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  • NHL roundup: Lightning eliminate Devils with 3-1 win
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, April 22, 2018

    Andrei Vasilevskiy made 26 saves as the host Tampa Bay Lightning eliminated the New Jersey Devils with a 3-1 victory in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

    • The Lightning won the series four games to one and await the winner of Boston-Toronto.

      Vasilevskiy did not see much action until the third period as the Lightning controlled possession throughout the second due to four straight power plays. He stepped up with saves on Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri and Pavel Zacha during New Jersey's first power play midway through the third.

      Mikhail Sergachev scored his first career playoff goal in the first period, Nikita Kucherov netted the game-winner with about 8 1/2 minutes remaining and Ryan Callahan added an empty-net goal. Patrick Maroon scored for the Devils, who stayed in the game by keeping the Lightning scoreless in five power plays.

      Maple Leafs 4, Bruins 3

      James van Riemsdyk capped a two-goal second period for Toronto, which held on against host Boston in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

      Van Riemsdyk added an assist. Tyler Bozak, Connor Brown and Andreas Johnsson also scored, and Frederik Andersen made 42 saves for the Maple Leafs, who trail the best-of-seven series 3-2.

      David Backes, Sean Kuraly and Noel Acciari each scored goals for the Bruins, but goalie Tuukka Rask allowed four goals on 13 shots before being replaced by backup Anton Khudobin (eight saves). Game 6 is Monday in Toronto.

      Capitals 4, Blue Jackets 3 (OT)

      Nicklas Backstrom scored his second goal of the game 11:53 into overtime and gave host Washington a victory over Columbus in Game 5 of its Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

      The Capitals now have won three straight after dropping the first two in the series. Washington has a 3-2 lead and can close it out in Game 6 on Monday at Columbus.

      Backstrom simply deflected a shot from Dmitry Orlov past Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky from between the circles for the game-winner. Backstrom finished with two goals and one assist.

      --Field Level Media

  • Malkin's status for Game 6 uncertain
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, April 21, 2018

    Evgeni Malkin is expected to be a game-time decision for the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference series with the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.

    • Malkin was the only player who missed the Penguins' practice Saturday. When asked about Malkin's status, coach Mike Sullivan replied, "All players are game-time decisions," which has been his standard response regarding injuries this postseason, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

      Malkin appeared to sustain a left leg injury late in the first period of the Penguins' 4-2 loss in Game 5 Friday when he got tangled up with the Flyers' Jori Lehtera and fell awkwardly into the boards.

      He went to the dressing room but returned for the second period, playing sparingly. However, Malkin took regular shifts in the third period.

      If Malkin is a Game 6 scratch, Derick Brassard would likely center the second line and Riley Sheahan would move to the third line.

      The Penguins lead the best-of-seven series 3-2.

      --Field Level Media

  • Devils' Boyle, Panthers' Luongo and Hurricanes' Staal named Masterton finalists
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, April 21, 2018

    New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle, Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo and Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal were named as the three finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, the NHL announced Saturday.

    • The award goes to "the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."

      The winner will be announced during the NHL Awards show in Las Vegas on June 20.

      Boyle, 33, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a bone marrow cancer, during training camp and was back in the lineup by Nov. 1. He scored 10 goals in his first 25 games, made the All-Star Game for the first time in his career, and finished the season with 23 points (13 goals, 10 assists) in 69 games.

      Luongo, 39, dealt with hand and groin injuries that caused him to miss more than two months and then went 9-3-1 with a 2.44 goals-against average in his first 13 games back in the net to finish 18-11-2 with a 2.47 GAA in 35 games. The resident of Parkland, Fla., delivered a powerful pregame speech at the Panthers' first home game after 17 people were killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High on Feb. 14.

      Staal, 29, totaled 46 points (19 goals, 27 assists) in 79 games, the second-highest goals and points totals of his six seasons with the Hurricanes. In late February, his wife Heather delivered a stillborn daughter named Hannah who was born with a terminal birth defect.

      The trophy is named after former Minnesota North Stars player Bill Masterton, who in 1968 became the only NHL player to die from injuries suffered during a game.

      --Field Level Media

  • Maple Leafs shake up lines ahead of must-win Game 5
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, April 21, 2018

    Down 3-1 in their Eastern Conference first-round series against the Boston Bruins, the Toronto Maple Leafs are shaking things up.

    • In a bid to generate some offense, coach Mike Babcock is moving Connor Brown to the top line with Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman, dropping William Nylander from the top line to the fourth line, alongside Andreas Johnsson and Tomas Plekanec.

