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Pronger is the Flyers' head games specialist

CHICAGO — The Blackhawks' most noticeable weapon for getting into the Flyers' heads in the Stanley Cup final is the extremely catchy or extremely annoying — depending on your allegiance — song that's played at the United Center when they score, Chelsea Dagger.

The Flyers counter with the joyously irritating or notoriously dirty — again, depending on your allegiance — Chris Pronger.

Chelsea Dagger was blasted eight times in Games 1 and 2 as the Blackhawks won both.

And after each game, Pronger, a veteran All-Star defenseman who won the Cup in 2007 with the Ducks, violated hockey protocol by taking the puck to keep it away from the winners.

Game 3 is tonight in Philadelphia.

After Monday's Game 2, Blackhawks wing Ben Eager approached Pronger on the ice and called him on his puck-taking. Cameras caught Pronger responding by shooting at Eager a souvenir towel a fan had thrown on the ice, and the two exchanged words.

Both received 10-minute misconduct penalties.

"I just told him he can keep (the puck)," said Eager, who scored the winner in the 2-1 victory, after the game.

Pronger was asked by a reporter about shooting the towel at Eager.

"I don't know, did I?" he responded in an exchange reported by Canada's TSN sports TV network. "Wow. You're intuitive. Good for you. Next."

Pronger was asked what the players said to each other.

"I don't speak that language, whatever (Eager) was speaking," he said. "I couldn't hear him."

Where's the puck, Pronger was asked: "It's in the garbage. Where it belongs."

He was then asked if he would sell the pucks on eBay: "I don't know. Apparently, it got (Eager) upset. So I guess it worked, didn't it? It's too bad. I guess little things amuse little minds."

TV Ratings: Monday's game earned the best overnight rating for a Cup final Game 2 since records began being kept in 1975. It drew a 4.1 rating and a 7 share on NBC.

The rating is the percentage of all homes with televisions tuned in to a program; the share is the percentage of all TVs in use at the time.

The game also was the top-ranked show on network TV for adults 18-49, the demographic most coveted by advertisers.

Overnight ratings measure the nation's largest markets.

The top 10 markets for Games 1 and 2, both televised by NBC: 1. Chicago; 2. Philadelphia; 3. Buffalo; 4. Pittsburgh; 5. Indian- apolis; 6. Detroit; 7. Fort Myers; 8. Las Vegas; 9. (tie) Orlando, St. Louis, Columbus, Ohio.

Wings' Lidstrom to return: Star defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, 40, signed a $6.2 million one-year contract to return to the Red Wings, the team with which has spent all of his 18 seasons. He was contemplating retiring. "I feel good about the decision," he said. "I've already started working out for next season."

lightning: Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman has asked to speak to Detroit's Ryan Martin, the team's director of hockey administration and who handles the ins and outs of the salary cap, Ontario's Windsor Star reported. Martin is known to be close to Yzerman.

Maple Leafs: Former Lightning assistant general manager Claude Loiselle was hired as assistant GM. Loiselle was believed to have interviewed for the Lightning GM job, which went to Steve Yzerman last week.

Times staff writer Damian Cristodero contributed to this report.

stanley cup FINAL

Blackhawks 2,

Flyers 0

Game 1: Blackhawks 6,

Flyers 5

Game 2: Blackhawks 2, Flyers 1

Today: at Philadelphia, 8, Versus

Friday: at Philadelphia, 8, Versus

Sunday: at Chicago, 8,

Ch. 8 *

June 9: at Philadelphia,

8, Ch. 8 *

June 11: at Chicago, 8,

Ch. 8 *

* If necessary

Pronger is the Flyers' head games specialist 06/01/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 2, 2010 12:22am]
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