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  1. #21
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    ARLINGTON Vladislav Namestnikov Jersey , Va. (AP) — After all of their individual days with the Stanley Cup from Moscow to Minnesota, all of the fountain-diving and beer-guzzling, the parade and the diamond-encrusted rings , Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals get to do something else new for the franchise: raise a banner signifying an NHL championship.The team and its fans finally will enjoy that rite Wednesday night, before the Capitals open the regular season by hosting the Boston Bruins.“The atmosphere is going to be unbelievable,” Ovechkin said. “The people are going to be happy. Some might even cry.”The Cup itself, now etched with his name, will be on the ice for the banner ceremony, which is supposed to start 15 minutes before the opening faceoff. And then it’ll be time to play hockey that counts for the first time since a 4-3 victory on Lars Eller’s goal in Game 5 against the Vegas Golden Knights back in June.“Once that banner goes up, it’ll be nice closure for everyone that what happened was real,” forward T.J. Oshie said Tuesday after Washington practiced. “And we can start focusing on the future and trying to do this thing again.”There will be a different coach in charge of Washington — Barry Trotz left when he didn’t get the sort of contract he wanted and was replaced by one of his assistants, Todd Reirden — but otherwise, not much has changed: 18 of the 19 players who appeared in the Cup-clinching game are still around.“The systems and stuff, it’s all the same. So it’s pretty straightforward,” goalie Braden Holtby said about the switch from Trotz to Reirden. “Obviously they have different personalities and it’s going to take some adjusting for everyone, but that almost can be a good thing in that way, because we do have almost the same roster coming back and when you have that happen, complacency can sometimes set in, just because everything’s the same. That little change might help us stay fresh and stay excited about things.”What’s entirely, and inalterably, changed is the whole vibe around the Capitals, who have been around since 1974 and only once before even made it as far as the conference finals. The longtime core of Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom never had been past the second round of the postseason.Whatever sense of doom and gloom that hung over their team for years has now disappeared.“All the talk of jinxes and things like that,” Oshie said, “people can kind of get out of their minds.”Ovechkin, Oshie and Backstrom were among the Capitals who had to sit through a banner-raising as the opponent two years ago in Pittsburgh, when Sidney Crosby and the rest of the rival Penguins celebrated a championship.This time it is Washington’s turn.“You hear all the things going on. That’s the same feeling you want to have yourself, and we’ll have it tomorrow,” Backstrom said. “It’s a way better feeling than sitting in the locker room, just waiting for the game to start.”Notes: D Michal Kempny will miss at least Washington’s first two games. He is on injured reserve after getting elbowed in the head by Blues D Robert Bortuzzo last week. … Washington claimed St. Louis Blues F Dmitrij Jaskin and reassigned D Jonas Siegenthaler to Hershey of the AHL. … Fs Jayson Megna and Nathan Walker made the opening-night roster. … F Brett Connolly is expected to start against Boston in place of Tom Wilson on the top line with Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Wilson’s hearing for his hit to the head of Blues C Oskar Sundqvist is scheduled for Wednesday. PITTSBURGH (AP) Mike Sullivan would love to point to a coaching tactic or some semblance of strategy that explains why the Pittsburgh Penguins are so good in overtime.Only Sullivan can’t. He’s been coaching long enough to know that when there are six just men on the ice and his team happens to have one of the most gifted offensive groups in the NHL Womens Wayne Simmonds Jersey , it’s best to just get out of the way.”For the most part, it’s really just about great players making great plays and when our guys have the puck, they’re dynamic,” Sullivan said.The latest proof came midway through the extra period on Monday, when Phil Kessel drew Calgary’s Jon Gillies away from the net and slipped a cross-ice pass to Justin Schultz , who buried it to give the Penguins a 4-3 victory. Schultz’s fourth goal of the season helped the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions improve to 10-1 at home in overtime this season.”We’ve got the players that are so good out there with that much ice, so we enjoy it,” Schultz said. ”We don’t like to go to (overtime) that much, but it’s nice to know that we can get wins.”Evgeni Malkin scored his 37th goal for the Penguins and added an assist. Kris Letang and Chad Ruhwedel also scored for Pittsburgh. Jarry finished with 35 saves as the Penguins pulled within one point of Washington for first in the crowded Metropolitan Division. Tristan Jarry finished with 35 saves, including a breakaway stop on Calgary star Johnny Gaudreau early in overtime.”They got some physical guys, they have a couple bigger guys,” Jarry said. ”We knew it would be a tough game. I was trying to hold my ground as much as I could.”Mark Giordano, Mikael Backlund and Troy Brouwer scored for the Flames, who outplayed the Penguins for long stretches before dropping their fourth straight. Gillies stopped 28 shots but had no chance when Kessel slid a cross-ice pass to a wide-open Schultz.”We go into overtime and it can be anybody’s game,” Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan said. ”We had a 2-on-0 there that could’ve ended it, but when you’ve got that many dangerous guys on the ice with that much room, somebody’s going to end it. It just happened to be them on that next chance.”The Penguins had dropped five straight to the Flames, including a 2-1 overtime loss in Calgary in November back when they played very much like a team dealing with a Stanley Cup hangover. Four months later, Pittsburgh is again looking like a threat to make a deep playoff run and wasted little time sprinting to a 2-0 lead.Ruhwedel collected his first goal since Dec. 18 on a knuckler from the point 2:10 into the game, and Malkin doubled Pittsburgh’s advantage 55 seconds later when teammate Bryan Rust forced a turnover by Gillies behind the Calgary net. Malkin collected the puck and flipped it across the goal line before Gillies could scramble back into position.The Flames, in the middle of their own fight to stay in the Western Conference playoff mix, tied it before the end of the first. Giordano finished off extended pressure with his 11th of the season and Backlund beautifully deked by Letang before beating Jarry with a backhand for his 13th.Letang put the Penguins back in front with a wrist shot off the rush from the right circle that ripped over Gillies’ right shoulder with 2:59 left in the second. Calgary responded again, with T.J. Brodie threading a pass between Ruhwedel’s legs to Brouwer’s awaiting stick. Brouwer had no trouble sending it by Jarry to tie it with 2 seconds left in the period.NOTES: Penguins G Matt Murray skated on Monday morning but remains out indefinitely while dealing with a concussion sustained last week. … Several Penguins used rainbow-colored Pride tape on their sticks during warmups. The sticks will be auctioned by the team’s foundations, with the proceeds going to the ”You Can Play” organization, which promotes inclusion in all sports for LGBTQ athletes. … Calgary scratched Fs Tanner Glass, Chris Stewart and Nick Short as well as D Matt Bartkowski. … The Penguins scratched D Matt Hunwick, Fs Carter Rowney and Zach Aston-Reese and Murray. … Both teams were 0 for 2 on the power play. … Pittsburgh is 13-1 in its last 14 games at PPG Paints Arena.UP NEXTFlames: Continue their three-game trip in Buffalo on Wednesday.Penguins: Visit Philadelphia on Wednesday. Pittsburgh leads the season series 2-0 over its Metropolitan Division rival.—

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  3. #22
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    Los Angeles Kings goalkeeper Jonathan Quick could return from a lower-body injury when the New York Islanders visit Staples Center on Thursday night.Quick Adidas Authentic Mikhail Sergachev Jersey Premier Womens Youth Big&Tall Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Shop Free Shipping , a three-time NHL All Star and 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, sustained the injury during practice on Oct. 7, two days after a 3-2 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks in the season opener.Jack Campbell has played the past five games and went 2-3-0 with a 2.69 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.Article continues below ...The Kings have lost two in a row while getting outscored 9-2.The Islanders (2-3-0) have also dropped two in a row after losing 4-1 at the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night. Robin Lehner will start in goal for New York after Thomas Greiss gave up three goals on 24 shots against Anaheim.Lehner made 35 saves in a 4-0 shutout against the Sharks on Oct. 8, but gave up four goals on 28 shots in a 5-2 loss at the Nashville Predators on Saturday.Lehner has struggled against Los Angeles in his career, owning a 1-5-0 mark, 3.08 GAA and .908 save percentage.Quick went through a normal practice Wednesday, giving promise that he would return to the lineup in the near future.“I just want to feel good and confident out there and feel like you’re not risking further injury,” he told LA Kings Insider. “Just always constantly working towards those goals.”Kings coach John Stevens added that he’ll need to get a thumbs up from the medical staff before he decides when to insert Quick into the lineup.“I’ve got to wait for them to tell me, No. 1, that he’s ready to go, and No. 2, there’s no risk of re-injury,” Stevens said.Quick has put up good numbers the limited times he has faced the Islanders.He’s 5-1-2 with a 1.59 GAA and .935 save-percentage.Los Angeles also recalled forward Sheldon Rempal Nikita Kucherov Jersey , who could make his NHL debut against the Islanders.Rempal is the leading scorer for Ontario of the American Hockey League, totaling four goals and four assists in four games.He had 23 goals and 23 assists in 39 games with Clarkson University last season. He signed a two-year entry-level contract as an unrestricted free agent last March.“He’s obviously played really well down there,” Stevens told LA Kings Insider. “I thought he looked good in practice (Wednesday), played with really good pace, really good skill and he had really good confidence, so it was good to see.”Islanders fourth-line center Casey Cizikas returned to the lineup on Wednesday night after missing the previous game with a lower-body injury and scored the lone goal for New York with 34 seconds left. BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Having known mostly success over the past decade with the Penguins, Jason Botterill received a sobering introduction to life at the bottom of the NHL during his first season as Buffalo Sabres general manager.”I’ve been here for one year and I was pretty (ticked) off and upset,” Botterill said during a season-ending news conference Wednesday, ”I guess I could be articulate, but I’ll just say it (stinks) that we won’t be watching live playoff hockey right now.”Being on the outside looking in is an unusual position for Botterill, who spent the previous two Junes celebrating Stanley Cup championships as the Penguins assistant GM. He was hired last spring after the Sabres cleaned house by firing GM Tim Murray and coach Dan Bylsma.If there’s anything Botterill can draw upon from his experience with the Penguins, is seeing the notable difference between what makes up a winning organization and a losing one in Buffalo .The Sabres finished last for the third time in five years Adidas Authentic Ondrej Palat Jersey Premier Womens Youth Big&Tall Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Shop Free Shipping , and extended their franchise-worst playoff drought to a seventh season.”Right now we have a losing culture here,” Botterill said.He put the onus on himself, coach Phil Housley and players to find ways of inspiring change, be it with their training habits or communication and leadership abilities.”I don’t want to hear how disappointed they are. I want to hear what’s going to change,” Botterill said. ”It just can’t be about words. We have to have better results.”Botterill backed the disheartening sentiments expressed by center Ryan O’Reilly during the team’s final media availability on Monday. O’Reilly said a losing mentality had crept into the locker room and led