NHL / Sports

Prospect news: Sambrooks Otters beat Saint John, advance to Memorial Cup Final

May 26 11:41pm Kuklas Korner
Of prospect-related note: At the Memorial Cup, Jordan Sambrook finished even with 1 shot as his Erie Otters defeated the Saint John Sea Dogs 6-3, advancing to Sunday's Memorial Cup Final vs. Windsor (7 PM on Sportsnet, and possibly the NHL Network).
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Prospect news: Grand Rapids Griffins win 6-2 over San Jose, take 3-1 series lead in AHL WCF

May 26 10:39pm Kuklas Korner
Of prospect-related note: In the AHL's Western Conference Final, the Grand Rapids Griffins rode a 4-goal second period to a 6-2 victory over the San Jose Barracuda, taking a 3-1 lead in the AHL's WCF. Tyler Bertuzzi, Eric Tangradi, Martin Frk, Tomas Nosek (all in the 2nd period), Ben Street and Evgeny Svechnikov scored for Grand Rapids, who peppered Troy Grosenick with 36 shots. Grand Rapids has earned the opportunity to advance to the Calder Cup Final with a win in Saturday's Game 5 (7 PM on ESPN 96.1 FM and on the AHL Live), and it'd be a fun game to attend if you can come out and enjoy what's been the best hockey I've seen in a month. Much more to come as this post is updated. Gotta go down to the locker room first!...
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Audio: Ken Holland speaks with the media at the Griffins-Barracuda game

May 26 9:40pm Kuklas Korner
Ken Holland spoke with the media attending tonight's Grand Rapids Griffins-San Jose Barracuda game, discussing a multitude of topics, and as I am in the middle of covering the game, I'm going to present the audio of Holland's scrum to you without much comment:...
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The Oake Family Driven To Make A Late Family Members Life Meaningful

May 26 7:39pm Kuklas Korner
from Randy Turner of the Winnipeg Free Press, As a boy, Bruce Oake was a precocious kid. He was outgoing, friendly and impulsive. He spoke baby gibberish for a long while, and one day he just started talking, says his father, Scott Oake. And he never shut up, ever after. As a teenager, Bruce was a prankster. He and his brother, Darcy Oake, would play a game where they’d walk down the street holding hands to see who would let go first. If it wasn’t fun, he wasn’t interested in it, says Bruce’s friend Bret Olson. He never wanted the day to end and couldn’t wait for it to get started again. That’s what stands out for me: just that tireless, ‘What are we doing next?’ As a young man, Bruce had a booming voice. He craved to be around people. He was charismatic, persuasive and fearless. He had this way of connecting with people so easily, his brother says. It was effortless. It was infectious. At the age of 25, Bruce, by then a heroin addict, died alone on the floor of a washroom stall. It’s not an easy story for his father, a longtime fixture on Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts, and his brother, a world-famous illusionist, to tell. But they tell it unflinchingly, if only because they learned the hardest way possible drug addiction doesn’t discriminate and that there are thousands of other family members out there experiencing the same agony. continued...
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The Stanley Cup Favorite Penguins Arent Counting Their Chickens

May 26 7:17pm NYT > Hockey
Loaded with seasoned veterans, Pittsburgh, which is trying to repeat as N.H.L. champions, knows the margin of error in the final is razor thin.
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Watching Game 7 Eastern Conference Final

May 26 3:39pm Kuklas Korner
STAMFORD, Conn. – May 26, 2017 – Last night’s Eastern Conference Final Game 7 double-overtime thriller on NBCSN, in which the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Ottawa Senators, 3-2, set major viewership and digital records, and continued the trend of strong results for the entire 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, according to Fast National Data provided by The Nielsen Company and Adobe Analytics.
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Pittsburgh Penguins: Stars of the Eastern Conference Finals

May 26 3:18pm Pens Labyrinth
The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Ottawa Senators in game 7 on Thursday night to advance to their second straight Stanley Cup Finals. The Eastern Conference brought a lot of ups and downs for the Pittsburgh Penguins. We had good games and bad games, but above all, we had many players step up and get us […] Pittsburgh Penguins: Stars of the Eastern Conference Finals - Pens Labyrinth - Pens Labyrinth - A Pittsburgh Penguins Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More...
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Video- On-Ice Chatter

May 26 2:39pm Kuklas Korner
On-ice officials and players interact in the Conference Finals.  ...
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Washington Capitals rumors: KHL team in discussions with Dmitry Orlov

May 26 1:50pm Stars and Sticks
According to sources, a KHL team is in discussions with Washington Capitals restricted free agent defenseman Dmitry Orlov. The Washington Capitals have several important restricted free agents this offseason. One of them is defenseman Dmitry Orlov. Coming off the best season of his young career and his second short-term deal, he’s looking to cash in. […] Washington Capitals rumors: KHL team in discussions with Dmitry Orlov - Stars and Sticks - Stars and Sticks - A Washington Capitals Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More...
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Questions For Ansar Khan

