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Stanley Cup finals start May 30th, here’s the schedule

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The 2012 Stanley Cup finals will begin on Wednesday, May 30, on NBC.

Here’s the schedule in full. All games start at 8 p.m. ET.
* — if necessary

Game      Date                     Teams              TV

Game 1     Wed., May 30       LA at NJ      NBC

Game 2     Sat., June 2          LA at NJ      NBC

Game 3     Mon., June 4         NJ at LA     NBCSN

Game 4     Wed., June 6        NJ at LA      NBCSN

Game 5*    Sat., June 9          LA at NJ      NBC

Game 6*    Mon., June 11       NJ at LA      NBC

Game 7*    Wed., June 13       LA at NJ     NBC

Notes

— The finals will go with a Wed-Sat-Mon rotation. Very similar to last year’s Cup finals, save the Game 5 in Vancouver which was held on a Friday night.

— The broadcasting schedule will be similar to the 2011 Cup finals with Games 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7 on NBC. Games 3 and 4 will be on NBCSN (last year, they were on Versus.)

— Home-ice advantage for the Stanley Cup finals (2-2-1-1-1 format) is determined by points, which means New Jersey (102), and not Los Angeles (95), will host Games 1, 2 and, if necessary, 5 and 7.

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)