      James van Riemsdyk leads a newly formed line that also features Tyler Bozak and Kasperi Kapanen.

      Patrick Marleau, Nazem Kadri and Mitchell Marner make up the other line.

      "The bottom line is [the first line] wasn't going," Babcock said Saturday. "We got to change something and try to get it going."

      Matthews and Nylander totaled 124 points for the Maple Leafs in the regular season, but have been held to just two points between them through four games in this series.

      The Maple Leafs also must contend with the Bruins adding some firepower in Game 5, with center Patrice Bergeron penciled in to return from an upper-body injury and rejoin Boston's top line. Riley Nash, who replaced Bergeron in Game 4, would anchor the third line.

      Game 5 is at 8 p.m. ET in Boston.

      --Field Level Media

  • Bruins' Bergeron 'optimistic' he can go in Game 5
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, April 21, 2018

    Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is hopeful he can return for Saturday's Game 5 of the playoff series with the Toronto Maple Leafs after missing Game 4 due to an upper-body injury.

    • Bergeron was scratched shortly prior to Thursday's game.

      However, he did do some skating on Friday's off day and early Saturday at Warrior Ice Arena ahead of Game 5 and says he's "optimistic" he can play, so long as he can convince the team's medical staff.

      "I'm optimistic. Again it's about now ... selling it to the other side," Bergeron said.

      Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, who has said Bergeron would be a game-time decision, also seems convinced after watching Bergeron skate.

      "I anticipate he will play," Cassidy said.

      Cassidy said Friday that the fact the Bruins lead the series 3-1 will have no bearing on Saturday's decision-making process.

      "The last game, 90 percent of the time, is the hardest one," Cassidy said. "I can pretty much tell you if he's cleared to play, he'll be in the lineup. But that's a medical decision that he has to be comfortable with, as well."

      The 32-year-old Bergeron had five assists in the first three games of the series before the injury.

      Bergeron had 30 goals and 33 assists in 64 games this season. He missed a portion of the campaign with a broken foot.

      --Field Level Media

  • NHL roundup: Avalanche stage late rally to edge Predators
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, April 21, 2018

    Sven Andrighetto's goal at 18:32 of the third period Friday night capped a stunning rally that gave the Colorado Avalanche a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators in Game 5 of their first-round Western Conference series at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.

    • Andrighetto got to the rebound of J.T. Compher's shot that was saved by Pekka Rinne and roofed it for his first career playoff goal, ultimately cutting the Predators' series lead to 3-2 and forcing a Game 6 to be played Sunday night in Denver.

      Andrew Hammond was the star for Colorado, stopping 44 shots to record his first win in three career playoff starts. Hammond, who replaced Jonathan Bernier (lower-body injury) after the second period of Wednesday night's 3-2 loss in Game 4, made 18 saves in the third period.

      Rinne made 24 saves for Nashville, which lost for just the third time in its last 18 home games in the playoffs.

      Jets 5, Wild 0

      Connor Hellebuyck's second consecutive shutout and a four-goal first period powered host Winnipeg past Minnesota to complete a series sweep.

      Jacob Trouba, Bryan Little, Brandon Tanev and Joel Armia scored in the game's opening 12 minutes to complete the first postseason series triumph for the Jets in franchise history.

      Hellebuyck, named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy earlier in the week, made 30 saves. Three nights earlier, he also stopped all 30 shots he faced for his first career postseason shutout.

      Flyers 4, Penguins 2

      Sean Couturier scored the game-winning goal with 1:15 left in the third period to lift Philadelphia past Pittsburgh at PPG Paints Arena.

      Valtteri Filppula, Claude Giroux and Matt Read also scored as the Flyers staved off elimination and now trail 3-2 in the series. Game 6 will be Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia.

      Flyers goaltender Michal Neuvirth stopped 30 shots in the win.

      --Field Level Media

  • NHL notebook: Hurricanes coach Peters resigns post
    By Field Level Media / Friday, April 20, 2018

    Carolina coach Bill Peters resigned after four seasons with the Hurricanes, the team announced on Friday.

    • The Hurricanes missed the playoffs in all four seasons under Peters, making it nine consecutive seasons they have failed to reach the postseason.

      Peters guided the Hurricanes to a 137-138-53 record during his tenure in Carolina, his first stint as an NHL coach.

      "I have a lot of respect for Bill as a person and coach," Tom Dundon, who bought the team in January, said in a statement. "We thank him for his time with the Hurricanes and wish him success in whatever comes next."

