National Hockey League
NHL News Wire
  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014
    Malkin could return for Pens' playoffs opener
    By The Sports Xchange

    Injured Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin practiced Tuesday and could be available for the playoff opener on Wednesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

    • Malkin missed the final 11 games of the regular season because of a foot injury suffered in a 1-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues on March 23.

      Penguins coach Dan Bylsma is pleased with Malkin's progress but was noncommittal on whether he could play in the first game of the best-of-seven first-round series in Pittsburgh, saying it will depend on how Malkin responds after the practice.

      Game 2 is scheduled for Friday night.

      Malkin's presence would be welcomed by the Penguins, who went 5-4-2 without him in the final weeks of the regular season.

      "Teams change matchup and (defense) pairings in particular depending on whether they're home or away, in particular, or how they perceive the way the lines to be playing," Bylsma said.

      Malkin missed 22 games this season but was still second on the team in points with 72 (23 goals, 49 assists).

      Linemate Jussi Jokinen watched Malkin practice and thinks he looked like his old self.

      "It seems like every time he's come back from an injury, he's played really well," Jokinen said. "I think he's had a lot of injuries throughout his career and every time he's come back, he's played really well, so we hope that's going to happen again."

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014
    Panthers win NHL draft lottery
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Florida Panthers, who finished with the second-worst record in the NHL this season, won the league's draft lottery Tuesday.

    • Florida will make the first overall pick in the draft to be held June 27-28 in Philadelphia.

      The Panthers owned an 18.8 percent chance of landing the top pick after finishing 29-45-8. The Buffalo Sabres, who had a 25 percent opportunity in the lottery, are coming off a 21-51-10 season. They will select second.

      Rounding out the top five will be the Edmonton Oilers (29-44-9), the Calgary Flames (35-40-7) and the New York Islanders (34-37-11).

      The other draft selections that were determined Tuesday: No. 6 Vancouver Canucks, No. 7 Carolina Hurricanes, No. 8 Toronto Maple Leafs, No. 9 Winnipeg Jets, No. 10 Anaheim Ducks (from the Ottawa Senators), No. 11 Nashville Predators, No. 12 Phoenix Coyotes and No. 13 Washington Capitals.

      The next 16 positions will go to the playoff teams, depending upon their success in the postseason. The 30th and last first-round selection belongs to the New Jersey Devils, part of the penalty for signing winger Ilya Kovalchuk to a contract that broke league rules in 2010.

      The only other time the Panthers selected first in the draft, they acquired defenseman Ed Jovanovski in 1994. Florida dealt away the No. 1 overall pick in 2002 and 2003. Left winger Rick Nash and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury were chosen first in those years, respectively.

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014
    Flyers sign MacDonald to six-year extension
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Philadelphia Flyers signed defenseman Andrew MacDonald to a six-year contract extension, the team announced Tuesday.

    • Financial terms of the contract were not released but multiple media reports placed the total value at $30 million.

      "We kind of hashed it out a couple different ways," MacDonald told NHL.com. "Ended up finishing on six (years), and I felt like a good, long-term commitment was great for me and they agreed with it. Obviously it's a big commitment for them, a big commitment for me. It's a good deal."

      The 6-foot-1, 190-pound MacDonald was acquired by the Flyers from the New York Islanders on March 4 in exchange for forward Matt Mangene, a third-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, and a second-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

      MacDonald, 27, appeared in 19 games for the Flyers, recording four assists, while averaging 22:00 in ice time per game. MacDonald led the NHL this season with 242 blocked shots, which was 41 more than his closest competition. In 82 total games with the Flyers and Islanders this season, MacDonald recorded four goals and 24 assists for 28 points.

      A native of Judique, Nova Scotia, MacDonald was drafted by the Islanders in the sixth round (160th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

      The Flyers will take on the New York Rangers in the first round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs starting Thursday.

      "You try not to think about it (the contract) too much," MacDonald said. "With the playoffs coming up and everything, it's nice to get it out of the way and concentrate on making a run."

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014
    Predators sign draft pick Girard
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Nashville Predators signed center Felix Girard, a third-round draft pick, to a three-year entry-level contract, the team announced Tuesday.

    • Nashville selected Girard with the 95th pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

      Girard, 19, won the Guy Carbonneau Trophy as the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's top defensive forward for the second consecutive season in 2013-14 after posting 43 points (11 goals, 32 assists), 130 penalty minutes and a plus-30 rating while leading the league in face-off winning percentage for the second consecutive season (64.5 percent).

      In his fourth season with Baie-Comeau and second as team captain, the 5-foot-11, 193-pound center helped the Drakkar win the regular-season title and sweep their first two playoff series.

      The Predators also reassigned forward Calle Jarnkrok to Milwaukee, which recently clinched its 12th consecutive Calder Cup playoff berth, the longest active streak in the American Hockey League.

      Jarnkrok, 22, posted nine points (2 goals, 7 assists) in his first 12 NHL games with the Predators in 2013-14, including a point in each of his first five career contests, and three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in Nashville's regular-season finale, a 7-3 win at Minnesota.

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
    NHL roundup: Trotz out as Predators' coach
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Nashville Predators announced Monday that they will not extend the expired contract of longtime coach Barry Trotz.

    • The team offered Trotz a hockey operations department job but said he has not yet decided if he will take it.

      Trotz coached the Predators for the past 15 seasons. The team finished 38-32-12 this season and missed the playoffs.

      Trotz coached 1,196 games with the Predators, which is second behind the San Antonio Spurs' Gregg Popovich for longest active coaching tenure among the four major sports. Trotz is the only NHL coach to guide his team to the playoffs in a stretch of seven of eight seasons. He went 21-21-7 in the playoffs, including two conference semifinals.

      ---The Toronto Maple Leafs introduced Hall of Famer Brendan Shanahan as their new president. Shanahan, 45, was formerly the NHL's director of player safety.

      The Maple Leafs missed the playoffs for the eighth time in the past nine seasons.

      ---Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier will have surgery to repair a sports hernia on Wednesday, according to NHL.com.

