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Stanley Cup Final
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Features

Analysis: Babcock to face uphill battle with Toronto

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 5:55 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

In deciding to accept the contract offer to become coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, Mike Babcock also accepted the offer to take on the greatest challenge of his career in the NHL.

"I think it is," NHL Network and TSN analyst Craig Button said.

It is because coaching the Maple Leafs at this time is unlike anything he has taken on in his career with the Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, or Canadian Olympic teams.

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Chabot: Ducks must stick to their blueprint for Game 3

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 5:08 PM / Ducks vs Blackhawks - 2015 Western Conference Final

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

For additional insight into the Anaheim Ducks during the Western Conference Final series, NHL.com has enlisted the help of Frederic Chabot to break down the action. Chabot will be checking in throughout the series.

Chabot was the goaltending coach for the Edmonton Oilers from 2009 to 2014. He played in the NHL for five seasons, spending time with the Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers and the Los Angeles Kings.

In a three-overtime loss, it's inevitable there will be bounces that don't go your way.

The Anaheim Ducks hit a post and two crossbars during their 3-2, triple-overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final, evening the best-of-7 series at 1-1.

Chicago had its bounces too; one puck bounced off the head of forward Andrew Shaw and into the net, which was ruled a goal on the ice and then disallowed after a video review. The Blackhawks eventually got their bounce in the form of Marcus Kruger's game-winning goal 16:12 into the third overtime.

Bounces tend to even out, but the Ducks played a strong game, according to Frederic Chabot, and don't need to change their plan for Game 3 at United Center on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

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Talbot: Bruins can compete for Cup under Sweeney

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 3:51 PM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- When Don Sweeney was named general manager of the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, CEO Charlie Jacobs called it a new era in Bruins hockey during a press conference announcing the move.

Bruins forward Max Talbot knows what it's like to be on a team when a new general manager is hired. He was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins when Ray Shero was named GM in 2006. Acquired by Boston prior to the 2015 Trade Deadline, Talbot said the Bruins are ready to compete for the Stanley Cup and it's an exciting time to be a Bruin with Sweeney at the helm.

"The situation I was in with Pittsburgh is a little different than the situation now because it was a GM from the outside," Talbot said. "Ray came and brought a totally new mentality. He rebuilt everything and he was from the outside so he really changed a lot of things.

"Now, Sweeney has been with the organization as a player and in management, so he's seen things and he knows the team. He knows the culture and stuff."

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Ducks focus on positives from marathon loss

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 3:46 PM / Ducks vs Blackhawks - 2015 Western Conference Final

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks teammates Francois Beauchemin and Kyle Palmieri have different experiences when it comes to marathon games.

Beauchemin played in a quadruple-overtime game in the 2003 Calder Cup Finals.

"It's funny, they made a T-shirt about it because it was the longest game in [American Hockey League] history that we ended up losing, unfortunately," Beauchemin said.

Palmieri played a long peewee game at his home rink in New Jersey.

"It was a little different format," Palmieri said. "I think it went 4-on-4, 3-on-3, 2-on-2, 1-on-1, and I remember losing and I was out there for the 1-on-1. That was probably the longest game before this."

"This" is a reference to Anaheim's 3-2, triple-overtime loss against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final on Tuesday.
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Three keys for Lightning, Rangers to winning Game 3

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 1:24 PM / Rangers vs Lightning - 2015 Eastern Conference Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning are confident they can skate with and beat the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final. They proved it in a 6-2 win in Game 2 on Monday.

It was the third straight Game 2 in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs that the Lightning have won by a four-goal margin.

The Rangers are confident they can rebound from what captain Ryan McDonagh referred to as a selfish, embarrassing and uncharacteristic effort in Game 2 with a strong performance in Game 3 on Wednesday at Amalie Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

It was the Rangers worst loss since a 5-1 loss to the Lightning on Nov. 17.

"We got beat 6-2, and that's something that doesn't happen to us very regularly," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said, "so I think our guys are going to respond well tonight."

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Noel: Blackhawks special teams critical in Game 2

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 12:41 PM / Ducks vs Blackhawks - 2015 Western Conference Final

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

For additional insight on the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final, NHL.com has enlisted the help of Claude Noel to break down the action. Noel will be checking in throughout the series.

