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Struggling Lightning power play focused on basics

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 11:02 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Long - Correspondent

TAMPA -- Captain Steven Stamkos wants the Tampa Bay Lightning to get back to basics on the power play and work harder to generate chances.

The Lightning are 1-for-11 on the power play through four games of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks and have all of 12 shots on goal. Tampa Bay failed to generate a goal during a lengthy two-man advantage in the second period of Game 3 but managed a 3-2 victory. The Lightning went 0-for-4 in Game 4, a 2-1 loss.

Tampa Bay and Chicago are tied 2-2, with Game 5 in the best-of-7 series at Amalie Arena on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

Sabres' Kane on ice for first time since surgery

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 9:59 PM / News

Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane was on the ice for the first time since having shoulder surgery in February, he said on Instagram on Wednesday.

Kane was wearing a Sabres jersey in the photo.

"Good feeling being back on the ice for the first time in five months!" the caption read. "I'm liking the new practice jersey too! ... Time to shake off the rust!"

Rangers' Zuccarello might play charity game: report

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 6:21 PM / News

New York Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello might play in a charity game in his native Norway on June 19, according to Norwegian television station TV 2.

Zuccarello's NHL season ended April 24 when he sustained a brain contusion and a hairline fracture of his skull in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I can confirm that Mats [will make a] comeback on ice in the game along with several of his good friends from Rangers," Kevin Skabo, Zuccarello's manager, told TV 2 (translated). "It's going to be a big party in DNB Arena, and Mats [is] very happy that he can make a contribution on the ice."

Lightning captain Stamkos confident goals will come

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 5:39 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

TAMPA -- Standing behind the play, watching everything develop, Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman's first reaction was to raise his arms. And why wouldn't he?

Hedman saw Steven Stamkos, one of the best goal-scorers in the NHL, with the puck on his stick in the slot, staring at a wide-open net, with 1:13 remaining in the third period of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at United Center.

Hedman had to think it was a guarantee, a sure goal. Everyone on the Lightning bench was thinking the same thing. Heck, even Stamkos had to have that thought too.

Statement from NHL regarding recent events in Glendale

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 5:36 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League today released the following statement regarding the Arizona Coyotes' current situation with the City of Glendale:

"The National Hockey League stands by, and will fully support, the Arizona Coyotes in their efforts to vindicate their contractual rights in response to last night's outrageous and irresponsible action by the City of Glendale.

"We continue to proceed on the basis that the Coyotes will remain in Glendale and will be playing their home games at Gila River Arena."

Matchup: Inside Game 4 for Vasilevskiy, Crawford

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 4:38 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

A huge part of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final has been the battle between 2013 Cup winner Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks and Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning. A new wrinkle was added to the battle Wednesday when rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy replaced Bishop as the Game 4 starter. Bishop is day-to-day because of an unspecified injury. scouted the goalies before the series and is tracking their performances each game, identifying attack trends and shot quality. Kevin Woodley, managing editor of InGoal Magazine, uses Double Blue Sports Analytics software to chart goals and shots in each game. Here are his findings from Game 4, a 2-1 victory by the Blackhawks.

The spotlight may have been on Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who was making his first start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but for the second straight game Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks was the busier of the two goaltenders, by shot quantity and quality.

The Lightning continue to make life more difficult for Crawford than the Blackhawks have done for Ben Bishop or Vasilevskiy, who started for the injured Bishop in Game 4.

Just as Chicago failed to generate a lot of lateral chances against a clearly hobbled Bishop in Game 3, there wasn't much pressure placed on Vasilevskiy, a 20-year-old Russian rookie, in Game 4. The Blackhawks had two shots on goal in the first period and 19 for the game.

Penguins forward Dupuis cleared to take contact

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 4:36 PM / News

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis, who was diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung on Nov. 19, said Thursday he has been cleared for full-contact workouts.

"It's exciting. It's a day I've been waiting a long time for," Dupuis told the Penguins website. "It just feels great. It feels right, the right time."

Dupuis' struggles began before the early-season diagnosis. He tore his ACL/MCL in a game against the Ottawa Senators on Dec. 23, 2013, and a blood clot formed in his knee. The right wing missed the remainder of that season, treating the clot with blood thinners and rehabbing his leg during the summer.

Dupuis, 36, returned to the Penguins for the first 16 games of this season, but the blood clot traveled to his lung.

"The blood clot has dissolved, and the doctors have recommended a blood-thinner medication that will allow him to play," Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said Thursday. "It's a big step forward for Pascal, and we're all excited for him."

Blackhawks enter Game 5 still seeking complete effort

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 4:12 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks got the win they needed in Game 4 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, tying the best-of-7 series 2-2 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but that doesn't mean they're pleased with the performance.

The Blackhawks will look to play a complete game as the series shifts to Amalie Arena for Game 5 on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

"Well, I mean, we're in the winning business," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said at a press conference Thursday at United Center. "I don't think you should ever be satisfied with the way things go. I think you want to find ways where you can better yourselves, better the situation. I think after four games there's been some progress, some areas where we need to improve. We know we have to be better. We're looking to get better as we go into Game 5."

Sabres' Hodgson remains buyout candidate: report

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 3:20 PM / News

Buffalo Sabres center Cody Hodgson is a candidate for a contract buyout, Sabres general manager Tim Murray said Thursday, according to Buffalo radio station WGR-550.

Murray said Hodgson is in Sweden working with a skating coach, and said Hodgson had to improve his skating and conditioning. Murray said Hodgson would like to stay with the Sabres, but a buyout is a possibility.

USA Hockey names Jim Smith as new president

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 2:56 PM / News

Jim Smith was unanimously elected the fifth president of USA Hockey during the organization's Board of Directors four-day annual congress in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Smith, who has served as part of USA Hockey's executive committee the past 20 years, succeeds Ron DeGregorio, who retired last week after 12 years as president.

"I'm honored and humbled for the opportunity to serve as president of such a wonderful organization," Smith told "To follow in the footsteps of Walter Bush and Ron DeGregorio is a difficult task, but with the help of our board and everyone involved, I look forward to continuing to build on the solid foundation that is currently in place."

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Quote of the Day

[Stamkos] is a great teammate and a great leader, that's why he's got the 'C'. He brings that tremendous work ethic to the rink and he's one of the top players in the game. I know if I put the passes where they are supposed to be, there's a very good chance he's going to put it in the back of the net.

— Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin on linemate Steven Samkos
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