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Posted On Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 6:04 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

Frolik in NHL record book with 2nd penalty shot

CHICAGO -- Michael Frolik couldn’t believe it when he looked at his phone following Monday's game at Joe Louis Arena.

The Chicago Blackhawks forward had quite a few text messages waiting for him after he scored the eventual game-winning goal on a penalty shot in the third period of a 4-3 win against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

The Original Six rivals will conclude the series Wednesday at United Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS). But Frolik's legend has already grown, as his mobile phone kept reminding him Monday night.

"It kept ringing after the game," Frolik said. "That was kind of nice. It's amazing how many people follow that. I was happy to hear from so many people."

Posted On Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 5:09 PM

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

Nichushkin '100 percent sure' he's ready for NHL

TORONTO -- Sports agent Mark Gandler confirmed to Tuesday that his top draft-eligible client, Russian right wing Valeri Nichushkin, has terminated his contract with Moscow Dynamo in order to play in North America next season. But there is a provision.

"If he's not playing in the NHL, he's going to have to play for Dynamo," Gandler told "The termination [of his contract] occurred without compensation to the team. This is what we would owe the team for that provision."

Gandler isn't the only person who is confident the 6-foot-4, 202-pound left-hander will earn a roster spot on an NHL team next season.

Asked how confident he is that he will play in the NHL in 2013-14, Nichushkin said, "100 percent sure."

Posted On Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 4:33 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst / - Melrose Minute

Blackhawks have the momentum

Posted On Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 4:30 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst / - Melrose Minute

Niemi or Quick in Game 7?

Posted On Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 4:29 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst / - Melrose Minute

Better value: Pens' Iginla or Bruins' Jagr?

Posted On Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 3:54 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - Kings-Sharks series blog

Title defense hangs in balance for Kings in Game 7

LOS ANGELES -- During last season's Stanley Cup Playoffs, Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter veered from routine and held morning skates at Staples Center instead of the team's South Bay practice facility. He wanted his team to get a feel for a "big-game day."

Though the Kings played in many high-intensity games on the way to the Stanley Cup last spring, they never had to play a game facing elimination. In that respect, Sutter will get what he wished for Tuesday night in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinal series against the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN).

"This is for a chance for us to defend what we have," Kings forward Justin Williams said. "There's certainly butterflies. There's everything that you can imagine. Every play's magnified and every play will be magnified, and you don't want your last game to end on a loss. You want to have good memories of the way you played in your final game.

"[The Cup run] came as a surprise last year. But this year there's a big target. There's a sense of satisfaction if someone knocks off the defending Stanley Cup champs. We don't want that to happen."

Posted On Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 2:05 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Penguins-Bruins series blog

Seidenberg taking extra time to continue healing up

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- The decision to sit out Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers and not try to help the Boston Bruins complete a sweep last Thursday was difficult for Dennis Seidenberg.

But the veteran defenseman, who returned in time to aid Boston in its ousting of the Rangers in Game 5 Saturday, knows it was the right decision to rest his undisclosed injury another couple days rather than rink further damage.

"I wanted to play Game 4, obviously, but we talked to the coaching staff and the medical staff and we decided together that maybe it was best to hold out one more game and give it a couple more days. I think it was the right decision and, I mean, it was right at the end," Seidenberg said after he took part in an hour-long practice at Ristuccia Arena on Tuesday.

Posted On Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 2:00 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Penguins-Bruins series blog

Ference practicing with Bruins, but status uncertain

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference practiced with his teammates Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena.

The veteran has been out of game action since Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 5. He missed all of the conference semifinals against the New York Rangers and only just recently started skating with strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides.

As for Ference's availability in the upcoming Eastern Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the blueliner's status is up in the air.

"It's a good sign that he's practicing with us," Bruins coach Claude Julien said after his team followed two days off with an hour-long practice. "I don't know, it's a medical issue that unless the trainers say it's a go -- and sometimes he may be ready but could be risky kind of ready -- I've got to wait and see what the trainers see and also how Andrew feels as well before I make a decision on him."

Posted On Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 9:02 AM

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

Functional Movement Screening set to be unveiled

TORONTO -- More than a dozen prospects Tuesday will undergo the newest element added to the NHL Scouting Combine this year, the Functional Movement Screening (FMS).

The list of players includes all 14 of the top European skaters on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking and the top European goalie, Juuse Saros. The only North American player performing the test, which will be given beginning at 7 p.m. ET and in groups of four, will be defenseman Mirco Mueller of the Everett Silvertips. Mueller is No. 9 on Central Scouting's final list of the top draft-eligible North American skaters.

The FMS is a ranking and grading system in which players perform seven specific joint tests which document movement patterns. The test could help reveal imbalances and symmetry deficiencies in the various fundamental movement patterns of the body.

"If there's a range imbalance or if one side of the body is stronger or weaker than the other, this test will help determine that," NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr told "A majority of NHL teams utilize FMS in some form and the NFL has been performing this screening as part of the medical process for their combine for a number of years.

Posted On Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 12:37 AM

By Staff -  / - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

Despite loss, Red Wings excited for Game 7

The Detroit Red Wings have failed twice to eliminate the Chicago Blackhawks.

Coach Mike Babcock is very much looking forward to the third try.

"If I would have told our whole team before this series, if I would have told Detroit, Michigan before this series, that we were going to be playing Chicago in Game 7, I think everyone would have been pretty excited about that," Babcock said Monday night, after it was made necessary. "I love Game 7s. I'm excited about it. We've got a chance to push them out of the playoffs -- should be a lot of fun."

Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinal between the Red Wings and Blackhawks will be played Wednesday at United Center in Chicago (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). The Blackhawks survived Game 6, winning 4-3 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, where the Red Wings took a 2-1 lead into the third period.

The Red Wings had won three straight to build a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series. Now they must play their second Game 7 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs; they won their first against the Anaheim Ducks to end round one.

"We just have to go to Chicago and play a good game," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg told Fox Sports Detroit. "As I said before, in the first series, it's not often you have a chance to play in Game 7. We're going to regroup here, we're going to stick together, we're going to come out and play a good game, and it's going to be a lot of fun."

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We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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