• Seattle arena investor says no hockey-first plan yet

    Updated: Tue, May 26, 2015

    SEATTLE (AP) — Throughout the process, Seattle arena investor Chris Hansen has remained open to the idea of a hockey team being the first tenant for a proposed facility in the city's stadium district even if his focus is on basketball. One problem: Even with indications that Seattle could be a viable expansion market for the NHL, no one has come to Hansen's group with a proposal for a hockey franchise to be the initial occupant. "We've had a lot of informal discussions with people about this, but us or the city have yet to be presented with any kind of offer. I mean any kind of even basic offer that would be the opening point for negotiating something," Hansen said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday.

  • Toews gets 2 to force OT, but Hawks drop Game 5 to Ducks 5-4

    Updated: Tue, May 26, 2015

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — When Jonathan Toews scored twice in the final seconds to force overtime in Game 5, the Western Conference finals appeared to be bending under the weight of the Chicago Blackhawks' famed playoff tenacity. They bent, but the Anaheim Ducks didn't break. And now Chicago will need all of that postseason toughness to avoid elimination. Matt Beleskey scored 45 seconds into overtime, and the Ducks bounced back from Toews' heroics to beat the Blackhawks 5-4 on Monday night, taking a 3-2 series lead. "I think going into overtime, we were feeling that the game was in our hands and we're going to get that next break," Toews said. "So it's unfortunate that we couldn't take advantage of it.

  • Beleskey scores in OT, Ducks beat Chicago 5-4 in wild Game 5

    Updated: Tue, May 26, 2015

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks stumbled back to their dressing room after regulation in disbelief. Jonathan Toews had just scored two improbable goals in 72 seconds, and Game 5 of the Western Conference finals was headed into an overtime where everything seemed tilted toward Chicago. These Ducks were stunned, but not staggered. And they needed less than a minute of extra time to get to the brink of the Stanley Cup finals. Matt Beleskey scored 45 seconds into overtime, and Anaheim weathered Toews' heroics to beat the Blackhawks 5-4 on Monday night, taking a 3-2 series lead. "It's Ducks hockey," said Ryan Kesler, who had a goal and an assist. "We don't like to do anything easy.

  • Stamkos, Lightning on verge of spot in Stanley Cup finals

    Updated: Mon, May 25, 2015

    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Steven Stamkos knows what it's like to come close to getting to the Stanley Cup finals and wind up not playing on the NHL's biggest stage. It happened to the Tampa Bay Lightning four years ago, and the three-time All-Star is determined to not let another opportunity slip away. After a slow start to the playoffs, the high-scoring team captain helped the speedy Lightning push the New York Rangers to the brink of elimination from the Eastern Conference finals. Game 6 is Tuesday night at Amalie Arena. A Lightning victory will send Tampa Bay to the Cup finals for the second time in franchise history. And the Rangers are looking to extend the series to a seventh game, which would be played Friday night in

  • Rangers once again facing elimination, been there, done that

    Updated: Sun, May 24, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Rangers will need another comeback to keep their Stanley Cup drive alive. They again find themselves on the brink of elimination after Steven Stamkos set up Valtteri Filppula's go-ahead goal and scored another as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Rangers 2-0 on Sunday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. Ben Bishop, who gave up 10 goals in the previous two games, had 26 saves in posting his second shutout and getting Tampa Bay within a victory of reaching the Stanley Cup finals for the second time in franchise history. They won the Cup in 2004. The Rangers have wiggled out of this spot before. They trailed the Washington Capitals 3-1 in the conference semifinals and rallied.

  • Stamkos has goal and assist, Lightning beat Rangers 2-0

    Updated: Sun, May 24, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Scoring goals made the Tampa Bay Lightning one of the NHL's most entertaining teams this season. Playing defense for the first time in three games has them within a victory of the Stanley Cup finals for the second time in franchise history. Steven Stamkos set up Valtteri Filppula's go-ahead goal and scored another and the Lightning pushed the New York Rangers to the brink of playoff elimination with 2-0 victory Sunday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. The shutout came after the Lightning gave up five goals in each of the past two games and allowed New York to score two power-plays goals in each of the last three games. This was a total shutdown of league's best team in the regular seaso

  • Ducks must shake off OT loss to Hawks before pivotal Game 5

    Updated: Sun, May 24, 2015

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — After 17 grueling periods crammed into just four games over the previous week, the Anaheim Ducks have no doubt they can play at hockey's highest level with the Chicago Blackhawks. Heading into a pivotal Game 5 on Monday in the Western Conference finals, the Ducks also realize their two gut-wrenching overtime losses were missed opportunities to take out their veteran, playoff-tested opponents — and they can't afford two more. Chicago evened the series at two games apiece on Saturday night with Antoine Vermette's goal in double overtime. The 5-4 win was the Blackhawks' fourth OT victory of an increasingly charmed postseason.

