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Five reasons Lightning can win Stanley Cup

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 12:06 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The Tampa Bay Lightning have already made history in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs by becoming the first team to defeat three Original Six teams to reach the Stanley Cup Final. Four more wins and they'll break that record.

The Lightning defeated the Detroit Red Wings in seven games, the Montreal Canadiens in six, and the New York Rangers in seven to earn their chance to compete against the Chicago Blackhawks for the Stanley Cup. They even have home-ice advantage.

Game 1 is Wednesday at Amalie Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

In defeating the Canadiens, the Lightning knocked off a team that lost the Eastern Conference Final last season. In defeating the Rangers, they dethroned last year's Eastern Conference champs (New York defeated Montreal in six games in the 2014 conference final).

If the Lightning are to win the Stanley Cup, they'll have to defeat a team that closest represents a modern-day dynasty. The Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup twice and have made four trips, including three in a row, to the Western Conference Final since 2010.

It'll be challenging, no doubt, but the Lightning certainly have the wherewithal to defeat the Blackhawks four times in two weeks. Here are five reasons:

PLAYMOBIL, NHL enter merchandising partnership

New deal marks very first licensed product line for PLAYMOBIL in North America

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 12:00 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

MISSISSAUGA, ON/CRANBURY, NJ - PLAYMOBIL, one of the top global toy manufacturers, announced today a partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) to produce a new line of NHL toys, marking the very first time PLAYMOBIL has struck a deal for a U.S. and Canadian licensed line of products.

The first NHL® playsets are due to market this October – just in time for the start of the 2015-16 NHL® season. The initial PLAYMOBIL NHL figures will focus on the beloved Original Six™ franchises –Boston Bruins®, Chicago Blackhawks®, Detroit Red Wings®, Montreal Canadiens®, New York Rangers® and Toronto Maple Leafs® – with both player and goalie figures for each respective team, and more teams to come.

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Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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