      Bernier missed five games in March because of the injury and then aggravated it April 3 against the Boston Bruins, missing the rest of the season.

      ---Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun was recalled from his conditioning assignment with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL.

      Vokoun, 37, played two games, going 1-1-0 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .891 save percentage.

      ---Carolina Hurricanes right winger Alexander Semin will have wrist surgery, the Raleigh News and Observer.

      Semin sat out the final two games of the season with the injury. The Hurricanes (36-35-11) did not qualify for the playoffs.

      ---Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Hartnell was fined $5,000 for spearing Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Bellemore during Sunday's game, the NHL announced.

      The incident occurred at 13:09 of the third period. Hartnell was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for spearing.

      ---Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback, Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson and Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen were named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week.

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
    Flyers F Hartnell fined $5,000
    By The Sports Xchange

    Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Hartnell was fined $5,000 for spearing Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Bellemore during Sunday's game, the NHL announced.

    • The incident occurred at 13:09 of the third period. Hartnell was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for spearing.

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
    Lindback, Gibson, Johansen named 'Three Stars'
    By The Sports Xchange

    Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback, Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson and Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen were named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week.

    • Lindback went 3-0-0 with a 0.67 goals-against average, .975 save percentage and one shutout. He stopped all 25 shots he faced in relief of Ben Bishop in a 3-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs last Tuesday. He then made 34 saves in a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. He capped the week by recording 18 saves, and denying all three attempts he faced in the shootout, to pick up his third career shutout and first since Dec. 13, 2010, in a 1-0 triumph over the Washington Capitals on Sunday.

      Gibson went 3-0-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average, .954 save percentage and one shutout. He made 18 saves in a 3-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks on April 7, becoming the first goaltender to record a shutout in his NHL debut since April 1, 2009 (Al Montoya). He then stopped 36 shots in a 5-2 triumph over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. He closed the week with 29 saves, including 12 in the third period, in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

      Johansen tied for third in the NHL with six points (two goals and four assists), finding the scoresheet in four consecutive games. He had a goal and an assist, including the winning goal in overtime, in a 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes last Tuesday. He then had an assist in each of the next two games: a 3-1 triumph over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday and a 3-2 loss to the Lightning on Friday. He closed the season with a goal and an assist, including his fifth game-winning goal and 16th multi-point performance, in a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
    Trotz out as Predators' coach
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Nashville Predators announced Monday that they will not extend the expired contract of longtime coach Barry Trotz.

    • The team offered Trotz a hockey operations department job but said he has not yet decided if he will take it.

      Trotz coached the Predators for the past 15 seasons. The team finished 38-32-12 this season and missed the playoffs.

      "Our organization has high expectations and we have not met them in the past two seasons," general manager Poile said in a statement. "As a result, it is my decision and determination that we need a new voice and a new direction. Our change in direction began over a year ago as we have made several personnel changes, including trading of long-time veteran players and a change to our coaching staff last offseason. Our goal is to return to the playoffs with the ultimate goal of contending for the Stanley Cup. We know that once we get into the playoffs, anything is possible.

      "I also want to thank Barry for everything he has done for our franchise. He has been the face and voice of our team for 15 years. He created, developed and lived The Predator Way -- on the ice, in the office and in the community. There could be no finer ambassador for the Predators or Nashville than Barry Trotz. He has laid a foundation and culture that will benefit the next coach of the Nashville Predators."

      Trotz coached 1,196 games with the Predators, which is second behind the San Antonio Spurs' Gregg Popovich for longest active coaching tenure among the four major sports. Trotz is the only NHL coach to guide his team to the playoffs in a stretch of seven of eight seasons. He went 21-21-7 in the playoffs, including two conference semifinals.

      "We thank Barry for his many contributions to the Predators organization" chairman Tom Cigarran said in a statement. "Barry is an exceptional person and coach. We wish him the very best going forward. We also have great confidence in David Poile's plan. We support this decision, and believe change is necessary if we are to reach our goals."

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
    Maple Leafs introduce Shanahan
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Toronto Maple Leafs introduced Hall of Famer Brendan Shanahan as their new president on Monday.

    • Shanahan, 45, was formerly the NHL's director of player safety.

      "I am very grateful to the many people that have helped me and taught me throughout my career, including my former teammates, coaches and colleagues at the league offices," Shanahan said. "I'd like to thank Tim Leiweke and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment for the opportunity to work for such a tremendous franchise. We have an important job in front of us and I look forward to getting underway."

      The Maple Leafs missed the playoffs for the eighth time in the past nine seasons.

      "As I evaluated the Toronto Maple Leafs over the last 10 months it became clear that a new era of accountability and discipline was needed," said Leiweke, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

      "Brendan Shanahan embodies everything that you could ask for in a team leader and he will be the architect that restores the pride and winning attitude for this franchise. You can't teach the passion, character and love of the game that he possesses. Brendan lives for hockey and he loves Toronto. Adding his experience and leadership skills makes this a great day for our organization and a great day for Maple Leafs fans."

      In 21 seasons on the ice as a Hall of Fame winger, Shanahan scored 656 goals, accumulated 2,489 penalty minutes and won three Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings. He is the only player in NHL history with more than 600 goals and 2,000 penalty minutes in a career.

      Shanahan also won gold medals with Team Canada at the 1994 World Championships, the 2002 Winter Olympics and the 1991 Canada Cup. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last year.

      After retiring as a player in 2009, Shanahan moved into management with the NHL as vice president of hockey and business development before assuming the duty of director of player safety in 2011.

      Shanahan's new role with the Maple Leafs is his first in the front office of a team.

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
    Maple Leafs G Bernier having sports hernia surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier will have surgery to repair a sports hernia on Wednesday, according to NHL.com.

    • Bernier missed five games in March because of the injury and then aggravated it April 3 against the Boston Bruins, missing the rest of the season.

      Bernier went 26-19-7 with a 2.68 goals-against average and .923 save percentage. The Maple Leafs (38-36-8) missed the playoffs.

      Because of the injury, Bernier will likely miss next month's world hockey championship in Belarus for Team Canada.

