- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
Since we're down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.
Strap in … we’ve got a lot to unpack after Thursday night.
Here’s what happened during a full slate of awesome games involving playoff teams:
* The Los Angeles Kings are now the No. 3 seed in the Pacific, defeating the Islanders and leap-frogging the idle Flames. They’re also now just two points in back of Vancouver for second in the division after the Canucks lost at home.
* The Flames are now in ninth place, trailing the Kings by a point and the Jets by three points for the last wild card. Oh, yeah: They finish the season with the Kings and Jets.
* The New York Rangers became the first team to clinch a playoff spot with their win over the Ottawa Senators, moving to 101 points and the conference lead.
* The Senators saw the Hamburglar get flamed broiled in that loss, and are now tied in points with the Boston Bruins (85) after their overtime loss to the Ducks. The Bruins have 33 ROW to Ottawa’s 32, but the Sens have a game in-hand.Fri, Mar 278:00 PM EDTCalgary at MinnesotaPreview Game
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Ondrej Pavelec, Winnipeg Jets
The Jets stayed in the playoff hunt with a 5-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Pavelec was excellent again, stopping 39 shots for his sixth straight victory. Mark Scheifele and Jim Slater each had a goal and an assist. The win puts Winnipeg three points up on the Calgary Flames for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
No. 2 Star: Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks
Three third period goals helped the Sharks upend the Detroit Red Wings 6-4. Marleau scored twice and assisted on another as San Jose won for the first time in three games. Chris Tierny had a pair of points and Antti Niemi made 30 stops.
No. 3 Star: Reto Berra, Colorado Avalanche
Colorado scored three goals in the opening 12:56 of the second period and coasted to a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Reto Berra made 33 stops, while Ryan O'Reilly, Gabriel Landeskog and Alex Tanguay each recorded two points. The win was Berra's first in a game he started since Nov. 25.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy9 hrs ago
The Coyotes were victorious in Part I of the Connor McDavid Bowl Series Thursday night in Buffalo. Sam Gagner was the hero for both Arizona and Sabres fans with his overtime goal in the 4-3 victory.
After all four Coyotes goals, there were noticeable cheers inside First Niagara Center, where the Sabres call home. With both Arizona and Buffalo in the hunt to finish last overall in the NHL and earn the best draft lottery odds to take McDavid first overall in June, it was quite the scene, especially after Gagner’s winner:
Sounds a bit like a Coyotes home game.
While executives of both teams might not be shedding tears after losses this season, the players and coaching staffs are still playing the games with full effort. Jobs are on the line for many. So when Sabres defenseman Mike Weber heard the cheers for each Coyotes goal, he took exception and voice his frustration after the game.
For the video-impaired:
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
The KHL’s Gagarin Cup playoffs have reached the conference finals and in the West it’s SKA versus CSKA, which you could describe as Ilya Kovalchuk against Alex Radulov.
Radulov and CSKA took Game 1 on Thursday 3-0, but it wasn’t without a bit of controversy involving the former NHLers.
Late in the third period, Kovalchuk and Radulov tangled in what appeared to be a little harmless contact as CSKA exited the SKA zone. As the puck was turned over in the neutral zone, Radulov collected it, skated it back and dropped it off to a teammate. That’s when Kovachuk gave him a chop to the back of the leg:
Radulov, who scored the game’s opening goal, is expected to play in Game 2 on Saturday. Kovalchuk was given two minutes for slashing and didn’t have time for questions afterward:
Said Radulov, via (translated) sport.ru : “With me everything is fine, I will play. Kovalchuk act? Sometimes, people are psycho. What can you do?"
Indeed, Alex. Indeed.
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- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
With the Canes holding a 2-1 first period lead, Sidney Crosby found Perron, who slipped behind the Carolina defense. The Penguins forward took the pass while on one knee and had the entire net open as Ward was moving across the crease. But, no, the Penguins would not tie the game right then and there.
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MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
The Buffalo Sabres and the Arizona Coyotes meet in Buffalo on Thursday night, in what is somehow simultaneously the most important and least important game of the season.
The Sabres are last in the NHL at 47 points in 73 games; the Coyotes have 52 points in 74 games and are second-to-last. The one who finishes in the basement is assured of getting super prospects Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel. The other one … not so much.
These crazy kids meet again on Monday in Glendale, too. So in honor of this unprecedented mini-series between the two draft lottery darlings, we present The 10 Things We Want To See At The Sabres vs. Coyotes Tank-a-palooza, because everything sounds fun when you add “palooza” to it. Shameless written in the style of a Buzzfeed listicle!
And here … we … go.
10. Instead of the national anthem, have the singer belt out Tom Petty’s “Even The Losers Get Lucky Sometimes.”
9. Play a prerecorded message from Connor McDavid explaining how honored he is that both teams would sacrifice so much to have him join their team, and how both franchises are unique snowflakes and how they’re both beautiful in their own way.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
(Welcome to the NHL Draft Tank Powerless Rankings, a weekly look at the race to the bottom in the League for the right to draft Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel.)
The Sabres are back! At least as the team with the most powerful tank in the NHL. This comes right before the Buffalo/Arizona "Tank Wars" week, where they will play twice -- once on Thursday night in Buffalo and the other in Glendale, Arizona the following Tuesday. Hopefully Tim Peel can ref one of those games.
14. Los Angeles Kings (86 points)
Current Draft Lottery Odds: 1.0 percent
Chances of making the playoffs: 68.8 percent
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at email@example.com.
• This is a good way to divy up a first NHL something puck. [Oilers]
• The Buffalo Sabres tanking creates a bizarre situation for fans. [ Die by the Blade ]
• According to Arizona head coach Dave Tippett, Coyotes coaches and players are not playing for draft picks. [ Fox Sports Arizona ]
• Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is about to return Saturday. This will give St. Louis even more defensive depth for the playoffs. Yikes. [ Fansided ]
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
It's a Thursday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Star: Jamie Baker on the Sharks!
• Wysh goes to the MAURY Show.
• Huge night in the East.
• The Boll suspension.
• Marek on OHL.
Question of the Day: GOING POSTAL! Ask us anything! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek. Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
UPDATE: The Buffalo News has given us more details of the Boynton case. They are below:
After being cut off at the bar early Thursday morning, Nick Boynton, a former defenseman with the Boston Bruins, went on a drunken rampage at the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, pushing patrons, calling women vulgar names and fighting with officers, police sources said.
When it was over, Boynton, who was in town as a radio announcer for the Arizona Coyotes, landed in the city jail, facing several charges.
Boynton was so drunk, police sources said, they decided to wait until the Thursday afternoon session of Buffalo City Court to take him there for arraignment.
Casino personnel cut Boynton off from the bar at about 1:45 a.m. because of his intoxicated behavior, police sources said. That prompted him to yell and swear at workers, with his anger especially directed at women employees, calling them vulgar names, police sources said.