Anaheim Ducks

Video: Corey Perry pulls Timonen into Blackhawks’ goalie Crawford

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Corey Perry certainly isn’t doing anything to endear himself to the Chicago Blackhawks, including goalie Corey Crawford.

What else would you expect?

In the first period of Game 4, Perry grabbed Chicago defenseman Kimmo Timonen and sent him into Crawford after he covered the puck, stopping play.

Perry has been pestering Crawford throughout the series, as the Ducks have tried to make life miserable for the Chicago puck stopper. Following Game 3, Crawford came out and said he was getting bumped. “It wasn’t enough to get called, but it was enough on that one (to be) a little distraction,” he said.

Video: Saad scores on short-handed breakaway after official, Ducks d-man get tangled up

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Brandon Saad opened the scoring for the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4, burying his shot top corner on a short-handed breakaway late in the first period.

Saad was able to get away through the neutral zone, after Anaheim Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin got tangled up with referee Chris Rooney at the Chicago blue line. Still, Saad was also able to get by Ryan Kesler, known for his excellent skating ability, on his way to the net.

Ducks’ Wisniewski felt ‘confusion, anger’ at first as a healthy scratch

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James Wisniewski has yet to see any ice time in these Stanley Cup playoffs, despite the Anaheim Ducks bringing him over from Columbus at the trade deadline in an attempt to bolster their blue line with a veteran defenseman.

Wisniewski was made a healthy scratch in the series opener against the Winnipeg Jets, and nothing has changed since then. He hasn’t played since April 11. But he knows he could get called into action at any time in these playoffs.

“It’s hard to argue when we’re 10-2 in the playoffs,” Wisniewski told the L.A. Times. “There was confusion at first, then anger, but you need to be professional, because I never know when I’m going to get tapped. Injury could happen. They could ask me to fill a duty.

“The only way to do that is to stay at 100%, be ready to go when called on.

“Dwelling on the situation, being negative, doesn’t help. There’s too much to live for rather than moaning about something. With age, you realize the important things in life.”

Vermette, Teravainen return for Blackhawks in Game 4

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After voicing his displeasure with being a healthy scratch in Game 3, Antoine Vermette will draw back into the lineup for the Chicago Blackhawks tonight in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final.

Vermette along with Teuvo Teravainen, who also draws in tonight, watched as Chicago fell 2-1 to the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.

Vermette has a goal and an assist to go along with a plus-4 rating while averaging 13:33 of ice time in 10 playoff games. Teravainen has scored a goal and three points in eight postseason games while averaging 13:46 in ice time.

During the team’s morning skate on Saturday Patrick Sharp skated on a line with Vermette with Teravainen – the trio played together in Chicago’s 3-2 triple overtime victory in Game 2.

Joakim Nordstrom and Kris Versteeg, who were inserted into Game 3 as “fresh legs” appear to be the odd men out tonight.

“There are some good stretches there in Game 2. I think that line can be a factor offensively. I think defensively they’ve been reliable in stretches, as well,” said Blackhwks coach Joel Quenneville of his third line. “Just some pace and energy across the board.

“That four-line rotation that we felt was best in Game 2 is what we’re looking for.”

Andrew Shaw meanwhile skated on the Blackhawks’ fourth line alongside Andrew Desjardins and Marcus Kruger at the United Center this morning.

“(Shaw) had some good games on the wall,” Quenneville said. “We talked about this maybe in the prior series, that some guys like them better on the wing, or you like him better at center. I think it’s 50/50. I think we like him equally as well. He’s comfortable in both areas.

“I think in the playoffs he raises his level of play. That persistence that you saw out of Shawsy just seems to rise.”

Kruger, who didn’t take a single faceoff in Game 3, said he was not battling an injury and expects to be back in the faceoff circle tonight.

“Your instincts, they find a way to get to the puck quicker, they got a good stick, they anticipate real well,” said Quenneville of Kruger. “I think offensively he has the same traits. But I think he’s so adept at the defensive side of things, we give him a little bit more of a job description on that side of it.

“Certainly very valuable and useful in a lot of ways.”

Puck drop tonight is at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC.

Yzerman, Sather, Murray finalists for GM of the Year

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The NHL GM of the Year award has come down to Tampa Bay’s Steve Yzerman, the New York Rangers’ Glen Sather, and Anaheim’s Bob Murray.

For Murray its an opportunity to become the first general manager to win the award twice since it was first given in 2010. Anaheim won its division for the third straight year and is fighting the Chicago Blackhawks for a berth into the Stanley Cup Final.

Murray helped bring the Ducks to the next level in the playoffs by acquiring Ryan Kesler from Vancouver in the summer of 2014 in exchange for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa, and two draft picks. Kesler had a solid campaign and has been a big help in the postseason with four goals, nine points, and a 61.2 faceoff winning percentage in 12 contests. Perhaps the biggest move was the one Murray didn’t make though. He let goaltender Jonas Hiller walk as a free agent and rather than replace him, Murray put his trust in the idea that one of his two young netminders, Frederik Andersen or John Gibson, would be able to fill the void. So far that’s worked out for Anaheim.

Yzerman’s Tampa Bay Lightning had a 50-24-8 record in the regular season and advanced to the 2015 Eastern Conference Final. Yzerman inherited Steven Stamkos, but he’s done a great job of building a strong team around the superstar. The Lightning have a number of young offensive weapons, including Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov, and Ondrej Palat, all of which were acquired during Yzerman’s watch. Kucherov was a late second round selection in 2011 while Palat slipped all the way to the seventh round of the same draft. Johnson meanwhile was never drafted and Yzerman instead lured him over with an entry-level contract in 2011.

The Lightning general manager also acquired a vital piece of the puzzle in 2013 when he sent Cory Conacher and a fourth round pick to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Ben Bishop.

Sather has been running the Rangers’ front office since in 2000 and oversaw their Presidents’ Trophy-winning 2014-15 campaign. He’s made a habit of trading for or signing high-profile players with varying degrees of success. The most recent example is defenseman Keith Yandle, who he pried away from Arizona in March. Some of the other big names he’s acquired in recent years include Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis, and Dan Boyle.