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
    Penguins recall G Vokoun
    By The Sports Xchange

    Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun was recalled from his conditioning assignment with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL on Monday.

    • Vokoun played two games, going 1-1-0 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .891 save percentage.

      Vokoun, 37, missed all of the regular season because of a blood clot in his pelvis. He was expected to be Marc-Andre Fleury's backup this season. Instead, rookie Jeff Zatkoff went 12-6-2 with a 2.61 GAA and .912 save percentage over 20 games in that role.

      Last season, Vokoun went 13-4-3 in 20 regular-season games as Fleury's backup, and then replaced him during the first-round of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the New York Islanders. He went 6-5 with a 2.01 GAA and .933 save percentage in last year's postseason.

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
    Hurricanes RW Sedin having wrist surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    Carolina Hurricanes right wing Alexander Semin will have wrist surgery, the Raleigh News and Observer reported Monday.

    • Semin sat out the final two games of the season with the injury. The Hurricanes (36-35-11) did not qualify for the playoffs.

      Semin had 22 goals and 20 assists in 65 games this season. He did not have a goal or an assist in his final six games.

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
    Canucks' Daniel Sedin scores twice before being injured
    By The Sports Xchange

    VANCOUVER, B.C. -- The Vancouver Canucks won what might have been John Tortorella's last game as their coach Sunday night - but he was in no mood to celebrate.

    • Left winger Daniel Sedin scored a pair of goals in just under two periods of work as the Canucks beat the Calgary Flames 5-1 in the final game of the 2013-14 NHL season for both clubs.

      But in keeping with a crazy Canucks season, Sedin scored his goals before he was taken off the ice on a stretcher late in the second period after being sent head-first into the boards by Calgary center Paul Byron, who hit him from behind and received a boarding major and game misconduct. Despite leaving early, Sedin was named the game's first star.

      The Canucks, who missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008, finished with a 36-35-11 record in a tumultuous season under beleaguered coach Tortorella, who endured a six-game suspension for storming Calgary's dressing room in a brawl-marred game in January, numerous injuries, a lack of offense, inconsistent play and long losing stretches after a relatively good start. He is expected to be fired following only one campaign in Vancouver.

      "This game means nothing," said Tortorella. "We're done."

      But Tortorella, who has tried to hold his tongue for most of the season, had some harsh words for Flames coach Bob Hartley in wake of Daniel Sedin's injury.

      "You tuck your tail between your legs and you leave - it's been a rough year," said Tortorella. "It's been a rough year. But it's embarrassing to coach against (Hartley), some of the things that went on when Danny (was) hurt. It's embarrassing. But I probably have no right to say anything considering the year that I've had."

      Tortorella also called Hartley's decision to send tough guys Kevin Westgarth and Brian McGrattan out for the opening face-off, as he did prior to the game-opening brawl in January, "bush league."

      Daniel Sedin was taken to Vancouver General Hospital. The Canucks announced during the third period that he went there to get scans done and was able to move his fingers and feet. Tortorella said after the game that the team received "good reports" and Daniel Sedin was not as seriously injured as first feared.

      "I'm glad he's OK," said Tortorella. "When I saw him first go down, it scared me a little bit."

      Defenseman Frankie Corrado, with his first NHL career goal, fellow rearguard Yannick Weber and center Ryan Kesler also tallied for the Canucks. Sedin's production doubled the output in his previous 31 games, when he managed only one goal.

      Center Henrik Sedin assisted on both of his brother's markers.

      "Both (Daniel) and Henrik, they had it going," said Tortorella.

      The rebuilding Flames, long since eliminated from the playoffs, recorded a 35-40-7 mark to fall one win and six points shy of the veteran-laden Canucks.

      Hartley said his club had a tough night.

      "They got some early goals," he said. "It seemed like when it started it would be their night. They did deserve (the win.) They were the better team from the start to the end. They deserved the win."

      Hartley lamented the hit that led to Daniel Sedin's departure, but also played down the significance of Byron's check.

      "We all feel it was a hockey play that you see maybe 10 or 15 times a game," said Hartley.

      Left winger Johnny Gaudreau, with his first NHL goal in his inaugural professional game, replied for the Flames, who were outshot 23-22.

      Vancouver goaltender Jacob Markstrom picked up his first win as a Canuck since he was acquired from the Florida Panthers in the Roberto Luongo trade. Markstrom stopped 21 of 22 shots in his third straight start. Calgary starting netminder Karri Ramo was tagged with the loss as he allowed four goals on 20 shots. Flames backup goaltender Joey MacDonald recorded two saves on just three shots.

      The Canucks, who led 2-0 after the first period and secured the final 5-1 count by the end of the second, scored on two of four power plays, including one during Byron's major, while the Flames were blanked on one.

      Daniel Sedin scored all of the goals that the Canucks needed as he netted their first two goals in the first period. He got credit for Vancouver's first goal, 7:16 into the game, as David Booth's shot, which occurred while he was falling backward, appeared to hit him before it went in.

      The Sedin twins combined to give the Canucks a 2-0 lead just under seven minutes later as Daniel fired in Henrik's rebound during a power play. It was Vancouver's first man-advantage goal in four games.

      Byron, who left to a chorus of boos following a brief melee, downplayed his hit on Daniel Sedin, stressing that he was not out to injure the Canuck.

      "I just saw the puck in the corner," said Byron. "I was trying to finish my check. I saw the replay again. I didn't think it was a dirty hit."

      The incident cut short an impressive display of "Sedinery" in which the twins displayed some of their skating and passing magic. Henrik Sedin was encouraged by the way he and his brother played at the end of a difficult season. But like Tortorella, the Canucks captain was not in a celebratory mood, believing his team is better than it showed.

      "It's unfortunate it's come to this and here we are out of the playoffs," said Henrik Sedin.

