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Stanley Cup Final
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'Fresh legs' don't help Blackhawks in Game 3

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Joel Quenneville likes options, so the Chicago Blackhawks coach used two Thursday in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks.

Rather than sticking with the lineup that won Game 2 3-2 in triple overtime on Tuesday, he replaced center Antoine Vermette and rookie forward Teuvo Teravainen with Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom.

The moves changed Chicago's bottom two lines but failed to pay dividends in a 2-1 loss at United Center that put the Blackhawks behind 2-1 in the best-of-7 series.

Quenneville said the changes weren't related to injuries, but the length of Game 2 did play a role.

"We just wanted to get some fresh legs in there," Quenneville said. "We felt that [Versteeg] never played over a long stretch there in the last series and we wanted to get him back in there. Tough game the other day with travel and we wanted to bring some new guys in."

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Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Thursday, May 21

Friday, 05.22.2015 / 12:27 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL Public Relations

DUCKS PULL AHEAD IN WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL

Frederik Andersen stopped 27 shots, including all 21 he faced after the opening period, and Simon Despres scored the go-ahead goal at 19:05 of the second period to power the Anaheim Ducks past the Chicago Blackhawks and to a 2-1 series lead.

* The Ducks improved to 10-2 in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including a 4-1 mark on the road. Elias says Anaheim also won 10 of its first 12 playoff games when it advanced to its first Stanley Cup Final in 2003. The Los Angeles Kings were the last team to accomplish the feat, opening with an 11-1 run en route to their first Stanley Cup in 2012.

* The Ducks handed the Blackhawks their first home loss of the playoffs (5-1), just two nights after Chicago did the same to them. Anaheim also improved to 5-1-0 in its last six visits to United Center dating to Feb. 12, 2013, including 2-0-0 in 2014-15 (regular season and playoffs).

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Shero expects Elias to be 'big part' of Devils in 2015-16

Friday, 05.22.2015 / 12:03 AM / News

NHL.com

New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero on Thursday said he expects forward Patrik Elias to be a "big part of this team" next season.

Elias said earlier in the week he did not know what his role would be and he was willing to leave the only NHL team he's ever played for, if needed.

Shero told Northjersey.com he will talk to Elias in person soon. The two have spoken only by phone since Shero was hired to replace Lou Lamoriello on May 4.

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Blashill says he wants to be Red Wings coach

Thursday, 05.21.2015 / 11:32 PM / News

NHL.com

Grand Rapids coach Jeff Blashill said Thursday he wants to succeed Mike Babcock as coach of the Detroit Red Wings.

"Yes, I want to be the next head coach of the Detroit Red Wings," Blashill told the Detroit Free Press. "An ultimate goal of mine was to become an NHL head coach; obviously, within this organization, it's a great organization to be part of."

Babcock on Wednesday left the Red Wings after 10 seasons to become coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was introduced in Toronto on Thursday, when Blashill was leading the Griffins, Detroit's top farm team, in preparation for the American Hockey League Western Conference Finals against Utica. Game 1 is Sunday.

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Strangis: Morrow sacrificing for another Cup chance

Thursday, 05.21.2015 / 9:20 PM / Strangis' Stories

Ralph Strangis - Special to NHL.com

I'll tell you a story. It's a good story. Late May 2000; second straight Western Conference Final between the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche.

The Stars are the defending Stanley Cup champion but needed seven games to get past the Avalanche on the way to winning it. The Avalanche add defenseman Ray Bourque to help them get over the hump. Epic stuff.

Patrick Roy and Ed Belfour; Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg and Milan Hejduk against Mike Modano, Brett Hull, Jere Lehtinen. Sergei Zubov, Derian Hatcher; Sandis Ozolinsh, Adam Foote.

This time Colorado takes a 2-1 series lead with a Game 3 win at home. It's May 20, a day off between games. The Stars have a 21-year-old rookie who wears No. 45; his name is Brenden Morrow. Nobody sees him doing much in the series because he had broken his ankle in Game 1 a few days earlier. The Stars bring him on the trip but leave his gear in Dallas. He ain't a player.

