• Panthers C Nick Bjugstad out for Game 5 against Islanders

    Updated: Sun, Apr 24, 2016

    NEW YORK (AP) — Florida center Nick Bjugstad is out for Game 6 of the Panthers' first-round series against the New York Islanders on Sunday night after sustaining a head injury in the last game. Bjugstad was injured during the first extra period of the Panthers' 2-1 double-overtime loss at home Friday night when he lost his footing after being hit by an Islanders player and going head-first into the boards. He needed stiches to close a cut on his head. Bjugstad did not travel with the team to New York and Florida coach Gerard Gallant said he was day to day. The Panthers trail 3-2 in the series and need a win to force a deciding Game 7 on Tuesday night in Sunrise, Florida. Bjugstad had two goals and two assists i

  • Kings' Vincent Lecavalier to retire after 17-year NHL career

    Updated: Sun, Apr 24, 2016

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Vincent Lecavalier intends to retire this summer, ending his 17-year NHL career after one last revitalizing season with the Los Angeles Kings. Lecavalier confirmed his long-stated plans Sunday as the Kings left their training complex. Their season ended Friday with a five-game loss to the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the playoffs. "It's the same plan since I first got here a few months ago," Lecavalier said. "Getting a chance to play on this team, and obviously we didn't get to go where we wanted to go at the end of it, but to get a chance to play and to have fun and to learn is just a great time.

  • Capitals close out Flyers in 6 games with 1-0 victory

    Updated: Sun, Apr 24, 2016

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Early in the third period, a Flyers fan held up a sign directed at Washington that read, "You'll choke." Not these Capitals, and certainly not against punchless Philadelphia. Nicklas Backstrom scored, Braden Holtby had 26 saves, and the Washington Capitals beat the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 on Sunday in Game 6 to win the series 4-2 and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Capitals will play the Pittsburgh Penguins, setting up a marquee matchup of Alex Ovechkin vs. Sidney Crosby. "It's going to be a hard series," Ovechkin said. The Capitals scored two goals over the final three games of the series and clearly need more from Ovechkin and Co. to have a chance against the Penguin

  • New faces making instant impact during Penguins' surge

    Updated: Sun, Apr 24, 2016

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — Sidney Crosby danced through the neutral zone, slipped across the New York Rangers' blue line and waited for help. It arrived in the form of a blurring No. 43 black-and-gold jersey, the one worn by a player whose speed and relentlessness propelled him from prospect to unlikely catalyst for a Stanley Cup contender in all of five months. On the surface, it would seem impossible that Conor Sheary would call for a pass from one of the best players in the world and deliver a sizzling wrist shot that sailed over Henrik Lundqvist's glove and into the top corner of the net to help the Pittsburgh Penguins exorcise two years of postseason misery, which is just what the 23-year-old did in Saturday's playoff series-clinchin

  • Islanders on brink of ending 23-year playoff drought

    Updated: Sun, Apr 24, 2016

    New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano knows he doesn't need to say a lot to motivate his players. Coming off a grueling double-overtime win in the last game, the Islanders have a chance to accomplish something the franchise hasn't done in 23 years: Win a playoff series. "I think the guys know exactly how they have to play," Capuano said. "It's a situation where we're not going to say too much as coaches. We're just going to let them play within the team concept, go out and have some fun and try to close them out if we can.

  • Shaw's smile requires no lip-reading as Game 7 looms

    Updated: Sun, Apr 24, 2016

    CHICAGO (AP) — No lip-reading was required this time to gauge Andrew Shaw's mood. After serving a one-game suspension for a gay slur yelled from the penalty box — as well as apologizing for his "hurtful" remarks — the Blackhawks center returned to the lineup for Game 6 Saturday night and delivered a crucial third-period insurance goal in Chicago's series-extending 6-3 win. "Obviously, it's a weight off my shoulders," Shaw said afterward. No sooner had he beaten goalie Brian Elliott with little more than 3 minutes to go than Shaw raised both arms and began yelling "Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!" Even after returning to the Chicago bench to congratulatory taps and smacks from teammates, Shaw was careful not to mouth a word, exh

  • Blackhawks force Game 7 with 6-3 victory over Blues

    Updated: Sat, Apr 23, 2016

    CHICAGO (AP) — Dale Weise struggled after he was traded to Chicago in February. Then he was a healthy scratch for the playoff opener. On Saturday night, when the Blackhawks needed him the most, he was in the right place at the right time — continuing a postseason tradition for the rugged winger. Weise capped Chicago's dominant second period with the winning goal in the Blackhawks' 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues, sending their first-round playoff series to Game 7. "Weiser scoring, you know it took a while, but nothing bigger than the one he got tonight," coach Joel Quenneville said.

