subjects, ranging from his own improbable path to the NHL to playing against 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final to a photo of he and Patrick Kane celebrating Chicago's double-overtime victory Saturday in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings.

The picture, which shows Kane sliding on his knees with arms extended and Shaw hugging him from behind, is making its way around the Internet via social media.

Here are a few of the more notable snippets from Shaw's media session Monday:

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Posted On Monday, 06.10.2013 / 3:45 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Gonchar adds dimension to Stars

Sergei Gonchar may be in the latter stages of his NHL career, but he proved this past season he can still be a valuable fantasy contributor when given a prominent offensive role.

Sergei Gonchar
CAREER STATISTICS
GOALS: 217 | AST: 558 | PTS: 775
PPG: 101 | +/-: 39

His new two-year contract with the Dallas Stars, which was made official Monday after the Ottawa Senators traded his rights last Friday, indicates he could be quarterbacking the team's first power-play unit once next season rolls around.

If Gonchar transitions well, he's likely to remain valuable and under the radar from a fantasy standpoint entering 2013-14. With Norris Trophy-winner Erik Karlsson sidelined in February, the 39-year-old stepped into his teammate's role and proved he can still make a difference. Gonchar kept the team afloat in the playoff race and even set a franchise record with at least one assist in 10 consecutive games (Mar. 3 to Mar. 23). He also led all Ottawa skaters with 12 power-play points in the regular season.

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Quote of the Day

If you want to prove people wrong, you've just got to go out and do it. Yeah, we blew 3-2 series leads the last two years, but no one is going remember that if we go out there on Saturday night and beat these guys and go play in the Stanley Cup Final. We need to get back to work and we'll start to do that tomorrow.

— Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri following a loss to the Blackhawks in Game 6 on Wednesday