      NOTES: Vancouver LW Daniel Sedin's two goals gave him 16 for the season. That was his lowest total for a full season since 2002-03. ... The Canucks inducted former player, coach, general manager and president Pat Quinn into their ring of honor before the game. During his speech, Quinn predicted the Canucks will have great times again soon. New club president Trevor Linden was drafted by Quinn and played under him. Linden has expressed interest in hiring him as a team advisor. ... Flames C Bill Arnold and LW Johnny Gaudreau, this year's Hoby Baker award winner as the top U.S. college player, made their NHL debuts after being signed on Friday. Arnold (2010) and Gaudreau (2011) were both fourth-round draft picks out of Boston College. ... Canucks D Dan Hamhuis was scratched while D Kevin Bieksa returned after being rested the night before in Edmonton. ... Vancouver rookie LW Michael Zalewski earned an assist for his first NHL point.

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
    Coyotes beat Stars, but it does not matter
    By The Sports Xchange

    GLENDALE, Ariz. -- What was supposed to be a game for the final playoff berth in the NHL ended up being a meaningless exhibition between two teams looking toward the future.

    • For the Phoenix Coyotes, that means retooling a roster that missed the playoffs for a second straight season. For the Dallas Stars, the plans are more immediate: a first-round playoff series with the Anaheim Ducks after a six-year postseason absence.

      "I love the playoffs," Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said. "It's a fun time of year and I want to see some of our guys that have never been in it -- how they react. That's the really exciting part because the playoffs always have one or two guys that jump out."

      Even though Sunday's game was meaningless, Ruff still took it hard when right wing David Moss scored with 2:31 remaining in regulation and the Coyotes snapped a season-high seven-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Stars on Sunday at Jobing.com Arena.

      "I still slammed a water bottle there at the end," Ruff said. "You still don't want to lose."

      The Stars wrapped up the final Western Conference wild card spot on Friday with a win over St. Louis so the loss won't sting for long. The same can't be said of the Coyotes, who led Dallas by five points two weeks ago, but didn't win another game until it didn't matter.

      "It's nice to win but that's a very hollow game," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "That's hard for coaches, that one, because you want to push and it's hard to push in a game like that."

      Tippett had never missed the postseason two straight years in his coaching career before now, but his team scored just nine goals in that seven-game skid and never found a way to get over the hump this season.

      "We've overachieved here. It's almost in the identity," he said of past years. "I didn't feel like we overachieved enough."

      Dallas rested a handful of normal starters in the game and will open the playoffs on Wednesday in Anaheim against the Western Conference's top seed. The Stars flew to Anaheim immediately after the Coyotes game to prepare.

      "I'm not going to say too much and give away our secrets but everyone's excited and ready to go," Dallas center Tyler Seguin said, laughing. "We've been preparing for this for the past 15 to 20 games, playing playoff hockey almost every night."

      Center Colton Sceviour gave Dallas an early 1-0 lead with a power-play goal that provided two examples of sleight of hand. Stars center Vern Fiddler sent a no-look, backhand pass from the boards to Sceviour in stride in the slot. Sceviour dropped goalie Thomas Greiss to his knees and slipped a backhand into the far side of the net.

      Coyotes right wing Shane Doan evened the game 31 seconds into the second period with his third goal in his last four games. Doan redirected defenseman Zbynek Michalek's shot from the point past goalie Tim Thomas, who made 29 saves for the Stars.

      For Doan, who signed a long-term deal to remain with the Coyotes two seasons ago, the end of the season was a bitter pill to swallow. Doan missed a month of the season with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and didn't round back into shape until it was too late.

      "From the beginning of December until March I really was useless," the Phoenix captain said. "It's disappointing, you're frustrated and you wish you could have helped out."

      NOTES: Coyotes LW Lauri Korpikoski played his 400th career game. ... The Coyotes finished the season with their highest ranked power-play unit (fourth) since moving to the Phoenix area in 1996. ... Dallas LW Jamie Benn, D Trevor Daley, LW Ray Whitney, D Brenden Dillon and G Kari Lehtonen sat out Sunday's game as the Stars prepared for their first playoff series since 2008. ... Coyotes RW Shane Doan's 23 goals are his highest goal total since 2008-09 (career-high 31). Doan missed a month of this season after contracting Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. ... Dallas C Tyler Seguin is the franchise's first player to finish among the top five NHL players in points since RW Dino Ciccarelli finished fifth in 1986-76 with 89 points as a member of the Minnesota North Stars.

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
    Ducks honor Selanne, top Avalanche in OT
    By The Sports Xchange

    ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Western Conference's two division champions found different reasons to celebrate on the last day of the NHL's regular season.

    • The Colorado Avalanche learned before the opening face-off Sunday night that they would finish in first place in the Central Division, given the St. Louis Blues' defeat earlier in the day. Meanwhile, the Anaheim Ducks commemorated the career of their all-time leading scorer with a late victory.

      Center Nick Bonino scored with 3:27 left in overtime as the Ducks overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat the Avalanche 3-2 in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 17,528 at the Honda Center.

      Anaheim right winger Teemu Selanne played his final regular-season game. Selanne, the Ducks' captain for the contest, played 16 seasons and finished 11th in career goals with 684.

      Fans cheered Selanne during every shift in the game, then gave him sustained standing ovations in each of his third-period shifts.

      With 30 seconds left in regulation, fans chanted, "Thank you, Tee-mu."

      "It's almost overwhelming that one player gets that kind of attention," Selanne said. "I didn't really know what to expect, to be honest, but it was way more than I asked. I really enjoyed every moment."

      After the game, Selanne was selected the first, second and third star. Avalanche players skated to Selanne and hugged him, one by one. Then Selanne grabbed Avalanche goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, his former teammate in Anaheim, and the pair skated arm-in-arm around the rink's eastern end. Occasionally, they raised joined hands skyward.

      "I'm glad the cameras weren't on me because I was crying," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "How can I not? That was as great a scene as you're going to see in sports: two well-deserved heroes of hockey hugging each other after battle."

      Selanne said his skate with Giguere was spontaneous.

      "I saw 'Giggy' and I said, 'Wow, I've got to pull Giggy out here,'" Selanne said. "He's been a very important player for this franchise, as important to these fans as I am. I'm so happy I could share this night with him."

