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Shaw, Blackhawks' role players key Game 6 win

Thursday, 05.28.2015 / 12:34 AM / Ducks vs Blackhawks - 2015 Western Conference Final

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

CHICAGO -- In the biggest game of the year for the Chicago Blackhawks, the team's stars put their fingerprints all over a season-saving victory Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final at United Center.

But Chicago likely wouldn't have handed the Ducks their first regulation loss of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs without contributions by players that too often toil in anonymity.

It's true defenseman Duncan Keith had three assists in a game-defining span of 3:54 of the second period and finished with 28:35 of high-impact ice time. Yes, Patrick Kane had his own DVD of highlights alone on the goal that stood as the game-winner in a 5-2 victory. Jonathan Toews, the captain, was a monster all night and finished with a plus-2 rating and won 10 of 12 faceoffs.

The best of-7 series is tied with Game 7 on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

Sharks to name DeBoer coach on Thursday: report

Wednesday, 05.27.2015 / 11:08 PM / News

Peter DeBoer reportedly will be announced as San Jose Sharks coach Thursday.

The Sharks have scheduled a press conference for 1 p.m. PT Thursday to introduce DeBoer as their coach, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The newspaper said Sharks players have been invited to the event at SAP Center.

"From everything I've heard, he's the right guy for this job," forward Tommy Wingels told the newspaper. "I know the players here, I haven't talked to too many, but the guys I have been in contact with, we're excited for him to be at the reins of this team."

Gallagher should be next Canadiens captain: Lafleur

Wednesday, 05.27.2015 / 6:22 PM / News

Brendan Gallagher should be named captain of the Montreal Canadiens, Hockey Hall of Fame member Guy Lafleur said Wednesday.

Lafleur, an ambassador with the Canadiens, told the Montreal Gazette that Gallagher deserves the captaincy because of the way he handles himself on and off the ice.

"A captain shouldn't be chosen on the amount of goals he's going to score," Lafleur said. "[Gallagher] really impressed me every night I saw him play. He's aggressive, he wants to win. He gets some bad shots from opponents, he takes a lot of hits, and there's not too many guys on the team that work like he does."

Lightning's Stralman at his best in big moments

Wednesday, 05.27.2015 / 5:20 PM / Rangers vs Lightning - 2015 Eastern Conference Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

TAMPA -- The New York Rangers used to call Anton Stralman "Mr. Casual" because nothing seemed to excite him, not even the biggest games, including five Game 7s he played with them from 2012-14.

The Rangers won all those Game 7s. Now they're hoping Stralman's unwavering poise and uncanny ability to play a fast game in slow motion doesn't catch on with the rest of his Tampa Bay Lightning teammates in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final on Friday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Stralman has been a leader by example for the Lightning this season, and they'll need to take their cues from him in a hostile road environment if they want to reach the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.

"When the pressure is at its highest and somebody walks out of there as calm as can be, that's Anton Stralman," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "Our team, you just hear the guys on the bench praise him, the things he's done for us. Having that confidence that we get to throw him over the boards every second shift, it's just a luxury for us."

Lightning hope previous adversity helps in Game 7

Wednesday, 05.27.2015 / 4:46 PM / Rangers vs Lightning - 2015 Eastern Conference Final

Corey Long - Correspondent

The Tampa Bay Lightning will have a second chance to finish off the New York Rangers and advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2004 when they play Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final on Friday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Rangers avoided elimination with a 7-3 win in Game 6 in Tampa on Tuesday. The best-of-7 series is tied 3-3.

Tampa Bay has answered the challenge when faced with adversity throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Lightning rallied for a 3-2 win in Game 4 of the first round at the Detroit Red Wings to avoid going down 3-1 in that best-of-7 series. And facing elimination Tampa Bay put together a strong performance in a 5-2 win in Detroit in Game 6 before closing the series with a 2-0 win in Game 7 at home.

Going through and winning that type of a series is an experience that Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman hopes will help the Lightning on Friday.

"I think it was useful for this group," Hedman said Wednesday. "It was the first Game 7 for a lot of guys in the NHL, and we had our backs against the wall in that series.
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— Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, who on Wednesday became the ninth Russian-born player, and ninth Red Wings player, to score 300 NHL goals
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