- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: David Backes, St. Louis Blues
Backes made a nifty play on his OT game-winner, leaping over an Alex Steen shot and then tucking home the rebound. It’s his third of the playoffs, and gave the Blues a 4-3 win.
No. 2 Star: Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks
The Sharks captain scored a rebound goal with 2:40 left in the third period as San Jose defeated the Nashville Predators, 3-2. He also assisted on Joe Thornton’s empty netter.
No. 3 Star: Cody Eakins, Dallas Stars
The Dallas center assisted on all three of their goals, including some hard work in front on Jamie Benn’s game-tying goal in the third.
Honorable Mention: Benn had a goal and an assist and leads the playoffs in points. … Troy Brouwer had a goal and an assist. … Joel Edmundson scored his first playoff goal. … Ryan Johansen has goals in two straight games.
Did You Know? Dallas outshot St. Louis 13-2 in the third period and 29-17 in regulation.
Dishonorable Mention: Kari Lehtonen was pulled after giving up three goals in the first period. … Filip Forsberg was a minus-2. … Vladimir Tarasenko was held scoreless again and was a minus-2.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
Joe Pavelski scored the go-ahead goal with 2:40 left in the third period, as the San Jose Sharks defeated the Nashville Predators 3-2 in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals.
What we learned in two games of this series: The Predators can’t close and the Sharks never say die.
Game 1 saw the Predators carry a 1-0 lead into the third period. They were 26-1-4 in the regular season when leading after two periods. They were 3-0 in the playoffs.
Game 1 result: 5-2 win, as the Sharks scored three goals in a 13:03 stretch to take a 3-1 lead. The Predators cut it to 3-2; the Sharks responded 20 seconds later and cruised to victory.
Game 2 saw the Predators turn the tables and tie the game at 1-1 as Mattias Ekholm scored at 12:56 of the third period. But Pavelski scored at 17:20, Joe Thornton scored into an empty net and the Sharks hung on despite a late goal by Ryan Johansen, his second of the series.
Here’s the Pavelski goal:
Thornton, arguably the best passer of his generation, set it up with that cross-ice pass to Matt Nieto. His high shot handcuffed Pekka Rinne, and allowed Pavelski to tap home the rebound for the lead.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy8 hrs ago
So did the NHL just hurt or help the Washington Capitals?
Defenseman Brooks Orpik has been suspended three playoff games for his head-shot on Olli Maatta of the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. The incident occurred at 4:13 of the first period. Orpik was assessed a minor penalty for interference
Capitals coach Barry Trotz said that Orpik thought the puck was coming back to Maatta after a shot and a rebound. “There’s a real size difference, and Maata leaned into it a little bit,” he said after Game 2.
The NHL saw it differently
It was easy to see that Orpik was going to be suspended. It violates two basic tenets of Department of Player Safety dogma: It’s a hit that shouldn’t have been delivered, and it was a hit that caused significant contact with an opponent’s head, injuring him.
“This hit is forceful, unacceptably high and excessively late,” said the ruling.
What’s surprising is that Orpik was given three games for it, considering he hasn’t been suspended since the 2005-06 season. (Although we don’t know how many warnings he’s received.) Using the unofficial playoff game multiplier, that’s a six-gamer in the regular season.Mon, May 28:00 PM EDTWashington at PittsburghPreview Game
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
Kari Lehtonen chased after the first period. Jamie Benn completing a Dallas Stars rally to earn overtime. A controversial penalty. A David Backes power-play goal. A series tied.
Yeah, Game 2 between the Stars and the St. Louis Blues was somewhat eventful.
The Blues captured that game on Sunday afternoon, 4-3, after blowing a 3-1 lead they established by scoring three goals on five shots against Lehtonen in the first period. The winner of Game 1, Lehtonen was pulled in favor of Antti Niemi, who stopped the next 12 Blues shots.
“It really wasn’t his night,” said coach Lindy Ruff of his starter.
