National Hockey League
NHL News Wire
  • NHL playoff roundup: Backes' winner helps Blues tie Stars
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, May 2, 2016

    DALLAS -- St. Louis captain David Backes scored a power-play goal 10:58 into overtime as the Blues edged the Dallas Stars 4-3 in Game 2 of the second-round playoff series on Sunday at American Airlines Center.

    • Stars goaltender Antti Niemi stopped 19 of 20 shots in relief of starter Kari Lehtonen, who was pulled after one period.

      Troy Brouwer had a goal and an assist during regulation time for St. Louis, which got goals from Patrik Berglund and Joel Edmundson. Robby Fabbri had two assists for the Blues.

      Jamie Benn, Alex Goligoski and Mattias Janmark scored in regulation time for the Stars, who got two assists from Cody Eakin.

      The best-of-7 series is now tied 1-1.

      Sharks 3, Predators 2

      SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Joe Pavelski's first goal of the series and sixth of the playoffs sparked San Jose over Nashville.

      The victory gave San Jose a 2-0 lead in its best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series that resumes with Game 3 in Nashville on Tuesday.

      Joe Thornton and Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks.

      Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Johansen scored for the Predators.

  • Capitals' Orpik suspended three games
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 1, 2016

    The NHL suspended Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik for three games for interference against Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta during Saturday's Game 2 of the teams' second-round series, the league announced Sunday.

    • The incident occurred at 4:13 of the first period, and Orpik was assessed a minor penalty for interference.

      Orpik, 35, had three goals and seven assists in 41 regular-season games for the Capitals this season, and he has no goals or assists in five postseason games.

      The series is tied at one game apiece, with Game 3 scheduled for Monday in Pittsburgh.

  • Dupuis, Jagr, Zuccarello named finalists for Masterson Trophy
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 1, 2016

    Forwards Pascal Dupuis of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers and Mats Zuccarello of the New York Rangers were named 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," the league announced Sunday.

    • The local chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) submitted nominations for the Masterton Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, and the top three vote-getters were designated as finalists.

      The winner will be announced June 22, during the 2016 NHL Awards.

      Dupuis rejoined the Penguins 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 retire. Dupuis remains with the Penguins to provide feedback to coaches and players.

      The 44-year-old Jagr helped lead the Panthers to franchise records for wins (47) and points (103) while capturing their second division title. In his 22nd NHL season, Jagr led the Panthers in scoring with 27 goals and 39 assists, becoming the oldest player in League history to surpass the 60-point plateau.

      Zuccarello returned to action in 2015-16 after suffering a serious head injury during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Zuccarello missed the Rangers' final 14 postseason games last year after being struck in the head by a slap shot in a game against Pittsburgh. He played in 81 games this season and established career highs in games played, goals (26), points (61) and power-play goals (seven).

  • Stars recall G Campbell
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 1, 2016

    The Dallas Stars recalled goaltender Jack Campbell from the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League on Sunday.

    • Campbell, 24, split the regular season between Texas and Idaho of the ECHL. With Texas, he appeared in 19 games posting a 7-7-5 record with a 3.65 goals-against average and an .884 save percentage. He also played in three Calder Cup playoff games, posting a 1-2 record with a 4.45 goals-against average and an .880 save percentage.

      In 20 regular-season games for Idaho, Campbell compiled a 14-5-1 record with four shutouts, a 1.68 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage.

      The 6-foot-3, 200-pound native of Port Huron, Mich., was originally selected by Dallas in the first round (11th overall) of the 2010 NHL draft.

  • NHL roundup: Penguins tie series with Capitals
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 1, 2016

    WASHINGTON -- Eric Fehr scored the winning goal against his former team with 4:28 left and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Washington Capitals 2-1 on Saturday night, evening their best-of-seven NHL playoff series at one game apiece.

    • Fehr, who spent nine seasons with Washington, deflected an Evgeny Malkin feed past Braden Holtby from the slot for his second goal of the playoffs. Carl Hagelin also scored for the Penguins and Matt Murray made 23 saves.

      The Capitals trailed 1-0 after being outshot 28-14 through two periods, but tied it on a power-play goal early in the third. With Kris Letang off for tripping, Marcus Johansson notched his second goal of the playoffs when he poked home the rebound of a John Carlson shot at 4:08.

      The series shifts to Pittsburgh for Game 3 on Monday night.

