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Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
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Features

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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NHL, SAP partnership to lead statistical revolution

Friday, 02.20.2015 / 2:47 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The NHL announced a partnership Friday with enterprise software company SAP, which will transform the way hockey fans consume data across multiple platforms, including the League's numerous outlets.

This partnership begins with a redesigned statistics page on NHL.com and the introduction of advanced stats on the website, but it will expand to improve the fan experience on television broadcasts and in NHL arenas as future phases of the project are introduced.

"Hockey is extremely fast-paced with very little stoppage in play, which results in many aspects of the game failing to show up in the box score," NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins said. "In partnering with SAP and using its best-in-class SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service, we are now able to capture data points like never before and present existing and new statistics in a visually appealing way.

"The new NHL stats platform goes beyond data to offer insights that will help avid fans go deeper and help casual fans understand the game better. There are also unlimited storytelling opportunities as we provide our fans with a personalized and interactive experience."

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Schneider-Horvat trade worked for Devils, Canucks

Friday, 02.20.2015 / 1:47 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Bo Horvat had no idea the Vancouver Canucks had their sights set on him when the Canucks acquired the ninth pick of the 2013 NHL Draft from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for goaltender Cory Schneider.

Even though Schneider was the more experienced player in the trade, he and Horvat will be linked as a result of that draft-day transaction.

"I would like to hope that they traded me for another good player," Schneider said. "The Canucks had an area of surplus with goaltending at the time and New Jersey had a need. I'm sure it will be linked but it was a hockey trade that works out for both teams.

"In the end I think both sides will say they were pretty happy with the deal."

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Canucks' Markstrom getting help from countryman

Friday, 02.20.2015 / 12:37 PM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to NHL.com

After being selected by the Florida Panthers in the second round (No. 31) of the 2008 NHL Draft, Jacob Markstrom's North American adjustment had a microscope on it from the moment he left his native Sweden in 2010.

Spending three and a half years bouncing between the Panthers and their American Hockey League affiliates in Rochester and San Antonio, Markstrom seemed unable to live up to the expectations the hockey world had for him.

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2015 NHL Stadium Series at Levi's Stadium sold out

NHL Public Relations

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ game between the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks at Levi's® Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 21 is sold out, the National Hockey League® announced today.

A crowd in excess of 69,000 fans is expected to fill the stadium for the latest showcase of this Southern California vs. Northern California NHL rivalry. The game will be broadcast live on NBCSN in the U.S. and CBC and TVA2 in Canada beginning at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET.

Since the NHL established the tradition of hosting regular-season games outdoors, fans across North America have expressed their desire for those celebrations to spread across the hockey landscape. Launched last season by the NHL, the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ featured four games in 2014, all of which were played in sold-out stadiums.

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Quote of the Day

That was something I've been dreaming of, something I've told myself before the third period I was going to do ... It was an amazing feeling. It's hard to describe. I didn't believe it went in at first but when I saw all the reaction and all the fans going crazy and my teammates going crazy, it's just an unbelievable feeling. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know whether to jump or just skate and do a Theo Fleury. I don't think I'm the same caliber player he is so I couldn't do it.

— Flames forward Mikael Backlund on scoring the overtime winner against the Ducks in Gm. 3