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Five team stats you may find interesting

Plus-27 — That’s the Penguins’ goal differential in the third period, the best goal differential of any team in any period. Pittsburgh has scored 46 times in the third frame, while allowing just 19 goals against. Other notables: Minnesota is plus-18 in the second period and Columbus is plus-15 in the first. Montreal and Chicago have also had strong third periods, going plus-18 and plus-15, respectively.

Read more: Torts downplays significance of tonight’s Jackets-Penguins game

Minus-25 — That’s the Winnipeg Jets’ goal differential in the second period, the worst goal differential of any team in any period. The middle frame tripped them up again Tuesday in Vancouver, where they entered with a 1-0 lead and came out tied. They would eventually lose, 4-1. Winnipeg is plus-10 in the first and third periods combined. One other notable: Colorado is minus-20 in the first and minus-13 in the third. But hey, they’re only minus-3 in the second, a relative success.

14 — Rangers victories when they’ve been outshot by their opponent. No team has won more in that scenario, which says two things about the Blueshirts. First, they’ve had some very good goaltending performances from both Henrik Lundqvist and Antti Raanta. And second, they’re converting on a high percentage of their shots (an NHL-best 11.2 percent, in fact). It is also somewhat worrying, given their score-adjusted Corsi is down there with the league’s bottom-feeders. But with a record of 23-11-1, they’ve at least given themselves a nice playoff cushion if they do happen to regress.

Minus-3 — The goal differential of the Carolina Hurricanes while shorthanded — which is, frankly, amazing. The ‘Canes have only surrendered seven goals on the PK all season, and they’ve scored four times shorthanded. Compare that to Winnipeg, which has a minus-26 goal differential while shorthanded. Yep, not to pick on the Jets, but they continue to hurt themselves with penalties under head coach Paul Maurice. Since 2013-14, they’ve been burned a whopping 196 times while shorthanded. Only the Coyotes (216) have given up more PPGs over that time frame.

47.4 — The faceoff winning percentage of the Columbus Blue Jackets, the second worst rate in the league after Winnipeg (46.9). Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche are at 53.2, the second best after Anaheim (56.2). What does this mean? It means it’s always nice to be a good faceoff team, because obviously it is. However, it’s not an absolute prerequisite for winning. The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2013 with a faceoff percentage of just 46.8 in the playoffs. The ‘Hawks are only at 48.2 percent this season, and they lead the overall standings with a 22-9-4 record.

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7 — Overtime losses for the Dallas Stars, who really can’t afford so many. The Stars have just one victory in sudden death this season. They have yet to go to a shootout. “(If) you’re scoring in overtime, you’re confident, you believe a little bit more,” defenseman Dan Hamhuis told reporters after Tuesday’s 3-2 OT loss to St. Louis. “You don’t want to say it, but it certainly affects guys out there when we haven’t had a great record so far.”

 

Report: ‘Hawks could add Ulf Samuelsson to coaching staff

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The Chicago Blackhawks are searching for an assistant coach, and Ulf Samuelsson might just be their guy.

According to the Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune, Samuelsson is the “top candidate” to replace Mike Kitchen, who was fired after the ‘Hawks were swept by the Nashville Predators in the opening round the playoffs.

The obvious connection here, is that Samuelsson and head coach Joel Quenneville were teammates with the Hartford Whalers back in the 1980s.

Samuelsson, 53, was an associate coach with the Arizona Coyotes from 2006 to 2011 and he was an assistant with the New York Rangers from 2013 to 2016. Last season,  he served as the head coach of Carolina’s farm team, the Charlotte Checkers.

He led the Checkers to a 39-29-8 record during the 2016-17 AHL campaign.

2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule for Monday, May 22

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Will the Nashville Predators become the first team to clinch a berth in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final? We’ll find out tonight.

The Preds were able to push the Ducks to the brink of elimination after their impressive win in Game 5 on Saturday night.

Nashville was able to get the job done without centers Ryan Johansen and Mike Fisher. We know Johansen will be out for Game 6, but maybe Fisher can give them a boost.

Here’s what you need to know:

Anaheim Ducks vs. Nashville Predators (Preds lead 3-2)

Time: 8:00 p.m. ET

Network: NBCSN (Stream live here)

Check out the highlights from Nashville’s 3-1 win in Game 5

Related:

Ducks will be without Eaves and Rakell in Game 6

Pontus Aberg ‘face planted’ before scoring game-winning goal in Game 6

PHT Morning Skate: Is it time for the Wild to blow up their roster?

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–Former NHL head coach Don Cherry weighed in on Preds fans throwing ducks on the ice during games, and he’s not a fan. “I know there’s duck hunters and all that, that’s OK, duck hunters, they have an even chance. And you’re gonna say, ‘Well yeah, Cherry, you had the octopus.’ Okay, but that octopus, we got it from a fish market, it was already dead.” (Sportsnet)

Mats Zuccarello was driving around in Norway when he noticed a kid shooting pucks into a net. The Rangers forward pulled over and made sure to have a good chat with the youngster. (New York Daily News)

–Team USA may have failed to pick up a medal at the World Hockey Championship (again), but with plenty of young talent on the roster, the future appears to be bright for the program. It’s too bad the NHL is deciding not to go to the Olympics though. (New York Post)

–The Pittsburgh Penguins annihilated the Ottawa Senators, 7-0, last night. You can see each one of those goals by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–To drum up interest in the Golden Knights, the team organized a “Sticks for Kids” street hockey clinic over the weekend, and over 1500 kids left there with a stick and a ball. “We want to get them started learning the game at a young age. It’s a process, from putting a stick in their hands to learning to skate to then learning to play. We want to hit all demographics. We want everyone in Las Vegas to feel involved and welcomed. We don’t want it to be an afterthought for anyone.” (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

–The Minnesota Wild got off to a great start this season, but they faded down the stretch and were eventually bounced in the opening round of the playoffs. Now, some people in Minnesota are wondering if it’s time for the Wild to blow things up and start from scratch. It would allow them to draft a high-end offensive talent, but is it the right approach? (Minneapolis StarTribune)

–After their Game 5 win in Anaheim, the Predators were greeted at the local airport by over 1000 fans. It was a pretty wild scene:

Former Blackhawks defenseman Bill White dies at 77

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Bill White, who played 604 career regular season games in the National Hockey League, has passed away, the Chicago Blackhawks announced Sunday.

He was 77 years old.

More from the Blackhawks:

White spent seven years in the minors before the National Hockey League grew from six to 12 teams in 1967. When the expansion Los Angeles Kings gained his rights, he immediately earned acclaim as an extraordinary stay-at-home defenseman. During the 1969-70 season, Pat Stapleton of the Blackhawks incurred an injury. With his club a serious contender, General Manager Tommy Ivan acquired White from the Kings. When Stapleton returned, he and White formed one of the NHL’s finest blue-line tandems, the former expertly generating offense and the latter adept at laying back.

He scored 50 goals and 265 points during his time in the league.

In addition to playing for the Kings and Blackhawks, White was also a member of Canada’s 1972 Summit Series team, which defeated the Soviet Union in an epic eight-game series.

“A younger generation might not understand what we went through,” White once told the Toronto Sun. “I’m still asked about playing in the series at least twice a week.”