He only have to stop two shots in the third, as the Stars took the game over and rallied with 13 shots and two goals: Mattias Janmark at 4:35, and then Jamie Benn at 17:24, his fifth of the playoffs.
In overtime, the Blues outshot the Stars, 8-5. But it was the second of two Dallas penalties in overtime that proved costly.
Roussel was just trying to say onside, but if it was going to cause an odd man rush..oh man and they just scored. pic.twitter.com/pQz4HI59L6
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
Pascal Dupuis of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers and Mats Zuccarello of the New York Rangers are the three finalists for the 2015-16 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
Who wins the Masterton, which is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association?
(A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.)
Why Pascal Dupuis deserves the Masterton
The NHL says:
Dupuis earned the Masterton nomination for the Penguins for his determination in rejoining the team after nearly a year of rehabilitation, training, medical testing and monitoring in caring for multiple injuries and blood clot concerns. He appeared in 18 games before a pair of medical scares convinced him to make the difficult decision to retire. At the request of GM Jim Rutherford, Dupuis remains with the Penguins to assist in a new capacity. He is with the team on a daily basis, attending games and providing feedback to the coaching staff and players.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- On Friday, Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray called out his players for forcing his hand when it came to firing Bruce Boudreau.
It was a move that didn't appear to catch anyone on the Ducks roster by surprise.
“I think losing that Game 7 was, you know, the nail in the coffin," said Ryan Kesler at the team's breakout day. "It's obviously tough to see your coach fired. I think the onus goes on us. It was a tough year. It was a tough year for everyone I think."
Ending his first year on the Ducks, Kevin Bieksa concurred.
"There’s always change," he said. "When there’s disappointment, when there’s high expectations there could be change right away."
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
The New York Riveters made Amanda Kessel the highest paid player in the NWHL signing the Minnesota Golden Gophers forward to a one-year $26,000 contract the team announced Sunday.
Kessel is one of the top players in women’s hockey, recently completing her career at the University of Minnesota with 248 points in 136 games played. In her time with the Golden Gophers, Kessel was a two-time All-American and 2013 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner.
Kessel scored the game-winning goal in leading her team to a national championship over Boston College this year.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
The Nashville Predators couldn’t adjust to the attacking style of the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of their second-round series.
Unlike Nashville’s first-round opponent, the Anaheim Ducks, the Sharks throw different layers of players at a team’s defense, and this proved the difference as San Jose won 5-2 and took a 1-0 series lead. The Predators had one day to figure out how to counter the Sharks, and will try to use the knowledge they took from the first game towards finding a different path to victory Sunday at SAP Center in Game 2.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
Five years ago on May 1, President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, had been killed by “a small team of Americans.”
Five years ago, I witnessed hundreds of Americans converge on the White House for a celebration that went deep into the night.
Five years ago, before all of it happened, I was at a hockey game.
The Washington Capitals faced the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series – not exactly the most memorable affair, as it resulted in a Tampa Bay sweep. Vincent Lecavalier had two goals, including the overtime game-winner around 9:59 p.m. EDT.
The assembled reporters went through the postgame motions, with the player and coach interviews, before returning to the writers’ room at Verizon Center. It was then that an announcement that the President would address the nation was made, and naturally our imaginations ran off since we were basically in a bunker a few blocks from the White House.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
Ken Hitchcock asked the assembled media how many minutes Vladimir Tarasenko played in Game 1 of the St. Louis Blues’ series against the Dallas Stars.
The answer: 21 minutes, 4 seconds.
“Oh, did he? Quite a bit, eh? Can we maybe shut that story up now?” asked Hitchcock.
This was an all-too-obvious reference to the controversy that roared in the Blues’ opening-round win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Fans fretted over Tarasenko’s ice time. Hitchcock explained the reasons behind it, and the basic message was “leave the driving to me.”
Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz and Jori Lehtera were shut down in the Stars’ Game 1 win. Tarasenko as a plus-1 with seven shot attempts and played 19:38 at even strength, tops among Blues forwards.
So how did the Stars contain the 40-goal scorer?