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(Page 136 of 237)
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Blackhawks, Kings each have good Game 7 history

Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 6:37 PM / Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks each have some history on their side as they prepare for Game 7 of the Western Conference Final, to be played Sunday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Not only will the Blackhawks have more than 21,000 fans rooting them on, they'll have the precedent of 91 wins by home teams in 155 Game 7s since the best-of-7 format was adopted in 1939. That includes Chicago's 2-1 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings in the 2013 Western Conference Semifinals, the Blackhawks' most-recent Game 7.

The Blackhawks are 6-5 in Game 7s, 5-2 at home. They've won their past four Game 7s in their building since losing to the Montreal Canadiens in the 1971 Stanley Cup Final at Chicago Stadium.

Los Angeles has won two Game 7s in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, each on the road and each in convincing fashion. The Kings defeated the San Jose Sharks 5-1 to complete a comeback from a 3-0 series deficit in the Western Conference First Round, then knocked off the Anaheim Ducks 6-2 in the second round to advance to the conference final.

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Canadiens' Vanek heading for free agency July 1

Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 6:12 PM / News

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The moment Thomas Vanek has been waiting for has almost arrived.

Vanek has made no effort to hide his intention to hit the unrestricted free agent market on July 1. He said so more than a year ago, when he was a member of the Buffalo Sabres. He still feels the same after being traded to the New York Islanders and then to the Montreal Canadiens at the NHL Trade Deadline in March.

Going on an extended run through the Stanley Cup Playoffs to the Eastern Conference Final with the Canadiens has done nothing to change Vanek's mind that he will begin taking offers to sign with the team of his choosing as of July 1.


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Rangers overcame tough start to get to Cup Final

Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 3:11 PM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- This was Alain Vigneault letting his hair down for a few moments.

His tie was still done up and his shirt was still crisp, as if it had been recently pressed, but the New York Rangers coach was very much at ease and even somewhat giddy as he stood at the podium in the press conference room at Madison Square Garden late Thursday.

Vigneault was fielding questions following the Rangers' 1-0 series-clinching win against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final. He had already answered two questions before hearing the third.

Now Vigneault was laughing.

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Hawks, Kings vie for Western supremacy in Game 7

Winner will face Eastern Champion New York Rangers in 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 2:47 PM / Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- A berth in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final is on the line Sunday night when the Chicago Blackhawks play host to the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final at United Center (8 p.m., ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS). Sunday's showdown will mark the seventh Game 7 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, tying the single-year playoff record set in 1994 and matched in 2011.

The Blackhawks-Kings winner will advance to the Stanley Cup Final and hold home-ice advantage against the Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers in the best-of-seven series for hockey's ultimate prize that begins Wednesday, June 4.

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Top prospects Bennett, Kapanen survive Combine

Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 2:09 PM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Forwards Samuel Bennett of the Ontario Hockey League's Kingston Frontenacs and Kasperi Kapanen of KalPa in Finland's SM-liiga certainly had their share of good and bad moments during the fitness stage of the 2014 NHL Scouting Combine at Toronto International Centre on Saturday.

The good news is that both blue chip prospects completed all the required tests in the morning. The bad news is they each "lost it" after undergoing the grueling VO2 Max bike test that measures the endurance capability of a player's heart, lungs and muscles.

"The bikes were interesting," Bennett said. "I didn't really hear the people shouting at me too much. I was more focused on my burning legs. I guess they were there to motivate and it helped a little."

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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).


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Patrick Kane comes up big again for Blackhawks

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

Corey Masisak - NHL.com 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.


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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.


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Rangers ready to meet Western winner in Final

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

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com 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).


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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 - NHL.com 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.


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Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh