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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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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 3:56 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Kings-Sharks series blog

Burish to return for Sharks in Game 6

SAN JOSE - One day after returning to his regular spot at right wing on the fourth line for practice, Adam Burish received the news Sunday from San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan he was hoping to hear. Burish is back in the lineup.

Burish hasn't played since breaking his right hand in Game 4 of the Sharks sweep of the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

But he'll be in the lineup Sunday night for Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinal series against the Los Angeles Kings at HP Pavilion. The Sharks trail 3-2 in the series and face an elimination game for the first time in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"The plan is I'm going to play," Burish said. "Unless something changes. Unless I eat some bad chicken."

Burish will skate on a line with center Andrew Desjardins and left wing Bracken Kearns. He'll also spend time on the penalty kill.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 1:41 PM

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

Rask's play positions him for big new contract

BOSTON – For the first time in Tuukka Rask's NHL career, the goaltender has taken the Boston Bruins past the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Of course, this is the second season in which Rask has served as the Bruins' No. 1 goalie.

Rask, 26, seems to be getting better as the playoffs roll along, opposed to the way he struggled deeper into the postseason back in 2010. In the five-game series victory against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Rask compiled a .936 save percentage and 1.86 goals-against average.

The Finnish goaltender seemed to place a smart bet on himself last summer when he signed a one-year contract with Boston. He’ll be a restricted free agent again this summer, seemingly raising his value every night this postseason.

General manager Peter Chiarelli, whose team will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals, said he has no regrets about letting Rask play on a one-year deal.

"I'm happy for him that he's playing well and he's helping the team," Chiarelli said during a press conference Sunday at TD Garden. "It’s always easier to sign these guys after success. He's showing some resiliency, which I like, and some durability, which I like."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 1:26 PM

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

Chiarelli encouraged by Bruins' improving health

BOSTON – The return from injury of defenseman Dennis Seidenberg for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Saturday left the Boston Bruins with Andrew Ference and Wade Redden among their injured players heading into the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

General manager Peter Chiarelli described his team's overall health as "pretty good" during a press conference Sunday at TD Garden. And by the time the Bruins start the series, they might be even healthier.

"We’ve got Andrew out, he's making progress. Wade is close, if not ready," Chiarelli said. "Just the bumps and bruises are minor. We got Dennis back. We're in pretty good shape right now, knock on wood."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 12:18 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2013 NHL Combine

Top prospects set for NHL Scouting Combine

TORONTO -- After the Memorial Cup final is staged at Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon on Sunday (May 26), it's off to Toronto for the start of the 2013 NHL Scouting Combine.

Numerous interviews and those infamous bike tests await those future NHL stars of tomorrow.

The first day of the Combine should be a relatively slow one while players are interviewed by NHL teams within their stationed headquarters. NHL.com will be here all week, logging exclusive daily stories and video. This event is a great opening prelude to the 2013 NHL Draft at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on June 30.

The NHL Scouting Combine will give NHL clubs a chance to evaluate 101 of the top North American and European hockey prospects in the world. The interviewing phase and new element being added to the Combine this year -- the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) -- will be Monday through Thursday. The fitness portion of the testing at the Toronto Convention Centre will be Friday and Saturday.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 12:10 PM

By Sean Monahan -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Sean Monahan Draft blog

Monahan looking forward to Draft Combine

Sean Monahan, NHL Central Scouting's No. 5-rated skater among the top draft-eligible prospects in North America, is a center for the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-foot-2.25, 187-pound forward led his team with 31 goals, 47 assists, 15 power-play goals and 78 points in 58 games this season for the 67's. Monahan, who was voted among the top three players in four separate categories during the OHL Eastern Conference Coaches Poll in March, has offered to maintain a blog during his stay in Toronto for the NHL Scouting Combine this week.

Hi everyone!

As you all know, the NHL Combine is being held this week and I'll be arriving in Toronto at the hotel on Monday. Right now, I'm still not certain who my roommate will be, but looking forward to that.

I've been preparing for this event for a while with practice interviews and off-ice training. I know the testing is pretty hard and you need to really push yourself to prove yourself. My trainer has been helping me get physically ready, and it has been a big help.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 8:28 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Drouin named CHL Player of the Year

All of the attention heading into the 2013 NHL Draft has been focused on Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones and Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon.

Halifax left wing Jonathan Drouin accomplished something neither of them could.

CHL Player of the Year Jonathan Drouin

Drouin, No. 3 in NHL Central Scouting's their final ranking of North American skaters for this year's draft, on Saturday was named Canadian Hockey League CCM Player of the Year. He's the first player to win the award in his first NHL draft-eligible season since Sidney Crosby of the Rimouski Oceanic in 2005. He's also the first QMJHL player to win the award since Alexander Radulov of the Quebec Remparts in 2006.

The CHL handed out its full slate of awards for the 2012-13 season Saturday at the Remai Arts Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

The 5-foot-10.5, 186-pound Drouin finished second in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season with 105 points while playing 49 games; he was five points behind the league leader despite playing 19 fewer games. His 41 goals were tied for seventh and he also had a league-best 29-game scoring streak, during which he had 26 goals and 39 assists. He won the QMJHL MVP award and was voted the league's top professional prospect.

He also excelled with or without MacKinnon, his frequent linemate and Central Scouting's No. 2 North American skater. MacKinnon had 40 goals and 75 points in 44 games.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 1:53 AM

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

Blackhawks finally convert on power play

CHICAGO – It was getting to the point with the Chicago Blackhawks' power play where fans started wishing their favorite team could just decline penalties the way they can in football.

Coming into Saturday night's Game 5 of a Western Conference Semifinal series against the rival Detroit Red Wings at United Center, the Blackhawks were 1-for-12 (8.3 percent) in the series on the man-advantage and 3-for-25 (12 percent) in nine games of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Even worse, in Game 4 at Joe Louis Arena – a 2-0 Detroit victory that gave the Red Wings a commanding 3-1 series lead – Chicago managed to just one shot on goal in three power-play opportunities. The Blackhawks actually topped that number by one shot while shorthanded in that game.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.25.2013 / 9:30 PM

NHL.com - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

DET @ CHI - 6:10 of the Second Period

At 6:10 of the second period in the Red Wings/Blackhawks game, the Toronto Situation Room initiated a video review because the puck crossed the Red Wings goal line. The referee ruled that he had blown the whistle prior to the Chicago player tipping the puck over the goal line therefore there was no review. No Goal Chicago.

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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