      --Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is a game-time decision for Saturday's Game 5 of the team's first-round playoff series with the Toronto Maple Leafs due to an upper-body injury.

      Bergeron, who scored 30 goals in the regular season, was scratched shortly prior to Game 4 due to the injury. However, he did do some skating on Friday's off day.

      "We won't rule him out and we won't say he's definitely in," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters. "But it is a positive he's back on the ice."

      Cassidy said the fact the Bruins lead the series 3-1 will have no bearing on Saturday's decision-making process.

      --Washington Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky will undergo minor surgery and miss the rest of the first-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, coach Barry Trotz said.

      The Capitals haven't divulged the nature of the injury other than disclosing that it is an upper-body ailment. Burakovsky suffered the injury in Sunday's Game 2 when he was hit by Columbus forward Boone Jenner near the boards.

      Trotz indicated Burakovsky could return to action if the Capitals advance to the next round. The series is tied at 2-2 entering Saturday's Game 5 in Washington.

      --Field Level Media

  • Bruins C Bergeron a game-time decision for Game 5
    By Field Level Media / Friday, April 20, 2018

    Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is a game-time decision for Saturday's Game 5 of the playoff series with the Toronto Maple Leafs due to an upper-body injury.

    • Bergeron was scratched shortly prior to Game 4 due to the injury.

      However, he did do some skating on Friday's off day.

      "We won't rule him out and we won't say he's definitely in," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters on Friday. "But it is a positive he's back on the ice."

      Cassidy said the fact the Bruins lead the series 3-1 will have no bearing on Saturday's decision-making process.

      "The last game, 90 percent of the time, is the hardest one," Cassidy said. "I can pretty much tell you if he's cleared to play, he'll be in the lineup. But that's a medical decision that he has to be comfortable with, as well."

      The 32-year-old Bergeron had five assists in the first three games of the series before the injury.

      Bergeron had 30 goals and 33 assists in 64 games this season. He missed a portion of the campaign with a broken foot.

      --Field Level Media

  • Capitals F Burakovsky out rest of series vs. Blue Jackets
    By Field Level Media / Friday, April 20, 2018

    Washington Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky will undergo minor surgery and miss the rest of the first-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, coach Barry Trotz said Friday.

    • The Capitals haven't divulged the nature of the injury other than disclosing that it is an upper-body ailment.

      Burakovsky suffered the injury in Sunday's Game 2 when he was hit by Columbus forward Boone Jenner near the boards.

      Trotz indicated Burakovsky could return to action if the Capitals advance to the next round. The series is tied at 2-2 entering Saturday's Game 5 in Washington.

      Burakovsky, 23, had 12 goals and 25 points in 56 regular-season games.

      --Field Level Media

  • Peters resigns as coach of Hurricanes after four seasons
    By Field Level Media / Friday, April 20, 2018

    Carolina head coach Bill Peters resigned on Friday after four seasons with the Hurricanes, the team announced on Friday.

    • The Hurricanes missed the playoffs in all four seasons under Peters, making it nine straight seasons they've failed to reach the postseason.

      Peters guided the Hurricanes to a 137-138-53 record during his tenure in Carolina, his first stint as an NHL head coach.

      The Carolina opening is the fourth in the NHL since the season ended. The Calgary Flames and New York Rangers both fired their coaches and Dallas Stars coach Ken Hitchcock retired.

      "I have a lot of respect for Bill as a person and coach," Tom Dundon, who bought the team in January, said in a statement. "We thank him for his time with the Hurricanes and wish him success in whatever comes next."

      The Hurricanes have only made the playoffs once since winning the Stanley Cup in the 2005-06 season.

      The team is also in the market for a general manager after reassigning Ron Francis to president.

      "I want to thank Tom Dundon, Peter Karmanos and Ron Francis for the trust they put in me to lead the team," said Peters in the team statement.

      "I feel the incoming general manager should have the ability to hire his own head coach. I also want to thank Don Waddell and the entire front office and PNC Arena staff. This business requires hard work and long hours, and I greatly appreciate the efforts of the many people I have worked alongside during the past four years."

      The team says an immediate coaching search is underway.

      --Field Level Media

  • Doughty, Subban, Hedman named as Norris finalists
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, April 19, 2018

    Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings, Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning and P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators are the finalists for the Norris Trophy, the NHL announced Thursday.

    • The award, voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, is presented each year to the defenseman showing the greatest all-round ability in the position. The winner will be announced at the NHL Awards show on June 20 in Las Vegas.

      Subban, a finalist for the third time, captured the honor in 2013. Doughty, now a four-time finalist, won in 2016.

