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The defending Stanley Cup champions will begin (General)

submitted by jinshuiqian0713 to /forum/general

The defending Stanley Cup champions will begin the second round on home ice, as the Chicago Blackhawks host the Minnesota Wild at United Center in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. Watch the Blackhawks vs. Wild live tonight on TSN2 at 9:30pm et/6:30pm pt. This series is rematch of a 2013 postseason matchup, as the Wild were the Blackhawks first victim in their march to the Cup last year. Chicago knocked Minnesota out of the first round in five games, losing only Game 3 on the road and holding a 17-7 edge in scoring. That was the first playoff meeting between these clubs, but the Wild can lean on the fact they went 3-1-1 versus the Blackhawks this season, splitting two games in Chicago. Game 2 of this series also will be staged in the Windy City on Sunday afternoon. For a little while, the Blackhawks quest to repeat as NHL champions appeared as if it was going to come to an end with a first-round exit. Then the Blackhawks reminded everyone just whey they are coming off their second Stanley Cup in four years. It looked as if Chicagos inability to claim home-ice advantage in its quarterfinals matchup with the St. Louis Blues would be the difference, as the Blackhawks lost a pair of overtime decisions to begin the set. That included a triple-overtime setback in Game 1 at Scottrade Center and the fact that the Hawks followed up with another 4-3 overtime setback in Game 2 could have left the club with slumped shoulders going back to the Windy City. Instead of rolling over, the Blackhawks got a 34-save shutout from Corey Crawford to win Game 3 before Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews potted back-to- back overtime-winning goals in Games 4 and 5. Toews then started a four-goal barrage in the third period of Game 6s series-clinching 5-1 win. Toews showed why he wears the captains "C" on his jersey as all three of his goals in the series were game-winners and he matched defenseman and Norris Trophy nominee Duncan Keith for the club lead with seven points. Toews was one of six multi-goal scorers for the Blackhawks in the series, with Kane also potting three goals. Keith and fellow defenseman Brent Seabrook added two goals and Seabrook finished with six points despite missing three games due to suspension for a hit to the head in Game 2. As expected, the duo of Keith and Seabrook logged a ton of minutes. Keith was on the ice for nearly 30 minutes a game, while Seabrook averaged 27 minutes and 41 seconds of ice time. Hell need to maintain his discipline in Round 2. Chicago also had the best penalty kill percentage coming out of the first round, limiting St. Louis to two goals on 29 chances. Crawford, meanwhile, settled down after a rough start to keep the Blackhawks chances of becoming the first repeat champions since the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings alive. Rocked for eight goals in the two losses, Crawford followed up his third career postseason shutout by yielding just six goals on 98 shots over the final three games. He ended the series with a 2.03 goals against average and .926 save percentage. The Wild survived Round 1 despite playing from behind seemingly the whole time during their quarterfinals matchup with the Central Division champion Colorado Avalanche. A road team did not win a game in the series until Minnesotas 5-4 victory in Game 7. In that contest, the Wild overcame four one-goal deficits, getting a game-tying goal with 2:27 left in regulation before Nino Niederreiters tally 5:02 into overtime. Niederreiters second goal of the game capped the latest comeback of the series for the Wild. They trailed 2-0 in the series after losing the first two on the road and then were behind 3-2 ahead of a Game 6 victory. Rookie netminder Darcy Kuemper was seen as the savior at the early portion of the series, relieving Ilya Bryzgalov in Game 2 and going perfect with 14 saves. He then allowed just one goal in total in back-to-back home victories, including a defensive 22-save gem in Game 3. Like the rest of Minnesotas roster, Kuemper showed an ability to bounce back, following up a Game 5 defeat with a 21-save effort in the next game to extend the series. However, Kuemper was forced to exit Game 7 after 51 minutes of action due to an unknown injury and Bryzgalov had to make just one save in 13 minutes and 15 seconds of relief before Niederreiters goal. The injury will leave Bryzgalov as the starter for at least Game 1 of this series and he posted just a 4.25 goals against average and .826 save percentage in his three games that totaled 112:41 of ice time. John Curry, a 30-year-old journeyman, will suit up as Bryzgalovs backup. Curry has seen action in six career NHL games and none in the playoffs. Head coach Mike Yeo said that Kuemper is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury following Fridays morning skate. Minnesota has made it to the playoffs in both seasons since signing forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter to monster contracts and both were solid in Round 1. Parise had three goals and seven assists, tying him with three other players -- two of those on the Avalanche -- for the postseason lead in points. Mikko Koivu was second on the club with six points off a goal and five helpers. Suter, meanwhile, averaged 29:47 of ice time and had a goal with three assists to lead Wild defensemen in points. Thirteen different skaters scored a goal for the Wild against the Avalanche, with Charlie Coyle matching Parise for the team lead with three. Youngsters Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund added two each along with veteran Kyle Brodziak, while blueliners Jared Spurgeon and Marco Scandella also scored twice. Kuemper won his only start versus Chicago this season, stopping 33-of-34 shots faced at home in