him to losing his love for playing hockey at times.”I think he gave you an honest opinion. And in today’s sports world that’s a little bit unique,” Botterill said.”When you don’t get the results you want, it can be really draining on a player,” he added. ”And what he said is probably indicative of a lot of our players within our organization. And that’s what we have to work through right now.”Botterill began the news conference by saying Housley isn’t going anywhere after he struggled in his first year as coach. He credited Housley for developing some of Buffalo’s youngsters, and believes in the up-tempo style the coach began introducing this season.As for the roster, Botterill didn’t rule out making drastic changes even if it meant shaking up the team’s core group of leaders.”When you finish where we were, you have to look at everything,” he said.Buffalo finished last in the NHL with 199 goals scored and 119 goals scored in five-on-five situations. The Sabres also matched a franchise low for home wins in any season by going 11-25-4 at Buffalo – not including an overtime loss to the Rangers in the Winter Classic at New York City in which the Sabres were the ”home” team.If there was a bright side, Botterill looked forward to the draft in June Womens Ryan Callahan Jersey , when Buffalo is guaranteed picking no worse than fourth overall, pending the results of the NHL’s draft lottery on April 28.Botterill was impressed by Jack Eichel’s development on the ice, where the third-year center set career bests with 25 goals and 64 points, and off the ice in continuing to mature as a leader.Botterill, however, said it was premature as to whether the Sabres were prepared to award the 21-year-old Eichel the captaincy, a role that was not filled this past season.”As excited as we are of Jack moving forward as a leader, it’s imperative that we have more players in that locker room step up,” Botterill said.”This game cannot have one player lead the entire team. It’s imperative that we have stronger leadership bases in there.”NOTES: Botterill said G Robin Lehner will not require surgery after the starter visited a specialist this week to assess a lower body injury. … In announcing he expects rookie G Linus Ullmark to play for Buffalo full time next season, Botterill said he’s not determined his second goalie, including Lehner, who is eligible to become a restricted free agent. … Backup Chad Johnson completed his one-year contract and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.—

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    TORONTO (AP) Auston Matthews will miss the Toronto Maple Leafs‘ game Saturday night against Boston because of a shoulder injury.”He’s day-to-day Nikolaj Ehlers Jersey ,” Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said after practice Friday. ”He’ll get looked at more today, and then we’ll know more about the day-to-day tomorrow.”The star forward had an MRI on Friday morning and a clearer indication of the severity of the injury is expected Saturday.One shift after scoring his 28th goal of the season Thursday night in a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders, Matthews left the game following a hit in which he was sandwiched by defenseman Adam Pelech and forward Ryan Clutterbuck.Matthews has 28 goals and 22 points in 53 games this season. His departure from the lineup will result in a shifting of lines.William Nylander will move from the wing to center to fill Matthews’ spot. Connor Brown will be elevated to play on the right wing to fill Nylander’s spot on the team’s top line.Matthews missed 10 games this season due to injury. On Nov. 8, he missed four games with an upper-body ailment. On Dec. 9, Matthews collided with teammate Morgan Rielly in a game against Pittsburgh. He missed the next six games due to a concussion.Either Josh Leivo or Matt Martin will enter the lineup for Toronto on Saturday. Leivo has been a healthy scratch for 23 consecutive games. He last played a game on Dec. 31 against the Vegas Golden Knights.Leivo has also been the topic of trade speculation as Monday’s NHL trade deadline approaches. SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) Alex Ovechkin added to his NHL lead with two goals on the night he tied the Washington record for most games played, and the Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-1 on Saturday.Evgeny Kuznetsov scored 50 seconds into the game and had two assists. Andre Burakovsky and Lars Eller also had goals for Washington, which leapfrogged Pittsburgh and moved back into first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals had lost two in a row and five of seven.Ovechkin’s 37th goal came on the power play with 9:47 remaining after Buffalo closed to 2-1 on Sam Reinhart’s goal 14 seconds into the third period. Ovechkin redirected a shot past Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner with 1:24 left for his 38th goal.The 32-year-old Ovechkin played in his 983rd NHL game, tying Calle Johansson for most in Capitals history. Ovechkin holds franchise records for goals (596) and points (1,105).Philipp Grubauer made 28 saves for his third win in three starts. Grubauer’s previous victory came against Buffalo, 3-2 on Monday.PANTHERS 6, PENGUINS 5SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) – Evgenii Dadonov scored with 1:53 to play to complete a hat track and give Florida the victory over Pittsburgh.Dadonov beat goalie Matt Murray on a one-timer off Aleksander Barkov’s pass for the winner. Dadonov has 18 goals this season.Vincent Trocheck, Jamie McGinn and Derek MacKenzie also scored. Barkov had three assists, Keith Yandle added two, and Roberto Luongo made 24 saves.Evgeni Malkin had two goals and an assist for the Penguins, and Carl Hagelin, Patric Hornqvist and Bryan Rust added goals. Tristan Jarry made 13 saves for Pittsburgh before he was replaced in the second period. Murray had 11 saves in relief.LIGHTNING 4, CANADIENS 3, SOMONTREAL (AP) – Brayden Point scored in regulation and added the shootout winner and Tampa Bay regained the top spot in the NHL with the victory over Montreal.Nikita Kucherov and Ryan Callahan also scored in regulation to help the Lightning (42-17-3) win their third straight and move a point ahead of idle Vegas for the overall NHL lead.Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves for his league-leading 36th victory of the season.Byron Froese, Joe Morrow and Max Pacioretty scored for Montreal.MAPLE LEAFS 4, BRUINS 3TORONTO (AP) – Ron Hainsey broke a tie with 1:23 left to give Toronto its franchise record-tying ninth straight home victory.Hainsey’s one-timed William Nylander’s pass past goalie Tuuka Rask for his fourth goal of the season.Toronto moved a point ahead of Boston for the second seed in the Atlantic Division.Nazem Kadri scored twice, Mitch Marner had a goal and three assists Adidas Authentic Patrik Laine Jersey Premier Womens Youth Big&Tall Winnipeg Jets NHL Shop Free Shipping , and Nylander had two assists. Frederik Andersen made 23 saves to improve to 10-1-0 against the Bruins.Brad Marchand scored twice, and Jake DeBrusk also connected for Boston.RED WINGS 3, HURRICANES 1DETROIT (AP) – Henrik Zetterberg scored the go-ahead goal in the second period to tie Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay on Detroit’s career list and the Red Wings went on to beat Carolina.Zetterberg’s ninth goal this season was the 335th of his career. In the franchise’s record books, he trails just four greats: Gordie Howe, Steve Yzerman, Alex Delvecchio and Sergei Fedorov.Danny DeKeyser gave Detroit a 1-0 lead late in the first period and Trevor Daley scored to provide a two-goal cushion late in the second period. Jimmy Howard made 28 saves for the Red Wings, allowing only Noah Hanifin’s second-period goal.JETS 5, STARS 3DALLAS (AP) – Patrik Laine scored two goals, Dustin Byfuglien had three assists and Winnipeg scored five goals in the second period.Michael Hutchinson, who has won both of his NHL starts this season, gave up Tyler Pitlick’s goal just 10 seconds into the game, but finished with 33 saves.Winnipeg moved into a tie with Nashville atop the Central Division. The Jets have outscored opponents 29-12 in winning five of their last six.Nikolaj Ehlers, Toby Enstrom and Mark Scheifele added goals for the Jets. Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov also scored for Dallas.FLAMES 5, AVALANCHE 1CALGARY, Alberta (AP) – Rookie Jon Gillies made 28 saves for his second straight victory, and Mikael Backlund had a goal and two assists in Calgary’s victory over Colorado.Troy Brouwer added a goal and an assist to help the Flames move past idle St. Louis into the final Western Conference wild-card spot. Michael Frolik, Mark Giordano and Sean Monahan also scored, and Matthew Tkachuk had two assists.Called up from Stockton of the AHL with starting goalie Mike Smith sidelined by a lower-body injury, Gillies made his second straight start and fourth appearance of the season. The 6-foot-6 former Providence College goalie beat Arizona 5-2 on Thursday night. Before the game, Smith was placed on injured reserve.Nathan MacKinnon scored for Colorado.DEVILS 2, ISLANDERS 1NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – Kyle Palmieri scored two third-period goals and New Jersey opened some daylight on New York in the race for a wild-card playoff berth.Taylor Hall extended his NHL-best points streak to 14 games with two assists, and Keith Kinkaid made 30 saves as the Devils maintained a five-point lead over Columbus in the race for the top wild-card spot Paul Stastny Jersey , and increased their lead over the ninth-place Islanders to seven points.The win snapped a two-game losing streak and allowed the sellout crowd to go home happy after the career scoring leader Patrik Elias’s No. 26 jersey was retired in a pregame ceremony.Jordan Eberle scored in the second period for the Islanders.COYOTES 2, DUCKS 0GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Antti Raanta made 26 saves for his second shutout in three games and Arizona held off Anaheim.Max Domi’s empty-net goal sealed the win long after Jason Demers gave the Coyotes the lead less than six minutes into the game.Arizona won for the sixth time in eight games and ended the Ducks‘ four-game winning streak. The Coyotes had won four straight before falling to Calgary at home Thursday night.FLYERS 5, SENATORS 3OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) – Brandon Manning had a goal and two assists and Philadelphia beat Ottawa for its fifth consecutive victory.Ivan Provorov, Robert Hagg, Claude Giroux and Nolan Patrick also scored, and Petr Mrazek made 25 saves in his second start since being acquired in a trade with Detroit.Mike Hoffman, Ryan Dzingel and Matt Duchene scored for Ottawa.BLUE JACKETS 3, BLACKHAWKS 2COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Josh Anderson scored in the third period, Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 31 shots and Columbus beat Chicago.Pierre-Luc Dubois had a goal and an assist, and Cam Atkinson also scored for the Blue Jackets.David Kampf and Tomas Jurco scored for last-place Chicago in the second leg of a back-to-back. Rookie Anton Forsberg had 26 saves against his former team.OILERS 4, KINGS 3LOS ANGELES (AP) – Ryan Strome’s empty-net goal at 19:01 of the third period and a successful coach’s challenge with less than 10 seconds left gave Edmonton a victory over Los Angeles.Dustin Brown tipped in Drew Doughty’s shot to cut it to 4-3 with 18 seconds remaining, and the Kings appeared to tie it on another goal by Brown with 9.9 seconds to go. The play was initially ruled no goal on the ice and changed after a video review, but the Oilers challenged for goaltender interference and the goal was waived off.Anton Slepyshev, Leon Draisaitl and Jujhar Khaira scored for the Oilers, who kept the Kings from moving back into playoff position. Cam Talbot made 30 saves.Michael Cammalleri, who started the season with the Kings before being traded to the Oilers on Nov. 14, recorded three assists and has 10 in his last 11 games.Tyler Toffoli and Tobias Rieder also scored for the Kings, who are two points behind Calgary for third place in the Pacific Division and two points behind Anaheim for the second Western Conference wild card.—

