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Posted On Wednesday, 06.05.2013 / 3:42 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Richards skates with Kings' extra players

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards skated Wednesday at the team's practice facility after sitting out the past two games of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks with an upper-body injury that is believed to be a concussion.

Richards skated with all the players who were scratched for Game 3 on Tuesday plus backup goalie Jonathan Bernier.

Game 4 is set for Thursday at Staples Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). Chicago leads the best-of-7 series, 2-1.

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.05.2013 / 12:22 PM

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

Rask none the worse for wear after ding in practice

BOSTON -- Everyone took the ice Wednesday for the Boston Bruins' morning skate, which featured one minor scare.

During one drill, goaltender Tuukka Rask took a teammate's shot off his shoulder, and he reacted by skating toward the bench and slamming his stick against the TD Garden boards. It took less than a minute for Rask to return to his crease and get back to work.

Julien said after the skate there were no issues in terms of Rask getting the start in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.05.2013 / 1:13 AM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Quick's save on Bickell could be a turning point

LOS ANGELES – It was a game saving save and perhaps a series-changing save, and it also meant much more to the Los Angeles Kings.

Late in the third period with a 2-1 lead to protect, Chicago Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell found himself with the puck on his stick and a gaping chance to tie the score and send Game 3 of the Western Conference Final into overtime.

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick somehow got his right leg down and his blocker up to stop the shot. The sellout crowd might still be digesting it and enjoying it on replay. Quick did not have that benefit.

"On the initial shot, I kind of got bumped a little and spun a little off angle, so I wasn't really able to put the rebound where I wanted to, so it ends up on his stick," Quick said. "You're just trying to cover net and get fortunate and it hits your blocker. Obviously, it was a big save at the time. You got to get lucky sometimes. It was good."

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.04.2013 / 9:56 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Kings without Richards again in Game 3

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards is not playing in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks (NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Richards, who is the Kings' leading scorer in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 10 points, did not take part in the morning skate at Staples Center.

"Yes, absolutely," Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter said when he was asked if Richards definitely is out. "He's done a little bit every day but it's the same -- no progress."

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.04.2013 / 8:49 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Kings move Kopitar from first to third line

LOS ANGELES -- Anze Kopitar's struggles have cost him his job as the Los Angeles Kings' No. 1 center.

Kopitar, who two goals and five assists through 15 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, began Game 3 against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final as the Kings' third-line center between Dwight King and Trevor Lewis. Jarret Stoll traded places with Kopitar and started Game 3 skating in between Justin Williams and Dustin Brown.

Stoll has played the past two games after missing six in a row with a concussion. Kopitar has no points in the conference final.

The Blackhawks lead the best-of-7 series, 2-0.


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Posted On Tuesday, 06.04.2013 / 4:44 PM

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

With early start time, Blackhawks skip morning skate

BEVERLEY HILLS, Calif. -- Hockey teams, and the players on them, are creatures of habit.

Players like to keep the same daily routine whenever possible. So Game 3 of the Western Conference Final will be a bit of a unique situation for the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks played in games on back-to-back days Saturday and Sunday. They did not practice Monday, because almost all teams do not after back-to-backs to conserve energy and heal.

But with Game 3 against the Los Angeles Kings being a 6 p.m. local time start, the Blackhawks had a decision to make: Stick with their normal routine for 6 p.m. starts and not having a morning skate, or go on the ice at an abnormal time on a game day.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said it would be the former, so the Blackhawks will not go on the ice between Games 2 and 3, other than the pregame warm-up skate.

"Personally, I kind of like it," Chicago defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said. "It's nice. It's been a lot of hockey here. Back-to-back, obviously, and travel days. Personally, I don't mind it. Just try to be mentally ready when the puck drops. That's what it's all about at this point, I think."

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.04.2013 / 4:09 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose Minute: Expect bounce back from Quick

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.04.2013 / 4:07 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose Minute: Pens need to keep it simple

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.04.2013 / 4:06 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Which 0-2 team has best chance at a comeback?

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.04.2013 / 3:38 PM

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

Bruins surging since Game 7 vs. Maple Leafs

BEDFORD, Mass. -- It still runs the risk of becoming the Boston Bruins' version of Carlton Fisk's extra-inning home run for the Boston Red Sox in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series or the Boston Celtics' comeback from 21 points down in the 2002 conference finals.

Both of those great Boston postseason sports accomplishments of the past ultimately failed to pay off in a championship.

So as we wait to see how the Bruins' run through the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs ends, their comeback after trailing the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 in the third period of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on May 13 can only be classified as the wake-up call that sparked the Bruins to a deep postseason run.

The Bruins' improved quality of play from that night has continued forward into the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Including their wins in the first two games of this series, the Bruins have won seven of eight games and outscored their opponents 29-11 since they were behind the Maple Leafs 4-1.

Game 3 is Wednesday at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"It seems like it. It seems like we have to have a bad experience in order to get going," Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said after the team arrived at Hanscom Field from Pittsburgh on Tuesday morning. "Like two years ago (when the Bruins rallied from two games down against Montreal), we came out on top again. Once that happens, it seems like everybody starts playing better and rolling, and the whole team starts to fire."

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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