      Lightning 4, Islanders 1

      TAMPA, Fla. -- Tyler Johnson scored two goals as Tampa Bay beat New York in an Eastern Conference second-round playoff game to tie the series at one win each.

      Jonathan Drouin and Victor Hedman scored goals for the Lightning and Ben Bishop made 19 saves. Nikolay Kulemin had the Islanders' goal.

      Game 3 is Tuesday night at Barclays Center in New York.

  • Maple Leafs, Jets, Blue Jackets awarded top three picks
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, April 30, 2016

    The Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets and Columbus Blue Jackets own the first, second and third overall drafting positions, respectively, for the first round of the 2016 NHL draft.

    • For the first time, the Draft Lottery assigned the top three slots in the first round of the NHL Draft -- a change from prior years, when the Draft Lottery was used to determine the winner of the first overall selection exclusively.

      Three draws were held: the first drawing determined the club selecting first overall, the second drawing determined the club selecting second overall and the third drawing determined the club selecting third overall.

      In the first drawing, the Maple Leafs had the greatest percentage likelihood of being selected based on inverse order of regular-season finish. It marks the first time since 2010 (Edmonton) that the team with the highest percentage chance retained the first overall selection.

      In the second drawing, the Jets had the fifth-greatest percentage likelihood among the 13 remaining clubs eligible for selection and climbed from No. 6 to No. 2.

      In the third drawing, the Blue Jackets had the third-greatest percentage likelihood among the 12 remaining clubs eligible for selection. After dropping from No. 4 to No. 5 as a result of the second drawing, Columbus climbed to No. 3, improving its drafting position as a result of the NHL Draft Lottery for the first time in franchise history. The Blue Jackets have never selected No. 3 overall.

      All clubs that did not qualify for this season's Stanley Cp Playoffs, or clubs that acquired the first-round picks of those non-playoff clubs, participated in the Draft Lottery.

  • NHL notebook: Barkov, Eriksson, Kopitar finalists for Lady Byng
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, April 30, 2016

    Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov, Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson and Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar were named as the three finalists for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy on Saturday.

    • The trophy is awarded annually "to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability," according to the NHL.

      Barkov established career highs in goals (28), assists (31) and points (59). His eight penalty minutes over 66 games were a career low and tied for the fewest among the NHL's top 50 scorers.

      Eriksson had 30 goals and 33 assists for 63 points, his most since the 2011-12 season. In 82 games, he had just 12 penalty minutes.

      Kopitar led the Kings in scoring with 74 points (25 goals, 49 assists) over 81 games. He ranked second in the NHL with a plus-34 rating. He totaled only 16 penalty minutes despite leading all forwards in ice time with 1,690 minutes and 12 seconds (an average of 20:52 per game).

      The winner will be announced June 22 during the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

      --The Dallas Stars recalled left winger Curtis McKenzie and right winger Brett Ritchie from the Texas Stars of the AHL.

      McKenzie, 25, had no points in three games this season with the Stars. In 61 AHL games with Texas, he finished second on the team with 55 points (24 goals and 31 assists).

      Ritchie, 22, had one assist and seven penalty minutes in eight games with Dallas. In 35 regular season games for Texas, he finished with 14 goals and 14 assists.

      --The Detroit Red Wings assigned center Andreas Athanasiou to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL.

      Athanasiou, 21, played in 37 games with the Red Wings during the 2015-16 season, notching 14 points (nine goals, five assists) and five penalty minutes. He also appeared in 26 games for the Griffins this season, recording 16 points (eight goals, eight assists).

  • Barkov, Eriksson, Kopitar finalists for Lady Byng Trophy
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, April 30, 2016

    Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov, Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson and Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar were announced as the three finalists for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy on Saturday.

    • The trophy is awarded annually "to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability," according to the NHL.

      Barkov established career highs in goals (28), assists (31) and points (59). His eight penalty minutes over 66 games were a career low and tied for the fewest among the NHL's top 50 scorers.

      Eriksson had 30 goals and 33 assists for 63 points, his most since the 2011-12 season. In 82 games, he had just 12 penalty minutes.

      Kopitar led the Kings in scoring with 74 points (25 goals, 49 assists) over 81 games. He ranked second in the NHL with a plus-34 rating. He totaled only 16 penalty minutes despite leading all forwards in ice time with 1,690 minutes and 12 seconds (an average of 20:52 per game).