      Giguere played nine seasons in Anaheim, where he won the 2003 Conn Smythe Trophy and helped the Ducks win the 2007 Stanley Cup.

      "It's surreal, a little bit," Giguere said about his skate with Selanne. "For him to think of me and come and get me, that is very special for me. I will never forget that."

      The Ducks (54-20-8) will begin the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs Wednesday night against the Dallas Stars (40-31-11). The Avalanche (52-22-8) and Minnesota Wild (43-27-12) will start their series Thursday night.

      Anaheim enters the playoffs as the conference's top seed, while Colorado is No. 2. During last year's lockout-shortened season, the Avalanche had the conference's worst record: 16-25-7.

      "Nobody expected to see us where we are," said first-year coach Patrick Roy, who built his Hall of Fame career as a goalie for the Montreal Canadiens and the Avalanche. "From the get-go, our guys came to camp ready. They wanted to see change, and to be honest, they played hard. Every day, they've been jumping on the ice. It's fun to see this group playing like this."

      Bonino ended the game with a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle that went inside the right post. Giguere blocked defenseman Sami Vatanen's shot from the slot, but right winger Devante Smith-Pelly secured the rebound at the left post and passed to Bonino, who scored his career-best 22nd goal.

      Anaheim left winger Patrick Maroon and center Saku Koivu scored 3 minutes, 13 seconds apart early in the third period to force a 2-2 tie.

      Maroon scored at 1:41, taking center Mathieu Perreault's pass from the right faceoff circle and tucking the puck inside the left post. Koivu followed at 4:54 when he converted a backhand inside the right post after deking Giguere to the ice.

      Selanne had a chance to win the game with about 3 1/2 minutes remaining, but Giguere used his glove to deflect Selanne's wrist shot, which came from the right circle.

      "I really wanted to score one goal tonight," Selanne said. "but it's the old story. When you try too hard, usually, they don't come."

      Colorado built a 2-0 lead after two periods.

      Center Brad Malone began the scoring at 12:11 of the first period. Defenseman Ryan Wilson started the sequence by dumping the puck into the left corner. Defenseman Nick Holden dug it out, spun and passed to Malone, who poked it inside the right post.

      The play was reviewed to see if a referee blew his whistle before the puck crossed the goal line.

      Defenseman Stefan Elliott, recalled from Lake Erie of the American Hockey League on Saturday, scored at 18:51 of the second period, slapping a deflected puck in the slot past Ducks goalie John Gibson.

      Gibson made 29 saves while earning his third victory in three starts. Giguere made 33 saves.

      NOTES: Both teams rested key players in preparation for the Stanley Cup playoffs. Colorado scratched G Semyon Varlamov and C Matt Duchene, while Anaheim did not dress C Ryan Getzlaf, RW Corey Perry, G Jonas Hiller and D Francois Beauchemin. ... Varlamov ended the season leading the NHL with 41 wins. ... Avalanche D Nate Guenin and Ducks RW Jakob Silfverberg each played in their 100th career game. ... Colorado C Nathan MacKinnon finished the season leading all rookies in points, assists and power-play goals while sharing the lead in goals by a rookie. ... Ducks RW Andrew Cogliano played his 540th consecutive game. ... Anaheim recalled LW John Kurtz from Norfolk (American Hockey League) on Sunday. Kurtz amassed 112 penalty minutes in 70 games for the Admirals this season.

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
    Bruins open playoffs as No. 1 seed
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Boston Bruins rested many of their regulars and dropped their regular-season finale Sunday against the New Jersey Devils, but Boston still heads into the postseason as the top overall seed.

    • Boston, the Atlantic Division champion, opens the playoffs against the Detroit Red Wings, who earned the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.

      The Bruins captured the Presidents' Trophy by earning the most regular-season points, and the Bruins easily posted the league's top goal differential at plus-84.

      The other Atlantic Division playoff matchup features the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning against the third-place Montreal Canadiens.

      The Metropolitan Division champion Pittsburgh Penguins square off against the top wild-card team, the Columbus Blue Jackets. The New York Rangers, who came in second place in the Metropolitan Division, face the third-place Philadelphia Flyers.

      The top seed in the Western Conference, the Pacific Division champion Anaheim Ducks, will face off against the wild-card Dallas Stars in the only first-round playoff matchup that crosses division lines. The second-place San Jose Sharks and third-place Los Angeles Kings meet in an all-Pacific series.

      The Colorado Avalanche, champs of the Central Division, will play the wild-card Minnesota Wild. The St. Louis Blues, who barely missed out on the Central title, will skate against the third-place Chicago Blackhawks, the reigning Stanley Cup champions.

      The winners within each division will meet in the second round, and then each division's playoff champion will square off for the conference championships.

      NHL FIRST-ROUND PLAYOFF MATCHUPS

      EASTERN CONFERENCE

      ATLANTIC DIVISION

      No. 1 Boston Bruins (54-19-9) vs. No. 4 Detroit Red Wings (39-28-15) -- Regular-season series, Detroit 3-1-0

      No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning (46-7-9) vs. No. 3 Montreal Canadiens (46-28-8) -- Regular-season series, Tampa Bay 3-0-1

      METROPOLITAN DIVISION

      No. 1 Pittsburgh Penguins (51-24-7) vs. No. 4 Columbus Blue Jackets (43-32-7) -- Regular-season series, Pittsburgh 5-0-0

      No. 2 New York Rangers (45-31-6) vs. No. 3 Philadelphia Flyers (42-30-10) -- Regular-season series, tied 2-2-0

      WESTERN CONFERENCE

      PACIFIC DIVISION

      No. 1 Anaheim Ducks (54-20-8) vs. No. 4 (wild card from Central Division) Dallas Stars (40-31-11) -- Regular-season series, Dallas 2-1-0

      No. 2 San Jose Sharks (51-22-9) vs. No. 3 Los Angeles Kings (46-28-8) -- Regular-season series, Los Angeles 3-1-1

      CENTRAL DIVISION

      No. 1 Colorado Avalanche (52-22-8) vs. No. 4 Minnesota Wild (43-27-12) -- Regular-season series, Colorado 4-0-1

      No. 2 St. Louis Blues (52-23-7) vs. No. 3 Chicago Blackhawks (46-21-15) -- Regular-season series, St. Louis 3-2-0

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
    Predators close season with win over Wild
    By The Sports Xchange

    SAINT PAUL, Minn. -- With their season ending, the Nashville Predators could dismiss long-time coach Barry Trotz. Although the Predators are out of the playoffs, lately Trotz's players have given the organization ample reason to keep him around.

