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We were intense today and
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Higher-seeded teams with the lead in a best-of-seven series over the history of the NHL playoffs have had plenty of trouble putting the opponent away. Sometimes the brink of elimination has been what truly gets a team going. Consider the Chicago Blackhawks, though, when their foe is down. An ability to swoop down and delivering the finishing victory has become a clear trait of this team since coach Joel Quenneville took over and stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews arrived. "The bigger the setting, the bigger the stage, they seem to rise to that challenge," Quenneville said. Since 2009, the first post-season appearance for Kane and Toews, the Blackhawks have not lost in any of the seven playoff series theyve been in that were tied after four games. Thats a 13-0 record in Games 5 and 6 of such matchups that were even at two each, including the Stanley Cup finals in 2010 against Philadelphia and 2013 against Boston. Theyll test that perfect mark once more on Tuesday in Game 6 against the Minnesota Wild, who fell behind 3-2 in this Western Conference semifinal series after losing 2-1 in Chicago on Sunday. "To do exactly whatever it takes ... is one of the hardest things in any series, to clinch it," said Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell, whos tied for the NHL lead with six goals this year in the playoffs. "But I feel we have the confidence and the poise and the relaxation that we dont get ahead of ourselves and just play shift by shift." During the Kane-Toews era -- which includes left wing Patrick Sharp and core defencemen Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson -- the Blackhawks are 11-2 in games played with a chance to win a series. Theyre 5-1 on the road, with the only losses in those clinching situations against Vancouver, in 2011 in Game 7 of the first round and in 2010 in Game 5 of the second round. They rebounded in 2010 to win Game 6 and advance. The Wild are bound to be one of the toughest outs these Blackhawks have encountered. Theyre 5-0 at Xcel Energy Center since the playoffs began, outscoring their opponents 16-5 and allowing an average of 19.2 shots on goal per game. The Blackhawks were stifled in Games 3 and 4, unable to amount any kind of offensive rhythm. "The building has been electric. The fans have been unbelievable. Im sure theyre having a good time with the late starts," Wild defenceman Ryan Suter said, smiling. "Everything, its been a lot of fun for us. Were driving to the rink and you see the excitement outside the rink, and we just build off that." The Wild won two elimination games in the last round against Colorado and, to factor in franchise history, are 9-5 all time in those situations. Theyre trying to become the first NHL team to force consecutive Game 7s in the same post-season without holding a series lead since the New York Islanders in 1987. "Just get ready for Game 6 here. Thats our Game 7 right now," captain Mikko Koivu said. Quenneville declared injured centre Andrew Shaw out again for Game 6. Wild coach Mike Yeo said left wing Matt Moulson and defenceman Keith Ballard were skating on Monday but declined to speculate on their status. Suter took a hard spill in Game 3 in a tangle with Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa, leaving the game briefly with an apparent injury to his right arm, but he and Yeo have said repeatedly hes fine. Really, at this point in the playoffs, any pain is mostly an afterthought. So, too, is the elimination scenario for the Wild. "I think we like the challenge. We always seem to make things harder than it needs to be. I dont know if thats a good thing to do, but it seems throughout the year thats kind of been the way weve gone about it," Suter said. So the teams will take the ice on Tuesday, with the pressure on each side higher than its been all season. "I think we know what theyre doing. I think they know pretty much what were doing, too," Blackhawks defenceman Johnny Oduya said. "From this point I think its just a matter of will and who wants to win the most and whos fresher and who plays better." MLB Jerseys Outlet .J. -- Omar Cummings helped the Houston Dynamo advance to the MLS Eastern Conference finals. Cheap Baseball Jerseys . -- Sonny Grays fastball wasnt as sharp as it usually is, and the Oakland Athletics young pitcher even had a quirky replay go against him. https://www.baseballjerseyssale.com/. - A late-game interception by defensive back Malcolm Butler saved the Super Bowl for the New England Patriots. Cheap Nike MLB Jerseys . Speaking on Leafs Lunch with Bryan Hayes and Jamie McLennan on Thursday, Bernier said it was "very hard" at times being entrenched behind Jonathan Quick and is now excited at the prospect of getting an opportunity to compete with Reimer for the top spot with the Leafs. Wholesale Baseball