      The winner will be announced June 22 during the NHL Awards in Las Vegas. Voting of the award is made by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

  • Stars recall McKenzie, Ritchie from Texas
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, April 30, 2016

    The Dallas Stars recalled left wing Curtis McKenzie and right wing Brett Ritchie from the Texas Stars of the AHL Saturday.

    • McKenzie, 25, had no points in three games this season with the Stars. In 61 AHL games with Texas, he finished second on the team with 55 points (24 goals and 31 assists) and led it with 120 penalty minutes.

      Ritchie, 22, had one assist and seven penalty minutes in eight games with Dallas. In 35 regular season games for Texas, he finished with 14 goals and 14 assists with 26 penalty minutes.

  • Red Wings assign C Athanasiou to AHL
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, April 30, 2016

    The Detroit Red Wings assigned center Andreas Athanasiou to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League on Saturday.

    • Athanasiou, 21, played in 37 games with the Red Wings during the 2015-16 season, notching 14 points (nine goals, five assists) and five penalty minutes. The second-year pro made his NHL debut with Detroit on Nov. 8 and made his first goal in his second NHL game on Nov. 10.

      Athanasiou also made his NHL postseason debut during the Red Wings' first-round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning and recorded his first playoff goal in Game 3.

      The London, Ontario, native also appeared in 26 games for the Griffins this season, recording 16 points (eight goals, eight assists). In 83 AHL games over the past two seasons, Athanasiou has 51 points (25 goals, 26 assists), adding five goals and five assists in 22 career AHL playoff games.

      Athanasiou was originally drafted by Detroit in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL draft.

  • NHL playoff roundup: Sharks ride dominant 3rd to win
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, April 30, 2016

    SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Joel Ward's tiebreaking goal at 11:49 of the third enabled the San Jose Sharks to rally for a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Friday night.

    • Ward's fourth career game-winning goal in the playoffs enabled San Jose to take a 1-0 lead in its best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series against the Predators.

      Logan Couture scored twice, while Tommy Wingels and Tomas Hertl had one each for the Sharks. Martin Jones stopped 29 of 31 shots during the win,

      Ryan Johansen and Mike Fisher scored for the Predators.

      Stars 2, Blues 1

      DALLAS -- Radek Faksa had a goal and an assist and Kari Lehtonen stopped 31 shots for Dallas in a victory against St. Louis in Game 1 of their second-round series at American Airlines Center.

      Faksa scored the eventual winner with 4:44 remaining in regulation when he tapped in a rebound after Blues goaltender Brian Elliott denied the initial shot by Ales Hemsky.

      Antoine Roussel also scored for the Stars. Kevin Shattenkirk scored and Elliott stopped 40 for the Blues.

  • Burns, Doughty, Karlsson named Norris finalists
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 29, 2016

    Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks, Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings and Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators were announced Friday as the finalists for the NHL's Norris Trophy, which goes to the best all-around defenseman.

    • Burns, a first-time nominee for the award, set Sharks records for defensemen this season with 27 goals, 48 assists and 75 points. Playing in all 82 regular-season games, Burns' goal total was the best in the NHL for defensemen and he had the second-most shots and points by a defenseman.

      Doughty is a finalist for the second straight year and the third time overall. He saw action in every game during the season and was third in the league in average ice time at 28:01. His 14 goals and 51 points were his highest totals since the 2009-10 season.

      Karlsson broke franchise records for assists (66) and points (82) in a season by a defenseman. His assist total led all NHL defenseman for the third straight year and for the fourth time in five seasons. Karlsson also topped the NHL in total ice time, average ice time and even-strength ice time.

      Karlsson won the Norris Trophy last year and in 2012.

      The award is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and will be presented June 22 at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

  • NHL notebook: Ducks fire Boudreau
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 29, 2016

    The Anaheim Ducks fired head coach Bruce Boudreau on Friday after the team lost a Game 7 again in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    • Ducks executive vice president/general manager Bob Murray said the search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

      The Nashville Predators eliminated the Ducks from the playoffs with a 2-1 victory in the seventh game of the series Wednesday night in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 17,407 at the Honda Center.

      It was the fourth consecutive season that Boudreau led Anaheim to the division title only to lose Game 7 at home each time after holding a 3-2 lead.

      Boudreau compiled a regular-season record of 208-104-40 with Anaheim and helped the franchise to the last four consecutive Pacific Division titles. The Ducks finished atop the Pacific standings with a 46-25-11 record for 103 points in 2015-16.