May 26 1:39pm Kuklas Korner
from Ansar Khan of Mlive, Several players who finished 2015-16 with the Grand Rapids Griffins or started 2016-17 with the AHL club made an impact with the Detroit Red Wings or got an opportunity. Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul were no longer waiver exempt and spent the whole season in Detroit. Anthony Mantha was called up early and Nick Jensen brought up mid-season and both played well. Jared Coreau, Robbie Russo and Tomas Nosek were up for an extended period. Evgeny Svechnikov, Mitch Callahan, Ben Street, Dan Renouf, Brian Lashoff and Matt Lorito got brief looks. The Griffins are making another playoff run with their third trip to the conference finals in five seasons. How many will be with the Detroit Red Wings in 2017-18? Who has the best chance? Those were among the questions MLive readers asked this week. Q: With (Drew) Miller and (Steve) Ott not coming back, does this clear a roster spot for Tyler Bertuzzi next season? He’s come up big in the playoffs and deserves a better look. A: Bertuzzi has a knack for stepping up in the playoffs. He has 19 goals and 31 points in 34 career AHL playoff games; 25 goals and 68 points in 121 career regular season games. He’s averaged 0.91 points per game in the playoffs and 0.56 points per game in the regular season. Here’s an interesting stat: Bertuzzi’s career shooting percentage in the regular season is 9.3 percent; in the playoffs, it’s 27.5 percent. Bertuzzi had no points in seven games with the Red Wings last season, a stint that ended after he suffered a high-ankle sprain Nov. 26. He is waiver-exempt for one more season but he’ll have an opportunity to make the Red Wings roster in training camp and the preseason. Several factors come into play: Will they lose a forward in the expansion draft? Will they sign a veteran fourth-line forward? Will an injury or two create a roster spot? Like all waiver-exempt players, Bertuzzi will only be on the roster if he’s in the lineup. Otherwise he’ll be playing regularly in Grand Rapids. read on for more questions and answers...
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Pittsburgh Penguins Defeat Ottawa Senators in Double OT Thriller

May 26 12:55pm Pens Labyrinth
The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Ottawa Senators in a thrilling game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday night. Midnight came early for the Cinderella Senators when, at 11:52 PM, Chris Kunitz scored at 5:09 into double overtime to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 series win. After dropping Game 6 in Ottawa, the […] Pittsburgh Penguins Defeat Ottawa Senators in Double OT Thriller - Pens Labyrinth - Pens Labyrinth - A Pittsburgh Penguins Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More...
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Video- Top Plays From The Conference Finals

May 26 12:39pm Kuklas Korner
4 1/2 minutes in length.  ...
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Video- Ring The Bell Mr. Bettman

May 26 11:40am Kuklas Korner
The Nasdaq this morning.  ...
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Washington Capitals 2017 Season Review: John Carlson

May 26 10:55am Stars and Sticks
Even during a down year, John Carlson proved himself to be a top pairing defenseman for the Washington Capitals this season.  One of the very few Washington Capitals who didn’t perform up to expectations during their President Trophy season is John Carlson. Granted, he set the bar high for himself with his previous two seasons, […] Washington Capitals 2017 Season Review: John Carlson - Stars and Sticks - Stars and Sticks - A Washington Capitals Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More...
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Morning Line- Mike Lange

May 26 9:40am Kuklas Korner
Radio Sync'd Highlight: Kunitz's 2OT goal sends the Pens back to the Stanley Cup Finals, w/ Mike Lange's radio call. pic.twitter.com/bnjFF1Z1kc — Benstonium (@Benstonium) May 26, 2017...
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Quest To Repeat Continues For The Pittsburgh Penguins

May 26 8:39am Kuklas Korner
from Craig Custance of ESPN, It took a couple of overtimes against a relentlessly resilient Ottawa Senators team, but the reigning champs will get their shot at a repeat. Pittsburgh Penguins forward Chris Kunitz scored his second goal of the game to beat the Senators 3-2 in double overtime during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. It sets up a Stanley Cup finals in which we'll either see the first back-to-back Stanley Cup winner in the salary-cap era or the first Stanley Cup in the history of the Nashville Predators franchise. How it happened: The Penguins pressured consistently in the third period and both overtimes, but Senators goalie Craig Anderson was outstanding again until the Kunitz goal. Anderson finished with 39 saves. A big moment came when the Penguins got a third-period power play on a soft call on Dion Phaneuf, who was called for interference on Phil Kessel. The two former teammates had been going at it all series, and Kessel ended up getting the better of his good friend in this case. Just 25 seconds into the power play, Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz beat Anderson in large part because of a nice screen from Kunitz, who played his best game of the series. Game 7 was the first game for Schultz since he was injured early on in Game 2. continued Game highlights are below and Mike Sullivan post-game too...
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2016-17 NHL Stanley Cup Final Prediction

May 26 2:09am Not Your Average Hockey Blog.
The third NHL playoff round has now come and gone, concluding with a classic double overtime playoff game between the Stanley Cup champions and over-achieving, heavily underdog Ottawa. I had a 50\% winning percentage this time, being wrong about Anaheim and just narrowly missing going 0-2 thanks to Ottawa’s gritty play. So my record is […]...
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Kulfan discusses the Grand Rapids Griffins success

May 26 12:39am Kuklas Korner
The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan penned a superb article discussing the establishment of the Grand Rapids Griffins as a sporting and hockey superpower in Western Michigan, speaking with players, fans and ownership about the Griffins' status as a people's team : The Griffins are the Red Wings’ minor league affiliate — they have been since 2002 — and their niche in the west Michigan market is growing. “I might be biased, but this is the best American Hockey League city there is,” said Griffins forward Mitch Callahan, whose late third-period goal Wednesday snapped a 2-2 tie. “The other night I was out to dinner; a guy bought me an appetizer and wished me good luck before we went to California. The city is behind us and the support is amazing. Hockey is pretty big in Michigan. With the success we’re having, it’s fun being around here.” Capacity, or near-capacity crowds, are expected for Games 4 and 5 Friday and Saturday at the 10,834-seat Van Andel, with a possible trip to the Calder Cup Finals at stake. The Griffins, who won the Calder Cup in 2013, lead the series, 2-1. This is their fifth consecutive year in the playoffs. Kulfan continues...
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Penguins 3, Senators 2 | Two overtimes | Pittsburgh wins series, 4-3: Penguins Top Senators in Overtime to Advance to Stanley Cup Finals