Jerseys . Founding members of the Genie Army, a group of Eugenie Bouchard supporters who cheered for the rising tennis star during the Australian Open in January, will be in the city for the Rogers Cup, beginning this weekend.Mike Cammalleri faces the Canadiens for the first time since the team traded him to Calgary over two years ago as Montreal hosts the Flames tonight at Bell Centre. Viewers in the Canadiens region can watch the game on TSN Canadiens at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt. The game can also be heard on TSN Radio Montreal 690. The Calgary Flames will see if they can take their recent hot streak on the road when they shoot for a sixth consecutive win Monday night in Montreal. The Flames went 5-0 during a recent residency at the Saddledome, sweeping a five-game homestand for the first time since Feb. 7-15, 1997. The hot stretch at home came just two weeks after the Flames set a franchise record by losing seven straight in their own building. Calgary, however, has lost three straight and eight of its last 10 on the road, but the Flames hope to pick up an away win when they visit the Canadiens tonight at the Bell Centre. The Flames are just 9-13-4 as the guest this season, and despite the recent surge, the club is still 14 points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Calgary is beginning a three-game swing on Tuesday. The Flames will visit the New York Islanders on Thursday before playing their last game before the Olympic break Saturday in Philadelphia. Calgary capped its perfect homestand on Saturday by picking up a 4-3 overtime win against Minnesota. The Flames carried a 2-1 lead into the third and built a 3-1 cushion just a minute into the period before the Wild scored twice over the final 10 minutes of regulation to send the game to OT. Mikael Backlund scored the game-winner in overtime for Calgary, giving him two goals on the night. T.J. Galiardi added a goal and an assist for the Flames and Dennis Wideman also lit the lamp. The Flames did lose goaltender Karri Ramo to a sprained medial collateral ligament on Saturday, as he left the game late in the first period and did not return. Reto Berra stopped 14-of-17 shots in relief. Ramo will miss his teams final three games before the Olympics and the Flames have recalled goaltender Joni Ortio from Abbotsford of the American Hockey League to assist Berra with the netminding duties. "Reto (Berra) gets the start in Montreal," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "He came in big for us last game. We have three games left. Were in the businesss of playing the ones who perform.dddddddddddd" The Canadiens enter this evenings test having lost two straight at the start of a four-game homestand. Montreal, which has dropped four of six overall, was handed a 2-1 overtime setback by Tampa Bay on Saturday and lost by the same score in regulation the next day versus Winnipeg. Michael Frolik scored the winner in the third period and Al Montoya made 30 saves to help the Jets down the Habs. Brian Gionta scored the only goal and Carey Price allowed both goals on 33 shots for the Canadiens. "We were intense today and hit two posts, but Montoya made some good key saves," said Montreal head coach Michel Therrien. "Sure we would like to score more goals, but I liked the intensity we showed today." Montreal is currently holding onto the seventh of eight playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. The Habs are two points in front of Detroit and Philadelphia for that distinction and Montreal is two in back of Toronto for third place in the Atlantic Division. The Canadiens pulled off a minor trade on Monday, acquiring forward Dale Weise from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for defenseman Raphael Diaz. Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin said Weise "brings additional toughness and grit to our group of forwards." Weise, 25, had three goals, nine assists and 65 hits in 44 games for the Canucks this season. For his career, he has totaled 10 goals, 16 assists and 185 penalty minutes in 162 games with the New York Rangers and Canucks. The 28-year-old Diaz posted 11 assists and blocked 100 shots in 46 games with the Canadiens in 2013-14. The Swiss native has four goals and 37 helpers in 128 career games, all with Montreal. Including this evenings test, the Canadiens have three games left before the NHL goes on hiatus for the Winter Olympics. Montreal is set to complete its four-game stay at the Bell Centre on Thursday against Vancouver before visiting Carolina on Saturday. The Canadiens, who are 15-10-4 as the host this season, have lost two of their last three home games against the Flames, although the clubs last met in Montreal on Oct. 13, 2011 when Calgary notched a 4-1 triumph. The Flames have taken four in a row in this series and boast a 7-0-1 record in their last eight tilts against Montreal. ' ' '
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