      Doughty, 28, finished sixth in regular-season scoring among defensemen with 60 points, which included 10 goals. He led all NHL players in ice time.

      Subban, 28, finished with a career-high 16 goals and racked up 59 points. He was the only Nashville player to appear in all 82 games this season.

      Hedman, 27, tied for the lead among defensemen in goals scored with 17 and finished fourth in points with 63. He set a career high in ice time.

      --Field Level Media

  • Predators F Hartman draws one-game suspension
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, April 19, 2018

    Nashville Predators right wing Ryan Hartman was suspended on Thursday by the NHL for Game 5 of the playoff series with the Colorado Avalanche after delivering an illegal check to the head of Carl Soderberg in Game 4.

    • The NHL's Department of Player Safety ruled for the suspension after holding a hearing.

      Video released by the NHL displayed Hartman forcefully thrusting his shoulder into the head of Soderberg shortly after the Colorado center passed the puck during the third period of Wednesday's Game 4. The league said Hartman took a poor angle and chose Soderberg's head as the point of contact.

      Hartman drew a charging penalty for the hit.

      Hartman had 11 goals and 20 assists in the regular season. He has one goal through four games this series while averaging just over 11 minutes of ice time per game.

      The Predators hold a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and will attempt to close out the series on Friday in Nashville.

      --Field Level Media

  • Flyers' Couturier could play must-win Game 5
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, April 19, 2018

    The Philadelphia Flyers might have Sean Couturier available for their must-win Game 5 against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday after the top-line center missed Game 4 on Wednesday with a lower-body injury.

    • Couturier, named a Selke Trophy finalist Wednesday, was injured in a collision with defenseman Radko Gudas in practice Tuesday. Couturier said he is day-to-day after skating on his own Wednesday and Thursday.

      The Penguins beat the Flyers 5-0 in Game 4 to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

      "I'm just coming to the rink every day, getting treatments and trying to feel better," said Couturier, who will travel with the team to Pittsburgh. "I guess the thing is see how I feel tomorrow morning.

      "It's really up to my body. See how it keeps progressing and how I feel. Hopefully I'm good tomorrow."

      The 25-year-old was caught expressing his frustration after the practice collision with Gudas but was sure not to blame his teammate for what he called "a bad accident."

      "It's frustrating, I'm not going to lie," Couturier said. "You want to be out there battling with your teammates, especially at this time of year. It's an accident. It's stuff that happens in hockey, I guess."

      Couturier enjoyed a breakout regular season, registering 31 goals and 45 assists and nearly doubling his previous career high in points with 76. He's scored three points (one goal, two assists) in the first-round series against the Penguins, all coming in a Game 2 win.

      Without Couturier in Game 4, rookie center Nolan Patrick moved to the first line alongside Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek. The trio went a combined minus-8 in the loss.

      "I don't know that we saw enough of the chemistry there," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "Such a short sample, but that's the time of year that it is."

      Valtteri Filppula skated between Giroux and Voracek during practice Thursday, with Patrick on the second line.

      --Field Level Media

  • Avs to start G Hammond in must-win Game 5
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, April 19, 2018

    The Colorado Avalanche will start Andrew Hammond in net facing elimination in Game 5 against the Nashville Predators on Friday.

    • Jonathan Bernier had started the Avs' previous four games of the first-round series, allowing 14 goals on 120 shots faced. He left Game 4 after two periods with a lower-body injury; Hammond stopped eight shots in a scoreless third period in his stead.

      Colorado lost the game 3-2, giving Nashville a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

      The Avalanche have yet to announce whether Bernier will be available as a backup on Friday. Regular No. 1 goaltender Semyon Varlamov is out for at least the first round of the playoffs as he recovers from a knee injury suffered March 30.

      Hammond, 30, appeared in one NHL game during the regular season, a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on March 28. He stopped 31 of 33 shots faced in the contest.

      The 30-year-old has a 27-15-6 record, 2.31 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in his five-year career.

      "He's been working hard, doing the right things on and off the ice," Avs coach Jared Bednar told reporters Thursday. "He'll be excited for the opportunity."

      --Field Level Media

  • Lightning's Kucherov not suspended for hit on Devils' Vatanen
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, April 19, 2018

    Tampa Bay Lightning star forward Nikita Kucherov will not be suspended for his hit on New Jersey Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen in Game 4 of the two teams' first-round playoff series Wednesday.

    • Vatanen left the game and did not return after a high check delivered by Kucherov with just under four minutes remaining in the first period. Kucherov wasn't penalized for the hit, which the NHL's department of player safety deemed legal after determining Vatanen's head was not the main point of contact during the encounter.