May 26 12:18am NYT > Hockey
Chris Kunitz scored in the second overtime period of Game 7, sending Pittsburgh back to the finals for the second straight year.
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Grand Rapids Griffins post video of Eric Tangradis take on Game 3 of WCF

May 25 8:39pm Kuklas Korner
The Grand Rapids Griffins have posted a 4-minute video of forward Eric Tangradi's reflections on the Griffins' win over the San Jose Barracuda in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final:...
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Pittsburgh Penguins: Dont Forget About Marc-Andre Fleury

May 25 8:27pm Pens Labyrinth
The Pittsburgh Penguins are going with Matt Murray in game seven. With Matt Murray starting for the Pittsburgh Penguins recently, it seems as though everyone has been forgetting about the one who has gotten us this far. Marc-Andre Fleury, who came in cold in relief of an injured Matt Murray before the playoffs started, has […] Pittsburgh Penguins: Don’t Forget About Marc-Andre Fleury - Pens Labyrinth - Pens Labyrinth - A Pittsburgh Penguins Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More...
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Bob Murray On Exit Interview Day For The Anaheim Ducks

May 25 7:41pm Kuklas Korner
from Adam Brady of AnaheimDucks.com, Ducks Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray addressed the media this afternoon during exit interviews day at Honda Center.... Injury Updates As is customary for a team after its playoff run has ended, Murray gave some updates on several injured players, and they were not positive for two young defenseman in particular. Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen each played through torn labrums suffered early in the playoffs, and both are likely to have surgery. Lindholm will be out 4-5 months and, Sami's is worse, according to Murray. Murray added that the injury that knocked Patrick Eaves out of the playoffs from the middle of the Second Round was a deep bone bruise that made it virtually impossible to skate. He could be awhile with that one, Murray said. Could be another month and a half with pain. Meanwhile, Nate Thompson played from early in the first series with a hairline fracture in his ankle but did not miss a game. Rakell, who missed Games 5 and 6 with an ankle injury, is going to get better quickly. He was really close [to returning]. more topics from Murray....
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Pittsburgh Penguins: Solving Craig Anderson and the Senators

May 25 7:34pm Pens Labyrinth
It’s nearly game time for game seven between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators. If the Pittsburgh Penguins want any chance of moving on to the Stanley Cup Finals, they are going to need to get past Craig Anderson. Anderson has been playing great this series and throughout the Playoffs. He currently holds a 2.36 […] Pittsburgh Penguins: Solving Craig Anderson and the Senators - Pens Labyrinth - Pens Labyrinth - A Pittsburgh Penguins Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More...
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Pittsburgh Penguins: The Blame Game

May 25 7:12pm Pens Labyrinth
The Pittsburgh Penguins have been tearing through the playoffs, yet they face another game seven tonight against the Ottawa Senators. The Pittsburgh Penguins have face many obstacles and losses in addition to their many wins. And one thing has come to my attention. It seems as though there are many reasons as to why many […] Pittsburgh Penguins: The Blame Game - Pens Labyrinth - Pens Labyrinth - A Pittsburgh Penguins Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More...
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An Opinion Piece From Eugene Melnyk

May 25 5:40pm Kuklas Korner
from Eugene Melnyk at the Ottawa Citizen, It was hugely disappointing to see that Don Brennan, a veteran member of our Ottawa sports media establishment, has chosen to single me out as the root cause for empty seats during our spectacular playoff run. This has been too good a moment for our team, our city and our fans. I won’t ruin it for them, nor our organization, by trying to counter the bully claims this journalist has made. Not many expected us to make the playoffs, let alone the Eastern Conference finals. It has been an incredibly positive time for Ottawa – and for all Canadians – to see us persevere and come within five wins from bringing Lord Stanley’s coveted Cup home to Canada. That Cup has always been my singular focus as the privileged owner of our hockey team. I have made it one of my core priorities to ensure we ice a competitive hockey team every year and that we do so with the resources we have. But our playoff success this year is no one person’s doing. I couldn’t possibly name all of the people in one letter. And similarly, if there are empty seats in our building during these playoffs, it is certainly unfair to point the blame squarely on any one person – especially me. read on...
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Steve Ott Named Assistant Coach For The St. Louis Blues

May 25 4:39pm Kuklas Korner
(May 25, 2017) – St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has named Steve Ott Assistant Coach.  Ott, 34, who played for the Blues from the 2013-14 season through the 2015-16 season, has signed a three-year contract. “Steve was a competitor on the ice as a player and I expect him to bring that energy in this role,” said Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo.  “He was highly respected as a player and a person among his teammates and I believe he will be a huge asset to our staff.” “I am very proud of my playing career and will devote the same work ethic to my coaching career,” said Ott.  “The Blues organization is very special to me and my family and I’m excited to take the next step in my hockey career with this franchise.” Ott played in 848 NHL games from 2002-17, amassing 288 points (109 goals, 179 assists) along with 1,555 penalty minutes.  In 14 seasons, he played with Dallas, Buffalo, St. Louis, Detroit and Montreal and served as Buffalo’s Captain during the 2013-14 season before being acquired by the Blues on Feb. 28, 2014.  The Summerside, PEI native was originally drafted by Dallas in the first round, 25th overall, of the 2000 Entry Draft. ...
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Trade Alex Ovechkin Or Not?