      --Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson was fined $2,403.67 for kneeing Pittsburgh Penguins forward Conor Sheary during Game 1 of the second-round Stanley Cup playoff series.

      The amount of the fine is the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement, the NHL's Department of Player Safety announced Friday.

      --The Buffalo Sabres re-signed forward Johan Larsson to a one-year contract.

      Larsson, 23, set career-high marks in games played (74), goals (10) and points (17) in his first full NHL season in 2015-16. Five of his 10 goals were game-winners, tying Jack Eichel for the team's lead.

      --The Los Angeles Kings signed defenseman Paul LaDue to a one-year entry-level contract after he helped North Dakota win the NCAA championship.

      LaDue, 23, appeared in 41 games this season with the University of North Dakota, recording 19 points (five goals, 14 assists), a plus-31 rating and 14 penalty minutes.

      --The Chicago Blackhawks and forward Luke Johnson agreed to terms on a three-year contract, the team announced Friday.

      Johnson, 21, had 11 goals and 10 assists in 43 games this season while helping the University of North Dakota to the NCAA championship.

      --The Calgary Flames signed Czech forward Daniel Pribyl to a two-year entry level contract on Friday.

      Pribyl, 23, was originally drafted by Montreal in the sixth round of the 2011 NHL draft. He has spent the last six seasons with Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga.

      --The Nashville Predators President recalled forward Pontus Aberg from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League.

      Aberg, 22, had 25 goals and 15 assists in 74 games for the Admirals this season. He tied for the league lead in game-winning goals with eight.

  • Predators call up Aberg
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 29, 2016

    The Nashville Predators recalled forward Pontus Aberg from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League, the team announced Friday.

    • Aberg, 22, had 25 goals and 15 assists in 74 games for the Admirals this season. He tied for the league lead in game-winning goals with eight.

      Aberg was a second-round choice by Nashville in the 2012 draft.

  • Blackhawks sign F Johnson to three-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 29, 2016

    The Chicago Blackhawks and forward Luke Johnson agreed to terms on a three-year contract, the team announced Friday.

    • Johnson, 21, had 11 goals and 10 assists in 43 games this season while helping the University of North Dakota to the NCAA championship.

      He led the team this season in faceoff wins (394) and faceoff percentage (.549). The 11 goals scored in his junior season matched his collegiate career high set during the 2014-15 season.

      Johnson was selected by Chicago in the fifth round (134th overall) of the 2013 NHL draft.

      He played two seasons (2011-12 and 2012-13) with the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League where he had 39 goals and 62 assists in 112 games.

      .

  • Flames sign F Pribyl
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 29, 2016

    The Calgary Flames signed Czech forward Daniel Pribyl to a two-year entry level contract on Friday.

    • Pribyl, 23, was originally drafted by Montreal in the sixth round of the 2011 NHL draft. He has spent the last six seasons with Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga, playing in 174 regular-season games and recording 109 points (47 goals, 62 assists). The Pisek, Czech Republic, native added 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists) in 37 postseason games.

      In 2015-16, the 6-foot-3, 217-pound Pribyl had 45 points (16 goals, 29 assists) in 45 regular-season games before recording five goals and six assists in nine playoff contests.

  • Sabres re-sign F Larsson
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 29, 2016

    The Buffalo Sabres re-signed forward Johan Larsson to a one-year contract on Friday.

    • Larsson, 23, set career-high marks in games played (74), goals (10) and points (17) in his first full NHL season in 2015-16. Five of his 10 goals were game-winners, tying Jack Eichel for the team's lead.

      The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Larsson also ranked second among the team's regular faceoff players with a career-best faceoff percentage of 51.1 percent.

      The Lau, Sweden, native has recorded 37 points (16 goals, 21 assists) and 58 penalty minutes in 142 games with the Sabres since being acquired from the Minnesota Wild on April 3, 2013.

  • Capitals' Wilson fined for kneeing
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 29, 2016

    Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson was fined $2,403.67 for kneeing Pittsburgh Penguins forward Conor Sheary during Game 1 of the second-round Stanley Cup playoff series.

    • The amount of the fine is the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement, the NHL's Department of Player Safety announced Friday.

      The incident occurred at 4:01 of the third period on Thursday night as the Capitals defeated the Penguins 4-3 in the first game of their Eastern Conference semifinal.

      Before the fine was announced, Capitals coach Barry Trotz said he thought the hit was "shin-on-shin."