  • Blackhawks stay patient and perfect in postseason overtime

    Updated: Sun, May 24, 2015

    CHICAGO (AP) — One lucky bounce. It might not sound like much of a strategy for playing sudden-death hockey, but patience has kept the Chicago Blackhawks perfect in overtime this postseason. They've now gone into extra time four times and won them all, including a 5-4 decision Saturday night that marked their second overtime win against the Anaheim Ducks and evened their Western Conference finals series at 2-2. Antoine Vermette, who was switched out of Game 3 for "fresher legs" by coach Joel Quenneville, notched the game winner 5:37 into the extra period.

  • Ducks lose 5-4 to Blackhawks in Game 4 of Western final

    Updated: Sun, May 24, 2015

    CHICAGO (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks keep swinging away against the Chicago Blackhawks. They are hoping their depth pays off in the final stretch of the Western Conference finals. Ryan Kesler, Corey Perry and Matt Beleskey scored in a dazzling 37-second stretch in the third period Saturday night, but Patrick Kane had a tying power-play goal and Antoine Vermette scored in the second overtime to give the Blackhawks a 5-4 victory that tied the series at two games apiece. Anaheim also lost to Chicago in triple overtime in Game 2, and Ducks center Andrew Cogliano is hoping the extra minutes take a toll on Chicago's top four defensemen. "It's 2-2, but the longer the game goes, the longer those D play and I think that's a good t

  • Blackhawks beat Ducks 5-4 in Game 4 of Western final

    Updated: Sun, May 24, 2015

    CHICAGO (AP) — Antoine Vermette turned a huge disappointment into a moment of pure joy. That is how it goes for the Chicago Blackhawks when the playoffs go to overtime. Vermette scored at 5:37 of the second extra session, and the Blackhawks beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-4 on Saturday night to tie the Western Conference finals at two games apiece. "I'm glad he finished it for us," coach Joel Quenneville said. "That was a huge goal for us. Huge, goal, huge." Vermette, who said he was surprised and disappointed when he was left out of the lineup for Chicago's 2-1 loss in Game 3, was stopped on his first try in front, but stayed with the rebound and shot it over Frederik Andersen for his second goal of playoffs.

  • Vermette, Teravainen return to Blackhawks lineup for Game 4

    Updated: Sat, May 23, 2015

    CHICAGO (AP) — Blackhawks forwards Antoine Vermette and Teuvo Teravainen are active for Game 4 of the Western Conference finals. Vermette and Teravainen were healthy scratches for Chicago's 2-1 loss to Anaheim on Thursday night. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he was looking for fresh legs after a triple-overtime victory at the Ducks in Game 2. Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom were on the inactive list after they made their first appearances of the series in Game 3. Anaheim leads 2-1 heading into Saturday night's game at the United Center.

  • Lightning's Ben Bishop on spot after giving up 10 goals

    Updated: Sat, May 23, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Take the spotlight off goaltender Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference finals and put it on Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning. If it sounds fickle, that's the way it's been for the goaltenders in this series between two of the NHL's top-scoring teams. Game 1 was tight checking. Two was a Lightning blowout. Three was a shootout and the last one Lundqvist stole for the Rangers with a 38-save performance in a 5-1 win that evened the series at 2-all. Lundqvist was special in Game 4 after giving up 12 goals in losing the previous two games. Now the focus is on Bishop heading in Game 5 on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.

  • Lightning stymied by Lundqvist in 5-1 loss to Rangers

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning tested Henrik Lundqvist again — and this time the New York Rangers goalie passed with high marks. Lundqvist stopped 38 shots to rebound from two subpar performances and help the Rangers shut down the Lightning 5-1 on Friday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. "People are going to wakeup in the morning, and look at the box score and say, 'Oh wow' Tampa got waxed,'" Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "But if you're in the building you probably don't see it that way." Rick Nash had two goals and an assist, and former Lightning captain Martin St. Louis ended a playoff scoring drought with a third-period goal for New York.

