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Morning Bag Skate: Rockford IceHogs, Texas Stars to play Game 1 of AHL’s Western final

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Our daily look at Blackhawks news and the happenings around the hockey world.

Chicago Blackhawks v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The Rockford IceHogs, the Chicago Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, will return to the ice Friday to play Game 1 of the Western Conference Final at Texas.

In the Stanley Cup playoffs, Alex Killorn scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves to help the Tampa Bay Lightning even the Eastern Conference with a 4-2 win against the Washington Capitals in Game 4 on Thursday.

The Winnipeg Jets and Vegas Golden Knights will play Game 4 of the Western Conference Final on Friday. Vegas holds a 2-1 series lead.

BLACKHAWKS

**Gustafsson has surgery on broken thumb (SCH)

**Kane’s 2 goals lead Team USA into semifinal at Worlds (SCH)

**Former Hawk of the Week: Mark Bell (SCH)

**Q&A: IceHogs GM Mark Bernard talks prospects, Rockford’s historic postseason (The Athletic)

**IceHogs vs. Stars schedule (SCH)

CENTRAL DIVISION

**Jets great Hawerchuk enjoying protege Scheifele’s success (The Canadian Press)

**Australian fan doing whirlwind tours of Winnipeg, Vegas in order to see idol Fleury in action (Winnipeg Sun)

NHL

**Stanley Cup playoffs: Bracket, schedule, scores and more (SBN)

**ECF Game 4: Vasilevskiy shines Lightning even series against Capitals (Raw Charge)

**Penguins sign Finnish D-man Riikola, per report (Pensburgh)

**Kings sign blue-liner Fantenberg to 1-year extension (theScore)

**Maple Leafs sign 4 players to ELCs (Pension Plan Puppets)

HOCKEY WORLD

**AHL Toronto’s Garret Sparks’ new mask honours Humboldt crash victim Parker Tobin (Sportsnet)

**Gruden finds success after challenging Flint stint (Sportsnet)