May 25 3:42pm Kuklas Korner
from Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post, To date, there is no indication the franchise has, is or will consider trading the player that has helped turn Verizon Center from a sparsely-attended rink into a raucous (and profitable), sold-out arena, brimming to the rafters with red-clad Capitals fans for the past 364 home games. But the question raised by Melrose and Milbury, among others, begs a closer look at the mechanics of such a maneuver. While it’s easy to talk about trading Ovechkin, dealing a franchise’s most popular player with a $9.5 million salary cap hit for the next four years is a nearly impossible transaction in practice, even if the Capitals were interested in such a move. Washington will almost certainly not deal Ovechkin this summer, but if the organization ever did reach a point where that was a consideration, the process for carrying out such a trade starts with a blessing from the owner and ends with the question of whether the Capitals would truly benefit from dealing one of the greatest goal-scorers in league history. “I think they should consider it, and I think it’s a really tough deal to make,” said Sportsnet’s Doug MacLean, a former general manager for the Columbus Blue Jackets. “I wouldn’t want to be the guy making the deal. It’s easy for me when I’m in the media to talk about it now, but as a GM, I wouldn’t be talking about it so easily.” more...
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Afternoon news: On the Griffins, LCAs partnership with Chevrolet, sponsorship talk & WC reflections

May 25 2:42pm Kuklas Korner
Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon: 1. The Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the San Jose Barracuda 4-2 last night, and ahead of Games 4 and 5 in Grand Rapids, the Free Press's Helene St. James spotlighted the performances of 3 Red Wings prospects: Wings goaltending prospect Jared Coreau continued a strong playoff run with a 31-save performance; Coreau is 9-2 with a .917 save percentage and 2.48 goals-against average. Other Wings prospects who did well included forward Martin Frk, who set up a game-tying power play goal (scored by Matt Lorito) early in the third period, and forward Tomas Nosek, who sealed the victory with an empty-net goal in the last minute. Frk missed the first round of the playoffs because of injury, but has put up four power play assists since returning eight games ago. He led the Griffins with 12 power play goals in the regular season. Nosek’s goal was his sixth of the playoffs, tied for first on the team. Nosek and Frk both would require waivers to be sent down starting next season (Frk already was waiver eligible this past season) and strong playoff performances help their case going into September’s training camp. Frk’s asset is his shot, and that he shoots right (the Wings don’t have many who do that). Nosek has a head start as he handled himself well during 11 games with the Wings down the stretch, demonstrating an ability to play to his 6-foot-2, 210-pound size, a willingness to go to the net and to shoot the puck. He also did well on faceoffs, winning 37 of 68 (54.4\%). “This is great experience and exposure for the players,” Wings general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press. “We like Nosek, he can play power play, penalty kill, has a lot of different dimensions. He’s having a real good playoffs. Frk has a weapon, he can really shoot the puck. He makes the power play go with that weapon.” St. James continues, and the Griffins prepared for tomorrow's Game 5 via a full team practice today:...
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Walleyes Alden Hirschfeld gets his Jeep back

May 25 1:45pm Kuklas Korner
According to the Toledo Blade, Toledo Walleye forward Alden Hirschfeld's 2005 Jeep Cherokee was stolen during the Fan Thank You event in downtown Toledo, but there's good news on the vehicle search front: Toledo police helped recover the stolen equipment and vehicle of a Toledo Walleye player. Officers received a tip at about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday about a bag full of hockey equipment in a trash bin and several men in the 2800 block of Wayman Palmer Drive in West Toledo. Responding officers found items there owned by hockey player Shane Berschbach, 26. Mr. Berschbach told police he left his Jeep Grand Cherokee and hockey sticks on Monday evening in the unit block of North Huron Street. Officers later located the occupied vehicle near Collingwood Boulevard and Boston Place. An investigation continues into the theft, police said. Hey @ToledoWalleye fans i drive a 2005 gold Jeep Grand Cherokee with black rims and tinted windows it was stolen last night from downtown — shane berschbach (@berschy24) May 23, 2017 Thank you to the @ToledoPolice for the tremendous help on finding my car so quickly #topnotch #finsup — shane berschbach (@berschy24) May 23, 2017...
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Names On The Cup Documentary

May 25 12:42pm Kuklas Korner
NEW YORK / TORONTO (May 25, 2017) – As the 2017 Stanley Cup® Final draws closer, the salutes to the NHL® Centennial and the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup® continue with the release of “NAMES ON THE CUP,” a documentary film showcasing the extraordinary and compelling story of the men whose names are forever immortalized on one of the oldest and most revered trophies in professional sports. Featuring more than 70 NHL players and coaches – past and present – and narrated by Emmy Award-winning actor Kiefer Sutherland, the documentary will screen at Cineplex theatres across Canada on May 30 and at select locations on May 31.   ...
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Pittsburgh Penguins: Three Keys to Game Seven Vs. Ottawa

