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Fractured Ankle For Michal Rozsival

via the Chicago Blackhawks,

The following statement was issued today by Chicago Blackhawks Head Team Physician Dr. Michael Terry:

"Michal Rozsival suffered a fractured left ankle during the second period of last night's game. He will require surgery to repair it. He is not expected to return to full hockey activity until next season."

If you missed how the injury occured, you can watch it here...

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Decision Time Coming For Mike Babcock

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

If I had to put money on an early front-runner, I’d pick the Oilers given the exciting new direction of the team plus Connor McDavid's arrival in June. Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson has strong ties with Babcock from their Team Canada Olympic tournaments. New GM Peter Chiarelli intends to speak with Babcock soon.

The Sabres will make a push, too, with GM Tim Murray having ties to Babcock from hiring him to his first NHL head coaching job back in the Anaheim Ducks days.

And Sabres owner Terry Pegula won’t be shy to spend money.

There’s also Toronto, of course, but for me the Maple Leafs are only a serious player if they slap down crazy, crazy money. Their outlook isn’t as advanced as the Oilers or Sabres in terms of a rebuilding roster.

Could the Philadelphia Flyers or San Jose Sharks or another team make a call? No question, I would bet on it.

Detroit remains very much part of the mix, too. Babcock's desire to speak to other teams and what he ends up hearing from them may only re-affirm his realization of how good he has it with the Red Wings.

more

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Afternoon Line- Scotty Bowman

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All Jordan Eberle

Eberle chatted with ESPN.com’s Craig Custance about the tournament and the future of the Oilers following Team Canada’s practice on Friday.

Custance: There’s a group of Oilers playing in this tournament. What do you hope you guys get out of playing here?

Eberle: First off, you get a chance to keep playing hockey. The playoffs are still going on and you want to be playing hockey in May. I’m a younger player, I have a lot to grow. You have a chance to play with some of the best players in the world. It brings your game up a level.

Custance: Are you still following the NHL playoffs back home?

Eberle: Oh, yeah. We’ve been watching quite a bit. It’s tough over here with the time change. You wake up with the scores and watch the highlights. But you definitely keep track.

Custance: So where were you when the Oilers won the draft lottery? Were you watching?

Eberle: I wasn’t even watching it. I found out on my phone, I was with quite a few teammates and pretty ecstatic....

read on

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NHL Short Notes

THURSDAY’S RESULTS
Home Team in Caps
Montreal 6, TAMPA BAY 2 – TBL leads series 3-1
Chicago 4, MINNESOTA 3 – CHI wins series 4-0
 
BLACKHAWKS HOLD OFF WILD, ADVANCE TO CONFERENCE FINALS
The Blackhawks built a 4-1 lead and held off a late Wild rally to advance to the Western Conference Final for the fifth time in the past seven seasons (and third straight year).
 

 
* The Blackhawks recorded their ninth all-time sweep in a best-of-seven series and first since the 2010 CF vs. SJS. They have won all 11 best-of-seven series in which they held a 3-0 lead.

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Morning Line- Damien Cox On The Chicago Blackhawks

In a salary cap universe, with free agency at 27 or younger, that may be as good as it can possibly get for any team. Indeed, the Hawks are going to be facing some hard financial decisions this summer, and so seem utterly determined to make the most of the opportunity at hand.

-Damien Cox of Sportsnet on the Chicago Blackhawks.  More on Chicago's win over Minnesota last night.

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The Washington Capitals Can Close Out Their Series Tonight

from Michael Traikos at the National Post,

Wearing a pair of flip flops, board shorts and a team hoodie, Barry Trotz casually strolled up to the dais at the Washington Capitals practice facility and broke out in a big open-mouthed yawn.

It was a long night, the head coach said with a sleepy-eyed smile. Couldn’t get to bed.

Was he, someone asked, up late basking in the glow of Wednesday night’s 2-1 win in Game 4, which nudged the New York Rangers on the edge of elimination and put the Capitals one more win away from a berth in the conference final?

