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Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
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Features

Loss stings, but Sharks enjoy outdoor experience

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The stands were packed with 70,205 fans at Levi's Stadium, the third largest crowd in NHL history.

The stars were visible on a clear Northern California night.

The only thing missing to make the night complete for the San Jose Sharks was a victory against the rival Los Angeles Kings in their 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game on Saturday.

San Jose suffered a 2-1 loss to Los Angeles that knocked the Sharks out of the second wild-card playoff position in the Western Conference, a spot now held by the Kings.

"It was fun. It was awesome," Sharks forward Joe Pavelski said. "Going out there for warm-ups … the whole event has been pretty good, right up to the end. It's the truth when they say it's better when you win. I think it is. It (stinks) right now."

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Senators' Cowen faces Player Safety hearing

Sunday, 02.22.2015 / 12:57 AM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com Staff

Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen will have a hearing Monday for an illegal check to the head/interference on Florida Panthers forward Jussi Jokinen during a game at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday.

Jokinen was hit by Cowen with 15:26 remaining in the second period of Ottawa's 4-1 win. Cowen was given an interference penalty on the play.

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Kane sees Sabres as 'headed in the right direction'

Saturday, 02.21.2015 / 3:26 PM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Forward Evander Kane was formally introduced as a member of the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday and said he's ready to move on to this opportunity.

"It's definitely exciting to be here and meet the guys and see the city a little bit," Kane said at First Niagara Center. "The facility that they have here, it's pretty phenomenal. My excitement was definitely met since first coming here."

The Sabres acquired Kane on Feb. 11, with defenseman Zach Bogosian, from the Winnipeg Jets in a trade for defenseman Tyler Myers, forward Drew Stafford, forward prospects forwards Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux, and a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

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Blues' Lehtera adjusting to North America, NHL life

Saturday, 02.21.2015 / 2:50 AM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- It's been a year since St. Louis Blues center Jori Lehtera made a name for himself in front of what would turn out to be his future employers in the NHL.

For Lehtera, 27, the competition of representing Finland at the 2014 Sochi Olympics now seems like a distant memory.

It was a good first impression for the Helsinki, Finland native, who holds a key top-six role for the Blues, for what he hopes parlays into a prolonged NHL career.

The Blues (38-16-4), who hold one of the NHL's best records, were impressed after Lehtera scored a goal and had three assists in six games to help Finland win bronze in Sochi, and he went on to score three goals and 12 points in 10 games at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.

The Blues were impressed enough to sign Lehtera to a two-year, $5.5 million contract even though he had no NHL experience.

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Kings on a roll entering Stadium Series game

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- It was only two weeks ago that the Los Angeles Kings were stuck in a rut so deep that for the first time in what has been an inconsistent season, people were wondering out loud if last season's Stanley Cup champions would give themselves a chance to defend their title.

The Kings had lost three in a row and 12 of their previous 15 games (3-7-5). They were behind the Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars in the Western Conference standings -- and none of those teams was in a Stanley Cup Playoff position.

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Sharks and Kings take playoff battle outdoors

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Since arriving in the NHL in 2009, San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture has watched 16 other teams play in outdoor games, some twice, all the while wishing and hoping he would one day get a chance to do what they were doing.

He gets that chance Saturday night at Levi's Stadium, and he couldn't ask for a bigger moment in the season to have it happen.

"It's more than just a hockey game," Couture said, "It's a massive hockey game."

He's spot on.

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Like Sharks, Hertl having up-and-down season

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- For San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan and forward Tomas Hertl, it's a simple formula when it comes to usage.

When Hertl skates the way he's capable of skating, he gets to play center, where he's most comfortable. When Hertl doesn't move the way McLellan knows he can, he's pushed to the wing and the Sharks lose the depth they need in the middle to compete in the Western Conference.

The problem is Hertl has been pushed to the wing, or even the fourth line, too often this season because he hasn't delivered the way McLellan knows he can.


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Sharks enjoy Stadium Series practice, ready for Kings

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- As San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels came out of the south tunnel Friday afternoon at massive Levi's Stadium and walked toward the rink for practice, he was hit by a wave of emotion.

"Just kind of some shock and awe of how cool this experience is going to be," Wingels said. "We've all watched and hoped to play in one of these games, and I think from the moment we were announced to host a game, we've had a lot of thoughts and countdowns to tomorrow. So to go out there today and get all the jitters out, to really enjoy the experience with our friends and family, it's really cool. It's something I'll remember for my whole life."

The Sharks soaked up the atmosphere at Levi's Stadium on the eve of their game Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings in the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports 2).

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New stats on NHL.com provide wealth of insight

Friday, 02.20.2015 / 6:47 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Hockey debates have been about feel as much as fact for much of their history. But that is changing.

Is Drew Doughty or Duncan Keith more valuable to his team? Is Wayne Gretzky or Gordie Howe the best player in hockey history? Where do Mario Lemieux or Sidney Crosby fit into that discussion? How do the career statistics of Steven Stamkos compare to other Canadian centers who are 6-foot-1 or taller and born in the 1990s?

Help is on the way. The new NHL.com statistics page (NHL.com/stats) debuted a wealth of information and tools Friday on an enhanced stats page. But even more data is coming, which will aid in any debate or answer any question regardless of era.

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Primer: Get to know new enhanced stats on NHL.com

Friday, 02.20.2015 / 3:08 PM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

With many new statistics now on NHL.com after the League announced a partnership with enterprise software company SAP, the following is a primer on how some of them came into existence, what they mean, how they're applied, and why they're important.

SHOT ATTEMPTS (Corsi)

Puck possession has always been important in hockey, but analysts have proven how valuable it can be. Shot attempts are the best proxy for understanding and quantifying puck possession.

The idea for quantifying puck possession through shot attempts originally came from Tim Barnes, who posted his work online under the pseudonym Vic Ferrari. Barnes, who now works for the Washington Capitals, coined the term "Corsi," naming the stat after Buffalo Sabres goaltending coach Jim Corsi.

A shot attempt is counted any time a player tries to shoot the puck. They are counted as a shot on goal, blocked shot or missed shot. By adding those three types of a shot together, you have the number of shot attempts.

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Quote of the Day

Sick. I said a couple of bad words in Russian, but I said, 'Sick.'

— Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov on Alex Ovechkin's highlight-reel goal in Game 2 against Rangers on Saturday