      Though the hit appeared similar to the one Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty landed on Vegas Golden Knights forward William Carrier to earn a one-game suspension, the difference, as outlined by the league, was the contact with the head.

      Vatanen's status for Game 5 on Saturday is unknown. The Lightning lead the best-of-seven series 3-1 after taking Wednesday night's game by the same margin.

      Kucherov, 24, led the Lightning with 39 goals and 61 assists during the regular season, reaching 100 points for the first time in his career. His nine points (four goals, five assists) in the playoffs are tied with Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Boston's David Pastrnak for the most.

      --Field Level Media

  • NHL roundup: Sharks sweep Ducks
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, April 19, 2018

    Tomas Hertl scored the winning goal 76 seconds after the Anaheim Ducks tied the game midway through third period, and San Jose goalie Martin Jones made 30 saves as the Sharks swept their California rivals with a 2-1 victory Wednesday night in San Jose.

    • Hertl first forced a Ryan Getzlaf giveaway that resulted in a point shot for Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and then deflected the puck into the net with 10:51 remaining in the game. Hertl scored in his third consecutive game.

      The Sharks, who will meet the Vegas Golden Knights in the second round, swept a playoff series for only the second time in franchise history.

      Goaltender John Gibson stopped 22 shots for the Ducks, who were last swept in a series by the Detroit Red Wings in 1999.

      Penguins 5, Flyers 0

      Sidney Crosby scored one goal, assisted on another and carried visiting Pittsburgh past Philadelphia.

      Crosby's performance helped the Penguins take a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. In the process, Crosby moved past Mario Lemieux and into first place all-time in franchise history with 173 postseason points.

      Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Kris Letang and Riley Sheahan each scored a goal for the Penguins, who will look to wrap up the series Friday at home.

      Lightning 3, Devils 1

      Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves as visiting Tampa Bay beat New Jersey in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

      Tampa Bay leads the series three games to one and can close it out Saturday afternoon on home ice in Game 5.

      Vasilevskiy made seven saves while Tampa Bay was short-handed, and the Devils finished 1-for-6 on the power play. He also made four saves on breakaways, stopping Travis Zajac, Blake Coleman, Patrick Maroon and Taylor Hall.

      Predators 3, Avalanche 2

      Nashville scored two second-period goals immediately after killing penalties, and Pekka Rinne stopped 31 shots at Denver to give the Predators a 3-1 advantage over Colorado in the best-of-seven series.

      Nashville can wrap up the series Friday on home ice, where it has won 15 of its past 17 playoff games, dating to 2016. Making matters worse for Colorado is that it might have to play Game 5 without starting goalie Jonathan Bernier, who departed after the second period with a lower-body injury.

      Filip Forsberg, Colton Sissons and Craig Smith scored to lead the Predators to a 3-0 lead. Third-period goals by Gabriel Landeskog and Alexander Kerfoot weren't enough for Colorado.

      --Field Level Media

  • Morrissey suspended one game for crosscheck on Staal
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, April 18, 2018

    The NHL suspended Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey one game for a "reckless" crosscheck to Minnesota Wild center Eric Staal's neck in Tuesday night's Game 4 win over the Wild.

    • With about 1:20 left on a Minnesota power play late in the first period of a scoreless game, Morrissey crosschecked Staal above his shoulders while both were away from the puck, sending Staal to the ice in pain. No call was made on the play.

      After the game, Morrissey called the hit "a complete accident."

      "I watched the video afterwards, and we're battling in front of the net on the penalty kill, and I'm actually looking at the puck on the wall, trying to box him out," he said. "I would never try to do that. I was glad he was able to come back and play the rest of the game."

      In a video explaining the decision on Wednesday, the league called Morrissey's hit a "reckless strike to an opponent's neck," noting that while Morrissey likely did not intend to injure, the hit was not simply the result of a routine box-out play.

      Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau told reporters after the game that the no-call from the referees "cost" his team the game.

      "The refs looked at it and they decided not to call it because we were already on the power play," said Boudreau, adding that Morrissey should have been kicked out of the contest. "It cost us the game."

      Morrissey later assisted on the Jets' first goal near the end of the first period, and also broke up a clear scoring chance by Wild forward Nino Niederreiter in the second period. Winnipeg went on to win 2-0, with the final tally coming against an empty net with 11 seconds remaining, to take a 3-1 series lead.

      "Nino has a breakaway, it's Morrissey that breaks it up; he should be out of the game," Boudreau said. "I'm still a little heated at it, but I have to watch what I say. They were looking right at it but they told us they didn't see it. You make up your minds."