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    PITTSBURGH (AP) Eras change. Stars change. Coaches change. Styles change.Coming into this week Ondrej Kase Jersey , the Pittsburgh Penguins had won nine of 10 meetings in the postseason against the Washington Capitals. It is a history marked by epic collapse, unlikely comebacks and wild finishes.Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and company rewrote the script a bit this time around: Washington is moving on after ousting the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins in six games. Here’s an updated history lesson:—THE YEAR: 1991THE ROUND: Patrick Division FinalsTHE RESULT: Penguins in 5.THE DEFINING MOMENT: The Capitals scored three times in the first 10:26 of the third period of Game 2 in Pittsburgh to take the lead. Randy Gilhen – he of the three career playoff goals – jumped onto the ice during a delayed Washington penalty and emerged from a sea of bodies to tie it with less than 5 minutes left in regulation. Kevin Stevens won it with a wrist shot off a pretty setup by Ron Francis 8:10 into overtime to even the series. The Capitals scored three goals total the rest of the way as the Penguins advanced to the conference finals for the first time in franchise history.GUT PUNCH LEVEL: 2. The massively talented Penguins had seven Hall of Famers on the roster (eight if you include the ageless and sure-to-be inducted Jaromir Jagr) and won their first Cup two rounds later.—THE YEAR: 1992THE ROUND: Patrick Division SemifinalsTHE SERIES: Penguins in 7.THE DEFINING MOMENT: The Capitals sprinted to a 3-1 series lead. After getting drilled at home in Game 5, Washington led 4-2 4 minutes into the second period of Game 6. And then Mario Lemieux happened. Super Mario scored or assisted on three power-play goals over the final 30 minutes as the Penguins tied the series, then shut the Caps down in Game 7, a 3-1 win on the road to propel them to a second straight Cup.GUT PUNCH LEVEL: 8. Pittsburgh had a bit of a Cup hangover after winning it all in `91 and appeared on the verge of collapse after the Capitals crushed them 7-2 in Game 4. And then … well, consider this the start of a trend.—THE YEAR: 1994THE ROUND: Eastern Conference quarterfinals.THE SERIES: Capitals in 6.THE DEFINING MOMENT: Washington again jumped out to a 3-1 series lead only to lose Game 5. Back home for Game 6, the Capitals went up 3-0 only to have the Penguins cut it to 3-2 after the first period. Momentum teetering, Washington defenseman Calle Johansson beat Tom Barrasso 1:25 into the second to restore the Caps’ two-goal lead and Washington closed out Pittsburgh for the first time.GUT PUNCH LEVEL: 6. Pittsburgh viewed 1994 as a redemption tour after its bid for a three-peat was derailed by the Islanders in the 1993 playoffs. The Penguins won the Northeast Division and had the third-best record in the league only to lose to a Capitals team that started the season 0-6 and fired coach Terry Murray at midseason and replaced him with Jim Schoenfeld.—THE YEAR: 1995THE ROUND: Eastern Conference quarterfinals.THE SERIES: Penguins in 7.THE DEFINING MOMENT: Lemieux sat out the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season due to fatigue and the Capitals took advantage in the playoffs. Washington – stop us if you’ve heard this before – headed to Pittsburgh with a 3-1 lead and jumped ahead four separate times in front of a stunned crowd at the Igloo. Kevin Stevens, however, drew the Penguins even with 8:18 left in regulation and Luc Robitaille kept Pittsburgh’s season alive with his OT winner 4:30 into the first extra period to give the Penguins a 6-5 victory. Pittsburgh went on to win Games 6 and 7 by a combined 10-1.GUT PUNCH LEVEL: 9. For a franchise that didn’t exactly have a reputation for answering when pushed, Washington’s remarkable play in Game 5 went against the grain and it didn’t have to worry about Lemieux. And yet …—THE YEAR: 1996THE ROUND: Eastern Conference quarterfinals.THE SERIES: Penguins in 6.THE DEFINING MOMENT: Make it defining moments. All of them seeming to come in an epic Game 4 . The Capitals led 2-1 and didn’t have to contend with Lemieux after he was ejected late in the second period for fighting Washington’s Pat Peake. Regulation ended tied at 2. So did the first overtime. And the second (after Washington’s Joe Juneau couldn’t convert the first overtime penalty shot in NHL history). And the third. With 45 seconds left in the fourth extra period, Petr Nedved threw a shot in from outside the left circle that slipped by Olaf Kolzig and into the net to tie the series. Pittsburgh captured the next two to advance to the conference finals.GUT PUNCH LEVEL: They might not have invented the number yet to rate the emotional toll of this one. Say ”Nedved” around Caps fans at your own risk.—THE YEAR: 2000THE ROUND: Eastern Conference quarterfinals.THE SERIES: Penguins in 5.THE DEFINING MOMENT: Washington lost 7-0 in Game 1, but had a chance to even the series when Game 2 went to overtime. Jaromir Jagr, however, effectively ended the competitive portion of things with a power-play goal 5:49 into overtime as the Penguins – who finished a middling third in the Atlantic Division – knocked off the Southeast Division champions with relative ease.GUT PUNCH LEVEL: 3. Washington’s record was a bit of a mirage in a division that included the teams (Atlanta and Tampa Bay) that finished with the two worst records in the NHL.—THE YEAR: 2001THE ROUND: Eastern Conference quarterfinals.THE SERIES: Penguins in 6.THE DEFINING MOMENT: The last great stand of the Lemieux-Jagr partnership. Super Mario scored the game-winning goals in both Game 2 and Game 5 and Martin Straka’s OT winner finished off the Capitals in six games. Washington was built on coach Ron Wilson’s defensive style but the Penguins – as they almost always did – found a way to squeak by anyway. Pittsburgh allowed just 10 goals in six games.GUT PUNCH LEVEL: 4. At this point Rickard Rakell Jersey , the rivalry had gotten to the point where the Capitals appeared ready for the other shoe to drop.—THE YEAR: 2009THE ROUND: Eastern Conference semifinals.THE SERIES: Penguins in 7.THE DEFINING MOMENT: Let’s just go with the whole thing. The NHL pulled itself out of the 2004-05 lockout largely on the back of Crosby and Ovechkin. Meeting in the playoffs for the first time, they somehow exceeded massive expectations. They put up matching hat tricks in Washington’s Game 2 win. The Penguins responded by ripping off three straight only to have Washington force a Game 7 with an overtime victory in Pittsburgh in Game 6 (helped by three Ovechkin assists).Was this ”The Year”?SPOILER ALERT: No. At home in Game 7, the Capitals collapsed. Crosby opened the scoring, the Penguins were up by four just 2:12 into the second and that was it.GUT PUNCH LEVEL: 7.5. It probably should be higher because of Washington’s very un-Capslike rally in Game 6 on the road but the Penguins were coming off a season in which they were a Stanley Cup runner-up and just proved to be more mature when it mattered.—THE YEAR: 2016THE ROUND: Eastern Conference semifinalsTHE SERIES: Penguins in 6.THE DEFINING MOMENT: Pittsburgh was in a malaise in December and fired coach Mike Johnston in favor of Mike Sullivan. General manager Jim Rutherford overhauled the roster to one built on speed and depth. All three goal scorers in Pittsburgh’s clinching Game 6 win – Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel – were brought in by Rutherford to ramp up the team’s quickness. Together they formed the ”HBK” line and Bonino’s jam into the net 6:32 into overtime showcased the depth the Penguins needed to take some of the pressure off Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.GUT PUNCH LEVEL: 9. The Capitals captured the Presidents’ Trophy by posting 120 points, 11 more than the next best team. They had home ice and a Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender in Braden Holtby, who lost in regulation only nine times during the regular season. Still, Holtby was outplayed – just a tad – by 21-year-old rookie Matt Murray.—THE YEAR: 2017THE ROUND: Eastern Conference semifinals.THE SERIES: Penguins in 7.THE DEFINING MOMENT: Maybe Matt Niskanen’s controversial shot to Crosby’s head in Game 3 that forced Crosby to miss Game 4? Washington’s comeback from a 3-1 deficit to force Game 7? Let’s go with Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The winningest netminder in franchise history had lost his job to Murray over the course of the season, but was pressed into action when Murray was injured before Game 1 of Pittsburgh’s opening-round series against Columbus. Fleury was brilliant, no more so than in Game 7 against the Caps. He stopped 29 shots for his ninth career playoff shutout, including a save on an Ovechkin one-timer with the butt end of his stick late in the second period to preserve a one-goal lead.GUT PUNCH LEVEL: 6. Why 6? Call it the emotional calluses of disappointment. If this loss was to say, the New York Rangers, it may have been more traumatic. But this is what happens when the Capitals play the Penguins.—THE YEAR: 2018THE ROUND: Eastern Conference semifinalsTHE SERIES: Capitals in 6.THE DEFINING MOMENT: Well, for a while there it was tempting to go with Tom Wilson’s crunching – and illegal – hit on Pittsburgh’s Zach Aston-Reese in Game 2 that left Aston-Reese’s jaw broken and led to Wilson getting slapped with a three-game suspension. Instead we’ll go with Evgeny Kuznetsov’s breakaway goal 5:27 into overtime in Game 6 that gave the Capitals a cathartic victory and their first berth in the Eastern Conference finals in 20 years.GUT PUNCH LEVEL: 0. The Penguins looked gassed at the end of a long run.— PHILADELPHIA (AP) Sidney Crosby scored his fifth goal of the series and became the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ career postseason points leader in a 5-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.The Penguins lead the first-round playoff series 3-1 as its shifts to Pittsburgh for Game 5.Matt Murray stopped 26 shots for his second shutout of the series and the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins are a win away from playing in the second round for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons.Crosby scored in the second period for a 4-0 lead and passed Pittsburgh owner and Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux for most playoff points with 173. Crosby and the Penguins followed a 7-0 Game 1 win and a 5-1 Game 3 victory with another dominant outing.Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and Kris Letang each scored to give the Penguins a 3-0 lead in the second and chase Flyers goalie Brian Elliott. Riley Sheahan made it 5-0 late in the third.SHARKS 2, DUCKS 1SAN JOSE Womens Ryan Getzlaf Jersey , Calif. (AP) – Tomas Hertl scored the tiebreaking goal 9:09 into the third period, Martin Jones was spectacular in goal yet again, and San Jose Sharks completed a first-round sweep.Hertl scored just 1:16 after the Ducks finally got a puck past Jones when he deflected a point shot from Marc-Edouard Vlasic past John Gibson. San Jose then held on to advance to the second round against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.Fourth-line winger Marcus Sorensen scored for the third straight game to open the scoring for San Jose and Jones did most of the rest of the work with 30 saves.Andrew Cogliano scored the lone goal for the Ducks, who were outscored 16-4 in the series and swept for the first time since 1999 against Detroit. Gibson finished with 22 saves.LIGHTNING 3, DEVILS 1NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – Nikita Kucherov scored two goals, set up another and knocked New Jersey’s top defenseman out of the game with a big hit, and the Tampa Bay Lightning moved within a game of making the Devils‘ first trip to the playoffs in six years a short one.J.T. Miller also scored and had two assists, and Vezina Trophy finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped three breakaways in making 27 saves as the Lightning bounced back from a loss in Game 3 to tale a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.Tampa Bay can wrap up the best-of-seven series in Game 5 at home on Saturday.Kyle Palmieri scored on a 5-on-3 advantage for the Devils. Cory Schneider made 34 saves.New Jersey’s Sami Vatanen was knocked out of the game on the hit by Kucherov late in the first. No penalty was called but Kucherov appeared to jump before hitting Vatanen in the shoulder and head area.PREDATORS 3, AVALANCHE 2DENVER (AP) – Filip Forsberg scored another creative goal, Pekka Rinne rebounded from a rocky performance with 31 saves, and Nashville withstood a furious rally by Colorado to take a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.Colton Sissons and Craig Smith also added goals for the Predators, who can close out the best-of-seven series Friday when it shifts back to Nashville for Game 5.Rinne was solid early after being pulled from the last game. Cruising along and up 3-0, the Vezina Trophy finalist allowed Gabriel Landeskog’s 5-on-3 power-play goal in the third and another on Alexander Kerfoot’s tap-in off a rebound.Colin Wilson nearly tied with about 2 minutes left when his shot appeared to hit the post. The Avalanche pulled backup goalie Andrew Hammond late, but couldn’t get the tying goal.