      "Sheary gives a little shimmy, and it was really shin-on-shin," Trotz said Friday. "We leave everything to the league. Whatever they decide, I think we're fine with. That's what their job is, and we've got to respect what they do. Player safety with the NHL has done, I think, a good job. It's not the easiest job, I know that. Whatever they decide, we're fine with."

      The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

  • Kings sign D LaDue
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 29, 2016

    The Los Angeles Kings signed defenseman Paul LaDue to a one-year entry-level contract on Friday after he helped North Dakota win the NCAA championship.

    • LaDue, 23, appeared in 41 games this season with the University of North Dakota, recording 19 points (five goals, 14 assists), a plus-31 rating and 14 penalty minutes. He led North Dakota to the title this season, recording an assist in a 5-1 win over the top-seeded Quinnipiac University in the national championship game.

      The 6-foot-1, 186-pound native of Grand Forks, N.D., was a sixth-round selection of the Kings in the 2012 NHL draft. LaDue appeared in 123 games over three seasons with North Dakota, registering 62 points (16 goals, 46 assists) and 68 penalty minutes. He helped North Dakota reach the Frozen Four each season.

  • Ducks fire coach Boudreau
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 29, 2016

    The Anaheim Ducks fired head coach Bruce Boudreau on Friday after the team lost a Game 7 again in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    • Ducks executive vice president/general manager Bob Murray said the search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

      "I would like to thank Bruce for his hard work and dedication to the franchise," Murray said in a statement. "This was a very difficult decision to make. Bruce is a good coach and character person, and we wish him the best of luck in the future."

      The Nashville Predators eliminated the Ducks from the playoffs with a 2-1 victory in the seventh game of the series Wednesday night in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 17,407 at the Honda Center.

      It was the fourth consecutive season that Boudreau led Anaheim to the division title only to lose Game 7 at home each time after holding a 3-2 lead.

      Boudreau was named head coach of the Ducks on Nov. 30, 2011. He compiled a regular-season record of 208-104-40 with Anaheim and helped the franchise to the last four consecutive Pacific Division titles. The Ducks finished atop the Pacific standings with a 46-25-11 record for 103 points in 2015-16.

      "On behalf of the Ducks organization, we would like to express our appreciation to Bruce and his wife Crystal for their commitment to our community," Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli said. "Bruce led us to four division titles with tremendous passion and pride, and we will always be grateful for his contributions both on and off the ice."

      Prior to joining the Ducks, Boudreau was head coach of the Washington Capitals from 2007-11, winning the Jack Adams award in 2007-08. He has an all-time head coaching record of 409-192-80.

  • Bergeron, Kesler, Kopitar selected as Selke finalists
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, April 28, 2016

    Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins, Ryan Kesler of the Anaheim Ducks and Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings were named Thursday as the finalists for the Selke Trophy as the NHL's top defensive forward on Thursday.

    • Bergeron is a three-time winner (2012, 2014, 2015) of the award, which is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association at the end of the regular season. He also finished second in 2013.

      "Being named a finalist for the Selke Trophy is a tremendous honor and one I am very grateful for," said Bergeron. "While it is an individual award, my teammates and coaches deserve a lot of credit as well.

      "Ryan and Anze are two elite players who both had great seasons and it is a privilege to be a finalist alongside them. Thanks to all of those who voted and I look forward to the NHL Awards Show on June 22."

      A four-time Selke Trophy finalist, Kesler previously won the award as a member of the Vancouver Canucks during the 2010-11 season. The 6-2, 202-pound center appeared in his second season with Anaheim in 2015-16, scoring 21 goals while adding 32 assists with a plus-5 rating and 78 penalty minutes in 79 games.

      On top of his defensive prowess, Kopitar, a three-time finalist, led the Kings in points (74), assists (25), game-winning goals (8), overtime goals (4; franchise record), ranked second in goals (25) and in plus/minus (plus-34).

      The winner will be announced June 22 during the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

  • Draft lottery scheduled for Saturday
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, April 28, 2016

    The 2016 NHL draft lottery, which will determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks in the first round of the 2016 NHL draft, will be held on Saturday, at Sportsnet's Hockey Central Studio in Toronto.

    • The results of the lottery will be announced during live television coverage of the event at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

      All clubs that did not qualify for this season's Stanley Cup Playoffs, or clubs that acquired the first-round picks of those nonplayoff clubs, will participate.

