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Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Monday, 05.27.2013 / 5:00 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Bruins series blog

Penguins looking to use time off wisely

PITTSBURGH -- Prior to this season, it had been five years since Brenden Morrow experienced the thrill of playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Now that he is forced to wait up to a week between games, you'll have to forgive Morrow if he's feeling a little anxious.

"The engine's kind of idling right now," the Pittsburgh Penguins forward said on the third of what is expected to be five or six days before the team opens the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Bruins. "It's tough to shut it down this time of year. The games are coming fast and furious. So to sit and wait is tough for us. I guess it gives an opportunity for some little bumps and bruises to heal up. But I think everyone in the locker room's excited and ready to get started."

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Posted On Monday, 05.27.2013 / 3:43 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Bruins series blog

Penguins not buying Lucic's Heat comparison

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jarome Iginla as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh?

Milan Lucic thinks so.

To that, Crosby says thank you very much.

Lucic, the Boston Bruins power forward, told reporters this weekend he views the Pittsburgh Penguins as the equivalent of the NBA's Miami Heat.

Led by James, Wade and Bosh, the Heat are two wins away from their third consecutive Eastern Conference title and can play for their second straight NBA championship after that.

"We appreciate the compliment," Crosby said. "I'm sure he won't have too many once we start playing. I think it's a compliment."

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Posted On Monday, 05.27.2013 / 12:57 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

Blackhawks happy with play of new-look top line

DETROIT -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville had been looking for balance with his forward lines, and he had gone back and forth on the issue with the power play, but after the performance of the team's new-look top line in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals, it's hard to imagine him not sticking with it at the start of Game 6.

Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane played together at even strength from the start of a contest for the first time a while and the results certainly were positive in a 4-1 victory at United Center to pull the Blackhawks to within a game of the rival Detroit Red Wings at 3-2.

The Blackhawks will hope that solid play continues in Game 6 Monday in Detroit (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

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Posted On Monday, 05.27.2013 / 12:50 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

Hawks, Wings look for momentum with solid start

DETROIT -- The Chicago Blackhawks have talked a lot about momentum in the past few days, and how they believe it finally is shifting to their side after falling behind 3-1 in this Western Conference Semifinal series with the Detroit Red Wings before handily winning Game 5 at United Center.

The Red Wings also have talked a lot about momentum -- about how they don't believe it exists in a playoff series. While both teams are taking the obvious side of a decades-old argument -- certainly the Blackhawks hope they have some momentum and the Red Wings believe they don't -- how Game 6 of the series starts Monday at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS) probably will play into the narrative for one side or the other.

"For us, I think we just need to seize the momentum we have here and carry it into Game 6," Chicago forward Patrick Kane said. "It was fun playing in Game 5. That's the way we need to play. I think we had close to 50 shots, pretty much every line was rolling, we had some power-play goals and obviously we got the lead at the start. Hopefully we can get some more of that [in Game 6] and build off it."

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Posted On Monday, 05.27.2013 / 12:07 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Bruins series blog

Bruins' Ference skating, working his way back

BOSTON -- While most of the Boston Bruins players were kept off the ice Monday, two days after their series-clinching win against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, injured defenseman Andrew Ference skated with strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides at TD Garden.

Ference has not played since Game 5 of the first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bruins coach Claude Julien said Ference has been skating for a few days.

"He's obviously on the mend, but not ready to say he's ready to go yet," Julien said during a press conference Monday.

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Posted On Monday, 05.27.2013 / 12:09 AM

By Ian McCoshen -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Ian McCoshen Draft blog

McCoshen prepares for Scouting Combine

Ian McCoshen, No. 24 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top draft-eligible North American skaters, completed his third season with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League. The 6-foot-2.5, 207-pound defenseman had 11 goals, 44 points and a plus-35 rating in 53 games this season. The Boston College-bound McCoshen has agreed to submit his thoughts during the 2013 Scouting Combine in Toronto this week.

Hello everyone!

I'm excited to be invited to the NHL Scouting Combine and really looking forward to the week.

