Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings - Game Three

WATCH LIVE: Chicago Blackhawks at Los Angeles Kings (Game 4)

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With a win tonight at Staples Center in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final, the Los Angeles Kings would take a commanding 3-1 series lead over the defending Stanley Cup champs from Chicago.


The action starts at 9 p.m. ET.

Get your Game Notes here.

Certainly, nobody would count out the Blackhawks if they were to lose tonight. Chicago has already had winning streaks of six and three in these playoffs. A 3-1 deficit would be tough to overcome, but not impossible.

That being said, captain Jonathan Toews knows his team is running out of time, against a club that knows a thing or two about winning as well.

“It’s time to bring it. It’s time to play our best hockey. No more waiting,” Toews said yesterday, per CSN Chicago. “Everyone knows and understands we can bring more. We know how good a team we’re up against and what it’s going to take to beat them. We can be positive about a lot of things and remind ourselves what we’re capable of as a team and where we’ve been before, considering this situation in the series. So let’s go play a great game for each other tomorrow, it’s a great opportunity for us.”

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
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Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.