- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy38 mins ago
The New York Rangers took a 2-1 series lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins Monday night with a 2-1 victory.
For the third straight game New York scored the opening goal. Keith Yandle took advantage of the Penguins while on a line change midway through the first period and sprung the speedy Carl Hagelin:
The Rangers kept the Penguins’ big guns at bay, holding Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to a combined two shots. Pittsburgh's only goal came via Patric Hornqvist during a third period press where they put 13 shots on Henrik Lundqvist, who ended with 23 saves.
New York had a 2-0 lead by that point, thanks to Marc Staal's perfectly placed shot wide of Marc-Andre Fleury, which bounced right to Chris Kreider, who was in front to bat it home:
Game 4 is Wednesday night back at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
For the 16th time in their past 24 games the Penguins failed to score more than two or more goals. The disappearance of their offense was a key factor in their 4-9-2 finish to the regular season and a reason why they've dropped Games 1 and 3 against the Rangers.
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- Nicholas J. Cotsonika at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
WINNIPEG – The NHL will not announce the awarding of an expansion franchise to Las Vegas when the board of governors meets there in June. But the league could announce the start of a formal expansion process if the board decides to proceed. It is unclear how long that process would take.
Potential Las Vegas owner Bill Foley has been running a season-ticket drive to gauge the viability of the market since Feb. 10. His stated goal has been to gather 10,000 commitments from everyday people and land a franchise that would begin playing in 2016-17 after a new arena is completed on the Strip.
Foley announced March 16 he had reached 9,000 commitments. He hasn’t announced anything since, but ESPN.com reported March 30 he had gathered more than 10,000 commitments and now was reaching out to large corporations, including casinos.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
Last week we said the Sharks were like the movie “Highlander” between Todd McLellan, Joe Thornton and Doug Wilson.
In that case, McLellan, now the former head coach, got his head chopped off, and it’s between Thornton, the superstar player, and Wilson, the general manager, to duke it out for “The Prize.” Because in this case with the Sharks, in the end “there can be only one” guy remaining out of this trio. So, McLellan is Sunda Kastagir – the guy who loses before the final showdown between Connor MacLeod and the Kurgan.
On McLellan’s conference call, he was already getting questions about possibly coaching Connor McDavid with Edmonton and his relationship with Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
What does the last great franchise player for the Edmonton Oilers think of the future great franchise player for the Edmonton Oilers?
No, not Jason Bonsignore – Wayne Gretzky!
“I hope he brings Edmonton a Stanley Cup and he breaks my records ... he’s got the talent and the makeup to do it. I hope he leaves a couple for me, though. I could use that,” Gretzky said of Connor McDavid, as told to Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal.
“He’s as good as I’ve seen in the last 30 years, the best player to come into the league in the last 30 years, the best to come along since (Mario) Lemieux and (Sidney) Crosby. He can definitely change a franchise’s fortunes,” said Gretzky, who feels Edmonton will be like a nice warm blanket for the teenager from Toronto, just as it was for Gretzky, who was born in Brantford, Ont.
[Ed. Note: “The best player to come into the league in the last 30 years” would seem to indicate better than Crosby, no?]
”I think it’ll be a perfect fit for Connor in Edmonton. Not one bit is Edmonton a suffocating place to play. He’ll be treated like an Edmontonian. People will give him his privacy while they’re enamoured by his ability.”
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
Visiting fans get abused in home arenas on a nightly basis in the NHL. There are lines that shouldn’t be crossed that are frequently obliterated by idiots at the games, their behavior abetted by apathetic arena workers who don’t feel it’s their need to protect fans where the “other” colors.
Thing is, in 2015, there’s finally a palpable pushback against the misogynistic, homophobic and racist taunts that make the arena a hostile environment., thanks to advent of social media. The latest example comes from the Nassau Coliseum.
Nate “Igor” Smith is a member of NYC Caps Fans, a group that went en masse to watch Game 3 of the Washington Capitals’ series at the New York Islanders. The abuse the group suffered was chronicled on his Tumblr, Driven By Boredom:
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
David Backes might have said it best about Vladimir Tarasenko, after the brilliant 23-year-old St. Louis Blues winger tallied a hat trick in their Game 2 win.
“One inch of ice and he turns it into a great scoring chance,” He’s dynamic. He creates it all by himself,” said Backes.
In other words, it’s what they’ve needed since perhaps 2009 as a playoff contender. A player who can jumpstart the offense on his own, make a play when they need one, score a goal at a critical juncture of a game or a series.
They’ve needed Vladimir Tarasenko, and now the Minnesota Wild need to stop him.
Last postseason, he had four goals in six games. This regular season, he led the Blues with 73 points and 37 goals, which was good for fifth in the NHL. While his line with Jori Lehtera helped carry the Blues offensively all season, he’s also now found palpable chemistry with Alex Steen, who played with Tarasenko and Lehtera in Game 2 and is expected back with them for Monday night’s Game 3 at the Wild.
So what do the Wild do for Game 3 to try to slow him?
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
ANAHEIM – The MTS Centre is one of the cooler places to watch a hockey game in the NHL. Fans arrive on time for opening face off. They’re engaged in all the action. If you look up at the 15,000-plus Jets faithful they’re always in their seats. Always.
Crowds play an important role in any game, mostly from an ambiance level. But can these crazy Manitobans do enough to stop Anaheim’s powerful third periods in Monday’s Game 3? Anaheim has entered the final frame down a goal in Games 1 and 2, and somehow escaped home with a 2-0 series lead.
“The energy you get from your own building is something you have to use,” Jets captain Andrew Ladd said. “You gain momentum and the crowd gets going, you get a boost from that and you try to use that any way you can.”
Home ice isn’t completely a myth in the playoffs, but ultimately, the team’s preparation is the deciding issue in a series. The Jets realize this.
“Your performance is the first and primary factor,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy8 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 .
• The only beard is Nashville that is better than Shea Weber's postseason beard. [Getty]
• Buffalo Sabres fans are not super upset at the prospect of landing Jack Eichel with the No. 2 pick in the upcoming NHL Draft. [Buffalo News]
• Jack Eichel is not a consolation prize. Oh no, he’s anything but for Buffalo, who will still grab another generational talent in the upcoming draft. [ESPN]
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy9 hrs ago
It's a (I don't like) Monday 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: Dan Murphy of Sportsnet on the Red Wings and Bolts!
• The Stanley Cup Playoffs!
• McDavid to Edmonton.
• The quitting of Todd McLellan.
• Hockey News and Views
Question of the Day: Where should Todd McLellan end up? Email email@example.com 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 Daddy10 hrs ago
This type of behavior is expected maybe in a non-traditional market, but Edmonton? Come on Hot 107, you couldn’t spell Connor right on this Connor McMuffin? There is no ‘e’ in Connor! Though nice attempt to cover it up.
Clearly the Connor McDavid palooza in Edmonton, who won the No. 1 pick and the right to select McDavid, is hitting some level of a fever pitch, and Hot 107 is no exception. Also more free advertising for McDonald’s from a Canadian NHL team! What kind of strange under-the-radar deal did the league make with McDonald’s and its Canadian franchises? (s/t Sportsnet)
Between the Hamburglar in Ottawa, and now this? Seriously. Canada is taking Burger King’s purchasing of Tim Hortons a little too personally.