      Staal said officials apologized to him during the game for missing the play, but added it fell on deaf ears.

      "I'm not looking for an apology," he said. "I'm in the middle of the game. Why would I want an apology? I'm the tallest guy on the ice. He cross-checked me in the neck. There's not much more you can say. Everyone saw it. I don't know how no one with stripes saw it."

      Staal finished the game and logged 20:12 of ice time, his second-highest total of the series. He led Minnesota in points (76) and goals (42) this season.

      The Wild have been playing without top players Zach Parise (fractured sternum) and Ryan Suter (ankle surgery).

      Game 5 will be back in Winnipeg on Friday.

      --Field Level Media

  • NHL roundup: Expansion Knights complete sweep
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, April 18, 2018

    Marc-Andre Fleury had 31 saves for his 12th career playoff shutout as the Vegas Golden Knights became the first expansion team in the 100-year history of the National Hockey League to sweep a playoff series in its first season with a 1-0 victory over the host Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

    • Ex-King Brayden McNabb scored the lone goal for Pacific Division winner Vegas, which won the best-of-seven series 4-0. The Golden Knights will play the winner of the San Jose Sharks-Anaheim Ducks series in the Western Conference semifinals.

      It was the 66th career playoff victory for Fleury, which moved him past Dominik Hasek into 11th place on the NHL's all-time list for playoff wins for a goaltender. Jonathan Quick stopped 20 shots for Los Angeles.

      McNabb netted the first playoff goal of his career at the 4:04 mark of the second period. The score came after Fleury made a big save on Dustin Brown. Vegas then broke out on a three-on-two rush ending with Reilly Smith sending a crossing pass to McNabb, who fired a one-timer from the dot in the right circle into the upper right corner of the net.

      Capitals 3, Blue Jackets 2 (2OT)

      Lars Eller scored 8:59 into the second overtime, giving visiting Washington the win against Columbus in Game 3 of an Eastern Conference first-round playoff series, though the Blue Jackets still have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

      The decisive goal came on a wacky play where the puck appeared to hit off of Columbus defenseman Zach Werenski at the crease, then bang off the foot of Eller near the right post and then past goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

      Braden Holtby got his first start of the series in goal for the Capitals after Philipp Grubauer's strong late-season play earned him the start for Games 1 and 2. Holtby came on in the third period of Game 2 and played well, then turned in a strong performance in Game 3, making 33 saves. Game 4 will be on Thursday night in Columbus.

      Jets 2, Wild 0

      Connor Hellebuyck recovered from a shaky performance to notch 30 saves, and visiting Winnipeg beat Minnesota to pull within one game of advancing to the Western Conference semifinals.

      Mark Scheifele scored both of Winnipeg's goals, including an empty-net tally with 11 seconds to play as the Jets built a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Scheifele's first goal came with 28 seconds left in the first period after the Jets killed off the first Minnesota power play of the game.

      Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves. Game 5 is Friday night in Winnipeg, where the Jets dominated at times in the first two games.

      --Field Level Media

  • NHL notebook: Flames fire Gulutzan
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, April 17, 2018

    The Calgary Flames fired head coach Glen Gulutzan and assistants Dave Cameron and Paul Jerrard, the team announced Tuesday.

    • Gulutzan had been with the Flames the past two seasons. He led Calgary to an 37-35-10 record this season, with a stretch of seven consecutive losses in March causing the team to miss the playoffs.

      "He didn't get our team to the point that I thought we needed to get to," Flames general manager Brad Treliving said. "I thought we underperformed and we had players that underperformed."

      Gulutzan, 46, previously coached the Dallas Stars for parts of two seasons from 2011-13. He has a 146-125-23 career record in the NHL.

      --Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier apparently injured his right leg in a collision with defenseman Radko Gudas at practice, putting his availability for Wednesday's Game 4 against the Pittsburgh Penguins in question.

      Couturier was skating toward the goal with his head down as Gudas, involved in a separate drill, inadvertently skated backward into Couturier's path. Couturier's right leg clipped the back of Gudas' left leg.

      Couturier, 25, has averaged 24:35 of ice time through three postseason games, leading the team in points (three) in the first-round series. He tallied 76 points (31 goals, 45 assists) in the regular season.

      --Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist will miss Game 4 against the Flyers due to an upper-body injury.

      Hornqvist and defenseman Kris Letang were absent from the off-day skate, but Letang is expected to be available Wednesday.

