Puck Headlines: Phaneuf out; Hawks, Ducks both go in for kill

Here are your Evening Puck Headlines and Previews: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

Preview: Chicago Blackhawks at Calgary Flames (9:30 p.m. EST; TV: TSN, CSNC). Blackhawks lead the series, 3-2.

Keys for the Flames: Calgary will be without Dion Phaneuf tonight, adding perhaps the most significant name yet to the Flames' cadre of injured players. The best advice for the Flames is belligerence; the last time they played truly angry, it was a 6-4 win in Game 4. Coach Mike Keenan lashed out at those who dared question the character of the Flames' top players: "If you question the character of our top players . . . everyone knows who our top player is, Jarome Iginla. And those that are questioning his character don't know much about Jarome and don't know much about hockey. So that doesn't have any substance to it at all." Man, that guy can make mountains out of ant hills, can't he?

Keys for the Blackhawks: Abuse the defense, as Windy City Hockey hopes. Hope for the same kind of effort they received from players like Brent Seabrook, Cam Barker and Matt Walker at home in Game 5. Continue the streak of consecutive games with a power-play goal, which stretches back to Game 2. And above all else, quit misplacing their Khabibulin.

Preview: San Jose Sharks at Anaheim Ducks (10:30 p.m. EST; TV: TSN, CBC). Ducks lead the series, 3-2.

Keys for the Ducks: The Ducks were fat and happy in Game 5, which really put us in the mood for foie gras. They need to recapture the shut-down defense and aggressive offense that forced San Jose to the brink of elimination, and there's no better way to do that than a fast start. Also, if the game is tied late in the third period or overtime, hit Patrick Marleau with an elephant tranquillizer.


Get today's sports news out of Los Angeles. Here's the latest on the Dodgers, Lakers, Angels, Kings, Galaxy, LAFC, USC, UCLA and more LA teams.

LeBron James scores 30 points in return, Lakers overcome Victor Wembanyama's strong effort for 123–118 victory over Spurs

Jimmy Butler among 4 ejected after scuffle in 4th quarter of Heat-Pelicans game

Keys for the Sharks: Hope to the heavens that Joe Thornton decides to make back-to-back appearances in playoff games. Keep Bobby Ryan off the board again (good luck). And the book on Evgeni Nabokov is pretty easy to read: a save percentage above .900 means we're in Game 7.

Meanwhile, in the rest of creation ...

• Puck Buddy Cam sent over this Deadspin link from today, featuring some uncomfortable photos of the late Alexei Cherepanov with a tube in his arm. The translation of the AllHockey.ru story indicates they're part of a legal inquiry into blood doping allegations. Such a tragic story that seems to get more tragic at every turn. [Deadspin]

• Scotty Hockey's Rangers-centric take on the Donald Brashear suspension. So will there be a Rangers blog written in the next week that doesn't deal with the idea that the NHL wants Alexander Ovechkin vs. Sidney Crosby in Round 2? [Scotty Hockey]

• If you're one of those folks that like a hero coming out of nowhere to save the day, know this: The Rangers have called up an impossibly-named guy called Artem Anisimov from the AHL. And he's Russian, in a Game 7 against Ovechkin. Just sayin'. [NHL]

• John Tortorella believes the pressure's all on the Caps: "There is no pressure on us. We're going to go there and try to relax and compete in a Game 7 because everybody thinks we're done." [Rangers]

• Next time you're wondering how easy it is to dupe ESPN, know this: They reported that Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green had been suspended by the NHL because someone called them and claimed to be a Washington Post reporter. If you'll excuse us, we need to call TIME as a reporter from Ranger Rick and let them know that raccoons can fly. [Capitals Insider]

• The Nashville Predators open up two new Web sites. [Predators]

• The New Jersey Devils recall their Game 7 memories, including Mike Rupp's Cup-winning goal in 2003. Sometimes we giggle about Mike Gartner never winning a Stanley Cup and Mike Rupp having a Cup-winning goal. [Fire & Ice]

• Quebec is willing to pony up some dough to investors who want to buy the Montreal Canadiens. Ya hear that, Celine? [CP]

• Having seen yet another postseason end in disappointment, the Philadelphia Flyers could seek out a proven NHL goaltender that can handle the rigors of postseason pressure. Or they could sign Craig Anderson from the Florida Panthers. [Litter Box Cats]

• Razor on the Detroit Red Wings vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets: "Did this one end in 3 games or 4?" [Razor With an Edge]

• Finally, while it doesn't have magnetic (re: hideous) appeal of their Lady Gaga Calgary Flames anthem, Energy 101 offers another playoff classic with the U2-inspired "Unbeatable Flames." Sung to, you guess it, "Angel of Harlem." (jokes)

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