    • On Sunday, the Predators closed the season with a 7-3 win over the Minnesota Wild and have been one of the NHL's hottest teams of late, going 9-1-2 in their final dozen games.

      Trailing 3-1 in the second period, the Predators got goals from a trio defensemen -- Ryan Ellis, Shea Weber and Roman Josi -- in a two-minute span. Goalie Carter Hutton had 27 saves for the Predators, who also got a pair of goals from center Craig Smith and single goals from left wing Rich Clune and center Calle Jarnkrok.

      "We have a lot of character; there's no quit," said Weber. "We talked two or three weeks ago that it would be a tough shot to get in the playoffs, but we were going to play loose and make sure we're giving everything we have, and obviously we played well coming down the stretch."

      Right winger Jason Pominville had a goal and two assists for the Wild (23-27-12), who started goalie Illya Bryzgalov, but lifted him after two periods of their final tune-up before the playoffs begin. Bryzgalov had 16 saves on 21 Nashville shots and was replaced by John Curry, who finished with 10 saves. Left wingers Erik Haula and Zach Parise also scored for Minnesota, which is heading to the postseason for the fifth time in team history. Wild players said the best thing that happened Sunday was no new injuries were recorded.

      "You always have in the back of your mind you don't want to get hurt, you don't want to take one off the ankle and who knows what happens," said Pominville, who reached the 30-goal mark for the third time in his career. "So sometimes it leads to those results and obviously it wasn't pretty. It wasn't the way we want to end it and I don't want to make an excuse for it, but I think those things when happen when you're in and the other team is out, playing loose."

      Minnesota led 2-0 on goals by Haula and Pominville when Bryzgalov tried to play a puck and stumbled, leaving the net open and leading to Clune's tap-in goal. After Parise's power-play goal early in the second gave the Wild a seemingly comfortable 3-1 lead, Nashville scored the next six goals unanswered.

      "We played the same way no matter what the circumstances, score, time of game, we're playing the same way all the way to the end," said Smith, who had his fifth multi-goal game of the season. "It's how the guys in this group play. We stuck with it. You always want to go out on a good note."

      The Predators finish the season 38-32-12 and the departure of Trotz -- the only coach Nashville has had since the franchise entered the NHL in 1998 -- has been widely rumored. They finished the season with 14 goals in their final two games. Hutton improved to 20-11-4 this season.

      "We'll see what happens, but it's fine," Trotz said. "I've been actually very blessed, from my standpoint. When I first came there, I thought I just wanted to make it through the first season and I've been there 17 years. So whatever happens, I've been pretty blessed. There's no sour grapes here if things change. It's hockey, and Nashville's pretty cool now."

      For Minnesota, it was the first regulation loss for Bryzgalov, who is now 7-1-3 since joining the Wild in early March via a trade with Edmonton. It was also the first time he's been lifted by Wild coach Mike Yeo during a game.

      "Let's face it: We weren't playing too well in front of him. So I'm not worried about him," said Yeo, who has had four goalies start 10 or more games this season.

      NOTES: Wild C Kyle Brodziak had his first two-goal game of the season on Thursday, but was scratched Sunday due to an undisclosed injury. It snapped a streak of 231 consecutive games played by Brodziak. ... Predators D Michael Del Zotto's season came to a quiet end on Sunday as he was a healthy scratch for the fourth time in Nashville's past five games. Del Zotto, who came to the Preds in a January trade with the New York Rangers, finished the season with just one goal in 25 games for Nashville. ... The Wild will open their second consecutive trip to the playoffs on Thursday in Denver. It will be the third time the Wild and Colorado Avalanche have met in the first round of the playoffs. In 2003, the Wild upset Colorado in seven games. In 2008, the Wild won the Northwest Division but were upset by the Avalanche in six games. ... After making it to the postseason in seven of eight previous seasons, the Predators will be out of the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
    Canucks 5, Flames 1
    By The Sports Xchange

    VANCOUVER -- Left winger Daniel Sedin scored a pair of goals in just under two periods of work as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Calgary Flames 5-1 on Sunday night in the final game of the 2013-14 NHL season for both clubs.

    • Sedin scored his goals before he was taken off the ice on a stretcher late in the second period after being sent head-first into the boards by Calgary center Paul Byron, who hit him from behind and received a boarding major and game misconduct. Despite leaving early, Sedin was named the game's first star.

      The Canucks, who missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008, finished with a 36-35-11 record in a tumultuous season under beleaguered coach John Tortorella, who is expected to be fired following only one campaign in Vancouver. The rebuilding Flames, long since eliminated from the playoffs, recorded a 35-40-7 mark to fall one win and six points shy of the veteran-laden Canucks.

      Defenseman Frankie Corrado, with his first NHL career goal, fellow rearguard Yannick Weber and center Ryan Kesler also tallied for the Canucks. Sedin's production doubled the output in his previous 31 games, when he managed only one goal.

      Center Henrik Sedin assisted on both of his brother's markers.

      Left winger Johnny Gaudreau, with his first NHL goal in his inaugural professional game, replied for the Flames, who were outshot 23-22.

      Vancouver goaltender Jacob Markstrom picked up his first win as a Canuck since he was acquired from the Florida Panthers in the Roberto Luongo trade. Markstrom stopped 21 of 22 shots in his third straight start. Calgary starting netminder Karri Ramo was tagged with the loss as he allowed four goals on 20 shots. Flames backup goaltender Joey MacDonald recorded two saves on just three shots.