May 25 11:25am Pens Labyrinth
The Pittsburgh Penguins are heading into what can very well be their final game of the season. Facing the Ottawa Senators in game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Pittsburgh Penguins will have to play their very best. Looking at game six, their performance was underachieving. Keeping this performance in mind, here are three […] Pittsburgh Penguins: Three Keys to Game Seven Vs. Ottawa - Pens Labyrinth - Pens Labyrinth - A Pittsburgh Penguins Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More...
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Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. Ottawa Senators Game 7: Start Time, Live Stream, TV Info and More

May 25 11:03am Pens Labyrinth
The Pittsburgh Penguins will look to finally move on to the Stanley Cup Finals with a win over the Ottawa Senators in game seven on Thursday. The Pittsburgh Penguins had a chance to advance to the Finals in game six on Tuesday. However, the Senators were able to get the best of the Pens and […] Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. Ottawa Senators Game 7: Start Time, Live Stream, TV Info and More - Pens Labyrinth - Pens Labyrinth - A Pittsburgh Penguins Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More...
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Washington Capitals 2017 Grades: Andre Burakovsky Continues To Grow

May 25 11:00am Stars and Sticks
After a third straight season of producing from the bottom six, Washington Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky is ready for more playing time.  The Washington Capitals got a lot of production from their forwards this season. Andre Burakovsky was one of their most productive with 35 points in 64 games. Considering this came from almost exclusively a […] Washington Capitals 2017 Grades: Andre Burakovsky Continues To Grow - Stars and Sticks - Stars and Sticks - A Washington Capitals Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More...
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Washington Capitals: Best Late Draft Picks in Franchise History

May 25 9:00am Stars and Sticks
The Washington Capitals have a tradition of doing well in the later rounds of the NHL Draft. Here are their best late round draft picks of all-time. For teams like the Washington Capitals, chances to draft at the top of the NHL Draft are rare. It’s a blessing and a curse. The truly great teams find […] Washington Capitals: Best Late Draft Picks in Franchise History - Stars and Sticks - Stars and Sticks - A Washington Capitals Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More...
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Penguins One Win Away From Another Appearance In The Stanley Cup Final

May 25 8:41am Kuklas Korner
from Craig Custance of ESPN, Those who have experienced it say it goes in phases. After you win a Stanley Cup, it's a summer of celebration. Then comes a regular season in which an inevitable rough patch emerges when exhaustion kicks in. You crash sometime in November, December or January, said former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, who led the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in 2009. You don't have any energy. You're walking zombies. But the best champs persevere and then the playoffs arrive -- another phase and a new life. I remember thinking that no team is going to be able to beat us, said forward Dan Cleary, part of the most recent team to advance to consecutive Stanley Cup finals when the Detroit Red Wings did it in 2008 and 2009. I wasn't so much worried about rest or fatigue or energy. Your tank fills up immediately. The long playoff run has a way of being unforgiving about draining that tank. Since Cleary's Red Wings fell short of winning the 2009 Stanley Cup, no reigning champion has made it back to the finals. continued...
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Pittsburgh Penguins: Win or Hit the Links

May 25 8:00am Pens Labyrinth
The Pittsburgh Penguins now face a do or die Game 7 at home. It was a rough night Tuesday in Ottawa.  The Pittsburgh Penguins controlled most of the game and outplayed the Senators for the most part, yet came out on the short end of the stick (pun intended).  Now in front of their home crowd, […] Pittsburgh Penguins: Win or Hit the Links - Pens Labyrinth - Pens Labyrinth - A Pittsburgh Penguins Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More...
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Prospect news: Sambrooks Otters lose to Windsor, will play in Memorial Cup semifinal Friday

May 24 11:41pm Kuklas Korner
Of prospect-related note: At the Memorial Cup, Jordan Sambrook finished even with no shots as his Erie Otters lost 4-2 to the host Windsor Spitfires. Windsor now advances directly to the Memorial Cup Final on Sunday, while Erie will battle the Saint John Sea Dogs on Friday for the opportunity to face Windsor for the--you guessed it--Memorial Cup on Sunday.
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Russian Belt Tightening

May 24 11:00pm Hockey Blog In Canada
I'd like to say that I'm shocked, but the reality is that I'm not. You shouldn't be shocked either when I tell you that today's news of the KHL cutting two teams from its membership finally happened. For a league that has had numerous reports of players not being paid, potential franchises leaving over costs, and owners and sponsors unable to keep up with the US dollar amidst the falling price of the ruble, the writing was on the wall and it was only a matter of time. Today, the announcement came from KHL president Dmitry Chernyshenko that the league would contract Metallurg Novokuznetsk while allowing Medvescak Zagreb to walk away as they had promised in March. 29 teams are now 27, and the cuts being made don't appear to be stopping any time soon.Again, I'd like to say that this is a shock, but I wrote about the possibility of the KHL making drastic changes in November. Today, the money problems that were discussed back then have become the reality we see before us today. Chernyshenko stated that the reasons that prompted the league to contract Novokuznesk were their 14-46 record from this past season and small crowds attending the games - two factors which often sees the latter as a result of the former. What makes this contraction a little more puzzling, however, is that Novokuznetsk was still making player transactions as recently as two days ago!Alexei Tkachuk(F) from HK Sakhalin to MetallurgNovokuznetsk https://t.co/uF03ea4tQA #twittpuck— Hockey Transfers (@EliteTransfers) May 22, 2017I have no idea what Alexei Tkachuk's status is at this moment in terms of who owns his rights, but it seems he's getting screwed over in a big way with this decision by the KHL. Again, it seems strange that the team is still making deals when contraction was clearly on the table, but this is Russia where the inexplicable often happens in the business world.The other team that is leaving is Croatian team Medvescak Zagreb who finally made good on their promise to leave the KHL. It seems that for the last few summers, the threat of Zagreb leaving the league was always in play yet they always wound up playing another season in the KHL. In March, however, the club announced it would be joining the Austrian-based EBEL league for next season, finally cutting its ties to the Russian league where it always seemed it was behind in payments to players, staff, the arena, the le...
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Prospect news: Grand Rapids Griffins win 4-2 over San Jose, take 2-1 lead in AHL WCF