  • Ducks beat Predators 5-2 for 1st win by home team in series

    Updated: Sat, Apr 23, 2016

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Coming home worked out just fine for the Anaheim Ducks. They beat the Nashville Predators 5-2 on Saturday for the first victory by a home team in their first-round series, taking a 3-2 lead and all but forgetting their earlier losses on home ice. "Those first two games we lost at home were rock bottom for us," said Ryan Garbutt, who scored the go-ahead goal in the second period. "We definitely want to finish it off in six." The Ducks had rallied to tie the series with two wins in Nashville, where Game 6 is Monday. "We have a chance to go there and close it, and we've got to do it," said David Perron, who had the tying goal in the second and assisted on Garbutt's goal along with Ryan Getzla

  • Surprise goaltenders make big impacts on playoffs' 1st round

    Updated: Sat, Apr 23, 2016

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Michal Neuvirth, Thomas Greiss and Martin Jones were sitting on the bench as playoff backups a year ago. Jeff Zatkoff and Matt Murray were in the minors. Yet all five goaltenders have been difference makers in the first round of this year's Stanley Cup playoffs. Neuvirth has singlehandedly gotten the Flyers back into their series, Thomas Greiss has been a rock for the Islanders, Jones beat his former team to lead the San Jose Sharks into the second round and Zatkoff held down the fort before Murray returned from injury to get the Penguins back on track. "They've bounced around, they've been traded, they had to do their due diligence behind other goalies that are high caliber," analyst Justin Goldman

  • Penguins close out Rangers 5 games with 6-3 rout

    Updated: Sat, Apr 23, 2016

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — The end of two springs' worth of playoff angst for the Pittsburgh Penguins came suddenly, crammed into 14 minutes of pure exhilaration, one highlight-reel sequence piled atop another. And perhaps it's fitting that Pittsburgh's relentless five-game demolition of the New York Rangers — completed during a raucous 6-3 on Saturday that ushered New York to an early offseason — wasn't sealed by the familiar faces atop the Penguins' star-laden roster but the pieces brought in to help return Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang to their spot among the league's elite. Conor Sheary. Bryan Rust. Matt Murray. All in their early 20s.

  • Sharks use depth to get past Kings in 1st round of playoffs

    Updated: Sat, Apr 23, 2016

    SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The San Jose Sharks proved they are much more than just Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski and a handful of other stars. A season-long commitment to developing depth paid major dividends at a most crucial time. The secondary players led by talented Finnish rookie Joonas Donskoi's two goals delivered the bulk of the scoring in San Jose's 6-3 victory Friday night over the nemesis Los Angeles Kings, which sent the Sharks to the second round of the playoffs for just the second time since 2011.

  • Penguins rookie goaltender Murray has Rangers on brink

    Updated: Sat, Apr 23, 2016

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — Matt Murray watched the Pittsburgh Penguins' second-round collapse against the New York Rangers from afar two years ago, the wispy goaltender still a teenage prospect in the spring of 2014 as a 3-1 series lead morphed into a franchise-altering meltdown. The view is far different this time around for the 21-year-old with the patchy playoff beard and the preternatural calm. The 3-1 advantage Pittsburgh takes into Saturday's Game 5 (3 p.m. EDT, NBC) has as much to do with the rookie's steadiness while filling in for injured Marc-Andre Fleury as it does the performances of the bold-faced names in front of him. Murray is perhaps the most visible rookie making an impact during the postseason, but not the only on

  • Sharks blow 3-goal lead, but rally to eliminate Kings 6-3

    Updated: Sat, Apr 23, 2016

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Sharks had just blown a three-goal lead in a potential series-clinching playoff game. Staples Center rocked with the combined power of the Kings' rally and the looming specters of San Jose's postseason failures. Joonas Donskoi wasn't around for any of that tawdry teal history, and the tenacious rookie scored the goal that sent the Sharks roaring into the second round. Donskoi broke a tie with his second goal early in the third period, and the Sharks charged back to wrap up their first-round playoff series with a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 5 on Friday night.