Noel was coach for the Winnipeg Jets from 2011-14 and interim coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2009-10. He also coached many years in the minor leagues, including the American Hockey League. In addition, Noel, a former forward, had 138 points in 353 regular-season games in the AHL and played seven games in the NHL with Washington Capitals in 1979-80.

The Chicago Blackhawks won the special teams battle and received the secondary scoring required for success in the playoffs in a 3-2 triple-overtime victory against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final at Honda Center on Tuesday.

The victory evened the best-of-7 series 1-1. Game 3 is Thursday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Claude Noel said he felt the Blackhawks were able to immediately dictate play in the early stages after scoring two power-play goals within the first seven minutes of the first period. Chicago finished 2-for-5 with the man advantage while Anaheim went 0-for-5 on the power play.

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Crawford comes up big for Blackhawks in Game 2

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 12:00 PM / "Obvious Choice" Moments

NHL.com

There was a time early in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when Corey Crawford lost his job as starting goaltender of the Chicago Blackhawks. After the first two games of the Western Conference First Round, Crawford was replaced by Scott Darling after putting up a 6.75 goals-against average and .809 save percentage.

Crawford took back his job when he won in relief of Darling in Game 6 of the first round. He's been solid ever since, but never better than in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks.

After Chicago finally finished off Anaheim with Marcus Kruger's goal at 16:12 of the third overtime to win 3-2 and even the best-of-7 series 1-1, Crawford was given a championship belt the Blackhawks use to honor their player of the game. Though Crawford passed it on to Kruger, his 60 saves qualified him as championship material.

"He could have kept it," Kruger told the Chicago Sun Times. "He deserves it. He was great tonight. He gave us a chance. We're happy to have him."

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Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Tuesday, May 19

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 8:48 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL Public Relations

KRUGER SCORES IN THIRD OVERTIME TO TIE SERIES WITH DUCKS

Marcus Kruger scored at 16:12 of triple overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 to even the Western Conference Final at one victory apiece.

* Game 2 required 116:12 of total elapsed time and was the longest game of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Chicago also played in the previous longest game of this postseason, April 21 in Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round vs. the Nashville Predators (3-2 3OT W). Brent Seabrook scored at 1:00 of the third overtime to end the game (101:00 of total elapsed time).

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Blackhawks won two games in a single postseason that required at least three overtime periods for the first time in franchise history. The last team to do so was the Ducks, who won two such games in 2003.

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Blackhawks show character in marathon Game 2 win

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 4:11 AM / Ducks vs Blackhawks - 2015 Western Conference Final

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

ANAHEIM -- Character can't be awarded. It must be earned.

The Chicago Blackhawks have earned their share of character while making five trips to the Western Conference Final and claiming the Stanley Cup twice during the past seven seasons. They put every ounce of that hard-earned character on display Tuesday, outlasting the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 in triple overtime in an instant classic of a Game 2 of the Western Conference Final at Honda Center.

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Shaw's head-butt goal remarkable, but disallowed

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 3:17 AM / Ducks vs Blackhawks - 2015 Western Conference Final

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

ANAHEIM -- It might be one of the most remarkable disallowed goals in NHL history.

Andrew Shaw of the Chicago Blackhawks looked more like a soccer player than a hockey forward early in the second overtime Tuesday when he headed the puck into the net against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 2 of the 2015 Western Conference Final at Honda Center.

The puck popped up in the air during a goalmouth scramble, and Shaw purposely used the crown of his helmet to propel the puck past Anaheim goaltender Frederik Andersen for what he momentarily thought was the game-winning goal.

The play initially was ruled a goal on the ice and several Blackhawks players celebrated, but after a review it was disallowed.

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Quote of the Day

You know what? We've played in some pretty special buildings along this playoff run so far. You start in Detroit, you go to Montreal, you come here … I think it's the first team to beat three Original Six teams to get to the Final if I'm not mistaken. That says how tough the road has been. Those are tough places to win.

— Lightning forward Steven Stamkos after Game 7 win vs. Rangers on Friday in New York