May 24 10:39pm Kuklas Korner
Of prospect-related note: In the AHL: The Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the San Jose Barracuda 4-2 in Game 3 of the AHL's Western Conference Final, taking a 2 games to 1 lead in the best-of-7 series. Grand Rapids rallied from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits via 3rd period goals from Matt Lorito and Mitch Callahan, whose goal at 16:20 of the 3rd was the game winner. Tomas Nosek scored an empty-netter and Nathan Paetsch was credited with the Griffins' first goal. Jared Coreau stopped 31 of 33 shots for Grand Rapids. Games 4 and 5 of the series will take place on Friday and Saturday at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. Much more to come.
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Evening Line- Roy MacGregor

May 24 9:39pm Kuklas Korner
Now I am ready for the puck to drop. If hockey has a moment that defines, it is fast approaching. By the end of the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the game is profoundly different, as are the players – at least those still standing. Thursday night at PPG Paints Arena, it will be decided which of the Pittsburgh Penguins or Ottawa Senators will move on to meet the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup final. In this spring of oddities, the eyebrows just keep bouncing. The Predators were the final NHL team, 16th out of 30, to qualify for the playoffs. The Ottawa Senators are 0-for-5 in playoff Game 7s, which should comfort the Penguins but for the fact that Pittsburgh has never won a Game 7 at home after dropping a Game 6, as it did 2-1 in Ottawa on Tuesday. -Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail where you can read more on this topic.
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Toledo Walleye post videos saying, Thank You to fans, highlighting 2016-17 season

May 24 6:40pm Kuklas Korner
The Toledo Walleye posted three videos as part of their fan Thank You, thanking fans first and foremost... Offering player Thank-Yous ...
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Soon The Busy Off-Season Begins

May 24 1:39pm Kuklas Korner
from Rory Boylen of Sportsnet, Although the on-ice season is nearing its close, the off-ice season will be as busy as ever. Here are some important dates and events ahead, and some related storylines to keep an eye on. BUYOUT WINDOW: OPENS JUNE 15 OR 48 HOURS AFTER STANLEY CUP FINAL Any general manager tied to a terrible contract they'd prefer to escape from has an option to rid himself of it, for a price. From the time the window opens to when it closes on June 30, general managers can buy out a player. The cost of a buyout is paid out over twice the number of remaining years on the contract and the rate is one-third of the remaining salary for players younger than 26, and two-thirds for players 26 and older. Any player who is still recovering from a regular season injury, however, cannot be bought out, and players can only be bought out after clearing unconditional waivers. After a player is bought out, they will still count toward the team's salary cap. CapFriendly.com explains how you calculate that cap hit and you can always use their buyout calculator to run a simulation of your own: more...
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Red Wings sign Czech defenseman Libor Sulak to entry-level deal

May 24 12:40pm Kuklas Korner
From the Red Wings: UPDATE: The #RedWings signed free agent defenseman Libor Sulak to a two-year entry-level contract. (��: @orliznojmo) pic.twitter.com/IqSvlvbS0I — Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) May 24, 2017 According to Elite Prospects, Sulak is a 6'2, 190-pound defenseman who played for Orli Znojmo this past season, posting 10 goals, 18 assists and 28 points in 54 games played. He's 23 years old, and is supposed to play for the Lahti Pelicans in 2017-18. More from the Wings:...
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Washington Capitals 2017 Season Review: Jay Beagle

May 24 11:00am Stars and Sticks
Washington Capitals center Jay Beagle had a career season, cementing his status as a fan favorite.  Many Washington Capitals players set some personal bests during the 2016-17 NHL season. One of them was fourth line center Jay Beagle. In many ways, number 83 has proven he was worth the extension the Caps gave him just before […] Washington Capitals 2017 Season Review: Jay Beagle - Stars and Sticks - Stars and Sticks - A Washington Capitals Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More...
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Why The Empty Seats In Ottawa?

May 24 10:40am Kuklas Korner
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun, It must be Eugene Melnyk. The only logical explanation for fans negatively stealing so much of the spotlight from the Senators unexpectedly wondrous ride through the playoffs has to be a growing, general contempt for the team’s owner, for one reason or another. That must be the main reason why, in the hours leading up to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final, there were still so many tickets available. It was sad how the prospect of empty seats at Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday night was a hot topic that overshadowed the fact the Senators were one of just three teams still with a shot at winning the Stanley Cup heading into Tuesday night. Can you imagine? The Senators still in contention for the NHL’s most prestigious hardware on May 23? They didn’t even make the playoffs last season. Not many thought they would this spring, either. Especially when they lost their No. 1 goalie for long periods of time while he helped his wife fight cancer, not to forget a likeable leader to an 18-month battle with concussion problems. continued...
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Washington Capitals should trade for Jordan Eberle

May 24 10:09am Stars and Sticks
If the Edmonton Oilers might be looking to trade forward Jordan Eberle, the Washington Capitals should give them a call.  The Washington Capitals will more than likely see some changes to their roster this offseason. Because their two best right wings will be unrestricted free agents beginning on July 1, they’ll go into the offseason […] Washington Capitals should trade for Jordan Eberle - Stars and Sticks - Stars and Sticks - A Washington Capitals Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More...
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The Nashville Predators, Really?