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    PITTSBURGH (AP) There was no dogpile in the dressing room. No champagne celebration. Not even a beer. Nothing.The Washington Capitals have been here before. Many times Brock McGinn Jersey Kids , actually. It’s not that they don’t appreciate winning Metropolitan Division title after Metropolitan Division title like the one they wrapped up with a 3-1 victory over rival Pittsburgh on Sunday night.It’s just that they’re tired of division banners being the only ones raised to the rafters.Still, star Alex Ovechkin knows not all playoff runs are created equal. The group that skated off the ice at PPG Paints Arena after keeping the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions in check for three taut and occasionally chippy periods is not the juggernaut that rolled into postseason in 2016 and 2017 only to be sent home in the second round by Pittsburgh.”We lost lots of players,” Ovechkin said after playing in his 1,000th career regular season game. ”Guys in the locker room, experience guys. But different guys step up and they play different. … We play as a team.”One that hopes following a familiar script will lead – at last – to an unfamiliar ending.Philipp Grubauer made 36 saves to continue his push to supplant Braden Holtby as Washington’s top goaltender as the Capitals won for the 10th time in 12 games to assure themselves of home-ice advantage through the first two rounds of the playoffs.”We had a challenge there from the beginning (of the season) on,” Grubauer said. ”We lost a couple experienced guys. We learned from our mistakes and we’re still learning. It’s nice to wrap that up, for sure.”T.J. Oshie, Dmitry Orlov and Tom Wilson scored for Washington and Grubauer did the rest, including a spectacular glove save on Penguins star Sidney Crosby in the third period that served as an exclamation point on the kind of performance that would fit right in over the next two months.”Last couple games we played in here weren’t too good, so it’s a momentum builder for us,” Grubauer said. ”We have to make sure we play the right way next couple games. It’s going to be huge.”The Penguins have the top power play in the league but went 0 for 5 with the man advantage. Patric Hornqvist picked up his 27th of the season late in the third period to avoid a shutout. Matt Murray stopped 31 shots but couldn’t quite match Grubauer.”I thought that’s probably as good as our power play has looked the last month, we just didn’t score,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said.A night after earning a playoff berth for a franchise-record 12th straight year, the Penguins lost at home in regulation for just the second time since Jan. 4 to end a late push for a division crown. Not that it matters much to Pittsburgh. The Penguins have ended each of the last two regular seasons as the division runner-up to Washington. And each time the Penguins have used a second-round playoff series victory over the Capitals as a springboard to the Stanley Cup.”We never win division,” Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin said. ”It’s not first time. It’s not surprise. We’re fine.”Ovechkin called becoming just the 57th player in NHL history to play at least 1,000 games for one team ”a milestone” but didn’t exactly get caught up in the moment. The 32-year-old knows his career has been equally defined by his 603 goals and his team’s inability to make a deep playoff run.Despite seven division titles and nine playoff appearances since he made his debut in 2005 Womens Elias Lindholm Jersey , Ovechkin has never played on a team that reached the Eastern Conference finals. Postseason success is the only thing that’s eluded him, but Washington appears to be peaking behind Grubauer.Washington coach Barry Trotz opted to give Grubauer his first career start against Pittsburgh and Grubauer responded brilliantly. He was at his best in the second period, when the Penguins’ lethal power play had four chances to draw even and came up empty each time, including an extended two-man advantage in which Grubauer received a little help from the crossbar when a shot from Malkin clanged off the crossbar.The lucky bounce preserved a 1-0 lead. Orlov pumped in his career-high 10th just after a Pittsburgh power-play expired later in the period, firing a shot from the slot that went between the legs of Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta and over Murray’s right arm.When Tom Wilson redirected Matt Niskanen’s shot from the point by Murray 23 seconds into the third period the Capitals had another division title wrapped up but not bragging rights. That will have to come later.NOTES: Washington went 0 for 4 on the power play. … Malkin was given a 10-minute misconduct with 1:01 left in regulation after mixing it up with Oshie. … Penguins C Derick Brassard missed his third consecutive game with a lower-body injury. … Pittsburgh is 9-7-2 on the second night of back-to-backs this season.UP NEXTCapitals: Visit St. Louis on Monday. Washington beat the Blues 4-3 on Jan. 7.Penguins: Get three days off before finishing regular season with a back-to-back starting on Thursday in Columbus.— TORONTO (AP) James van Riemsdyk had his third career hat trick and Mitch Marner scored the winning goal in a shootout to lift Toronto over the Dallas Stars 6-5 on Wednesday night, extending the Maple Leafs‘ franchise-record home winning streak to 11 games.Marner beat Kari Lehtonen in the third round of the shootout, completing Toronto’s comebacks from 4-2 and 5-4 deficits in the third period.Nazem Kadri and Patrick Marleau also scored in regulation for the Maple Leafs. Frederik Andersen allowed three goals on 20 shots before getting lifted just past the game’s midway point with an upper-body injury.Curtis McElhinney came on and stopped 13 shots – including two big saves on Jamie Benn during a power play in overtime – the rest of the way to help Toronto improve to 3-2-2 since star center Auston Matthews went down with a shoulder injury on Feb. 22.Tyler Bozak, who also scored in the shootout, and Marner each added two assists to keep the Maple Leafs perfect at home since losing to Colorado on Jan. 22.Tyler Seguin had a goal and two assists, Benn added a goal and an assist, and Radek Faksa, Remi Elie and Brett Ritchie also scored in regulation for Dallas. Lehtonen made 26 stops through overtime.RANGERS 4, PENGUINS 3, OTNEW YORK (AP) – Mika Zibanejad scored the tying goal late in the third period and the winner 2:53 into overtime to rally New York past Pittsburgh.Chris Kreider had a goal and three assists for his first career four-point game, and Jesper Fast also scored to help the Rangers win their second straight after a three-game skid. Neal Pionk had three assists and Alexandar Georgiev, making his second consecutive start Authentic Jaccob Slavin Jersey , finished with 37 saves. Georgiev denied Evgeni Malkin on a penalty shot with 11 seconds left in regulation.On the winner, Zibanejad took a nice pass from Kreider and squeezed a wrist shot past goalie Casey DeSmith for his 100th career goal.Bryan Rust, Riley Sheahan and Carl Hagelin scored for the Penguins, who lost for just the fifth time in 15 games (10-4-1). DeSmith, filling in for injured starter Matt Murray, stopped 29 shots in his ninth career start.The Rangers, likely to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2010, are 2-0-1 in their last three games and 5-2-2 in their past nine.DEVILS 8, GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3LAS VEGAS (AP) – Blake Coleman scored twice, Michael Grabner and Nico Hischier each had a goal and an assist, and New Jersey routed Vegas.Taylor Hall, Travis Zajac, Stefan Noesen and Kyle Palmieri also scored for the Devils, who moved one point ahead of idle Columbus for the top wild card in the Eastern Conference. Keith Kinkaid stopped 39 shots.Erik Haula had two goals and Colin Miller also scored for Vegas, which had just completed a 4-1 road trip. The Golden Knights gave up eight goals for the second time this season in their worst home loss. They have dropped three straight games in regulation at home for the first time.Marc-Andre Fleury, who earned his 400th career win Monday against Philadelphia Jordan Staal Jersey , gave up four goals on 11 shots before being pulled early in the second period. Backup goalie Maxime Legace came on and also allowed four goals, on 17 shots.SHARKS 4, OILERS 3, OTEDMONTON, Alberta (AP) – Tomas Hertl had two goals, including the game-winner 2:40 into overtime, and San Jose pulled out a win over Edmonton.Logan Couture and Brenden Dillon also scored for the Sharks, who have won two straight. San Jose is in second place in the Pacific Division, three points ahead of Los Angeles and Anaheim with 12 games remaining.Drake Caggiula, Oscar Klefbom and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had the goals for the Oilers, who lost their second in a row.DUCKS 3, CANUCKS 0ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Jason Chimera got his first goal and assist with Anaheim, and defenseman Brandon Montour scored twice as the Ducks extended Vancouver’s scoreless streak to 10 periods.The victory left the Ducks tied with Los Angeles for third place in the Pacific Division at 82 points. Anaheim has played one more game than the Kings.Montour scored his first goal for the Ducks in 50 games and then added a second on a power play in the final minute. John Gibson made 32 saves to hand the slumping Canucks their third consecutive shutout.The 38-year-old Chimera came to the Ducks in a Feb. 26 trade with the New York Islanders.Vancouver has lost five straight and eight of nine. Jacob Markstrom stopped 34 shots.—

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    LOS ANGELES (AP) The Golden Knights want a Stanley Cup title to conclude their already amazing inaugural season in the NHL.Vegas is on its way Jamie Benn Jersey , beating the Los Angeles Kings 1-0 on Tuesday night and becoming the first expansion team in league history to sweep its first playoff series.”All season long, I didn’t know any records about expansion teams,” goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. ”We just do what a regular team would, we just play the game and try to win. That’s it.”Brayden McNabb scored against his former team in the second period and Fleury stopped 31 shots as the Knights finished off their fourth one-goal victory of the series. It was the goalie’s second shutout of the playoffs.”I didn’t picture this happening, me scoring a goal against the Kings,” McNabb said, ”but it feels real good to get this win and finish this series.”The Knights poured into the net to hug Fleury at the final horn. Vegas fans in the crowd chanted the goalie’s name in celebration.”We knew we were getting a superstar when we got him,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. ”He has playoff experience and he’s been a part of three Cups and he makes us better. LA put on the pressure on him but he was huge for us.”The Knights became the second team to win their first four playoff games, joining the 1970 Pittsburgh Penguins.McNabb scored from the right circle, beating Jonathan Quick’s glove, at 4:04 of the second for his first career playoff goal. The Kings left the defenseman exposed in last year’s expansion draft and the Knights snapped him up.The Kings pulled Quick in the closing seconds, when Dustin Brown skated straight