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Kane's sublime setup helps Chicago stay alive

Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 2:13 AM / Winning Ingredients

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

LOS ANGELES -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane scored the game-winner Friday in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final with an unbelievable individual effort. But that goal, which gave the Blackhawks a 4-3 victory against the Los Angeles Kings and forced a Game 7, wouldn't have come without an equally sublime play from the superstar forward almost five minutes earlier.

Kane's exquisite assist on defenseman Duncan Keith's goal, which made it 3-3 with 8:26 remaining in regulation, was the turning point of the game -- and perhaps the series.

Game 7 is Sunday in Chicago (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).


Patrick Kane comes up big again for Blackhawks

Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 2:03 AM / Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Patrick Kane won the Conn Smythe Trophy last spring. He's making a big push to do it again.

Kane had two goals and an assist Friday night to help the Chicago Blackhawks avoid elimination and force a Game 7 in the Western Conference Final with a 4-3 victory against the Los Angeles Kings. He has seven points in the past two games as the Blackhawks have come back from a 3-1 deficit to level this series with the Kings.

The Blackhawks have become incredible closers, taking control of series as they progress. Chicago has won 25 of 29 games after Game 4 in a series with Kane and Jonathan Toews on the roster, including 13 in a row in 2013 and 2014.

Chicago is 12-2 in Games 6 or 7 in their careers. Kane has nine goals and 17 points in those games, including his famous Stanley Cup-winning overtime goal in Game 6 of the 2010 Final.


Kings-Blackhawks series is one for the ages

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

LOS ANGELES -- All around Jonathan Toews, people were losing their minds, overwhelmed by the moment before them late in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final on Friday.

Staples Center had been rocking as loud as it ever had for hockey for the past 30 minutes as one of the most spellbinding periods played out before the fans who jammed every nook and cranny of the building. The wall of sound cascading down upon the playing surface regularly drowned out whistles and sometimes even the PA system.

What was Toews, the Chicago Blackhawks' captain, doing? Trying to stop from giggling, it seems.

"I think there was about a minute left and I think there was a stoppage in play and I almost started laughing," Toews said, explaining he was looking at teammate Patrick Kane at the time and marveling at the impact Kane had on the game. Kane set up the tying goal by defenseman Duncan Keith and scored the game-winner during a 4:41 span in the third period of a 4-3 victory.


Rangers ready to meet Western winner in Final

Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 1:43 AM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

The New York Rangers eliminated the Montreal Canadiens in six games to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 20 years. In 1994, the Rangers defeated the Vancouver Canucks in seven games to bring the Stanley Cup to the Big Apple for the first time in 54 years.

The Rangers will face the winner of the Western Conference Final, which is tied 3-3 between the Los Angeles Kings, who won the Cup in 2012 and the 2013 champion Chicago Blackhawks. Based on the Rangers' performance against each team during the regular season, they may be rooting for the Blackhawks in Game 7 at United Center on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).


Rangers glad for rest, but remain focused on Cup

Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 1:40 AM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers were taking the time to appreciate their series-clinching 1-0 victory against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final. But with the franchise's first trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 20 years secured, players and coaches alike acknowledged Thursday that their work was far from done.

The Rangers will have four days to figure out exactly how they plan to do that. For now, they'll have to wait to see whether they'll be game-planning to face the Los Angeles Kings or the Chicago Blackhawks, who will meet in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final on Sunday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). The best-of-7 series is tied 3-3. The winner of that series will host the Rangers in Game 1 of the Final on Wednesday.

With four more wins, the Rangers will bring the Stanley Cup back to New York for the first time since Mark Messier hoisted the trophy in 1994, ending a drought that stretched back to 1940. This year's group is eager to bring the Cup back to New York, which has seen the buzz about the team grow as the Rangers have progressed through the postseason.


Doughty's big third period nearly gets Kings to Final

Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 1:31 AM / Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez sat a few lockers down from Drew Doughty and stated what was difficult to argue.

"Drew, as far as I'm concerned, is the best defenseman in the world," Martinez said.

That was quite a proclamation considering the way the Kings and Chicago Blackhawks exchanged blows in a 4-3 Chicago win in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final on Friday at Staples Center. But what was left in the remnants of a Kings loss was another remarkable display by Doughty in his finest Stanley Cup Playoffs yet.


Kings third team to play 21 games in first three rounds

Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 12:55 AM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

John Kreiser - Columnist

The Los Angeles Kings were assured of becoming the third team in NHL history to play all 21 possible games through three rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with their 4-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final on Friday.

Los Angeles will be trying to become the first team ever to win Game 7s in each of the first three rounds of the playoffs when it faces Chicago at United Center on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). Before the Kings this postseason, the only teams to play every possible game through three rounds were the 2002 Colorado Avalanche and the 1993 Toronto Maple Leafs; each lost Game 7 in the conference final.


Top of 2014 NHL Draft could hold surprises

Friday, 05.30.2014 / 9:24 PM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Unpredictability is the word that would describe the perfect storm that's about to hit Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia at the 2014 NHL Draft, which starts June 27.

Will the Florida Panthers keep the No. 1 pick and opt for the projected best draft-eligible defenseman, Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts? Would that open the door for the Buffalo Sabres to select a Doug Gilmour clone, Samuel Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs?


Canadiens sign Thrower; Sharks add Karlsson

Friday, 05.30.2014 / 5:17 PM / News

The Montreal Canadiens on Friday signed defenseman Dalton Thrower to a three-year contract. Terms were not disclosed.

Thrower, 20, had 39 points (12 goals, 27 assists) in 42 games this season with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League. His plus-9 rating led the Giants and his eight power-play goals led all Vancouver defensemen.

In 285 games since his junior debut with the Saskatoon Blades in 2009-10, Thrower has 147 points (42 goals, 105 assists), 414 penalty minutes and a plus-39 rating. He added five points (two goals, three assists) and 23 penalty minutes in 26 playoff games.


Five reasons why the Canadiens were eliminated

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

When the Montreal Canadiens lost goaltender Carey Price for the duration of the Eastern Conference Final in Game 1 of the series, it was almost as if they received a built-in excuse to lose to the New York Rangers.

The Canadiens lost their best player, coach Michel Therrien said the day he announced his star goaltender's absence.

How could anyone reasonably expect a team to advance to the Stanley Cup Final missing its best player?

Except when looking at Montreal's loss in six games to the Rangers and looking for ways to explain it, goaltending would not appear on the list.

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Quote of the Day

I think that’s the sign of a good team. When you don’t play well, and you don’t stay focused and you don’t do the intangibles that it takes, you still win the hockey game.

— New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano after their win vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday
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