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Player matchups that will rock the Stanley Cup finals

The Stanley Cup finals will feature a clash of the two best teams, but it's the player matchups within that will be most intriguing. We take a look at the biggest.

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Sharks-Penguins ready to start Stanley Cup final (3:28)
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Melrose: West too strong in Stanley Cup finals (0:29)
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1dBen Arledge

Smith at peace with infamous Stanley Cup own goal

Thirty years ago, Steve Smith became hockey's Bill Buckner when his infamous gaffe cost the Oilers a chance at a Cup. Now he's helping other young defensemen weather the ups and downs in the NHL.

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World Cup of Hockey roster: Team Russia

Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk headline Russia's roster, but the additional seven includes the suspended defenseman Slava Voynov.

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3dPaul Lukas

Uni Watch: World Cup of Hockey jerseys

The jerseys for the World Cup of Hockey have been rolled out, and while the designs range from spectacular to adequate, all of the sweaters share one particular flaw.

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2dCraig Custance

What Dylan Sadowy can do for the Red Wings

Craig Custance examines what new trade acquisition Dylan Sadowy can do for Detroit. Plus, another round of #CustanceCorrespondence.

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Sidney Crosby's legacy in jeopardy? (0:46)
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#LevyAndMelrose: The toughest trophy to win in sports (2:49)
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Melrose: Sharks can be labeled as winners now (1:21)
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NHL Top 3 plays of the week (1:35)
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Penguins coach explains decision to challenge (0:44)
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Did Mike Sullivan rush Marc-Andre Fleury? (3:01)

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Corey Pronman @coreypronman

As always the series winner is from an Australian (Nathan Walker). Hershey advances to the Calder Cup Finals.

How to bet the Stanley Cup finals

Ben Arledge expects the series to go six or seven games, but thinks the Sharks aren't getting the respect they deserve. No-brainer bet (Insider)

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Craig Custance @CraigCustance

Vlasic on Sid: "Sidney Crosby does everything well. In the first three rounds, put all their top players together and that would be Crosby."

Craig Custance @CraigCustance

Marc-Edouard Vlasic on Sharks shutting down Tarasenko in WCF: "Did I expect to do that? No. Did I expect him to score every game? Yes."

Joe McDonald ESPN Staff Writer 

San Jose Sharks' Joel Ward, who wears No. 42 in honor of baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, believes there should be a discussion to retire NHL pioneer Willie O'Ree's No. 22. "That's something to definitely talk about for sure. It would be great if they did," Ward said. "Obviously that's something that would be a great discussion about. With the amount of respect Willie has around the league, it would definitely be something special if that did come up."

Joe McDonald ESPN Staff Writer 

San Jose Sharks' Joel Ward wears No. 42 to honor the late Jackie Robinson. Ward also believes that NHL pioneer Willie O'Ree should be honored in a similar way and maybe a discussion should be started to retire his No. 22. Here's what Ward said about wearing No. 42: "When I think about what Jackie Robinson means, not just on the baseball aspect, but what he went through, and I always question myself whether would I ever be strong enough to go through something like that, and the fact that he excelled hitting over .300 and knowing that he could be shot at any minute, every time he stepped up to the plate he just seemed to tune that out in some miraculously way, so for somebody to pave the way like that and open doors for guys like myself is unbelievable."

Joe McDonald ESPN Staff Writer 

San Jose Sharks' Joe Thornton discusses the career journey to finally reach the Stanley Cup finals. He talks about why this team finally accomplished the feat and why he thinks he was considered a scapegoat at times when he was with the Bruins, and at some point during his time in San Jose.

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Joe McDonald @ESPNJoeyMac

Sharks' Joel Ward believes that maybe, like Jackie Robinson's No. 42, Willie O'Ree's No. 22 should be retired in the NHL.

Joe McDonald ESPN Staff Writer 

San Jose Sharks' Joe Thornton has seen the Stanley Cup but has yet to win it. Here's what he had to say about the coveted trophy.

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