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Playoff Countdown: Blues-Blackhawks preview?

Sunday, 04.05.2015 / 11:24 AM / Expert Picks

Saturday, April 11, marks the conclusion to the 2014-15 regular season. Yet, much remains to be decided in the frantic run to the finish line, including playoff positioning and numerous individual accomplishments and milestones. To celebrate the countdown to the end of the season and the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 15, will provide a piece of playoff-related content each day.

There's a good possibility the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks will face each other in the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The winner of their game at United Center on Sunday will have the inside track on the home-ice advantage for that series.

The Blues (48-23-7) come to Chicago in second place in the Central Division, one point ahead of the Blackhawks (48-24-6). Chicago has won four in a row; the Blues have won their past two games.

Sharp beginning to find offense for Blackhawks

Sunday, 04.05.2015 / 10:13 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- His scoring touch left him for a long stretch of games, but forward Patrick Sharp is starting to round into form at just the right time for the Chicago Blackhawks.

His goal production is trending up as the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs approach, and that’s a welcome relief for a team that’s missing its most potent offensive threat. If the Blackhawks are going to survive long enough to get injured right wing Patrick Kane back, they’re going to need one of Sharp’s patented postseason runs.

Other players were more heralded in Chicago’s 2010 and 2013 Stanley Cup championship runs, but Sharp’s name was at the top of the goals column on the stat sheet each time. Odds are he’ll be up there again if the Blackhawks cap these playoffs with another title.

“Everybody wants to gear up for the end of the season and what’s to come,” said Sharp, who has two goals in the Blackhawks’ current four-game win streak. “You know, for whatever reason it’s been a tough season individually, offensively, putting up points and scoring goals. But I think our team’s right where we want to be. We’re playing better hockey as of late, individually, and I think we’re trending in the right direction.”

North Saanich, B.C. named Kraft Hockeyville 2015

Sunday, 04.05.2015 / 9:00 AM / 2015 Kraft Hockeyville

NHL Public Relations

TORONTO – Last night, millions of votes and countless rallying cries culminated in North Saanich, B.C. being named Kraft Hockeyville 2015 in Canada. During a live spot on Hockey Night in Canada™, NHL® Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that North Saanich will receive the opportunity to host an NHL® Pre-Season Game between Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks, and $100,000 to build a dedicated home-team locker room in their arena. In its ninth season, Kraft Hockeyville remains committed to investing in community arenas to help keep the game alive from coast-to-coast.

The Panorama Recreation Centre Hockey Arena plays an essential role in bringing together fans, friends, and family in North Saanich. The centre is home to the Saanich Peninsula's only hockey facility, however, it does not have a dedicated home-team locker room where players can store their equipment and join together before and after games. In its quest for the Kraft Hockeyville title, the community organized several events, including a voting party at the rink with free skating, and received an outpouring of support from many local organizations.

Islanders closing Coliseum chasing one more Cup

Sunday, 04.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / Sunday Long Read

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

"It's the land that time forgot over there. It's all the same ushers, it's the same people working there. To me, it feels like I stepped back through a portal to 1984." -- Former New York Islanders captain Patrick Flatley

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Depending on where you live on Long Island, you either drive north or south on the Meadowbrook Parkway. When you see the gigantic smoke stacks alongside the highway, you know you're almost there.

You get off at Exit M4. On most nights, many of the car horns are playing to the tune of "Let's Go Islanders," a repetitive sound you've heard nearly every trip you've made to Uniondale.

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the only home the New York Islanders have had, opened in 1972, the same year the Islanders entered the NHL with the Atlanta Flames. This Saturday, the Islanders will play their final regular-season game there, against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Flames goalie Ramo leaves game with injury

Sunday, 04.05.2015 / 1:08 AM / News

Derek Van Diest - Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Calgary Flames goaltender Karri Ramo left 58 seconds into their 4-0 win against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on Saturday with a lower-body injury.

Ramo went down on a shot attempt that went wide and was favoring his left leg when he got up.

U.S. women edge Canada to win World Championship

Saturday, 04.04.2015 / 1:34 PM / News

Brianna Decker scored the decisive goal with 9:38 left in the third period and the United States women held off Canada for a 7-5 victory Saturday to win the 2015 IIHF World Championship in Malmo, Sweden.

Decker was one of seven goal scorers for the United States, which held leads of 3-0 and 5-2 before Canada rallied with three goals in a span of 2:03 to create a tie heading into the third.

Anne Pankowski, Hilary Knight, Megan Keller, Anne Schleper, Haley Skarupa and Kendall Coyne had the other goals, and the United States won the World Championship for the second year in a row.

Devils forward Gomez fined for elbowing

Saturday, 04.04.2015 / 12:36 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NEW YORK -- New Jersey Devils forward Scott Gomez has been fined $1,478.49, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for elbowing Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin during NHL Game No. 1163 in New Jersey on Friday, April 3, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 14:38 of the second period. Gomez was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for elbowing.

The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Every D-man who comes from Sweden has watched him play. He was my idol growing up and he's the reason I started to play 'D.'

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