January, while Bryzgalov took a shootout loss in Chicago. Bryzgalov is 8-6-5 with a 2.51 GAA lifetime versus the Blackhawks. Crawford, meanwhile, went 2-2-0 with a 2.98 GAA in four games versus the Wild this season. Kane had three goals and two assists versus the Wild in 2013-14 Toews, though, was held to just a pair of assists. Parise had two goals against Chicago in the season series, while Suter had three assists and Granlund four helpers. Adidas Korbinian Holzer Jersey. Forsman closed with a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Sunday for his third Champions Tour title. He beat Jay Don Blake by two shots. Adidas Benoit-Olivier Groulx Jersey. "You hate when they score," he said with some distaste at the thought. "You take pride in it. http://www.cheapducksjerseys.com/?tag=adidas-andrew-cogliano-jersey. Like a magic trick, the puck popped out behind Stalock in the San Jose net. While Sharks coach Todd McLellan decried the legality of the tiebreaking goal, the Los Angeles Kings celebrated their latest, greatest escape yet. Adidas Antoine Vermette Jersey. "This is my city," the Toronto native said upon his arrival Wednesday night. And the 35-year-old former league MVP says he is hoping to making 2014 a memorable year. Cheap Adidas NHL Jerseys. The Australian is competing in his final season in Formula One and still looking for his first win this year. He will look to end Vettels run of six straight race wins on Sunday. Webber, who is fifth in the championship, earned his second pole from the past three races and 13th of his career.DAVIE, Fla. - Loosening up for their first training camp practice, the Miami Dolphins high-stepped sideways up and down the field while House of Pains song "Jump Around" blared on the loudspeakers. Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes took in the scene and allowed himself a long yawn. With the first game more than six weeks away, the Dolphins tempered their excitement Friday regarding the 2014 season. Even so, every team is undefeated and optimistic in July, and the Dolphins were no different as they opened camp. "We want to play deep into January and February," quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "Our goal is to win the division and play in the playoffs. Anything less than that is not up to our standards." Actually, thats way above the Dolphins recent standards. They havent made the playoffs since 2008, which is also their most recent winning season. They needed to win only one of their final two games last season but lost both by a combined score of 39-7 to finish 8-8. Tannehill and coach Joe Philbin are back for their third season with the team, but a woeful offensive line has been overhauled, theres more depth at receiver and running back, and the defence has the potential to be excellent. "We want to win. Thats what were all here for," new general manager Dennis Hickey said. "Were really excited about this team and what theyre going to be able to accomplish." Some prognosticators rank the Dolphins among the NFLs worst teams, but owner Stephen Ross anticipates post-season play. "I dont think I start any season without wanting to make the playoffs," Ross said. "If you dont have those expectations, you shouldnt be in the game. You own a team because you want to create a winner." On a 90-degree day, Philbin was already on the hot seat, and Ross was asked if the coach must make the playoffs to keep his job. "Im not going to say here he has to, because I can understand what the headlines would be," Ross said. "I like Joe Philbin very much. Im expecting Joe Philbin to be here a long time. But every year you want to see improvement." The Dolphins desperately need a better locker-room culture after a troubled relationship beetween offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin led to a bullying scandal that sent the franchise reeling.dddddddddddd Incognito and Martin are gone, and the Dolphins brought in outside consultants for training sessions with players to foster better leadership. Centre Mike Pouncey, implicated in the scandal, said the culture will be much healthier this season. "Coach Philbin and Mr. Ross have done a bunch of things to change that," Pouncey said. "Right now were heading in the right direction. Everyone has bought into the way we want it done around here." As anticipated, Pouncey (hip) and running back Knowshon Moreno (knee) began camp on the physically unable to perform list. Both worked on the side Friday, and while Pouncey is expected to miss at least a couple of games, he said hes ahead of schedule in his recovery. Moreno, who signed a $3.275 million, one-year contract after a breakout season with Denver last year, is expected to join practice sometime during camp. Every other player passed his conditioning test. Defensive end Dion Jordan practiced and will be allowed to play in exhibition games, even though he has been suspended for the first four games of the season after testing positive for a stimulant prohibited by the NFL. Receiver Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson were back on the field after recovering from knee injuries last season. Koa Misi remained at middle linebacker after moving there from the outside as an off-season experiment deemed successful. The first practice was predictably sloppy. With Pouncey out, quarterback Ryan Tannehill dropped at least three snaps. He misfired deep to Mike Wallace — a frequent occurrence last year — the first time he threw long, but they later connected on a 40-yard throw that brought a cheer from spectators. While the stands were only half full, season-ticket sales are up, and the first three home games are projected to be sellouts. "Miami wants to support a winner," Ross said. "We start winning, well have a lot more support, and there will be a lot more enthusiasm." ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL Wholesale Jerseys ' ' '

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