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Posts Tagged ‘Antii Niemi.’

NHL ‘Three Stars of the Week, Niemi, Hedberg & Hemsky

(By Chris courtesy of Clker.com)

The NHL has selected its ‘Three Stars of the Week’. They are San Jose Sharks goaltender Antii Niemi, New Jersey Devils goaltender Johan Hedberg and Edmonton Oilers right wing Ales Hemsky for the week ending February 20.

First Star, Niemi posted a 3-0-0 record, 0.98 goals against average, .963 save percentage and one shutout as the Sharks (33-21-6) climbed to fourth place in the Western Conference standings.

Niemi stopped 78 of 81 shots last week.

The 27-year-old native of Vantaa, Finland has started each of the Sharks’ past 15 games, posting an 11-2-1 record in that span.

Second Star, Hedberg posted a 3-0-0 record, 1.00 goals-against average, .956 save percentage and one shutout, helping the Devils (25-30-4) push their second half of the season record to an NHL-best 15-1-2.

Hedberg stopped 65 of 68 shots last week.

He has won each of his six starts since Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur suffered a knee sprain on February 6 at Montreal.

Third Star, Hemsky led all scorers last week with seven points (four goals, three assists) as the Oilers (19-32-8) won three straight games.

The 27-year-old Pardubice, Czech Republic leads the Oilers in scoring with 40 points (13 goals, 27 assists) in 42 games. He is seven points shy of 400 for his career (113-280-393).

clipart by Clker.com

Info courtesy of the NHL

Blackhawks show Niemi the door; usher in Turco as number one goalie

Marty Turco now a Blackhawk (nhl)

Marty Turco was not offered a new contract by the cost-cutting Dallas Stars a few weeks ago.

But now, that’s all a memory as he will now be playing for the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

Turco replaces Stanley Cup hero Antii Niemi as the Blackhawks’ top goaltender. He could’ve got a longer contract with more money with another team, but he wants a championship ring. Turco’s deal is one-year for $1.3 million.

The Blackhawks have high expectations from the 34-year-old Turco, a Michigan product, who has played all nine of his NHL seasons with Dallas. The three-time All-Star has never advanced past the conference finals in six playoff appearances with the Stars.

Niemi, 26, helped Chicago win the Stanley Cup this past season after earning $826,875 as a rookie. He was awarded a $2.75 million salary for next season by an arbitrator last week, which would’ve put the team in a tight spot. The NHL’s salary cap is $59.4 million next season and some hockey experts said that with Niemi’s new salary, it would’ve put the Blackhawks over the limit.

Niemi becomes an unrestricted free agent. The Finn played all but one period of Chicago’s postseason run to the NHL title, going 16-6 with a 2.63 goals-against average, .910 save percentage and two shutouts.

Niemi will make the eighth player to leave the Blackhawks since the winning the Stanley Cup. The others include Andrew Ladd, Ben Eager, Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Adam Burish, Colin Fraser and Kris Versteeg. 37-year-old John Madden, another unrestricted free agent, has yet to sign with a team.

compiled from Chicago Blackhawks and NHL news

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS UPDATE: Games 1, 2, 3; Chicago up 2-1

compiled from staff and wire reports

GAME 1

The Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers had a wild opening game to the Stanley Cup playoffs. The winning goal came from an unlikely hero.

Tomas Kopecky, scratched in the previous five games and playing because of an injury to Andrew Ladd, took a great pass from Kris Versteeg in the third period and scored from a tough, acute angle past Backup goalie Brian Boucher to give Chicago a 6-5 victory on Saturday night.

GAME 2

Chicago goalie Antii Niemi back in his native Finland used to make a few extra bucks driving a Zamboni at the hockey arena. He’s now clearing pucks in the NHL for more than a few extra bucks.

Antii Niemi (nhl)

Niemi made 14 of his 32 saves in the third period and Chicago beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 Monday night to take a 2-0 series lead.

Niemi held his poise as the Flyers put on the extra attacker the last 1:44 of the game, but couldn’t score.

GAME 3

Claude Giroux scored 5:59 into the overtime period to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals Wednesday night, cutting  the Blackhawks lead in the series to 2-1.

Minutes after the Flyers thought they scored the winner only to have a video review uphold the on-ice call of no goal, Giroux redirected Matt Carle’s pass past Antii Niemi to end the third straight one-goal game in the series.

Giroux was picked four years ago in the NHL Draft by then-general manager Bobby Clarke who forgot his name up on the podium.

Clarke, who led the Flyers to their only two championships in 1974 and 1975, couldn’t recall Giroux’s name after Philadelphia chose him with the 22nd overall pick in the 2006 NHL entry draft. It was Clarke who scored Philadelphia’s last overtime goal in the finals against Boston in Game 2 of the 1974 series.

“Big Buff” Dustin Byfuglien leads Blackhawks to victory

compiled from staff and wire reports

The Chicago Blackhawks are within one win of the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 18 years.

Dave Bolland’s pass from behind the net found Byfuglien in stride as he skated fast and hard into the slot Friday night. That goal had a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks and a 3-0 series lead in the Western Conference finals.

Dustin Byfuglien (nhl)

Two assists from Jonathan Toews, and 44 saves from Antti Niemi put the Blackhawks on the brink of their first appearance in the finals since 1992. They will have the chance to wrap up the series sweep at home on Sunday.

Toews’ two assists gave him a point in 12 straight playoff games, breaking a club record he had shared with Hall of Famer Stan Mikita, who had an 11-game streak in 1962. Toews has 25 points in the 2010 playoffs.

Blackhawks win Game 1 over Sharks, 2-1

compiled from staff and wire reports

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi is starting prove to the NHL skeptics that he is of championship caliber.

Niemi made 44 saves, Dustin Byfuglien scored the tiebreaking goal with 6:45 remaining in regulation to help Chicago get off to a fast start for a change this postseason by beating the San Jose Sharks 2-1 Sunday in the opener of the Western Conference final.

Dustin Byfuglien (nhl)

Niemi looked so sharp in stopping all but one shot in his first career start against San Jose, helping the Blackhawks kill four of five power plays including a 6-on-4 advantage in the closing minute. The win snapped a run of four straight series-opening losses for Chicago.

Patrick Sharp also scored for the Blackhawks, who improved to 6-1 on the road this postseason.

Rookie Jason Demers scored San Jose’s only goal, who fell to 0-4 at home all-time in two trips to the conference final.

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