  • Koivu scores in OT, Wild beat Stars 5-4 to stay alive

    Updated: Sat, Apr 23, 2016

    DALLAS (AP) — Mikko Koivu and the Minnesota Wild are going home and hoping for another trip to Dallas. Koivu scored the tying goal with 3:09 left in regulation, then redirected Ryan Suter's shot from the left point 4:55 in the overtime as Minnesota beat the Stars 5-4 on Friday night to stay alive in their first-round series. "We felt confident, we thought we were going to come out and play a good game. Games 2, 3, 4 and 5, I've liked," Wild interim coach John Torchetti said. "Now we got to go home and try and find a way to get back to Dallas." Dallas, the top seed in the Western Conference, still has a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 6 is Sunday in Minnesota. If the Wild can force a Game 7, that would

  • Quine wins it in 2nd OT, Islanders top Panthers 2-1

    Updated: Sat, Apr 23, 2016

    SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Alan Quine was a newborn when the New York Islanders last won a playoff series. He spent most of this season in the minors. His NHL debut was a mere two weeks ago, the team adding him to the roster as an emergency callup. And now he's a playoff hero. The 23-year-old Quine put the Islanders in position to end a 23-year drought between playoff series wins. His slap shot at 16 minutes of the second overtime — 96 minutes into the game — narrowly beat Florida goalie Roberto Luongo, and New York topped the Panthers 2-1 in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. The game started Friday, ended Saturday at 12:16 a.m., and the Islanders — now up 3-2 in the series — will try for the c

  • Neuvirth magnificent against Capitals as Flyers force Game 6

    Updated: Fri, Apr 22, 2016

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Standing in the same crease that Steve Mason allowed a goal from 101 feet out, Philadelphia Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth saw shots from every angle and didn't crack. Not even once. Neuvirth stopped all 44 shots the Washington Capitals threw his way Friday night, carrying the Flyers to a 2-0 victory and sending the first-round playoff series back to Philadelphia for Game 6 on Sunday. "They came at us pretty hard and if it's not for Neuvy, we're not winning this game," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. After the Capitals took a 3-0 series lead, Neuvirth has been the difference since replacing Mason for Game 4 on Wednesday. Neuvirth has stopped 75 of 76 shots against the team that drafted and develope

  • No Canada: NHL playoff ratings plummet north of the border

    Updated: Fri, Apr 22, 2016

    With NHL playoff viewership down nearly two-thirds across Canada, the television executive who committed Toronto-based Sportsnet to a 12-year, multibillion-dollar broadcasting rights agreement joked how glad he was to have a third-floor office. If Scott Moore considered jumping, "I would just sprain my ankle," the Sportsnet President told The Associated Press with a laugh during a telephone interview Friday. "We're disappointed but we're not panicked," is how Moore assessed his reaction to the ratings returns a little over a week into the league's first postseason in 46 years without a Canadian team. The first-round playoff series being broadcast on Sportsnet's cable channels and CBC drew an average of about 500,000 vie

  • Red Wings follow refrain, make brief appearance in playoffs

    Updated: Fri, Apr 22, 2016

    DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Red Wings have developed a pattern of consistency, and that's not necessarily a good thing. Detroit extended its postseason streak to 25, a feat the franchise hailed by showing a slickly produced video montage before each of its two home playoff games. The Red Wings, though, exited the playoffs in the first round for the third straight year and fourth time in five years. Since coming within a win of repeating as Stanley Cup champions in 2009, the Red Wings haven't made it past the second round. The Red Wings lost 1-0 on Thursday night at Tampa Bay in Game 5 of their first-round season series. "It was a very disappointing season," Detroit general manager Ken Holland said Friday night in

  • Rangers trying to overcome 3-1 deficit yet again

    Updated: Fri, Apr 22, 2016

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) — Trailing 3-1 in a series is nothing new for the New York Rangers. It's the third consecutive year it's happened. They rallied against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the conference semifinals in 2014. They did the same thing against Washington last season, becoming the first NHL team to overcome 3-1 deficits in consecutive seasons. The Rangers have won 15 of the past 19 playoff games in which they faced elimination, going back to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals in 2012 against Ottawa. New York has also won nine of 11 playoff games when facing elimination since the start of the 2014 playoffs. Once again the Rangers face a win-or-else scenario, and it's the Penguins again this sea

  • Hats over rats: NHL commish on what fans can throw on ice

    Updated: Fri, Apr 22, 2016

    NEW YORK (AP) — Attention, Florida Panthers fans: Throwing those toy rats on the ice during a game means drawing the ire of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Days after fans in Philadelphia threw light-up wristbands onto the ice during a Flyers playoff loss, Bettman said the league strongly discourages throwing anything onto the ice except for hats to celebrate a hat trick. That includes playoff traditions of faux rats in Florida and real octopi in Detroit. "Putting aside the hat trick, we don't think it's a good idea for fans to be throwing things on the ice for a whole host of reasons." Bettman said Friday at a meeting of the Associated Press Sports Editors. "We don't think it's appropriate, other than the case of the




Advertisement