Trotz, who gave his team the day off on Thursday, shook his head.

“There was no basking,” he said. “Too soon for that.”

He might have to wait until after Game 5 on Friday night for that. Then again, Trotz and the Capitals are not taking anything for granted. Not in a series where every game has been decided by one goal, where New York’s top snipers — Rick Nash, Chris Kreider and Martin St. Louis — have been suspiciously quiet and where goaltending has been the nightly difference between a win and a loss.

continued

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Key Stats From Last Night

Pacioretty keeps the Habs alive, Kane tames the Wild, Steven Stamkos, Thomas Vanek, Mathew Dumba and more in Scott Cullen's Statistically Speaking.

HEROES

Max Pacioretty - Under criticism for his lack of playoff production (3 G, 0 A in 8 GP prior to Thursday's game), Montreal's leading scorer in the regular season led the way to a 6-2 Game Four win at Tampa Bay, tallying a goal and two assists for the victors, with solid possession (61.2%) despite starting just 23% of his shifts in the offensive zone.

Patrick Kane - Showtime had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 Game Four win at Minnesota, giving the Blackhawks the sweep and running his goal streak to five games.  With 13 points in 10 playoff games, Kane is one behind Anaheim's Corey Perry for the playoff scoring lead.

Corey Crawford - A late flurry by the Wild made Game Four close, but Crawford still stopped 34 of 37 shots for the win. He has a .916 save percentage in the playoffs, which is pretty good considering his rocky postseason beginning in Nashville.

ZEROES

Steven Stamkos - For the second straight game, Tampa Bay's superstar centre was held without a shot on goal. He was held without a shot just once all season (91 games prior to Game Three of this series), The last time he was held without a shot in back-to-back games was February 27 and March 2, 2011.

continued at TSN...

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Walking The Red Mile

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

This city is famous for its Red Mile, the fun part of town where those without tickets to their beloved Flames can wear their colours, cheer on their team and hang out with like-minded individuals.

The “C of Red” will swarm the street Friday night, no doubt, when the Flames play Game 4 of their Stanley Cup playoff series against the Anaheim Ducks.

But the Red Mile is also infamous for catcalls and groping, and the testosterone-fuelled mob has given Calgary a bit of a black eye nationally.

Sports should be as fun and safe for women as they are for men. But some nights, that’s just not the case on the Red Mile.

So I came Calgary to walk the Red Mile. Is it just a handful of rubes ruining the fun for everyone? Or is it a handful of protesters making a mountain where a molehill might otherwise be?

continued

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The Calgary Flames Need Another Home Win

from Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Sun,

If you’ve been following this second-round showdown between the Flames and Ducks, you know Honda Center has been a house of horrors for the crew from Calgary. In fact, they have lost 21 straight contests in Anaheim, a skid that dates back to April 25, 2006.

So the idea of facing elimination just down the street from Disneyland is ... well ... downright frightening.

With a victory Friday in Game 4 at the Saddledome (7:30 p.m., Sportsnet/Sportsnet 960 The Fan), the Flames can avoid that.

Or, at least, delay it.

“Obviously, they have home-ice advantage, so you have to win one there,” said Flames right-winger David Jones. “To get the win last game was a huge game. And now, it’s going to be equally important. We don’t want to go back into their building down 3-1.”

The Flames were down 3-2 in the final moments of Tuesday’s Game 3, but Calder Trophy candidate Johnny Gaudreau picked the top shelf with 19.5 ticks left in the regulation to force overtime and centre Mikael Backlund snaked a shot through traffic on a delayed penalty call in the extra session.

Game over.

Series on.

“I think we’ve given them some life in the series now, which is never a good thing, especially against a pesky Calgary team, a team that really enjoys playing in their own building,” Ducks defenceman Cam Fowler told reporters after Thursday’s practice in Banff. “We understand that we’ve given them some confidence for Game 4 but, when it comes down to it, if we do the things we can do as a team, we feel like we’re a difficult group to handle.

“We have to come with a good response in Game 4 and try and put another stranglehold on the series.”

more

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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