toward the net and just missed.”That’s what the playoffs are all about. It’s so close,” Kings center Anze Kopitar said. ”It’s not like we were blown out of the water.”Brown also hit the left post with 10 minutes to go in the third, typical of the close calls that failed to generate goals for the Kings in the series. They outshot the Knights 31-21 in the game.”It was crazy in the final minute of the game. They were buzzing around,” Fleury said. ”We had to keep pushing to the very end.”Facing elimination, the Kings came out aggressively and outshot the Knights 14-8 in the opening period. Quick stopped two shots on goal during the only power play in the period when Adrian Kempe was sent off for hooking.”I thought our hockey team got better through the series Adidas Authentic Jason Spezza Jersey Premier Womens Youth Big&Tall Dallas Stars NHL Shop Free Shipping ,” first-year Kings coach John Stevens said. ”Tonight was our best game and created the most quality chances, just didn’t finish off.”Quick made 20 saves and allowed seven goals in the series, but he and the Kings couldn’t duplicate the rally they pulled off in 2014. Los Angeles lost its first three games to the Sharks in the first round that year and went on to win the series and eventually the Stanley Cup.”We just got knocked out of the playoffs. I don’t care what the score was,” defenseman Alec Martinez said. ”It’s a lot of disappointment in this room. We can’t forget how this feels.”Vegas, the third expansion team since 1968-69 to clinch a playoff berth, awaits the winner of the series between Anaheim and San Jose, which the Sharks lead 3-0.The Kings managed just three goals in the series and lacked offensive punch from Kopitar (one goal) and wingers Brown and Tyler Toffoli (no goals).Brown fired a team-high six shots in the game, while Toffoli had three and Brown two.Toffoli took a puck to the face, drawing blood from his nose to his mouth. He got stitches and returned 10 minutes later.NOTES: Quick had a 1.55 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage. … Fleury earned his 66th playoff victory, breaking a tie with Dominik Hasek for 11th on the NHL’s all-time list among goaltenders. … The Kings fell to 12-31 all-time in Game 4s. … Retired Hall of Fame Kings announcer Bob Miller attended the game.— DENVER (AP) Second night of a back-to-back on the road – at elevation no less. Losing their goaltender midway through the game. Blocking 33 shots.No wonder Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol was so complimentary.”Just a gutsy effort,” he said.Ivan Provorov had a goal and an assist, Petr Mrazek stopped all 17 shots he faced in relief of starter Michal Neuvirth and the Flyers held off the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 on Wednesday night.Claude Giroux also scored as the Flyers climbed into third place in the Metropolitan Division. They’re tied in points (92) with second-place Pittsburgh, with the Penguins currently holding the tiebreaker.”Every point matters right now,” Mrazek said.Philadelphia looked crisp early – scoring both goals in the first period – despite losing in overtime at Dallas a night earlier. Neuvirth turned back 10 shots in his first game since suffering a lower-body injury on Feb. 18, but he exited the game midway through the second period for an undisclosed reason. Hakstol had no update after the game.Mrazek took over and was exceptional, especially in the last five minutes when the Avalanche turned up the pressure. He withstood a flurry of shots in the last few seconds John Klingberg Jersey , including one from Gabriel Landeskog where the red light briefly came on after the puck flew by the net.”Those five minutes felt like 15. So long,” Mrazek said. ”Lots of blocked shots in front of me, a couple of lucky bounces today. Didn’t see, I think, one or two pucks get to my pad. Big thanks to these guys in front the last five minutes.”Matt Nieto scored for an Avalanche team that’s on the outside of the playoff picture with five games remaining. They’ve lost three of four, including two of those at home where they’ve been stellar all season. The Avs are 16-4-1 at the Pepsi Center over their last 21 games.What’s more, Colorado’s offense has suddenly gone silent with five goals now in the last four games.”When our line goes cold we lose games,” star forward Nathan MacKinnon said. ”If we have some chances it’s up to us to bury them.”Andrew Hammond had 31 saves during an emergency start for Semyon Varlamov, who was sidelined by an illness. Varlamov had appeared in 21 straight games for the Avalanche.Hammond was called up from San Antonio of the American Hockey League earlier in the day as an insurance policy. It was his first appearance for Colorado after splitting time between the minors and a backup role. He also dealt with what the team called a head injury. Hammond was acquired as part of a three-team trade that sent Matt Duchene to Ottawa in November.”I think it took me a period to get my legs under me,” said Hammond, who played in his first NHL game in more than a year. ”The unfortunate part is I guess the game-winning goal ended up being scored in that period. But as the game went on I settled in and started to feel better.”Nieto cut it to 2-1 by poking the puck past Neuvirth at 5:36 of the second period.Colorado pulled Hammond with around 90 seconds left but couldn’t score the equalizer despite turning up the pressure.Giroux put the Flyers up 1-0 in the first with his 27th goal, and Provorov added another nearly eight minutes later with a blast from the blue line.With Provorov’s score, the Flyers have 48 goals from their defensemen – the team’s most in a season since the group accounted for 52 in 1992-93.”This is how the game is played right now,” Provorov said. ”You can’t create offense with just three forwards. You have to move and have mobile `D.’ I think that’s what we have on our team.”NOTES: Flyers D Shayne Gostisbehere set up Giroux’s goal. Gostisbehere has five assists over his last three games. … D Andrew MacDonald had seven blocked shots. … Avs RW Sven Andrighetto missed a third straight game with a lower-body injury. … Backup G Jonathan Bernier remains sidelined as he deals with a cut on his hand that became infected. He faced some shots during a morning skate Wednesday, but didn’t have his stick.UP NEXTFlyers: Host Boston on Sunday.Avalanche: Face Chicago on Friday before a three-game trip.—

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    NEW YORK (AP) Henrik Lundqvist raised his arms in a game-ending celebration as if it were playoff series clincher. It likely felt that way for the New York goalie as the Rangers snapped a brutal four-game losing streak.Lundqvist made 28 saves in relief of Ondrej Pavelec Womens Niklas Hjalmarsson Jersey , who injured his knee during the first period of an eventual 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames on Friday night.Lundqvist replaced Pavelec to start the second and made 19 saves that period then stopped all nine shots in the third to secure the win, his team’s first since Jan. 25 at San Jose before the All-Star break. It was most saves Lundqvist ever made in a relief appearance.”We’ve been losing a lot of one-goal games, which means we are one play away, we are one save away, one goal away from getting points,” said Lundqvist, who won in relief for the third time in his 13-year career with the Rangers. ”Tonight we got that goal, we got that save in the end to keep the lead.”Mika Zibanejad scored the go-ahead goal on a power play at 12:41 of the third period off a cross-ice pass from J.T. Miller. It was Zibanejad’s 16th goal of the season.The Rangers ended Calgary’s three-game winning streak. New York had lost 10 of its last 13 games to fall out of an Eastern Conference playoff spot.Rangers forward Rick Nash, likely to be traded by the Feb. 26 deadline because of his expiring contract, tied it at 3 at 6:41 of the third with his 17th goal of the season. Michael Grabner and Kevin Hayes also scored.Matthew Tkachuk put Calgary ahead 3-2 with his 18th goal of the season at 18:27 of the second on a power play. Brett Kulak had his first NHL goal, and Curtis Lazar also scored for the Flames.The Flames (28-19-8) had won the first two games of their six-game trip, beating New Jersey 3-2 on Thursday night. Their coach Glen Gulutzan was not happy with his team’s performance especially seeing his team outshot 20-8 in the first period.”Just the way we played and the way we approached the game. I thought we were terrible in the first and took way too many penalties,” he said. ”We got what we deserved. We weren’t ready to play.”Grabner put the Rangers ahead 2-1 at 11:52 of the second when the puck deflected off Calgary defenseman Giordano and went past goalie Mike Smith. Grabner has a team-high 22 goals.Lazar quickly tied the contest for the Flames with his first of the season at 12:37, nudging the puck past Lundqvist when the goaltender went for a poke check attempt.Hayes opened the scoring for the Rangers, knocking in a rebound on the power-play at 7:53 of the first period.The Rangers (26-24-5) seemed to come out with relieved purpose a day after the organization released a letter to fans asking them to bear with a potential rebuild ahead with the league’s trade deadline looming in just over two weeks.Vigneault said he still believes his squad can make the playoffs – though the roster he will be working with remains to be determined.”If I were a player, I would be looking at the standings, seeing that we’re three points out of the playoffs. You can be sure I’d be coming ready, coming out and working hard Authentic Connor McDavid Jersey Fanatics Branded: New Adidas Breakaway Womens Youth Edmonton Oilers NHL Jerseys ,” he said. ”I think that’s what we’ve been doing.”Nash figures to be the most prominent player to depart since his contract is expiring. The 33-year-old forward needs two points to reach 800 in his NHL career. He scored a career-high 42 goals for the Rangers three seasons ago.Even though the Rangers outshot the Flames so widely in the opening period, Calgary still managed the tie the contest at 1 when Kulak scored his first NHL goal at 18:15.Vigneaul said Pavelec would be evaluated on Saturday and any roster decisions would be determined before the team leaves for Winnipeg and the start of a four-game trip.With Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh out against the Flames with an upper body injury, two defensemen made their debuts for the Rangers – Neal Pionk and John Gilmour. Both were recalled from AHL Hartford.NOTES: The Rangers have won six straight at home against Calgary . The teams meet again on March 2 in Calgary. … The Rangers also continued to be without injured defensemen Marc Staal and Kevin Shattenkirk as well as forwards Chris Kreider, Pavel Buchnevich and Jimmy Vesey . The Flames are 15-6-5 on the road.UP NEXT:Flames: At New York Islanders on Sunday night.Rangers: At Winnipeg on Sunday. BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Clayton Keller and the Arizona Coyotes‘ youth were too much in providing the Sabres a sobering reminder of why Buffalo belongs at the bottom of the NHL standings.Keller set up two goals to set the franchise record for points in a season by a rookie, and fellow rookie Dylan Strome scored in a 4-1 victory Wednesday night.Though the two teams began the day separated by one point at the bottom of the