      The Canucks scored on two of four power plays, while the Flames were blanked on one.

      Markstrom came up big in the early going as he stopped Mark Giardano twice and Joe Colborne once during a Calgary power play.

      Daniel Sedin got credit for Vancouver's first goal, 7:16 into the game, as David Booth fired a shot while falling backward. The Sedin twins combined to give the Canucks a 2-0 lead just under seven minutes later as Daniel fired in Henrik's rebound during a power play. It was Vancouver's first man-advantage goal in four games.

      Corrado, on a wrist shot from right wing, and Kesler, with a slapshot from the left face-off circle, doubled Vancouver's advantage with goals about four and half minutes apart.

      After Kesler's goal, Ramo was pulled in favor of MacDonald.

      Gaudreau, who spent most of this season with Boston College, put the Flames on the scoreboard less than two minutes later as he deflected in Colborne's shot.

      Daniel Sedin was wheeled off the ice on a stretcher at 17:16 of the second period as he was checked head-first into the boards by center Paul Byron, who received a boarding major and game misconduct. Byron left the ice to a chorus of boos after several Canucks, including center Brad Richardson, went after him and a melee ensued.

      After being hit, Daniel Sedin lay motionless and Canucks trainer Mike Burnstein quickly signaled for a team doctor and stretcher. But Daniel Sedin was able to speak and received a rousing cheer as he was taken to an awaiting ambulance.

      Weber gave the Canucks a 5-1 during the five-minute power play as he beat MacDonald cleanly on the first shot that the Calgary goaltender faced.

      Daniel Sedin was taken to Vancouver General Hospital. The Canucks announced during the third period that he went there to get more scans done and was able to move his fingers and feet.

      NOTES: Vancouver LW Daniel Sedin's two goals, before he left with an apparent head injury in the second period, gave him 16 for the season. That was his lowest total for a full season since 2002-03. ... The Canucks inducted former player, coach, general manager and president Pat Quinn into their ring of honor before the game. During his speech, Quinn predicted the Canucks will have great times again soon. New club president Trevor Linden was drafted by Quinn and played under him. Linden has expressed interest in hiring him as a team advisor. ... Flames C Bill Arnold and LW Johnny Gaudreau, this year's Hoby Baker award winner as the top U.S. college player, made their NHL debuts after being signed on Friday. Arnold (2010) and Gaudreau (2011) were both fourth-round draft picks out of Boston College. ... Canucks D Dan Hamhuis was scratched while D Kevin Bieksa returned after being rested the night before in Edmonton. ... Vancouver rookie LW Michael Zalewski made his home debut after playing his first NHL game on the road against the Oilers. Zalewski, who was signed in mid-March as an undrafted free agent after completing his collegiate career with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, earned his first NHL point as he assisted on D Yannick Weber's second-period power-play goal.

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
    Coyotes 2, Stars 1
    By The Sports Xchange

    GLENDALE, Ariz. -- What was supposed to be a game for the final playoff berth in the NHL ended up being a meaningless exhibition between two teams looking toward the future.

    • For the Phoenix Coyotes, that means retooling a roster that missed the playoffs for a second straight season. For the Dallas Stars, the plans are more immediate: a first-round playoff series with the Anaheim Ducks after a six-year postseason absence.

      Right wing David Moss scored with 2:31 remaining in regulation and the Coyotes snapped a season-high seven-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Stars on Sunday at Jobing.com Arena.

      The game was meaningless since the Stars wrapped up the final Western Conference wild card spot on Friday with a win over St. Louis. Dallas trailed the Coyotes by five points two weeks ago, but the Coyotes didn't win another game until it didn't matter.

      Dallas rested a handful of normal starters in the game and will open the playoffs on Wednesday in Anaheim against the Western Conference's top seed.

      Center Colton Sceviour gave Dallas an early 1-0 lead with a power-play goal that displayed two examples of sleight of hand. Stars center Vern Fiddler sent a no-look, backhand pass from the boards to Sceviour in stride in the slot. Sceviour dropped goalie Thomas Greiss to his knees and slipped a backhand into the far side of the net.

      Coyotes right wing Shane Doan evened the game 31 seconds into the second period with his third goal in his last four games. Doan redirected defenseman Zbynek Michalek's shot from the point past goalie Tim Thomas.

      Thomas made 29 saves for the Stars. Greiss made 16 saves in the win for Phoenix.

      NOTES: Coyotes LW Lauri Korpikoski played his 400th career game. ... The Coyotes finished the season with their highest ranked power-play unit (fourth) since moving to the Phoenix area in 1996. ... Dallas LW Jamie Benn, D Trevor Daley, LW Ray Whitney, D Brenden Dillon and G Kari Lehtonen sat out Sunday's game as the Stars prepared for their first playoff series since 2008. ... Coyotes RW Shane Doan's 23 goals are his highest goal total since 2008-09 (career-high 31). Doan missed a month of this season after contracting Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. ... Dallas C Tyler Seguin is the franchise's first player to finish among the top five NHL players in points since RW Dino Ciccarelli finished fifth in 1986-76 with 89 points as a member of the Minnesota North Stars.

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
    Senators beat Penguins for fifth straight win
    By The Sports Xchange

    PITTSBURGH -- The Ottawa Senators won't be participating in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2011 but at least they could go into the offseason on a high note.

    • Centers Kyle Turris and Jason Spezza scored during the shootout as the Senators closed their season with a 3-2 victory over the playoff-bound Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday night. Ottawa won its fifth straight game, a season high.

      Turris and Spezza both beat Penguins backup goaltender Jeff Zatkoff.

      "It's obviously a nice way for us to finish," said Spezza, the Senators' captain. "We wanted to play for each other. We talked about it a lot down the stretch how it would be easy to let up and I thought it showed good character of the group by finishing hard and winning the games."

      Turris also scored his team-leading 26th goal in regulation to snap a seven-game goal drought and right winger Mark Stone had his fourth goal for the Senators. Both goals came on the power play.