The daily routine I went through leading up to the Combine was pretty basic. For the opening two weeks in May, I had school in the morning and workout in the afternoon. This past few weeks, my schedule was different since school was completed.

I ate a light breakfast and then headed to the gym. I worked out with my roommate and [Central Scouting's No. 4-ranked] goaltender Cal Petersen. We went through all of the exercises on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We worked on the bike testing on Tuesday and Thursday.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 6:29 PM

NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose: East will be a battle, Hawks are rallying

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins have been two of the best teams in the NHL for the last few years, but we haven't seen them meet in the postseason since 1992. These are two great teams that don't really know each other, and it's going to make for some great hockey.

I love this matchup for the fact that they're completely different. The only thing they have in common is that they both wear black jerseys.

Boston is a team that's built on defense. The Bruins have the best defensive defenseman in the world in Zdeno Chara. He'll be playing against the best offensive forward in the world in Sidney Crosby. A top-notch penalty killing teams in Boston will be facing the best power play unit in the playoffs in Pittsburgh. One team's philosophy is built on puck control and defense, the other is the best quick-strike offense in the League. It's just a great matchup of opposites.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 6:15 PM

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

Blackhawks' Keith on octopus: 'That thing's gross'

CHICAGO – Prior to a game at Joe Louis Arena last week, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith skated over to chat with Detroit Red Wings Zamboni driver Al Sobotka following the national anthem.

Sobotka, who’s taken care of the ice at ‘The Joe’ for 30 years, has become famous for scooping up octopuses thrown on the playing surface for luck and swinging them over his head to fire up the crowd as he removes them.

The one hurled near the end of the anthem prior to Game 4 of a Western Conference Semifinals series between the Original Six rivals caught Keith’s attention.

“Oh I just wanted to look at that thing,” Keith said on Sunday, prior to flying back to Detroit for Game 6 on Monday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN,CBC, RDS). “I’d never seen something like that, that big.”


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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 6:03 PM

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

Lineup changes sparked Blackhawks in Game 5

CHICAGO – The lineup changes that Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville made before Saturday night’s game at United Center appear to have worked.

Quenneville put three of his top four star forwards on the top line – Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane – while also switching around the other three combinations. He also changed his defense pairings back to the way they were to start the season, after splitting all three up on March 31 in Detroit and keeping then that way.

The result was a 45-shot, 4-1 victory against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 of this Western Conference Semifinal series. The win forced a Game 6, which will be played Monday at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS). The Red Wings are up 3-2 in the best-of-7 series, but Chicago’s stretch passes and ability to chase down pucks dumped into the Detroit zone behind defenders loosened up the Detroit defense.


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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 5:44 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

'Kid line' needs to be better for Red Wings in Game 6

DETROIT -- The breakout stars for the Detroit Red Wings in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs hit a bump in the road Saturday night.

Detroit’s “kid line” -- Joakim Andersson, Gustav Nyquist and Damien Brunner -- had given the Red Wings a definitive spark late in a first-round series against the Anaheim Ducks and were a huge reason why they won three of four to start the Western Conference Semifinals against the rival Chicago Blackhawks.

Their work in Game 5 did not measure up to the first four contests.

“They weren't very good last night and they've been pretty good through the playoffs,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said Sunday. “Is that part of it? Hindsight is a real good thing. Did we all want the puck all the time? No.”

Brunner has four goals, which ties him for the team lead with Daniel Cleary and Johan Franzen, and eight points, which ties him for second with Cleary and Pavel Datsyuk. Nyquist and Andersson both have four points each, and Nyquist has a pair of big goals. He and Brunner have two of the team’s three overtime tallies.


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Quote of the Day

That's the biggest goal I've ever scored. It's a great feeling any time you do that, especially at home. We're one game away from a Stanley Cup berth. It was a huge goal and it felt unbelievable.

— Anaheim forward Matt Beleskey on scoring the overtime winner Monday to give the Ducks a 3-2 series lead against the Blackhawks