      Penguins coach Mike Sullivan would not disclose when or how Hornqvist's injury occurred. The forward has one goal and two assists in three games this series after having 29 goals and 20 assists in the regular season.

      --Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise missed Game 4 of the first-round playoff series against the Winnipeg Jets due to a fractured sternum.

      The Wild said Parise is "week-to-week," with The Athletic reporting he will be sidelined six to eight weeks. Parise had 24 points (15 goals, nine assists) during the regular season but missed the first 39 games after undergoing back surgery.

      Parise apparently was injured in the third period Sunday when he was trying to catch a puck near the blue line and was sandwiched by Winnipeg players Mark Scheifele and Ben Chiarot.

      --Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets, Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning were named finalists for the 2017-18 Vezina Trophy, the NHL announced.

      Hellebuyck, 24, is a Vezina finalist for the first time after tying for the league lead with 44 victories. He was third with six shutouts, tied for eighth with a 2.36 goals-against average and was ninth with a .924 save percentage.

      Rinne is a four-time finalist but has never won the award. The 35-year-old tied for the league lead with eight shutouts, ranked third in victories (42), fifth in GAA (2.31) and tied for sixth in save percentage (.931).

      Vasilevskiy, 23, is a first-time finalist who matched Rinne for the league lead in shutouts and Hellebuyck for the lead in victories. He placed 13th with a 2.62 goals-against average and tied for 13th in save percentage (.920).

      --Longtime New York Rangers national anthem singer John Amirante died at the age of 83. The cause of death was not reported.

      Amirante, who was born in the Bronx, performed for the Rangers from 1980 until he retired in 2015, though he would occasionally return for guest appearances after ceding the role. His last performance at Madison Square Garden was on Feb. 25 prior to the Rangers hosting the Detroit Red Wings.

      --Field Level Media

  • Hellebuyck, Rinne and Vasilevskiy named Vezina finalists
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, April 17, 2018

    Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets, Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning were named finalists for the 2017-18 Vezina Trophy, the NHL announced Tuesday.

    • The award goes "to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position." The winner will be announced on June 20 during the 2018 NHL Awards show in Las Vegas.

      Hellebuyck, 24, is a Vezina finalist for the first time and tied for the league lead with 44 victories. He was third with six shutouts, tied for eighth with a 2.36 goals-against average and was ninth with a .924 save percentage.

      Rinne is a four-time finalist but has never won the award. The 35-year-old tied for the league lead with eight shutouts, ranked third in victories (42), fifth in GAA (2.31) and tied for sixth in save percentage (.931).

      Vasilevskiy, 23, is a first-time finalist who matched Rinne for the league lead in shutouts and Hellebuyck for the lead in victories. He placed 13th with a 2.62 goals-against average and tied for 13th in save percentage (.920).

      Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets was last season's winner.

      --Field Level Media

  • Flyers C Couturier injured in practice collision with D Gudas
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, April 17, 2018

    Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier apparently injured his right leg in a collision with defenseman Radko Gudas at Tuesday's practice, putting his availability for Wednesday's Game 4 against the Pittsburgh Penguins in question.

    • Couturier was skating toward the goal with his head down as Gudas, involved in a separate drill, inadvertently skated backward into Couturier's path. Couturier's right leg clipped the back of Gudas' left leg, sending him flying head over heels and tumbling to the ice.

      "I didn't see him. He didn't see me," Gudas, who was not injured, told reporters after practice. "Tough break."

      After sliding to a stop, Couturier threw his stick at the glass behind the net in frustration, attempted to stand and then remained down as trainers attended to him. He then limped off the ice and to the locker room with some assistance.

      WPVI Philadelphia posted video of the collision on Twitter.

      The team has not yet provided an update on Couturier's status for Wednesday's game.

      "You don't like to see that," leading scorer and linemate Claude Giroux said. "Coots is playing 20 minutes a night for us right now, is a big piece to our team. I don't really know what's going on, but I guess we'll find out soon."

      Couturier, 25, has averaged 24:35 of ice time through three postseason games, leading the team in points (three) in the first-round series. He tallied 76 points (31 goals, 45 assists) in the regular season while averaging 21:36 of ice time and playing in all 82 games.

      The Flyers trail the Penguins 2-1 in the series, with Wednesday's game set for 7 p.m. ET in Philadelphia.

      The Penguins will be without winger Patric Hornqvist due to an upper-body injury.

      --Field Level Media

  • Wild F Parise out with broken sternum
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, April 17, 2018

    Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise will miss Tuesday's playoff game against the Winnipeg Jets due to a fractured sternum, the team announced just hours before faceoff.