May 24 8:40am Kuklas Korner
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star, It was more than a decade ago that the NHL sacrificed an entire season and forwent the awarding of the Stanley Cup in the name of implementing a hard salary cap to ensure cost certainty and competitive balance. And when the ugly lockout was finally over, one of the happiest sounding voices emanated from Nashville. “We’re very excited and optimistic,” Predators general manager David Poile said back in 2005. “We’re much closer to having a fair playing field, and for us to be real competitive right out of the gate.” It only took a dozen years, but the Predators’ presence in their first Stanley Cup final might be the ultimate demonstration of the grand design behind Gary Bettman’s hard slog of a lockout. A case can be made that the NHL has reached peak parity. Tiny Nashville, the last team to qualify for the playoffs, is the last team standing in the Western Conference. Bitty Nashville, the 16th seed in the league’s 16-team playoff tournament, is the first bottom seed to qualify for the final since the NHL expanded from six to 12 teams in 1967-68 (this according to research by Randy Robles of the Elias Sports Bureau). And exactly nobody saw it coming. Hockey players have long boasted that the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win in pro sports. continued from John Smallwood of the Philadelphia Daily News,...
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NCAA Recruits Propel Steel to Clark Cup Championship

May 24 5:00am College Hockey News from CHN
With a lineup that boasted 20 college hockey commits, the Chicago Steel won its first USHL Clark Cup Championship in organization history Tuesday night. Penn State recruit Tyler Gratton’s goal 11:30 into overtime lifted the Steel to a 2-1 victory over the Sioux City Musketeers in the series-clinching fifth game in front of 6,309 at the Tyson Events Center. Maine commit Eduards Tralmaks ...
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Senators Shake Off Blowout Loss to Force Game 7

May 24 12:16am NYT > Hockey
Facing elimination, Ottawa rebounded with a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
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Going The Distance

May 24 12:00am Hockey Blog In Canada
Craig-bleepin'-Anderson.If there was one reason why the Penguins will host the Senators in Game Seven in Pittsburgh, Craig Anderson is the reason. Anderson stopped 45 shots in the must-win game to extend the series to Thursday where the Senators will look to win the best-of-one game now. To say Anderson was huge in this game would be doing him a disservice because he was the only reason why the Penguins weren't out to another big lead like they were in Game Five. You know, as far as tonight, you just try to stay in the moment as best you can and focus on the baby steps, Anderson told reporters. One shot at a time, and the big picture takes care of itself when you worry about the details. The details, if you're keeping track at home, is that Anderson's performance pushes this series to a Game Seven where neither team has a particularly great record. The Penguins are 9-7 in Game Sevens, but are 3-7 at home in the final game of a series. The Senators, on the other hand, are 0-5 in Game Sevens with a rather spectacular 0-4 record on the road. Pittsburgh dropped their second game of the playoffs after scoring first, so there's some hope that the Penguins can score first in Game Seven. They have just one win when their opponent scores first.Pittsburgh is hoping for the same effort they got tonight and on Sunday when they trounced Ottawa 7-0 at the PPG Paints Arena. Ottawa is looking to weather the storm and capitalize when they can just as they did tonight. Only one will advance to host the waiting Nashville Predators on Monday.Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!...
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St. James: Holland, Wings preparing for the draft at organizational meetings

May 23 8:42pm Kuklas Korner
The Red Wings are holding their pre-draft/free agency organizational meetings this week (next week, the Draft Combine takes place in Toronto), so Wings GM Ken Holland spoke with the Free Press's Helene St. James regarding the team's outlook as it prepares to select 9th overall--and make a total of 11 picks--at next month's draft in Chicago: “Everybody knows in our sport, it starts at the draft table,” Holland told the Free Press. “In order to be successful, you need to have a good draft. We need to wake up in a few years and some of these picks are important players for us.” Discussions include the possibility of maneuvering to move up in the draft; the Wings twice have gone in the other direction in recent years, moving back in 2013 to gain an extra second-round pick, and again last year to unload the contract of Pavel Datsyuk, and gain a second-round pick. The 2013 bonus selection has turned into a terrific story, as forward Tyler Bertuzzi is leading the Grand Rapids Griffins in scoring two games into the third round of the Calder Cup playoffs. The 2016 bonus pick, defenseman Filip Hronek, turned pro this spring after producing 61 points in 59 games for the OHL Saginaw Spirit. He had two points in 10 regular-season games for the Griffins, and has appeared in two playoff games. “We’re open to anything, to moving up, to moving back,” Holland said. “But it’s got to make sense. The more picks you have, the more opportunity. We are going through lists, we have lots of picks this year, and we think there are lots of good players in this year’s draft.” St. James continues, and we will talk about the draft shortly; I'm spending three of the next four days in Grand Rapids to cover the Griffins, and my player grades are half-finished (if you're still interested in 'em).
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Open Post- Game 6 Eastern Conference Final

