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Ducks plan to keep putting pressure on Blackhawks' defensemen in Game 7

Sports / Hockey /

ANAHEIM, Calif.--As committed as the Anaheim Ducks have been to wearing down the Chicago Blackhawks, defenseman Duncan Keith has responded with such tremendous durability that it threatens to shatter Anaheim's Stanley Cup dreams.

The Ducks strategized that with repeated hits and fresh legs keeping pressure on Chicago's overworked defensemen, ...Read more

Blackhawks-Ducks Game 7: Who has the edge?

Sports / Hockey /

Offense.

The Ducks get the benefit of last change on their home ice in Game 7, meaning coach Bruce Boudreau can match up Ryan Kesler with Jonathan Toews and deploy other matchups he might consider favorable, such as sending his top line against the Hawks checking line before a faceoff. But after a slow start to the series, the Hawks' big guns ...Read more

Mario Kart helps keep Blackhawks busy on the road

Sports / Hockey /

One member of the Blackhawks' "A" team feigns "Zs" when the other begins to recite the hockey alphabet.

Alternate captains Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith are seat neighbors on team charters, during which many players rest.

But Keith isn't familiar with the definition of the word -- when he's on the ice, where he has logged more playoff minutes...Read more

Stanley Cup has proved elusive for Blackhawks center Antoine Vermette

Sports / Hockey /

Blackhawks center Antoine Vermette has been close to the Stanley Cup but has never held it.

Vermette was with the 2007 Senators who advanced to the Stanley Cup Final against the Teemu Selanne-led Ducks, who won the series in five games.

Vermette came close again in 2012, but his Coyotes lost in five games to the Kings in the Western Conference...Read more

Ducks know there is a lot on the line in Game 7 against Blackhawks

Sports / Hockey /

ANAHEIM, Calif.--Coach Bruce Boudreau says his Anaheim Ducks can find all the inspiration they need by knowing that in Game 7 lies an opportunity to play in the Stanley Cup Final.

Reputations also hang in the balance.

Eight of the Ducks who played Wednesday in a 5-2 loss in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals -- including stars Ryan ...Read more

Blackhawks could benefit from extra day of rest before Game 7

Sports / Hockey /

Sunglasses on and bags slung over their shoulders, Blackhawks players made their way Thursday toward the charter plane that was to take them from O'Hare to California for a date with history.

The four-hour flight provided an opportunity to rest after a grueling schedule that included Wednesday's 5-2 victory over the Ducks that kept the Hawks' ...Read more

Sharks introduce new coach Peter DeBoer

Sports / Hockey /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Peter DeBoer was a finalist for the Sharks coaching position the last time it was open seven years ago. When he met with general manager Doug Wilson this time, he left no doubt in Wilson's mind that he was the right man for the job.

DeBoer was formally introduced as the Sharks' head coach Thursday at SAP Center, succeeding ...Read more

Sabres reach deal with Bylsma, send third-round pick to Penguins

Sports / Hockey /

The Sabres hired former Penguins coach Dan Bylsma to fill their vacant coaching position Thursday.

Bylsma, 44, was fired by the Penguins last summer with two years remaining on his contract. The Penguins' all-time leader in most coaching statistics, Bylsma sat out the 2014-15 season.

With one year remaining on his contract, the Penguins will ...Read more

After loss, Ducks are counting on home ice to help out in Game 7

Sports / Hockey /

CHICAGO -- Once more, with Game 7 feeling.

The Ducks constructed their season and earned the top seed in the Western Conference by responding strongly to slippages exposed over the 82-game grind.

Now, after the proud Chicago Blackhawks executed with precision and emotion, out-working the Ducks to win Game 6 of the Western Conference finals, 5-...Read more

Blackhawks top Ducks 5-2 to force Game 7

Sports / Hockey /

CHICAGO -- Andrew Shaw chest-bumped the glass above the boards Wednesday.

He was celebrating his goal with 3 minutes, 32 seconds, the Blackhawks' final goal of a 4-2 victory in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final.

Shaw added an empty-netter with 48.8 seconds left.

The victory pushed the series to the brink and was the Ducks' first loss in ...Read more

Report: Sharks to name Peter DeBoer as next coach

Sports / Hockey /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Sharks are expected to announce Thursday that former New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer will be their next coach.

DeBoer was initially identified as general manager Doug Wilson's choice to succeed Todd McLellan behind the San Jose bench by Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, who cited an unnamed source. The team would not ...Read more

Andersen knows a big game could send Ducks to Final

Sports / Hockey /

Every good goaltender takes every goal scored against him as a personal insult. The best goalies learn to quickly forget the ones that got away, knowing they can't waste energy brooding over events they can't change.

Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen let more than a few get away from him in the last two games of the Western Conference finals -- ...Read more

Ducks show uncanny knack of staying in every game

Sports / Hockey /

Before the Anaheim Ducks returned to Chicago for what could be their Western Conference finals clinching victory, they could find confidence in multiple areas.

The ability to overcome disheartening events. The offensive production of their defensemen. Career-best playoff performances by their centers.

Most telling is their ability to stay in ...Read more

Blackhawks face elimination game with confidence

Sports / Hockey /

Their inspiration now is born of desperation.

The Blackhawks find themselves in a win-at-home-and-on-the-road-or-go-home position in the Western Conference finals.

"We've got to play desperate right off the bat," Brandon Saad said. "Now we're in a situation where it's do or die."

How they landed here, down 3-2 to the Ducks, with Game 6 and ...Read more

Manners part of the game when it comes to faceoffs

Sports / Hockey /

When Jonathan Toews puts his faceoff face on, he turns on the charm.

"Having an understanding of the linesman," the Blackhawks captain said, "making sure you're on the same page with them and just being respectful."

Twice during their 5-4, double-overtime victory in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals Saturday, the Blackhawks scored after ...Read more

Hitchcock will return as Blues coach

Sports / Hockey /

The Blues will retain Ken Hitchcock as their coach for the 2015-16 season, as the sides agreed to a one-year contract on Tuesday.

Hitchcock's status has been up in the air since the team's first round exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs, when they lost in six games to the Minnesota Wild.

Hitchcock has met with general manager Doug Armstrong ...Read more

Beleskey's overtime goal gives Ducks Game 5 win over Blackhawks

Sports / Hockey /

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- All that had transpired before was washed away Monday when Matt Beleskey raced toward Chicago's net and converted the overtime goal that left the Anaheim Ducks one victory from the Stanley Cup Final.

The big blown leads. The imposing pedigree of the Chicago Blackhawks. All the numbers that favored the visitors, all the ...Read more

Teammates give Andersen support

Sports / Hockey /

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- There were his two assists in Game 5 between the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night at Honda Center. In some ways, though, what Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf did late in the game was also important.

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews had tied it, 4-4, with a wildly improbable goal from a sharp angle, somehow ...Read more

Family, hockey mean everything to Blackhawks' Brandon Saad

Sports / Hockey /

CHICAGO -- That Brandon Saad's journey to the NHL began with ball hockey games in the cul-de-sac in front of his childhood home in Gibsonia, Pa., is telling.

Family is entwined through the fabric of Saad's progression from natural athlete growing up in the community about 25 miles north of Pittsburgh to Blackhawks left wing with a future as ...Read more

Blackhawks, Ducks getting testy in Western Conference finals

Sports / Hockey /

CHICAGO -- Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford showed some bark and some bite late in the third period of Saturday's 5-4, double-overtime victory.

Crawford was in mid-conversation with an official when he took a two-handed swing with his stick at the chest of Ducks forward Matt Beleskey. He connected, then minded the net on a shot attempt, all ...Read more