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Blackhawks' Kane takes slap shots, progressing well

Tuesday, 04.07.2015 / 3:52 PM / News

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Anybody who thinks right wing Patrick Kane might return early from surgery to repair his fractured left clavicle only needs to glance at the Chicago Blackhawks' opponent at United Center on Tuesday.

There's a strong chance Minnesota Wild left wing Jason Zucker will play against the Blackhawks (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CSN-CH) about eight weeks after having surgery Feb. 12 to repair his right clavicle. Even if Zucker doesn't play Tuesday, his return is close.

Kane, who was injured Feb. 24 and had surgery the next day, started participating in practices and morning skates April 1. The only limitations were no contact and no slap shots, but Tuesday morning he took multiple one-timer slap shots.

"He's progressing real well," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "Every day he seems like he's getting a little stronger. His skating has always been fine and he's handling the puck extremely well, so it's good signs every day, seeing the progress."

Hockey fans embrace 'Bracketology' with the Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge powered by Samsung

Starting April 12, fans can make their Stanley Cup predictions at

Tuesday, 04.07.2015 / 10:45 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK / TORONTO – When the mad scramble for playoff positioning ends and before the incomparable drama of the Stanley Cup Playoffs begins, NHL fans will get the chance to show off their powers of prognostication. The 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge powered by Samsung at enables the most passionate fans in sports to predict each and every series through the Stanley Cup Final in a competition for exciting prizes and bragging rights. New this year, Match-up Analysis with Insights from SAP will help fans determine who has the edge in each series.

Starting now, fans can register for the Bracket Challenge at in English or French and create leagues to challenge their friends. Once the match-ups are set, fans can make their predictions in the interactive bracket online up until April 15, the first day of the Playoffs.

Canadiens' Pacioretty out Thursday vs. Red Wings

Tuesday, 04.07.2015 / 10:45 AM / News

Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty will not play in their game against the Detroit Red Wings at Bell Centre on Thursday, coach Michel Therrien told reporters in Florida on Tuesday.

Pacioretty appeared to sustain an upper-body injury at 5:48 of the first period against the Florida Panthers on Sunday when he hit his head against the boards after being checked by Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov and then getting his feet tangled with Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic.

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