league standings, the Coyotes improved to 13-5-2 in their past 20 by overwhelming Buffalo.”It’s actually awesome,” goalie Antti Raanta said, referring to Arizona’s late-season run.It’s even better when taking into account how the youngsters are contributing.”We want that those guys are taking this team and showing the way,” said Raanta, who stopped 29 shots.Referring to Keller, Raanta added: ”I think he’s been one of the best forwards in this stretch. And I think it’s going to be just awesome to see how good he’s going to be in the future because he’s already so good.”The Coyotes’ 2016 first-round pick extended his points streak to six games, in which he has two goals and five assists. He also upped his points total to 55, one more than Peter Mueller had in setting the rookie team record in 2007-08. And Keller has 35 assists, one more than teammate Max Domi had in his rookie season two years ago.Strome, the No. 3 pick in the 2015 draft, scored a day after being called up from the minors. Derek Stepan had a goal and assist, Richard Panik also scored Milan Lucic Jersey Kids , and Domi sealed it with an empty-netter.Frustration set in on the Sabres, who remain last in the standings with 58 points – one behind Vancouver.”You’d think you’d come out gangbusters to start this game,” Housley said. ”It was a very meaningful game in respect that you’re in last place in the league. That’s hard to swallow. It’s just unacceptable.”Jordan Nolan scored the lone goal in briefly tying the game at 1 with 8:18 left in the first period. Chad Johnson allowed two goals on 15 shots before leaving the game 6:04 into the second period. He continued playing after being shaken up three minutes into the first period, when Brendon Perlini’s slap shot from the left circle struck Johnson in the mask and then went off his left shoulder.Rookie Linus Ullmark took over and allowed one goal on 13 shots.Stepan scored the go-ahead goal with 2:16 left in the first period, when his shot from the slot dribbled in after deflecting off Buffalo forward Scott Wilson’s stick.Panik sealed the win by scoring 6:32 into the third. Keller’s shot from the left circle was blocked and dribbled into the crease, where Panik slipped it under a spread-eagled Ullmark.Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet deflected attention away from his own personal loss. The first-year coach rejoined the Coyotes earlier in the day after spending the past few days in Toronto to attend mother Norma’s funeral. She died last week at the age of 93 due to complications from brain cancer.”Yeah, I’m just a routine guy,” Tocchet said. ”I like to get back in routine. That’s how my mom would’ve wanted me to get back into these things.”The trajectory of the two franchises has hardly changed in the three years since both sat at the bottom of standings before a game in Buffalo.The only difference then was, the last-place team was assured of picking no worse than second in a draft that featured two so-called generational prospects in Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. Some Sabres’ fans were so in favor of their team finishing last, Buffalo was booed when captain Brian Gionta tied it at 3 with 3:37 remaining. And some cheered when Sam Gagner scored 56 seconds into overtime of Arizona’s 4-3 win.Coyotes forward Brad Richardson didn’t sign with Arizona until the following summer, but was aware of how Sabres fans responded.”I think that’s pretty sad, to be honest,” Richardson told The Associated Press earlier in the day.The Sabres finished last, but lost the draft lottery to Edmonton, which selected McDavid with the first pick.On Wednesday, the Sabres were booed when they were unable to score during the final three minutes with their goalie pulled.”We’ve got to find a way to get smart or something,” Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly said. ”It’s disappointing.”NOTES: Eichel played his 200th career game. … Arizona converted two of three power-play chances after going 2-for-23 in its previous nine games. … Coyotes D Jason Demers did not play and will miss the remainder of the season with an upper-body injury.UP NEXTCoyotes: Continue six-game road swing at Carolina on Thursday night.Sabres: Close six-game homestand against Montreal on Friday night.—

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    SAN JOSE Adidas Ian Cole Jersey , Calif. (AP) The job of a fourth line is usually to provide energy, give some rest to the top players and occasionally chip in with a goal.San Jose’s group of Eric Fehr, Barclay Goodrow and Jannik Hansen did a lot more than that.Hansen scored his first goal of the season and Fehr and Goodrow also scored for a fourth-line hat trick that helped the Sharks win their season-high fifth straight game, 6-2 over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.”It’s probably been a while since that happened,” Fehr said of all three fourth-liners scoring in a game. ”It’s nice to contribute. Obviously everybody has been going for a while now. To be able to chip in offensively and defensively gives the guys a little bit of a break. It’s always nice for us.”Logan Couture added his 30th goal of the season, and Joe Pavelski and Mikkel Boedker also scored to give the Sharks a four-point lead over third-place Los Angeles in the Pacific Division with one game in hand.Brent Burns added three assists and Martin Jones made 26 saves.The scoring barrage by San Jose spoiled Cory Schneider’s return to net for the Devils. Schneider allowed four goals on 14 shots before getting pulled for Keith Kinkaid midway through the second period of his first start since March 8. Schneider has lost 11 starts in a row since his last win for the Devils on Dec. 27.”To me it’s not on the goaltender or either goaltender that was in,” coach John Hynes said. ”Our team has to be better in lots of aspects of it.”Taylor Hall scored his 32nd goal of the season and Blake Coleman also scored for the Devils, who lead Florida by just one point in the race for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers have two games in hand.After Hansen and Fehr scored in the first period, Goodrow chipped one in midway through the second period on a surprising night of scoring from the fourth line when he beat Schneider on a 2-on-1.”We were talking about that after the first Adidas Philipp Grubauer Jersey ,” Goodrow said. ”It would be nice to complete the hat trick for the line. Definitely felt good to score that one.”Couture then scored 40 seconds later on San Jose’s first shot against Kinkaid for his third career 30-goal season. Boedker added San Jose’s second power-play goal of the night late in the second and the rout was on.The Sharks got off to a fast start in their first game back from a 3-0 Canadian road trip, scoring three goals in the first period and killing 1:20 of a two-man advantage for New Jersey.”We didn’t get off to a great start and then we got behind the eight ball and never recovered from it,” Hynes said.The teams traded goals to start with Fehr beating Schneider over the shoulder from a bad angle and Hall answering when he stole a bouncing puck from Justin Braun and beat Jones with a quick shot.San Jose then scored twice in a span of less than three minutes to take the lead. Pavelski tipped in a shot from Kevin Labanc on the power play to give the Sharks the lead.Then after Jones denied Damon Severson from in close at one end, Dylan DeMelo sent a long pass that Hansen chased down and then beat Schneider on a breakaway for his first goal since March 30, 2017.”It’s always nice to see a guy who hasn’t put one in in a while finally get rewarded,” Couture said. ”He comes into the lineup and he works hard. He doesn’t play every game. It’s not an easy thing to do.”NOTES: DeMelo has 10 assists this month. … San Jose D Brenden Dillon has a five-game point streak. … Devils F Miles Wood (upper body) was scratched and Jesper Bratt played in his place.UP NEXTDevils: Visit Pittsburgh on Friday.Sharks: Host Vegas on Thursday.— WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) The Winnipeg Jets were in rhythm and the Vegas Golden Knights looked rusty.Or, maybe the Jets are just that good.Dustin Byfuglien scored about a minute after the puck dropped and Winnipeg built a three-goal lead early in the first period and went on to beat Vegas 4-2 on Saturday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.While the Jets played at home less than 48 hours after advancing past top-seeded Nashville on the road, the Golden Knights were off for nearly a week after eliminating San Jose in the second round.”We didn’t have much of a rest Adidas Cale Makar Jersey ,” Byfuglien said. ”We’re still in game mode.”Patrik Laine and Joel Armia had goals 46 seconds apart to put the Jets up 3-0. Mark Scheifele gave Winnipeg a 4-1 lead midway on a power play through the second period with his 12th goal this postseason.Brayden McNabb scored midway through the first and William Karlsson had a power-play goal late in the second period to pull Vegas within two, but the expansion team couldn’t get closer.”We were chasing the game all night,” Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said.Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck made 18 saves.Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 22 shots for the Golden Knights, whose Stanley Cup-winning goalie has given up at least three goals for the fifth time in six games.”He’s the best goalie in the playoffs as far as I’m concerned,” Gallant said.Fleury and the Golden Knights will have to be at, or near, their best when the Jets host Game 2 on Monday night before the series shifts to Las Vegas.”Next game, no excuses,” Golden Knights center Jonathan Marchessault said. ”Everybody needs to come and be ready to play our best game of the playoffs.”We’re going to show what kind of team we are.”Winnipeg Adidas Adam Clendening Jersey , which is making its deepest playoff run in franchise history, started strong and fast. Vegas, meanwhile, didn’t appear anything like the team that took the league by storm in its record-breaking inaugural season.The Jets’ fast, deep and talented team had 114 points this season and trailed only the Predators’ league-high total by three points. Their success has carried over into the postseason, winning all three Game 1s and avoiding trailing a series.The hard-charging, smooth-passing Jets put the Pacific Division champions on their heels right from the start and didn’t relent.”We did take advantage of being game ready,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said.White-clad, towel-twirling raucous fans in the arena – and packed on surrounding streets – were fired up before the game started. And Adidas Riley Nash Jersey , they were given plenty of opportunities to celebrate in the opening minutes.Byfuglien’s slap shot 1:05 into the game off a drop pass from Scheifele put Winnipeg up 1-0. That ignited the party-like atmosphere in a relatively cozy arena with just 16,345 seats and a low ceiling.”That was huge for us,” Jets center Paul Stastny said. ”Early in the game, too. And then all of the sudden it gave life to everyone, everyone on the bench, the crowd.”Fleury had no shot to stop Laine’s one-timer from the left circle off Wheeler’s cross-ice pass on a power play at the 6:49 mark of the first. Armia had a goal waved off less than a minute later only to have it restored by a challenge, which overturned the goaltender interference call on the ice.”Sometimes getting your legs a little bit under you takes a few minutes here and they took advantage of it,” Fleury said.After the flurry of goals early, the Jets were able to play conservatively to cut down on Vegas’ comeback chances.”We were getting the puck deep Adidas Anthony Duclair Jersey ,” Scheifele said. ”We weren’t fooling around with it in the neutral zone.”The Golden Knights pulled Fleury to add an extra skater late in the game, but had to put him back on the ice because there was a faceoff near him. They sent him to the bench again and had some chances to pull within one, but the shot-blocking Jets didn’t let the puck get to Hellebuyck much.NOTES: The last time two teams were in the NHL conference finals for the first time was 2003 when Anaheim swept Minnesota. … Scheifele has four more goals than any player still in the postseason. … Fleury, a former Pittsburgh Penguin, has four shutouts this postseason and has allowed four goals in three games.—Follow Larry Lage at www.twitter.com/larrylage—