  • Lundqvist stands tall, Rangers beat Lightning 5-1 in Game 4

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Henrik Lundqvist and a couple of other old standbys picked a nice time to reassert themselves for the New York Rangers. New York's star goalie reverted to his reliable ways after two subpar performances, and Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis emerged from playoff scoring droughts Friday night to help the Rangers shut down the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. Lundqvist stopped 38 shots after allowing 12 goals while losing the previous two games. Nash had two goals and an assist, and St. Louis — the former Tampa Bay captain — contributed a third-period goal as New York evened the best-of-7 series 2-2 heading back home for Game 5 on Sunday night.

  • Battle in front of nets key to reaching Stanley Cup final

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    CHICAGO (AP) — The NHL's hottest real estate in May is about 30 square feet in front of each goal. You have to fight to get there, and it is quite difficult to stay in place after you arrive. Anaheim got another scoring tip in a 2-1 victory over Chicago in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals on Thursday night, helping the Ducks to a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. While the Eastern Conference finals has been a more free-wheeling showdown, traffic in front of goaltenders Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers and Ben Bishop of the Lightning has contributed to several goals. Making the most of that small area right in front of the net could go a long way to determining which teams get to compete for the Stanley Cup.

  • Babcock bids emotional farewell in Detroit

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    DETROIT (AP) — Mike Babcock stood at the front of the familiar dressing room at Joe Louis Arena, this time for something of a farewell address. He became choked up after about a minute of talking, and at one point he even held up an old newspaper from a decade ago. "I dug it out here today — I'm going through and cleaning out my office," Babcock said. "There it is. That's my first day on the job." After 10 seasons, Babcock is no longer the coach of the Detroit Red Wings, having been hired to take over the Toronto Maple Leafs. He moves from one storied franchise to another, and the cracking in his voice Friday indicated just how much he still appreciates the team he's departing.

  • Blackhawks recall defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk from minors

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks recalled defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk from the minors Friday, and coach Joel Quenneville did not rule him out for the Western Conference finals against Anaheim. Van Riemsdyk is coming back from surgeries on his left knee in November and his right wrist in April. The rookie had one assist in 18 games with Chicago. "I don't anticipate him being in tomorrow," Quenneville said. "He'll need a few days out here. We'll get an evaluation and go from there." The Blackhawks are down 2-1 to the Ducks heading into Game 4 on Saturday night in Chicago. Quenneville has leaned on his top four defensemen since Michal Rozsival broke his left ankle in Game 4 of Chicago's second-round sweep against

  • Fetisov wants to ban young Russians from going to NHL

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    MOSCOW (AP) — Former Detroit Red Wings star Slava Fetisov has called for Russia to reintroduce Soviet-style restrictions to prevent promising young hockey players from moving to the NHL. Fetisov, who is now a senator in Russia, tells Russia's R-Sport news agency that federal law should be used to stop Russian players from moving to North America before they turn 28. The aim is to keep "our most talented guys, the ones who the people come to see." Fetisov was one of the first players to benefit from the relaxation of Soviet-era rules which prevented any hockey players from leaving. He moved to the NHL in 1989 with the New Jersey Devils when he was 31, and went on to win two Stanley Cups with the Red Wings.

  • Ducks bounce back after tough OT loss for 2-1 series lead

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    CHICAGO (AP) — Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau knew the answer without having to ask the question. Any doubts he had about fatigue and his squad's ability to bounce back after a disheartening loss in triple overtime less than 48 hours earlier disappeared even before the midday shoot-around. "Nobody mentioned anything," Boudreau said after the Ducks' 2-1 victory over the Blackhawks on Thursday night, "because they all wanted to play." Good thing, too, because goaltender Frederik Andersen and the Anaheim back line were tested repeatedly while killing off five Chicago power plays to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference finals.

  • Blackhawks lose 2-1 to Ducks in Game 3 of Western finals

    Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    CHICAGO (AP) — Five power plays. More than nine minutes with the man advantage. And no goals for the Chicago Blackhawks. Patrick Kane scored in the first period, but the Blackhawks were shut out the rest of the way in a 2-1 loss to Anaheim on Thursday night that gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference finals. "It's frustrating that we lost, and frustrating because we had some opportunities whether it was the power play or different chances and stuff that would get me back in the game," Kane said. "Other than that, we knew it was going to be a tough series. This is a good team. It's tough to lose, especially at home, but we've got to regroup.