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Stanley Cup Final
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Features

Russia defeats Sweden to advance to WJC final

Sunday, 01.04.2015 / 6:37 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Russia forward Alexander Sharov scored two goals and Igor Shesterkin made 26 saves to lead Russia to a 4-1 victory against Sweden in the semifinal round of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship at Air Canada Centre on Sunday.

The victory assures Russia a third appearance in the gold medal game in the past five years. It last won gold at the 2011 WJC in Buffalo following a five-goal third period that led to a 5-3 victory against Canada. It was the country's first gold medal-winning effort since 2003 in Halifax and Sydney, Canada.

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Five Blackhawks excited, honored to be all-stars

Sunday, 01.04.2015 / 4:11 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Those outside the Chicago Blackhawks' locker room might be rolling their eyes about the outcome of the 2015 NHL All-Star Fan Vote presented by SiriusXM, but those on the inside are all smiles.

The Blackhawks, who took five of the first six spots for the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Columbus, are thrilled with the outcome. After top vote-getter Zemgus Girgensons of the Buffalo Sabres, the next five spots were all Chicago players.

"When the balloting started there, we seemed to come out of the gate very strong; picked up some momentum along the way," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "Good for the guys. Organizationally, it should be proud of the representation we’re going to have at the All-Star Game. It’s one of those days [when] it’s fun for the game [and] fun for the League."

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Girgensons, five Blackhawks named first 6 All-Stars

Saturday, 01.03.2015 / 6:00 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Chicago Blackhawks will be prominently represented at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game, with five of their players revealed Saturday as part of the first six NHL All-Stars.

Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons will join Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, and goaltender Corey Crawford at NHL All-Star Weekend, Jan. 24-25 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.

Girgensons, the Sabres' second-year center, topped all vote-getters with 1,574,896. The 20-year-old has 11 goals and 20 points in 39 games.

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Lazar's smile, skills has WJC gold in reach for Canada

Saturday, 01.03.2015 / 12:00 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- It's a smile that lights up and energizes a nation.

Curtis Lazar's ever-present grin has been the backdrop for a team trying to win Canada's first gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship since 2009.

Lazar (Ottawa Senators) is Canada's captain and leader. In a pressure-packed event where the host country is expected to succeed, he has drawn on his experience from a year ago, when Canada finished fourth after losing 2-1 to Russia in the bronze-medal game. That loss came two days after a 5-1 loss to Finland in the semifinal.

He had three goals and seven points in Malmo, Sweden, at the 2014 WJC, but Lazar knew it would be different playing the 2015 WJC in Canada in front of family and friends, not to mention a hockey-mad nation that expects nothing less than gold.

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Sweden, Russia, Canada, Slovakia set for WJC semis

Saturday, 01.03.2015 / 11:28 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Sweden, Russia, Canada and Slovakia are the final four teams left at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, and they'll play in the semifinals Sunday at Air Canada Centre.

Sweden, who won the silver medal at the 2014 WJC, plays Russia, the 2014 bronze medalists, in one semifinal; Canada faces Slovakia in the second game.

The survivors will meet in the gold-medal game in Toronto on Monday at 8 p.m. ET. The bronze-medal game is Monday at 4 p.m. ET.

Canada is making its 17th consecutive appearance in the tournament semifinals, Sweden is making its ninth straight appearance and Russia is in the final four for the fifth straight time. Slovakia, which has finished no higher than sixth (2012) the past five years at the WJC, last earned a semifinal berth in 2009.

A new champion is guaranteed this year since Finland, the 2014 gold medalist, lost 6-3 to Sweden on Friday in the quarterfinals. The other quarterfinal games saw Canada beat Denmark 8-0; Russia defeat the United States 3-2; and Slovakia defeat the Czech Republic 3-0.

Here is a closer look at the semifinal games:

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Canada cruises past Denmark to reach WJC semifinal

Friday, 01.02.2015 / 11:55 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Captain Curtis Lazar had two goals and an assist, and goaltender Zachary Fucale made 14 saves to lead Canada to an 8-0 victory against Denmark in the quarterfinal round of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship at Air Canada Centre on Friday.

Canada will play Slovakia on Sunday in a semifinal in Toronto at 8 p.m. ET. Canada defeated Slovakia 8-0 in the preliminary round on Dec. 26.

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Slovakia shuts out rival Czech Republic at WJC

Friday, 01.02.2015 / 10:50 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Sean Farrell - NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Slovakia picked an opportune moment at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship to finally get the better of its historical rivals.

Goaltender Denis Godla made 34 saves to send Slovakia to a 3-0 shutout win against the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals of the WJC at Bell Centre on Friday.

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Penguins acquire Perron to boost top-six group

Friday, 01.02.2015 / 7:03 PM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford has been attempting to acquire a top-six forward since the first month of the season. He found one in David Perron.

The Penguins traded forward Rob Klinkhammer and a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft on Friday to the Edmonton Oilers for Perron, who led Edmonton with 28 goals last season. Perron will enter Pittsburgh's top-six forward group, which has been decimated by injury and illness the past two months.

"We were finally in position so that we could find a guy who could come in, help our forwards, give us more depth up front," Rutherford said. "He can play both wings comfortably. He's a right shot. He likes to play the left side, but based on our injury situation, we suspect he would start on the right side with us until we get our full team back, but we're very pleased we could make this addition today."

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U.S. fails to medal for second straight year at WJC

Friday, 01.02.2015 / 6:16 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Sean Farrell - NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Jack Eichel and the United States were eliminated from the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship on Friday, marking the second straight year that they will not be competing for a medal at the tournament. 

The United States lost 3-2 against Russia in their quarterfinal game at Bell Centre. Russia won 5-3 in a 2014 WJC quarterfinal against the U.S., which won gold in 2012, but will not play for a medal for the third time in four years.

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Sweden powers past Finland to reach semis at WJC

Friday, 01.02.2015 / 5:48 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO – Sweden used a three-goal third period to defeat Finland 6-3 at Air Canada Centre on Friday in a quarterfinal game of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Sweden was 3-for-5 on the power play, scoring twice while Finland was two men short, and also killed off a four-minute penalty in the third period while leading by one goal.

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Quote of the Day

That's a really tough thing to play through; when you finally are thrown out there, the game is fast, intense, every single play matters, you've got to find a way to play through that and make smart plays. So it's a huge testament to [Vermette] and some other individuals in our locker room that are putting their own ego, their own wants and needs aside, and are ready for those opportunities when they do come.

— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on teammate Antoine Vermette, who returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 to score the double-overtime winner in Game 4