NHL Playoff Picture: Hawks go for Presidents’ Trophy, all eyes on Jets

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The Hawks and Canucks can each clinch something tonight. (Getty Images)

They can still claim the award with an overtime loss and one in regulation from the Pens.. Some will tell you that no team wants the Presidents’ Trophy.. It’s usually been a harbinger of bad luck for the winner in the playoffs.. Those people are a bit nuts and steeped in superstition, if you ask me.. If you can secure home-ice advantage in every series you play then you take that.. Especially when that home is the Mad House on Madison in Chicago.. The Blackhawks play in front of more than 20,000 on a nightly basis and are 17-3-3 at home this season.. Of course, they’re also 17-2-2 away from home, so the point is they are just really good no matter where they play.. There has been little doubt as to what team has been the league’s best this season — the Blackhawks are just close to making it official.. That means little, though ( unless you’re in Washington ).. The real prize is being the best in the postseason, and being the top overall seed does nothing but help that quest. source: http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/blog/eye-on-hockey/22115939/nhl-playoff-picture-hawks-go-for-presidents-trophy-all-eyes-on-jets

Blackhawks win streak snapped by Coyotes in shootout

Patrick Kane made a sick backhand pass to the slot that found a wide open Brent Seabrook for his second goal of the night at 3:39 of the period.. That would be all of the scoring even though the Hawks outshot the Coyotes 12-4 in the period.. The third period would feature a lot of back and forth action as both teams piled up the shots with the Coyotes having a 15-8 edge in shots.. However, neither team would score in the third or overtime.. Jonathan Toews would lead off the shootout and missed the net on Mike Smith .. Mikkel Boedker led off for the Coyotes and beat Crawford on a nifty double move.. Kane was next and he beat Smith with a backhand move to the far post.. Vrbata shot the puck over the net.. Marian Hossa beat Smith but hit the crossbar.. David Schlemko was next for his first career shootout attempt.. He beat Crawford top shelf to give the Coyotes the victory.. What it means The Hawks record is now 34-5-5 with 4 games remaining in the season. source: http://www.examiner.com/article/blackhawks-win-streak-snapped-by-coyotes-shootout

Coyotes beat Blackhawks 3-2 in shootout

Klesla lobbed the puck toward the Chicago net from the left wing boards near the red line.. Crawford dropped to his knees, and the puck bounded over him on a short hop.. ”It’s just a bad bounce,” Crawford said.. ”There’s nothing I can do about it now.” Vrbata then gave the energized Coyotes a 2-1 lead with 5:20 left in the period, beating Crawford from the left circle on with traffic in in front of the net.. Seabrook had the only goal in the second, tying it at 2 at 3:39 into the period with his second power-play score.. Kane skated into the corner with his back to the play, but took a quick look over his shoulder and slipped a backhand pass to Seabrook, who had pinched into the left circle.. Seabrook was wide open, ripped a shot past Smith and then celebrated his hot goal-scoring hand by blowing on his glove.. Both goalies made sharp saves early in the scoreless third, and Chicago’s Marcus Kruger fired wide on a prime chance about 5 minutes into the period.. Early in overtime, Smith made a lunging glove save on Seabrook, then a quick stop on Toews.. NOTES: Chicago G Ray Emery sat out his second game with a lower-body injury, so Carter Hutton backed up Crawford. source: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/coyotes-beat-blackhawks-3-2-033331919–nhl.html

Smith could start for Coyotes against Blackhawks

The Blackhawks are atop the NHL standings with 72 points and are closing in on the franchise’s first Presidents’ Trophy since 1990-91.. Chicago has gotten to such a lofty position in large part because of its play in close games.. The Blackhawks are 19-3-4 in one-goal games, have won five games in overtime and triumphed six other times in shootouts.. Now, with the only tangible motivation left being the Presidents’ Trophy, it’s all about fine-tuning and staying healthy for the pending Stanley Cup Playoffs.. After a brief stretch of 10 games where it didn’t get a point in five of the contests, Chicago is nearly back to the form that propelled the Blackhawks to an unprecedented 24-game point streak to start the season.. “It’s a different animal come playoff time, but we feel when the games are on the line — particularly third periods, late in games [and] in overtime — that doing the right things are going to make us successful,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said after a 5-4 OT win against the Nashville Predators on Friday night at United Center.. “You’re comfortable being out there and you want to be out there.. We had a little stretch there that got our attention, [so it’s] nice to see us be more effective and get the job done when it counts.” Chicago will be without goalie Ray Emery (lower body), who also missed the game against Nashville on Friday night and is listed as day-today.. It’s unclear whether Corey Crawford will get the start against Phoenix or if Quenneville will opt to go with Carter Hutton , who was recalled from Rockford of the American Hockey League on Thursday and hasn’t played for the Blackhawks yet this season.. Quenneville is scheduled to meet with reporters two hours before puck drop and likely will reveal his starting goalie then.. Smith joined Phoenix goalies Jason LaBarbera and Chad Johnson during the Coyotes’ skate.. If he can’t make the start, Tippett will have a choice to make between LaBarbera, who lost 4-0 to the San Jose Sharks on Monday, or Johnson, who took the loss in a 2-1 shootout defeat on Thursday against the St. source: http://www.nhl.com/ice/blogpost.htm?id=16646

Blackhawks, Penguins remain League’s top teams

2 seed in the Eastern Conference.. They close with three road games — in New Jersey, in Winnipeg and in Toronto, in a potential first-round series preview.. 8 6 Toronto Maple Leafs: In their past four games, the Leafs have been outshot by a combined 157-86.. They won twice behind stellar showings from goaltender James Reimer, but the Leafs haven’t outshot an opponent since March 28, a span of 10 games.. 9 7 Boston Bruins: The Bruins ended a four-game winless skid with a 3-0 win against the Panthers, capping an unimaginably difficult week in Boston.. They finish the season with four games in six days, including their home finale against the Senators on April 28.. 10 10 San Jose Sharks: Their 4-3 loss to the Blue Jackets on Sunday was just the Sharks’ second regulation defeat at home all season.. With three games left, however, it seems likely that they will be opening the postseason on the road.. 11 14 New York Islanders: Barring a collapse, the Islanders are heading to the playoffs for the first time since 2007.. During their current 11-1-2 push, John Tavares has established himself as a Hart Trophy candidate with eight goals, four assists and the shootout winner against the Jets on Saturday.. 12 13 New York Rangers: An 8-2-1 mark in April has the Rangers looking pretty secure for a playoff berth. source: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=667018


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