Fans planning to take home a souvenir from this weekend's NHL Stadium Series should be cautious. The NHL expects counterfeiters to hit the scene around TCF Bank Stadium with loads of fake merchandise.

There are easy ways to identify what is real or fake, though, and the NHL has amplified its education, awareness and enforcement efforts to help prevent fans from purchasing counterfeit products.

"Our goal is to protect the fans and legitimate retailers from counterfeiters who detract from special events like the NHL Stadium Series," said Tom Prochnow, group vice president of legal and business affairs for NHL Enterprises, in a statement. "By continuing to provide fans with the most up-to-date information on how to spot fake merchandise, we can help consumers and businesses have the best possible experience."

Here are some ways to protect yourself:

• Look for the NHL hologram sticker or hangtag and a sewn-in or screen-printed label identifying the name of the NHL licensee that has been authorized to produce authentic NHL gear.

(The Montreal Canadiens put together a nice guide to beating counterfeit)

• Do your shopping at legitimate retailers like The Hockey Lodge, or inside TCF Bank Stadium. Avoid street vendors, flea markets, overseas websites or other questionable sources.

• Beware of ripped sewn-in tags or irregular markings on the apparel.

"Wild and Blackhawks fans should remember that counterfeiters target special events like the NHL Stadium Series," Prochnow said. "We want our fans to have high-quality, genuine souvenirs from these unforgettable games. Purchasing inferior, low-quality items only diminishes the fans' experiences and memories."

Federal authorities seized $180,000 in counterfeit NHL goods at last year's Stanley Cup.

Also be cautious of counterfeit tickets for this weekend's events. Fake tickets were a problem during last year's Stanley Cup Playoffs at Xcel Energy Center and like those games, Sunday's game is expected to be sold out.