Anaheim Ducks v Chicago Blackhawks

Friday’s battle of best in the West goes to the Blackhawks


It was a clash of Western Conference powers that looked a little lopsided at one point.

The Chicago Blackhawks, second in the conference standings, jumped ahead to a three-goal lead by the middle of the third period against the conference-leading Anaheim Ducks, then had to hold on for a 4-2 victory.

Bryan Bickell’s goal with less than nine minutes remaining in the third period gave the Blackhawks a three-goal lead. This one was over, right? Wrong. The Ducks, thanks to goals from Ryan Getzlaf and Kyle Palmieri less than a minute apart, got right back into the game, making for an intense finish in what might be a preview of things to come this spring during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

For the Blackhawks, it was Marian Hossa who led the way. The 35-year-old veteran winger scored twice, including a beautiful short-handed goal on a quickly released, wicked wrist shot in the first period.

But holding on for two points certainly wasn’t easy.

“We always have trouble playing against this team, and that’s why this win is big,” Hossa said, as per Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times.

It wasn’t all good news for Chicago. Forward Kris Versteeg did not come out on the ice or the bench to begin the third period and is now listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. As per Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago, he will be re-evaluated tomorrow.

Memorial Cup champion goalie Appleby signs with Devils

Ken Appleby
The Canadian Press via AP
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Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.

Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.

Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.

Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.

PHT Morning Skate: NHL stars weigh in on McDavid

Connor McDavid
The Canadian Press via AP
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)

While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)

Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)

The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (