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Stanley Cup Final
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RALEIGH Buffalo Sabres Hoodies Womens , N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes put together a start to the season that matched the best in franchise history.Now after a couple of blips, it’s time to regroup.The Hurricanes return to home ice for Saturday afternoon’s game against the Colorado Avalanche at PNC Arena.Article continues below ...Carolina lost in regulation for the first time this season in its past two games after a 4-0-1 start.“We’ve been working on some things,” coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We spent time on special teams, obviously.”Carolina gave up a hat trick to Tampa Bay’s Tyler Johnson on Tuesday.Colorado is coming off Thursday night’s 5-3 victory at New Jersey, where captain Gabriel Landeskog logged a hat trick.“That’s why he’s the captain, that’s why he’s our leader,” defenseman Ian Cole said. “A lot of guys stepped up, but him especially.”Three points in the first two games of a four-game East Coast trip have given the Avalanche a good vibe.“To get off to a start like that, guys are having fun,” Landeskog said. “It’s important to get a win when you stay patient and work for everything you get.”The Hurricanes have relied on an aggressive style and fast starts in games this season. The Avalanche might be playing the style that can match that.“I think (Landeskog) had our team focused and ready to go,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said of the game against New Jersey. “I thought we were the aggressors to start the game.”Brind’Amour said the Hurricanes need to straighten out the power play, but he’s generally content with what he has seen five-on-five.“We’re giving up chances, but that’s going to happen,” he said.Still, the Hurricanes have made a roster move, bringing forward Clark Bishop up from Charlotte of the American Hockey League. Rookie center Martin Necas, after scoring his first NHL goal earlier in the week, and defenseman Haydn Fleury were sent to the AHL club.Bishop will get a chance to show how he has progressed Buffalo Sabres Hats Womens , working on the fourth line.“We want to see (do) what he has done all training camp and those games down in Charlotte,” Brind’Amour said. “He’s energy. We’re expecting good, hard, honest effort.”Necas doesn’t figure to be down in the minors for long, Brind’Amour said. But this provides a chance for him to refine some areas.“He’s an NHL-caliber talent,” Brind’Amour said. “He’s playing a tough position at center. We need to get him a little more ready away from the puck. I want him to have confidence when he comes back to us.”It appears that the return of goalie Scott Darling might be a bit away as he comes back from a preseason groin injury. He has returned to practice, but he’s not likely to be on the ice Saturday.“You don’t want to push it too soon,” Brind’Amour said.Right winger Sebastian Aho has at least one point in each of Carolina’s first seven games.The Carolina home game is a rarity for this weekend, with the North Carolina State Fair going on at the grounds adjacent to the arena. LAS VEGAS (AP) Marc-Andre Fleury has been the foundation for the Vegas Golden Knights‘ run to the Stanley Cup Final.Yet while he has a 1.68 goals-against average and .947 save percentage, he’ll be the first one in the locker room to credit the defensemen in front of him.”It’s a team game – win as a team, lose as a team,” said Fleury, who looks to become the 11th goaltender in NHL history to have his name on the Cup at least four times – and the fourth of that group to win with multiple teams.”These guys are a big part of our success. We’re well balanced, we got some veteran guys, some younger guys, got some offensive guys, some defensive guys playing together. Those guys have been rallying all playoffs, trying to help me out Custom Buffalo Sabres Jerseys , blocking shots and letting me see the puck, so it’s been a lot of fun.”The pairings of Nate Schmidt and Brayden McNabb, Shea Theodore and Deryk Engelland, and Colin Miller with Luca Sbisa or Jon Merrill, have helped the Golden Knights become a very tight defensive team during the playoffs, something that will have to carry into Game 1 at T-Mobile Arena, on Monday against the Washington Capitals.Schmidt has developed into the team’s top defenseman after struggling to find consistent ice time in Washington last season, when he averaged 15:29 on the ice. The fifth-year pro leads the Golden Knights with an average 22:14 on the ice and brings a familiarity to the Final, having played with Washington’s top scorers Evgeny Kuznetsov (24 points) and Alex Ovechkin (22), who rank first and second, respectively, in overall playoff scoring.”I know a lot of those guys, I know what they like to do,” said Schmidt, who has six points (2 goals, 4 assists) in the postseason. ”For what I want to do on the ice, it helps me and I think it helps our group as well that we’ve had success against them. But it’s a whole other type of animal this time of year.”The Golden Knights swept the regular-season series against Washington, winning 3-0 on Dec. 23 in Vegas and 4-3 on Feb. 4 in D.C.With five more Capitals have double-digit points – Nicklas Backstrom (16) www.flamesshoponline.com , John Carlson (16), T.J. Oshie (15), Lars Eller (13) and Tom Wilson (11) – Vegas will need one last big effort from a defensive group that has helped allow the second-least number of goals among playoff teams that have played 10 games.Washington coach Barry Trotz said he knows the Golden Knights have three dynamic duos that each feature one offensive guy who can skate and move the puck – that being Miller, Theodore, and Schmidt – paired with more of a traditional stay-at-home defenseman who isn’t afraid to get physical, block shots and slow the opposing team’s pace – such as Sbisa, Engelland, Merrill and McNabb.”But they still bring some offense, too,” Trotz said. ”They play 5-5-5 all three zones just as we talk about with the Capitals. Watch the TV, you see five guys in the picture, then you’re doing good.”Schmidt said using speed against them worked during the regular season, by moving their feet more than Washington did, and helping to develop plays in transition. But again, this is the Stanley Cup Final, and Schmidt said he knows Washington can skate well and will be a challenge.”I think another thing is just making sure you’re really disciplined against this team,” Schmidt said. ”You’ve got to make sure you stay out of the penalty box, keep Ovechkin off the power play and keep that unit off the power play.”To Vegas’ credit Calgary Flames T-Shirts Womens , however, it does have the fourth-best penalty kill in the playoffs, stopping 82.5 percent of the power plays it has seen. And, as Sbisa said, that circles back to Fleury and the chemistry that’s been built with the defensive pairings.”That bond is definitely there,” Sbisa said. ”You don’t have to worry about anything else, play it loose, play to your strengths and that’s what we’ve been doing as a group. The six Ds that are playing that night, they’re tight; we play as a three-man group (with Fleury). Flower’s a guy that doesn’t take too much credit for himself, even though he should, because he’s been that good and it’s obviously nice to hear stuff like that coming out of his mouth. But he definitely deserves all the credit here.”As a D-man, knowing that you have the best goalie in the world behind you, saving you when something happens, it makes a huge difference because it allows you to play your game. Praise has to go both ways.”

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