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Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
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Features

Consistent game propels Patrick Kane to points lead

Saturday, 02.14.2015 / 12:05 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Duncan Keith blocked a shot Friday and sent the puck toward the side wall at United Center.

Time was running out on the New Jersey Devils, who frantically pushed for a game-tying goal against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Devils net was empty at the other end, and the situation called for a two-way player like Marian Hossa or Jonathan Toews to make a stand defensively.

Instead, it was Patrick Kane who made the big play near the corner in the Blackhawks zone. The high-scoring right wing swiped the puck just before Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas could send it behind the net with 52 seconds left and started a play that led to an empty-net goal.

The assist was Kane's 63rd point, which pushed his lead in the NHL scoring race to three after the games Friday, but it was also an example of his growth as a player. It wasn't too long ago when Kane would routinely hang out in the neutral zone, circling and waiting for stretch passes instead of backchecking to retrieve pucks in the defensive zone. It's not that way anymore.

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Penguins' Crosby already ranks among game's greats

Saturday, 02.14.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby still has more than half of his career in front of him, and there's a growing consensus he's already a lock for the Hockey Hall of Fame.

"I'd have put him in the Hall of Fame last night," NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes said.

Mike Rupp, Crosby's former teammate, also said he'd vote Crosby into the Hockey Hall of Fame if Crosby never played another game. Former NHL goalie and longtime television analyst Darren Pang said the same thing. So did NBC analyst Eddie Olczyk, who was Crosby's first NHL coach.

"No doubt," Pang said. "There isn't even any hesitation on my behalf."

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Canadiens' Plekanec flies under radar as two-way star

Saturday, 02.14.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- When Tomas Plekanec arrived in North America, he knew exactly what kind of player he was.

The Montreal Canadiens didn't agree.

A third-round selection (No. 71) in the 2001 NHL Draft, Plekanec joined the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League in 2002 with an identity that was clear in his mind.

"When I got there I was a very offensive guy," Plekanec said this week. "Actually, I didn't know anything about defense. I played from the red line to the opposition's goal line."

Now here he is nearly 13 years later, one of the NHL's best two-way forwards and a pillar of the Canadiens, who enter their game Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET; NHLN-US; CBC; TVA) trying to finish with the top record in the Eastern Conference.

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Stadium Series site 'very unique,' ready for ice

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- An NHL-caliber rink continued to take shape Friday afternoon at Levi's Stadium, which will host the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 21 (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports 2).

The platform for the rink has been built, the boards are going up, and the aluminum pans are in place, ready to be filled with glycol coolant from the NHL's giant refrigeration unit outside the stadium.

By Saturday afternoon, Dan Craig, NHL senior director of hockey operations, expects to start making ice.

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2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series fan experience extended through Levi's Stadium app

Hockey fans encouraged to download app before heading to Levi's Stadium on Feb. 21

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – To enhance the fan experience at the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ outdoor game between the host San Jose Sharks and the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, Feb. 21 at Levi's® Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., the National Hockey League, in conjunction with Levi's® Stadium, the San Francisco 49ers, and VenueNext, has taken over the world-class, high-tech stadium's Official App.

The Levi® Stadium App - now available for download for iPhones via the App Store and for Android smartphones via Google Play – is designed to be the ultimate game day concierge for the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™. This Official App will give NHL fans an instant VIP experience and offer convenient, single-source access to everything they need for the much-anticipated outdoor hockey game. The special version of the Levi's® Stadium App includes functionality for mobile parking passes, food and beverage ordering for in-seat delivery or express pick-up, in-seat merchandise ordering, live event and multiple angle instant replay feeds, turn by turn directions in venue, and much more. One standard function of the Levi's® Stadium App that won't be functional for the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series is mobile ticketing.

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Tortorella felt firing by Canucks was justified: report

Friday, 02.13.2015 / 12:00 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

John Tortorella believes he deserved to be fired as coach after one season with the Vancouver Canucks.

During an interview Friday with WDAE 620 AM in Tampa, Tortorella said poor play in the second half of the season is what led to the end of his time with the Canucks.