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Sabres GM resumes search, won't reveal candidates

Thursday, 05.21.2015 / 8:28 PM / News

NHL.com

Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray said he is continuing his search for a coach but on Thursday would not reveal who the candidates might be.

Murray did confirm to WGR Radio that the Sabres negotiated with Mike Babcock, who on Wednesday left the Detroit Red Wings to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs. But Murray refused to confirm an ESPN.com report that he will be interviewing former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma.

"I just don't feel like making the list public," Murray told the Buffalo radio station. "I have no preconceived notions that I want a veteran NHL guy or that I want a young guy to grow with young players. I’m looking for the best guy, the guy that comes in here and is a good fit."

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Rangers look to slow down Lightning in Game 4

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

TAMPA -- The New York Rangers have thrived all season on being one of, if not the fastest team in the National Hockey League. After being opened up and exposed by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the past two games of the Eastern Conference Final, they realize speed won't get them to the Stanley Cup Final.

"We don't want to play this way, a track-meet game, back and forth," defenseman Dan Girardi said after the Rangers lost 6-5 in overtime in Game 3 on Monday. "They're fast, we're fast, but I think we want to make it a little more tight checking next game."

Girardi said he doesn't think the Rangers need to necessarily slow themselves down to win Game 4 on Friday at Amalie Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports), but they need to be better in their structure and more precise in their decision making if they want to even the best-of-7 series at 2-2.

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Brodeur ready for challenge as Blues assistant GM

Thursday, 05.21.2015 / 5:47 PM / News

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- When Martin Brodeur announced his retirement as a player, he had an idea where he wanted his life to go. He just didn't know where that would be.

Brodeur, who retired from the NHL with the most regular-season wins (691), shutouts (125), games played (1,266) and minutes played (74,439), joined the St. Louis Blues front office as a senior adviser to general manager Doug Armstrong in January and was named assistant general manager on Wednesday.

"I'm really excited to join the organization," Brodeur said Thursday. "I had a good learning curve last season jumping in after retirement and going as a senior adviser to Doug. That led me to make the decision to stay long term here in St. Louis and I'm really excited for the opportunity."

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Farrish: Lightning's speed getting in Rangers' heads

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

For additional insight into the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning during the Eastern Conference Final series, NHL.com has enlisted the help of Dave Farrish to break down the action. Farrish will be checking in throughout the series.

Farrish was an assistant coach for the Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs from 2005-14. He won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007. He also coached 1,027 games in the minor leagues, including the American Hockey League. In addition, Farrish, a former defenseman, played 430 games over seven seasons in the NHL.

The New York Rangers know they have to get back to playing their structured, tight-checking game in order to even their series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Dave Farrish isn't quite sure if they'll be able to do it after watching the Lightning pick them apart in the past two games of the Eastern Conference Final.

"I don't know if they can," Farrish said. "I don't know if Tampa is just too fast for them to be able to do that. I think they're caught between gears of what they're trying to accomplish. They've been confronted with a different animal and they're not sure of the best way to handle it."

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Shanahan says Maple Leafs in no rush for new GM

Thursday, 05.21.2015 / 4:32 PM / News

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- It is traditional for teams to hire a general manager first and let him choose his coaching staff.

However, when a coaching candidate with the stature of Mike Babcock suddenly becomes available and expresses interest in coaching your team, you jump all over it.

That is what Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan did in hiring Babcock who coached the Detroit Red Wings the past 10 seasons.

Now Shanahan, who will turn his attention to finding a new GM for the Maple Leafs, said he's in no hurry.

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Quote of the Day

I look forward to the process, the battle, the pain, the fun, the journey.  It's going to be a long one but it's going to be a lot of fun. If you think there is no pain coming, there is pain coming.

— Mike Babcock, introduced as coach of the Toronto on Thursday, had a warning for fans