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Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
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Features

Red Wings' Tatar an emerging talent in second season

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Paul Harris - NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- Mike Babcock is tougher on forward Tomas Tatar than he is on any other player.

That's because the Detroit Red Wings coach thinks Tatar, who's 24 and in his second full NHL season, has so much potential.

"As long as he keeps working on his details and is committed to doing it all the time, he's going to get there," Babcock said. "That's the biggest challenge for a young player. What allowed you to be good last year isn't good enough this year and the years to come. You got to keep getting better if you want to be the best. That's what guys like [Pavel] Datsyuk and [Henrik] Zetterberg have done. So for our young players, they have great examples."

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: With a little bit of luck …

Tuesday, 02.10.2015 / 12:10 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

Buying low at the right time and price is an art that all fantasy owners try to master.

Looking at low shooting percentages and the chances they can improve over time can be an indication of strong options to target. There are always exceptions, but for the most part if a proven player is creating chances consistently with a track record of shooting a high percentage in the past, it's can simply be a matter of time before the flood gates open.

Take forward Rick Nash of the New York Rangers. He's tied for the NHL lead in goals (33) after he couldn't buy the back of the net during the Rangers' run to the Stanley Cup Final (3.6 percent shooting). He did have a strong regular-season track record of even-strength goal scoring prior to this season, but it would've still been tough to envision a 17.1 shooting rate and top 10 standing among forwards.

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Five Questions: Babcock talks Red Wings' depth

Tuesday, 02.10.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock:

Mike Babcock has a trusted, old-school way of telling if the season is going as planned.

"You wake up every day, you look at the standings, and if you don't have to turn the paper upside down to be happy it's a positive thing," Babcock told NHL.com.

The standings look good right-side up to the Detroit Red Wings nowadays.

Detroit currently sits third in the Atlantic Division with 71 points. The Red Wings are two points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning and a notch below the Montreal Canadiens because of the head-to-head tiebreaker (Detroit is 0-1-1 against Montreal this season).

There is no team hotter in the NHL than the Red Wings, who are 9-1-0 in their past 10 games, all played without No. 1 goalie Jimmy Howard. Howard has been out with a groin injury, but he's scheduled to return Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets.

"I think we're a pretty good team," Babcock said. "Are we a great team? We're going to find out."

Babcock is right; the Red Wings are about to be tested.

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Stars' Klingberg playing at level that belies his age

Tuesday, 02.10.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Steve Hunt - NHL.com Correspondent

FRISCO, Texas -- John Klingberg is not your average rookie.

Through 39 games, the Dallas Stars defenseman has 10 goals and 18 assists. He has points in three straight games; included in that run is two assists in a 3-2 loss at the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, already his eighth multipoint game in the NHL.

A fifth-round pick (No. 131) in the 2010 NHL Draft, Klingberg, 22, who also has a plus-10 rating, has showcased a dazzling array of offensive skills, among them a deadly shot from distance and the vision to deliver a pinpoint pass to set up a teammate at the perfect time.

He'll have a chance to add to those numbers when the Stars visit the Boston Bruins on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, SN1).

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Stadium Series rink construction set to get underway

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Dan Craig, the NHL's senior director of facilities operations, was able to take a deep breath Monday.

The NHL's state-of the-art mobile ice making and monitoring unit arrived on schedule at Levi's Stadium after a four-and-a-half day, 3,300-mile trip. Work can begin on time to build a rink for the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 21.

Instead of taking a more direct route to Santa Clara, the massive truck and 53-foot trailer traveled a southern path from Toronto to avoid the potential of getting stopped in mountain passes by snow storms. That added an extra 500 miles to the trip.

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Blue Jackets' Hartnell to play in 1,000th career game

Monday, 02.09.2015 / 1:45 PM / NHL Insider

Craig Merz - NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Monday will be a big deal for Columbus Blue Jackets forward Scott Hartnell, when he plays his 1,000th NHL regular-season game, against the Los Angeles Kings.

His parents, three siblings, a couple of nephews and a few friends from his hometown of Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, will be in attendance at Nationwide Arena for the feat.

"I'm happy my whole family will be coming down and be part of the special day," he told NHL.com last week. "It will be neat to have everyone share that milestone."

The Hartnell clan and others had dinner Sunday night in Columbus to celebrate his career.

"It was a really special evening," Hartnell said.

Being surrounded by those closest to him will be in contrast to how his NHL career began, Oct. 6, 2000, as an 18 year-old with the Nashville Predators.

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Fantasy All-Access: Building your team in pairs

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Every Monday, NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver-wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.

This weekend couples all over the world will be celebrating Valentine's Day with chocolates and flowers. The NHL is full of great duos that have been helping fantasy teams all year long, so in the spirit of Saint Valentine let’s hand out candy hearts to the top three pairs.

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EPIX crew works around clock for quick turnaround

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The bagels from breakfast are still sitting out while lunch is being ordered, plenty of them untouched as the hours bleed away with no one really noticing, or caring.

Producers in one of the four edit rooms are sifting through hours upon hours of footage while wearing winter coats because for some reason that no one can figure out, the heat in that particular edit room is not working properly this morning.

So what, they say. It doesn't stop them. They grind. They always grind.

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Blues' top line is scoring, and shutting down scorers

Saturday, 02.07.2015 / 3:54 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Once St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock went back to an old reliable forward line, it was a matter of time before it would begin to click on all cylinders.

The Blues' top line of Alexander Steen, David Backes and T.J. Oshie has put together quite the offensive run in recent weeks.

Since the Blues' post-Christmas schedule, Steen, Backes and Oshie have been on the scoresheet on a regular basis, and the Blues are accruing points at a rapid pace.

The Blues (34-14-4), who host the Chicago Blackhawks (32-18-2) Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, SN360), have received 65 points (33 at even-strength with all three players on the ice) in 18 games from the line, an average of 3.6 per game.

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Oilers doctor leading World's Longest Hockey Game

Saturday, 02.07.2015 / 3:45 PM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

The longest game in the history of the NHL lasted more than 176 minutes, and ended when the Detroit Red Wings' Mud Brunteau scored in the sixth overtime to beat the Montreal Canadiens in a Stanley Cup Playoff game March 24, 1936.

That's just a warm-up compared to what Dr. Brent Saik and his friends are doing.

On Feb. 6, Saik was one of 40 players to start the fifth World's Longest Hockey Game, an event that raises money for the Alberta Cancer Foundation. All proceeds go toward purchasing a piece of equipment for the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton.

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Quote of the Day

I don’t know if it was more relief for me that [Stamkos] scored or the power play scored. It was a whole compilation of Alka Seltzer.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Steven Stamkos broke a long scoring drought and Tampa Bay's struggling power play scored four times in Game 2 at Montreal