    • The Wild said Parise is "week-to-week," with The Athletic reporting he will be sidelined six to eight weeks.

      Parise was apparently injured in the third period of Sunday's Game 3 when he was trying to catch a puck near the blue line and was sandwiched by Winnipeg players Mark Scheifele and Ben Chiarot.

      Parise, 33, is the top postseason scorer in Wild franchise history with 14 goals and 31 points.

      Parise had 24 points (15 goals, nine assists) during the regular season but missed the first 39 games after undergoing back surgery.

      Winnipeg has a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

      --Field Level Media

  • Flames part ways with coach Gulutzan
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, April 17, 2018

    The Calgary Flames fired head coach Glen Gulutzan and assistant coaches Dave Cameron and Paul Jerrard, the team announced Tuesday.

    • Gulutzan had been with the Flames the past two seasons. He led Calgary to an 37-35-10 record this season, with a stretch of seven consecutive losses in March causing the team to miss the playoffs. Calgary finished with 84 points, 11 points shy of a wild-card berth.

      "He didn't get our team to the point that I thought we needed to get to," Flames general manager Brad Treliving said during a press conference. "I thought we underperformed and we had players that underperformed."

      The Flames made the postseason last season after going 45-33-4 but were swept in the first round by the Anaheim Ducks.

      The failure to get back to the playoffs apparently doomed the coaching trio.

      "The shortcomings of our season are not solely placed on the three coaches (dismissed) today," Treliving said. "We met here as a group just a little under two weeks ago and accountability lies with all of us. As a manager, I lead that charge, our hockey staff leads that charge and also our players.

      "When you make a decision that I made today, there is lots of blame to go around. When you make a decision to let go of a coach, there's more than just the coach that are involved in terms of the failure that we had as a season. ... There's blame to be shared throughout the hockey department."

      Gulutzan, 46, previously coached the Dallas Stars for parts of two seasons from 2011-13. He has a 146-125-23 career record in the NHL.

      --Field Level Media

  • Penguins F Hornqvist (upper body) to miss Game 4
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, April 17, 2018

    Pittsburgh Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist will miss Game 4 of the team's first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night due to an upper-body injury.

    • Hornqvist, 31, missed practice Tuesday as a result of the ailment. Defenseman Kris Letang was also absent as he received a maintenance day, though he's expected to be available Wednesday.

      Penguins coach Mike Sullivan would not disclose when or how Hornqvist's injury occurred. The forward has three points (one goal, two assists) in three games this series after having 29 goals and 20 assists in the regular season.

      "Opportunity presents itself," Sullivan said. "So, guys are going to have to step up. They're going to get the opportunity to step up, and I think they're excited about it.

      "[Hornqvist] isn't an easy guy to replace. He's a unique player for us, and he brings a lot. So, I think we're just going to have to, by committee, we're going to have to pick up the pieces and make sure that the opportunities that are given to others that [Hornqvist] normally fills, they're going to get a great opportunity to help this team win a game."

      Dominik Simon, a healthy scratch through the first three games of the series, took Hornqvist's place alongside Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel in practice Tuesday. Simon, 23, had four goals and eight assists in 33 games in the regular season.

      The Penguins have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

      --Field Level Media

  • Longtime Rangers anthem singer Amirante dies at 83
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, April 17, 2018

    Longtime New York Rangers national anthem singer John Amirante died Tuesday, the team announced. He was 83.

    • The cause of death was not reported.

      "It is with great sadness our Rangers family shares the loss of legendary anthem singer John Amirante, who passed away this morning at 83. Our thoughts are with his wife Ann, his children and the entire Amirante family. We will forever remember and miss John," the Rangers said in a statement.

      Amirante, who was born in the Bronx, preformed for the Rangers from 1980 until he retired in 2015, though he would occasionally return for guest appearances after ceding the role. His last performance at Madison Square Garden was on Feb. 25 prior to the Rangers hosting the Detroit Red Wings.

      Amirante told New York Magazine in a 2009 interview that his favorite performance of his career came before Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Final, when the Garden was so loud he couldn't hear himself sing.

      "It was absolutely fantastic," he said. "I felt like I was 10 feet off the ice. And I had chills going through my body, and the fans were just screaming and chanting. I loved every minute of it. And to this day, I can remember specifically how it was. It's a memory I'll never forget. And then the parade that followed, I was on a float, and the fans were singing the anthem to me as I went up Broadway. It was great."

      Amirante also sang the anthem for the NBA's New York Knicks and MLB's New York Yankees.

      --Field Level Media