      For the first time, the lottery will assign the top three slots in the first round of the draft.

      As a result of this change, the team earning the fewest points during the regular season will no longer be guaranteed, at worst, the second overall pick. That club could fall as low as fourth overall.

      The Toronto Maple Leafs, with the worst regular-season record, have the highest odds of securing the first pick.

  • Latest Game 7 failure could spark breakup of Ducks
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, April 28, 2016

    ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Despite some unforeseen plot complications, the script for the Anaheim Ducks' season ended just as it did for the past three: losing a seventh game in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    • Yet those complications intensified the pain of the Ducks' latest playoff disappointment, a 2-1 defeat to the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference quarterfinals.

      According to Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau, the Wednesday loss contained a stronger sting than the previous years' finales.

      "With the way the score was and the way we were pushing, I'd say yes, especially with how hard we had to push from November just to get to where we were," Boudreau said. "We did everything the hard way."

      Expected by many to win this year's Stanley Cup, the Ducks compiled the NHL's worst record through November before changing their emphasis from speed to physical power. As a result, Anaheim nullified a 16-point deficit to win the Pacific Division and finish with more than 100 points for the third consecutive year.

      However, maintaining that pace will depend on how the Ducks spend their money during the offseason.

      Four of the Ducks' key players -- defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen, goalie Frederik Andersen and center Rickard Rakell -- become restricted free agents. General manager Bob Murray has about $7 million to spend under the salary cap and likely will sacrifice several veteran unrestricted free agents to increase his flexibility.

      Likely to leave are left wingers David Perron and Jamie McGinn, who arrived at the trading deadline, and centers Mike Santorelli and Shawn Horcoff. Their absence would give two young forwards, 20-year-old Nick Ritchie and 24-year-old Chris Wagner, the chance to establish themselves.

      Ritchie and Wagner would lower the overall age of a forward corps whose youngest player under contract is 25-year-old Jakob Silfverberg, who finished with a career-high 20 goals. Rakell, 22, added another 20 goals as a center and a left winger.

      Youth will be important because Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry -- the team's biggest stars -- will turn 31 in May. Ryan Kesler, arguably the Ducks' most valuable player this season because of his two-way contributions, will be 32 when training camp begins. All three remain effective, yet all three are watching their chances to win a Stanley Cup diminish with time.

  • NHL roundup: Predators top Ducks in Game 7
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, April 28, 2016

    ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Colin Wilson and Paul Gaustad scored in the first period as the Nashville Predators eliminated the Anaheim Ducks from the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 2-1 victory in the seventh game of their Western Conference quarterfinal series Wednesday night in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 17,407 at the Honda Center.

    • Pekka Rinne stopped 36 shots for the Predators, who will face the San Jose Sharks on Friday night in the first game of the conference semifinals after winning the best-of-seven series against Anaheim, 4-3.

      Ryan Kesler scored the only goal for the Ducks, who received 18 saves from goalie Frederik Andersen.

      Islanders 5, Lightning 3

      TAMPA, Fla. -- Shane Prince scored twice in the final three minutes of the first period, and New York held on for a road win over Tampa Bay in Game 1 of the second-round series at Amalie Arena.

      Travis Hamonic, John Tavares and Cal Clutterbuck also scored for the Islanders and Thomas Greiss made 33 saves.

      The Lightning got goals from Ondrej Palat, Nikita Kucherov and Valtteri Filppula.

  • Holtby, Quick, Bishop up for Vezina Trophy
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, April 27, 2016

    Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals and Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings are the three finalists for the 2015-16 Vezina Trophy that goes to the NHL's top goalkeeper, the league announced Wednesday.

    • The finalists were determined by a vote of the 30 general managers, and the top three vote-getters are designated as finalists. The winner will be announced June 22, during the NHL Awards.

      Bishop shared fourth place in the league with 35 wins this season. He led the NHL with a 2.06 goals-against average and ranked second with a .926 save percentage, both career highs and single-season franchise records. His six shutouts also were a career high and tied for second place in the league.

      Holtby equaled a single-season NHL record with 48 wins, tying the mark set by New Jersey's Martin Brodeur in 2006-07. He ranked fifth in the NHL in goals-against average (2.20) and eighth in save percentage (.922).

      Quick led all NHL goaltenders in appearances (68), starts (68) and minutes (4,034). He ranked second in wins (40), fifth in saves (1,671) and tied for fifth in shutouts (five). He had a 2.22 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.