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    GLENDALE Dan Hamhuis Jersey Womens , Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Coyotes haven’t had many nights like this one. Same for the Chicago Blackhawks, at least before this season.Max Domi, Clayton Keller, Alex Goligoski and Tobias Rieder each had a goal and an assist, and the Coyotes pounded the slumping Blackhawks 6-1 on Monday.The Coyotes ended a nine-game losing streak to the Blackhawks and sent last-place Chicago to its season-high sixth straight loss.Antti Raanta had 37 saves for Arizona. The Coyotes’ six goals were their highest total of the season.”Sometimes you’re a little bit lucky and you can make the saves,” said Raanta, who had 40 saves in a shootout loss to Philadelphia on Saturday night. ”Play a couple of years, you kind of have a taste for what they can do.”Domi put Arizona ahead to stay just 92 seconds into the game. Zac Rinaldo provided a screen in front of Blackhawks goalie Anton Forsberg, and Domi’s shot went in for his fourth goal of the season.The 22-year-old Domi stopped a 21-game drought with his first goal since Dec. 16.”Winning’s fun, so it was just a lot of fun out there,” Domi said. ”Everyone was contributing and everyone wanted to be a part of it. No one let up.”Keller’s 16th goal made it 2-0 at 9:22 of the first. Keller passed from behind the net to Derek Stepan Eric Tangradi Jersey Womens , and Stepan’s shot bounced off Forsberg’s pads to Keller for a backhand follow.No punches were thrown in a scuffle between Jakob Chychrun and Chicago’s Tommy Wingels after Wingels leveled former Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson with a check early in the second. But Chychrun and Domi were given two minutes for roughing and the Blackhawks got a power play.Alex DeBrincat then scored the 20th goal of his rookie season, trimming Arizona’s lead to 2-1 at 4:33.But the Coyotes responded with two more goals in the second. Goligoski’s shot went underneath Forsberg at 7:06, and Rieder tipped in a power-play goal at 9:33 after Jeff Glass took over in net for Chicago.”We’re just trying to find something positive to build off of and just can’t do it right now,” Chicago forward Patrick Kane said. ”If we get down in a game right now or get behind, sometimes it’s deflating.”The Coyotes finished off the rout with Nick Cousins’ redirection of Goligoski’s shot at 7:11 of the third, and Christian Dvorak’s ninth goal with 4:22 to play.”You lose the game without even giving yourself a chance to get two points,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. ”That’s what we play for. We’re in the winning business and that’s what’s frustrating right now.””A game like this with guys scoring goals… I think it builds confidence,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said.NOTES: It was the 3,000th game in the history of the former Winnipeg/current Arizona NHL franchise. … Blackhawks G Corey Crawford took the ice and faced some shots during the morning skate. Crawford has been out since late December with an upper body injury. … The Blackhawks are 4-4-3 in the first game of back-to-back sets this season. They complete their 11th back-to-back set of games when they play Vegas on Tuesday. … Most fans in the crowd were in Blackhawks gear, and they booed at the playing of a song in the arena that contained the lyrics ”I hate Chicago.” … NBA Hall of Famer and former Phoenix Suns great Charles Barkley performed the ceremonial puck drop. He was given a standing ovation.UP NEXTBlackhawks: At Vegas Tuesday night.Coyotes: At San Jose Tuesday night. TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Lightning are on the brink of a return trip to the Stanley Cup Final.Coach Jon Cooper and his players say it won’t be easy to close the deal against the Washington Capitals.”We haven’t won anything yet Adam Pelech Jersey Womens ,” Cooper said Saturday night after Cedric Paquette scored in the opening minute and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 28 shots to help the Lightning hold off the Caps 3-2 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final.Ondrej Palat and Ryan Callahan also scored as the home team won for the first time in the best-of-seven matchup, with Tampa Bay taking a 3-2 series lead and moving within one victory of advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in four seasons.”Let’s be honest,” Cooper added. ”You’ve got to get four, not three.”The Capitals, in the conference final for the first time in the Alex Ovechkin era, have lost three straight after winning twice on the road to begin the series.Ovechkin scored with 1:36 remaining, trimming what once was a three-goal lead to one, however Vasilevskiy made three more saves to finish the victory.Game 6 is Monday night in Washington, where Tampa Bay has already won to improve to 5-1 on the road this postseason.”We have a lot of unfinished business. This isn’t even close to being over,” Callahan said. ”This last game’s definitely the hardest against a very, very good Washington team. ”To go in their building and try to close it out is going to be tough.”The Capitals were encouraged by the way they finished the game and are confident they can force the series back to Tampa for Game 7.”This group has got its backs against the wall Thomas Hickey Jersey Womens , and this group has responded all year,” coach Barry Trotz said. ”I don’t expect anything different.”The Capitals won the first two games on the road, scoring 10 goals on Vezina Trophy finalist Vasilevskiy and sending the Lightning – won had the best record in the East during the regular season – into desperation mode.Tampa Bay responded by winning Game 3 in Washington, evening the series despite being outshot and outplayed for sizeable stretches of a 4-2 victory in Game 4 and returning home, where Cooper was confident the Lightning would be better than they were in the first two games.Turns out Cooper was right.Washington’s Dmitry Orlov turned the puck over in the neutral zone on the opening shift of the night and Callahan made the Caps pay for the mistake, feeding Paquette for a 1-0 lead just 19 seconds into the game.Palat’s second goal of the series made it 2-0. Tampa Bay extended the advantage to three goals when Callahan scored 33 seconds into the second period.Outshot 13-4 and limited to one scoring opportunity in the opening period, the Caps began to put some pressure on Vasilevskiy in the second.Evgeny Kuznetsov scored a goal in his fourth straight game, giving him a franchise single-year, playoff-best 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) and trimming Washington’s deficit to 3-1 at 4:21 of the period.The Capitals kept pressing in the third period, but didn’t breakthrough against until Ovechkin scored his 11th goal this postseason.”It’s not frustrating Blake Comeau Jersey Womens ,” Ovechkin said. ”Of course, when you lose a game you feel bad. We just had a bad start. We didn’t handle the puck in the neutral zone. They got a lucky bounce and put in the first goal. That gave them momentum.””It’s disappointing, but I thought our second two periods were great,” Capitals winger T.J. Oshie said. ”We showed a lot of character. Character doesn’t always win you games, but I think it’s going to be important to have that feeling going into Game 6 at home.”Notes: The road team won each of the first four games of a series for the sixth time in the last 10 years and 26th time in Stanley Cup playoffs history. Under that scenario, the road team has won Game 5 only three times. … Paquette’s goal was his first in the playoffs since Game 3 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, ending a 34-game drought for the 24-year-old center. … At 19 seconds of the opening period, Palat’s goal was not the fastest to start a game in Lightning history. Adam Hall scored for Tampa Bay 13 seconds into Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final against Boston in 2011. … Capitals winger Andre Burakovsky was a game-time scratch.—

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    WASHINGTON (AP) In a game that didn’t feel much like the postseason Adidas Chris Terry Jersey , the Washington Capitals gave future playoff opponents fair warning about how they handle tight games.Outshot by a team eliminated from contention, Washington stayed close before tying it late and beating the New York Rangers 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday night. Braden Holtby stopped 35 of 37 shots, Lars Eller forced overtime and Evgeny Kuznetsov won it to push the Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals closer to their fourth consecutive playoff appearance.Even if it wasn’t the kind of showing the Capitals would like to have come playoff time, Eller’s goal with 1:50 left and Kuznetsov’s 38 seconds into overtime showed what they could do when it matters.”I think we play better when it’s close,” Holtby said. ”With our skill, I think it forces us to turn things on late in the game and I think guys take that as a challenge. That’s I think a reason why you can see us bring it to a next level to try and force the other team into feeling a bit of panic and open up space.”There was little panic in the Rangers, who were playing their first game with no playoff implications since 2004, and they turned that looseness into a 37-33 shot advantage. Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves and Kevin Hayes and Ryan Spooner scored, but New York lamented a defensive miscue on Eller’s goal that let the game slip away.”So frustrating,” Lundqvist said after his first game with no hope of playoffs in his NHL career. ”When you’re tied up that late after playing so hard and doing so many good things, it doesn’t matter where you are in the standings, you want to win games and sit in here and feel good about a win. They came back and got it. It bothers me.”After the Capitals came back and got two valuable points, they can clinch with help around the league or by picking up a point Friday at home against Carolina. There are lower expectations on Washington this year after back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies and second-round exits, but Holtby said making the playoffs was a goal at the start of the season.It’s within reach now.”It’s the first step on the way,” Eller said. ”We want to win our division and go into the playoffs on a high note.”Holtby looks like he could be heading into the playoffs on a high note after almost two months of struggles and a minor lower-body injury. He would have liked to stop Spooner’s third-period goal on a shot that beat him clean Adidas Dennis Cholowski Jersey , but with a question of whether Holtby or Philipp Grubauer will start, it helped that the 2016 Vezina Trophy winner finally looks like his normal self again.”I felt comfortable,” Holtby said. ”It’s something I’m not used to – not playing much. The stamina and such was a little different than I was used to, but it felt good to go out there and just get to work and play in a high-intensity game.”There are many more high-intensity games to come for the Capitals, who can soon exhale about making the playoffs and prepare for the next step.”The NHL how it is, it doesn’t really matter where you are in the standings,” Holtby said. ”The guys should be proud. We should be proud we’re in a position like that.”NOTES: Rangers assistant Lindy Ruff missed the game after hitting his head on the ice at practice Thursday. Coach Alain Vigneault said Ruff was hospitalized and diagnosed with a concussion but was in good spirits and expected to be back with the team in a few days. … F Shane Gersich, a 2014 fifth-round pick who signed with Washington last week after his season at North Dakota ended, made his NHL debut. … Pheonix Copley backed up Holtby because Grubauer felt a ”tweak” in the Capitals’ game at the Rangers on Tuesday, according to coach Barry Trotz.UP NEXTRangers: Return home to face the playoff-bound Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night.Capitals: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.— TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Alex Killorn broke a tie midway through the third period and the Tampa Bay Lightning scored the final four goals to rally past the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 on Tuesday night.Victor Hedman, Ryan McDonagh and Nikita Kucherov also scored as Tampa Bay reached 50 wins for the second time in franchise history. Yanni Gourde had two assists for the Atlantic Division leaders, who moved five points ahead of second-place Boston for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves and set a Lightning record with his 41st victory of the season.James van Riemsdyk scored twice for Toronto, which fell to 28-2-2 when leading after two periods. Fredrik Andersen returned after missing two games with an upper-body injury and stopped 21 shots.The Lightning played the final two periods without forward Ryan Callahan, who exited at 16:04 of the first favoring his right arm and shoulder area.AVALANCHE 5 Adidas Wade Megan Jersey , BLACKHAWKS 1CHICAGO (AP) – Nathan MacKinnon had two assists, extending his point streak to a career high-tying 13 games, and Colorado beat Chicago.Alexander Kerfoot scored twice and Semyon Varlamov made 44 saves as Colorado won for the fifth time in six games and improved to 8-1-3 in their last 12. Mikko Rantanen and Tyson Barrie each had a goal and an assist, and Erik Johnson added an empty-netter.The Avalanche (40-25-8) snapped a tie with Anaheim for the top spot in the Western Conference wild-card race and moved within two points of Minnesota for third place in the Central Division.Chicago (30-35-9) lost for the sixth time in seven games. Defenseman Brent Seabrook scored his fifth goal of the season for the Blackhawks, and Anton Forsberg made 35 stops in his first start since he was pulled in the first period of Thursday night’s 6-2 loss at Winnipeg.The last-place Blackhawks were eliminated from postseason contention with the loss. They had made the playoffs in nine straight seasons, winning three Stanley Cups.CAPITALS 4, STARS 3WASHINGTON (AP) – John Carlson scored with five minutes remaining to help Washington beat Dallas and extend its lead atop the Metropolitan Division.T.J. Oshie, Matt Niskanen and Alex Ovechkin also scored for Washington, which leads the tight Metropolitan by four points over Pittsburgh and Columbus. The Capitals are on pace for their third consecutive division title and playoff appearance with nine games remaining.Carlson’s goal tied him with the Stars‘ John Klingberg for the NHL lead among defensemen with 61 points. It was also a dagger to Dallas’ fading playoff hopes. The Stars finished their road trip 0-4-2 and sit outside the final playoff position in the Western Conference and could need 14 of a possible 18 points before the end of the season to get in.Braden Holtby stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced.BLUE JACKETS 5, RANGERS 3NEW YORK (AP) – Artemi Panarin had three goals and an assist, Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves and Columbus extended its winning streak to nine games with a victory over New York.Markus Nutivaara and Alexander Wennberg also scored for the Blue Jackets, who have surged into playoff position in the Eastern Conference. It is Columbus’ longest winning streak since its 16-game run last season from Nov. 29, 2016, to Jan. 3, 2017.Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad scored power-play goals and Kevin Hayes had a short-handed goal for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves in his first start since March 10 against Florida.ISLANDERS 4 Adidas Evgeny Svechnikov Jersey , PENGUINS 1NEW YORK (AP) – Mathew Barzal and Adam Pelech scored in the first period and New York went on to beat Pittsburgh.Anders Lee had a goal in the third period and Jordan Eberle added an empty-netter to help the Islanders snap a three-game skid with just their second win in 13 games (2-7-4).Christopher Gibson, pulled in his last start after giving up five goals on 12 shots against Washington last Thursday, stopped 36 shots and has both wins for New York during its recent stretch.Conor Sheary scored for Pittsburgh, which was 5-1-1 in its previous seven but fell four points behind first-place Washington in the tight Metropolitan Division. Columbus pulled into a tie with the Penguins for second at 87 points – Pittsburgh holds the tiebreaker over the Blue Jackets.Matt Murray, returning after missing nine games due to a concussion, finished with 36 saves for the Penguins.RED WINGS 5, FLYERS 4, SODETROIT (AP) – Frans Nielsen scored his NHL-record 22nd shootout winner and Detroit edged Philadelphia to end its 10-game losing streak.Dylan Larkin scored twice, Luke Glendending had a goal and Evgeny Svechnikov got his first in the NHL for the Red Wings. Jimmy Howard made 27 saves through overtime and stopped all three attempts he faced in the shootout.Sean Couturier, Matt Read, Shayne Gostisbehere and Travis Konecny scored for the Flyers. Ex-Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek was pulled after allowing three goals on 19 shots.JETS 2, KINGS 1, OTWINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) – Kyle Connor scored his second goal of the game 1:37 into overtime to lift Winnipeg over Los Angeles losing Patrik Laine to a lower-body injury.Connor fired the winner past goalie Jack Campbell to help the Jets set a franchise record for wins at 44 (44-19-10). Winnipeg had 43 wins in 2014-15, and the Atlanta Thrashers hit the same mark in 2006-07 before the franchise relocated in 2011.Laine was helped down the tunnel to the dressing room about a minute and half into the second period. He wasn’t putting any weight on his left foot after blocking a shot by Kings defenseman Alec Martinez that hit him in the lower leg.The injury halted the sophomore forward’s 15-game point streak (18 goals Adidas Jonathan Bernier Jersey , eight assists). That was the longest active streak in the NHL and a record for a teenager.PANTHERS 7, SENATORS 2OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) – Jared McCann had a goal and two assists to lead Florida while Ottawa captain Erik Karlsson sat out following the death of his son.The team announced the death of Karlsson’s son before the game. Erik and Melinda Karlsson were married last year and announced in November they were expecting their first child in the spring. The team released a statement offering its ”collective thoughts and prayers” and requested privacy for the family.Keith Yandle, Nick Bjugstad, Evgeni Dadonov, Jamie McGinn and Frank Vatrano each had a goal and an assist for Florida. Colton Sceviour had the other goal while James Reimer made 33 saves.Patrick Sieloff and Marian Gaborik scored for the Senators, who lost their second straight. Craig Anderson started in goal but was replaced by Mike Condon after allowing four goals on 17 shots. Condon made 19 saves.OILERS 7, HURRICANES 3RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Leon Draisaitl had a goal and three assists and Edmonton rode three-goal first period to a victory over Carolina.Drake Caggiula, Matt Benning and Ryan Strome scored in a span of 4:24 in the opening period after Carolina jumped to a 1-0 lead, and Edmonton led the rest of the way. Pontus Aberg, Yohann Auvitu and Jesse Puljujarvi also scored as the Oilers got six goals on their first 22 shots. Cam Talbot made 30 saves for Edmonton.Brock McGinn, Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen scored for the Hurricanes, who have lost six of eight. Scott Darling allowed three goals on his first nine shots and six on 22 but was left in the game. He finished with 23 saves.SHARKS 6, DEVILS 2SAN JOSE Adidas Tobias Rieder Jersey , Calif. (AP) – Jannik Hansen scored his first goal of the season and fellow fourth-liners Eric Fehr and Barclay Goodrow also scored to help San Jose beat New Jersey for its season-high fifth straight win.Logan Couture added his 30th goal, and Joe Pavelski and Mikkel Boedker also scored to give the second-place Sharks a four-point lead over Los Angeles in the Pacific Division with one game in hand.Brent Burns added three assists and Martin Jones made 26 saves.The scoring barrage by San Jose spoiled Cory Schneider’s return to net for the Devils. Schneider allowed four goals on 14 shots before getting pulled midway through the second period of his first start since March 8. Schneider has lost 11 starts in a row since his last win for the Devils on Dec. 27.Taylor Hall got his 32nd goal and Blake Coleman also scored for the Devils, who lead Florida by one point for the final Eastern Conference wild card. The Panthers have two games in hand.GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4, CANUCKS 1LAS VEGAS (AP) – Jonathan Marchessault scored his 23rd goal and Vegas defeated Vancouver.Cody Eakin, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Tomas Tatar also scored for the Golden Knights, who rank second in the league with 245 goals.The Canucks have dropped seven straight since losing 21-year-old rookie star Brock Boeser to a potential season-ending back injury.Marc-Andre Fleury played just one period but was credited with the victory after making seven saves to improve to 27-11-3. The 14-year veteran took over sole possession of 12th place on the NHL’s career wins list with 402.Malcolm Subban took over in net at the start of the second, making his first appearance since Feb. 2. It was unclear why Fleury exited the game, although he took a shot from Brandon Sutter off the mask midway through the first. Subban made 22 saves.The Canucks got a goal from Sutter, and Jacob Markstrom stopped 24 shots while losing his fifth straight start.—

 

 
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