"We had a great first half, but I don't think I did the job for the team the second half, with our consistency," he told the radio station. "And I think that's what cost me my job. We just … we couldn't stop the losing streaks. We needed to win a couple of games within those areas.

"And quite honestly, I deserved to get fired after that second half of the year."

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Seguin, Voracek join 'Saul' as popular spin-offs

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

According to Wikipedia, a television spin-off is defined as, "a new series which contains either characters, a different character or theme elements from a previous series."

AMC's "Breaking Bad" was considered one of the better television shows of this generation. It won countless awards during its five seasons from 2008 to 2013. This past Sunday, AMC released a spin-off from the critically acclaimed "Breaking Bad" called "Better Call Saul." Not every television spin-off is successful and clearly, the verdict is still out on "Better Call Saul" (only two episodes have aired).

But throughout television history, we've seen tons of spin-offs. Some turned out to be effective, like the hit show "Frasier," which was a spin-off from "Cheers," and "The Jeffersons," which was a spin-off from "All in the Family." And then there were also some misses, like "Joey," which was a spin-off from "Friends," and "Joanie Loves Chachi," which of course was a spin-off from "Happy Days."

I'm not here to ramble on about TV, though. I'm here to discuss the best and worst fantasy hockey spin-offs in recent years. I'm talking about players that once had a small role on one team, and then joined another team for a larger, more prominent, leading-type role, if you will.

And just like with the television industry, we've seen some hits and some misses. Here are five of the most and least successful fantasy hockey spin-offs in the past five years (feel free to add some of your favorite fantasy hockey spin-offs in the comments section below):

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Martinook set to go after second recall by Coyotes

Friday, 02.13.2015 / 11:06 AM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to NHL.com

Jordan Martinook usually leaves his practices with the Portland Pirates in a car, homeward bound.

On Wednesday, all was about to go according to plan until coach Ray Edwards shook it up. Martinook was going to go home, sure, but only to pack. He was headed to the airport, booked on the next flight out to Glendale, Ariz.

In his third year with the American Hockey League affiliate for the Arizona Coyotes, the 22-year-old native of Brandon, Manitoba had already made his NHL debut on Dec. 6, playing in two games at Gila River Arena before boarding a plane back to Portland.

"It’s pretty surreal. You dream of that moment your entire life. It took me a couple years to get that call," Martinook, a center, said of his first experience. "It’s something you can’t even really describe in words how much it means to you."

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Super 16: Bet on Kane could pay off big for Sabres

Friday, 02.13.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Too often the focus on a young player in the NHL is about what he doesn't do well or facets of his game or personality that may be a product of being a young player.

When Alex Ovechkin entered the League, he reached levels of performance no hockey player has since before a combination of goaltending equipment and instruction and evolution of defensive systems and video technology made suppressing offense easier for even bad teams.

Yet there was always a but. Sure, he's the most gifted goal scorer of his generation, but questions about his defensive play and ultimately the failures of the Washington Capitals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs were pinned on him.

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NHL unveils architectural rendering of 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series

NHL Public Relations

Architectural rendering of 2015 NHL Stadium Series at Levi's Stadium. (Courtesy: NHL)

Architectural rendering of 2015 NHL Stadium
Series at Levi's Stadium.
(Click to enlarge)
Photo: NHL

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League® today unveiled an architectural rendering of the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™, the outdoor match-up between the San Jose Sharks® and Los Angeles Kings® at Levi's® Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 21. The design elements for the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series pay tribute to the wide-ranging topography unique to Northern California.

A showcase of a Northern California vs. Southern California NHL rivalry, the event will be broadcast live nationally on NBCSN in the U.S. and on CBC and TVA2 in Canada at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET. SiriusXM Satellite Radio will provide radio coverage. Construction of the rink at Levi's® Stadium began on Monday, Feb. 9.

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Quote of the Day

It's not always going to be pretty, especially against a great goalie [Lundqvist] like that. My goals are never how you draw them up. It's just a matter of grinding it out and trying to create havoc in front and good things happen.

— Capitals forward Jay Beagle on scoring in their Game 3 victory against the Rangers on Monday