May 23 7:41pm Kuklas Korner
The Penguins seem to be on a roll and the Senators look like they have run out of gas. But this game will go to the team that wants it more. Do we get a long break, first game of the Stanley Cup Final won't be played until next Monday or do we have a game 7 on Thursday? The comment section is yours, use it if you would like to. Pittsburgh @ Ottawa, PIT leads 3-2, 8 p.m., CBC, TVAS, NBCSN...
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Podcast: Were Not Talking Lucky Charms Marshmallows On A Salad

May 23 12:34pm Fantasy Hockey Blog at Razzball.com
We have a Stanley Cup finalist! Reid and I talk about the Nashville win in Game 6 and briefly bask in glory since we both picked Nashville to make the Finals in the preseason. After breaking down the game, we look at where Anaheim goes from here and the journey David Poile has taken to build this Predators roster. From there, we give a quick look at game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals before talking about Reid becoming Twitter famous! Because of his tweet (pinned on his account), we talk about some of the worst things people can do in their food. We'd like to know the worst things either you or someone you know does to a certain type of food so let us know in the comments section. You can also make your picks for The Three Point Challenge below. All of that and more in the latest edition of the Razzball Hockey Podcast brought to you by SeatGeek!...
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Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. Ottawa Senators Game 6: Start Time, Live Stream, TV Info and More

May 23 12:05pm Pens Labyrinth
After blowing out the Ottawa Senators 7-0 in game five of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Pittsburgh Penguins look to move on in game six. The Pittsburgh Penguins are one win away from their second straight Stanley Cup Finals appearance and the team is buzzing. With the Nashville Predators defeating the Anaheim Ducks to advance […] Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. Ottawa Senators Game 6: Start Time, Live Stream, TV Info and More - Pens Labyrinth - Pens Labyrinth - A Pittsburgh Penguins Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More...
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Predators 6, Ducks 3: Nashville Predators Advance to Their First Stanley Cup Finals

May 23 11:01am NYT > Hockey
Colton Sissons scored three times as Nashville eliminated the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6. Up next is the winner of the series between the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators.
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Washington Capitals 2017 Grades: Nicklas Backstrom Breaks Free

May 23 11:00am Stars and Sticks
Has Nicklas Backstrom finally become the Washington Capitals’ best player?  The Washington Capitals didn’t fulfill their ultimate goal of winning a Stanley Cup during the 2016-17 NHL season. However, lots of players did things worth celebrating. Perhaps no Capitals skater had a better season than star center Nicklas Backstrom. Often thought of as the Robin […] Washington Capitals 2017 Grades: Nicklas Backstrom Breaks Free - Stars and Sticks - Stars and Sticks - A Washington Capitals Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More...
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Prospect news: Sambrooks Otters shell the Sea Dogs at the Memorial Cup

May 23 6:39am Kuklas Korner
Of prospect-related note: At the Memorial Cup, Jordan Sambrook had an assist on the Erie Otters' first goal...as Erie scored TWELVE TIMES to defeat the Saint John Sea Dogs 12-5. You can watch highlights from the game here. Erie will play the Windsor Spitfires on Wednesday, and the team that wins Wednesday's game will advance directly to the Memorial Cup Final.
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Predators Feast On Ducks

May 23 12:00am Hockey Blog In Canada
I don't eat a lot of duck. Besides me not being particularly fond of removing majestic waterfowl from our wetlands for conservation reasons, I simply have no interest in buying the meat. That being said, it seems that Nashville has acquired a taste for duck after sending the Anaheim Ducks back to California with nothing to show for their cross-country migrations. Nashville will make their first Stanley Cup appearance in franchise history after downing the Ducks in six games, but this should have been expected after the first few minutes in Game Six.It didn't start well for the Ducks when Austin Watson banked a shot in off Brandon Montour's skate 81 seconds in.With the insanity sparked early at Bridgestone Arena, the Smashville fans really got on Jonathan Bernier.All your fault all your fault pic.twitter.com/HgAspndZgM— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 23, 2017From there, former Milwaukee Admirals captain Colton Sissons elevated his play after being promoted to the top line as he notched his first career hat-trick in helping lead the Predators over the Ducks in six games to advance to the Stanley Cup Final. Anaheim's Cam Fowler had tied the game at 3-3 with 11:08 to go in the third period, but it was Sissons' dagger with 6:00 to play that gave Nashville the lead they would never relinquish. Two empty-net goals later, and the crowd in Nashville nearly blew the lid off the arena. It feels so good, Sissons said in a post-game on-ice interview. Listen to this crowd. Our fans are amazing, a great group of guys. We just believe in ourselves. That's all it is. Peter Laviolette will now see the Stanley Cup Final with a third team, becoming the fourth coach to achieve that dubious distinction and the first since 1994. For Laviolette, he's 1-1 in Stanley Cup Final, winning with Carolina in 2006 and losing to Chicago in 2010 while with Philadelphia. He joins Dick Irvin, Scotty Bowman, and Mike Keenan in that highly-regarded group, but Laviolette had a much different view on his success . Probably means that I got fired a lot, Laviolette joked. I'm fortunate to be here working and fortunate David Poile gave me a job. And when you do that, you're not thinking about things like that, you're just thinking about coming to work. Is there any doubt that the blue-collar approach that Laviolette takes to his job hasn't rubbed off on all his players? You can certain...
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Predators 6, Ducks 3: Predators Advance to Their First Stanley Cup Finals

May 22 11:38pm NYT > Hockey
Colton Sissons scored three times as Nashville eliminated the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6. Up next is the winner of the series between the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators.
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