      The Penguins rested a number of regulars in advance of the postseason, including centers Sidney Crosby and Brandon Sutter, defensemen Matt Niskanen, Deryk Engelland and Robert Bortuzzo and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

      Crosby won the second scoring title of his nine-year career as he finished with 104 points. He had 36 goals and 68 assists.

      The Penguins (51-24-7) open the playoffs Wednesday night by hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets. It will be Pittsburgh's eighth consecutive postseason appearance.

      The Penguins swept all five games from the Blue Jackets in the regular season.

      "It gives us good confidence against them," Penguins left winger James Neal said. "We know we can beat them. We played them hard all year. Going into the postseason, it's a different animal, though, and we're going to be ready for them when they come in on Wednesday."

      Seeded second in the Eastern Conference behind the Boston Bruins, the Penguins are confident they can make a long playoff run.

      "I think as a team we've gone through quite a bit in terms of different lineups, different injury situations, finding different ways to win," coach Dan Bylsma said. "I think we improved on our mentality in playing defense and how we play defense. I think we've done a better job of being able to shut teams down and limit opportunities.

      "Now you have to do that in the playoffs. It's all about winning games and going on in the playoffs and we have that opportunity right now."

      The Senators (37-31-14) got a strong start from backup goaltender Robin Lehner, who made 26 saves and stopped both Penguins attempts in the shootout. He started in place of goalie Craig Anderson, who had a shutout Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

      Left winger Jussi Jokinen scored his 21st goal for the Penguins on a power play and right winger Lee Stempniak added his 12th. Jokinen extended his point streak to five games and scored his first career goal against the Senators in 23 games.

      Zatkoff stopped 31 shots while suffering his third loss in a row.

      NOTES: The Penguins recalled F Chuck Kobasew from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, where he scored 10 goals and had 11 assists in just 11 games. ... C Evgeni Malkin (foot), F Joe Vitale (mid body) and F Chris Conner (foot) all took part in the Penguins' optional skate Sunday morning, but coach Dan Bylsma said it was too early to know their availability for Wednesday's Game 1 against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. ... C Sidney Crosby was voted the Penguins' MVP by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association of America. ... The Senators had a winning record for the 16th time in the last 17 seasons. ... Penguins D Paul Martin blocked four shots and center Jayson Megna was credited with five hits. ... Penguins LW Tanner Glass and Senators RW Chris Neil received five-minute majors for fighting in the first period.

  • Sunday, April 13, 2014
    Ducks 3, Avalanche 2 (OT)
    By The Sports Xchange

    ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Center Nick Bonino scored with 3:27 left in overtime as the Anaheim Ducks overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 Sunday night in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 17,528 at the Honda Center.

    • Anaheim right winger Teemu Selanne played his final regular-season game. Selanne, the Ducks' captain for the contest, played 16 seasons and finished 11th in career goals with 684.

      Fans cheered Selanne during every shift in the game, then gave him sustained standing ovations in each of his shifts during the third period.

      With 30 seconds left in regulation, fans chanted, "Thank you, Tee-mu."

      The Ducks (54-20-8) will begin the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs Wednesday night against the Dallas Stars (40-30-11 entering their Sunday night game). The Avalanche (52-22-8) and Minnesota Wild (43-27-12) will start their series Thursday night.

      Bonino ended the game with a wrist shot inside the right post from the right faceoff circle. Avalanche goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere blocked defenseman Sami Vatanen's shot from the slot, but right winger Devante Smith-Pelly secured the rebound at the left post and passed to Bonino, who scored his career-best 22nd goal.

      Anaheim left winger Patrick Maroon and center Saku Koivu scored 3 minutes, 13 seconds apart early in the third period to force a 2-2 tie.

      Maroon scored at 1:41, taking center Mathieu Perreault's pass from the right face-off circle and tucking the puck inside the left post. Koivu followed at 4:54 when he converted a backhand inside the right post after deking Giguere to the ice.

      Selanne had a chance to win the game with about 3 minutes, 35 seconds remaining, but Giguere used his glove to deflect Selanne's wrist shot from the right circle.

      Colorado built a 2-0 lead after two periods.

      Center Brad Malone began the scoring at 12:11 of the first period. Defenseman Ryan Wilson started the sequence by dumping the puck into the left corner. Defenseman Nick Holden dug it out, spun and passed to Malone, who poked it inside the right post.

      The play was reviewed to see if a referee blew his whistle before the puck crossed the goal line.

      Defenseman Stefan Elliott, recalled from Lake Erie of the American Hockey League on Saturday, scored at 18:51 of the second period, slapping a deflected puck in the slot past Ducks goalie John Gibson (29 saves).

      Giguere made 33 saves.

      NOTES: Both teams rested key players in preparation for the Stanley Cup playoffs. Colorado scratched G Semyon Varlamov and C Matt Duchene, while Anaheim did not dress C Ryan Getzlaf, RW Corey Perry, G Jonas Hiller and D Francois Beauchemin. ... Varlamov ended the season leading the NHL with 41 wins. ... Avalanche D Nate Guenin and Ducks RW Jakob Silfverberg each played in their 100th career game. ... Colorado C Nathan MacKinnon finished the season leading all rookies in points, assists and power-play goals while sharing the lead in goals by a rookie. ... Ducks RW Andrew Cogliano played his 540th consecutive game. ... Anaheim recalled LW John Kurtz from Norfolk (American Hockey League) on Sunday. Kurtz amassed 112 penalty minutes in 70 games for the Admirals this season. ... The Ducks honored Avalanche G Jean-Sebastien Giguere during a media timeout in the first period. Giguere played for Anaheim from 2000-10, won the 2003 Conn Smythe Trophy and played for the Ducks' 2007 Stanley Cup champions.

  • Sunday, April 13, 2014
    Predators 7, Wild 3
    By The Sports Xchange

    SAINT PAUL, Minn. -- With their season ending, the Nashville Predators could dismiss long-time coach Barry Trotz. Although the Predators are out of the playoffs, lately Trotz's players have given the organization ample reason to keep him around.

    • On Sunday the Predators closed the season with a 7-3 win over the Minnesota Wild and have been one of the NHL's hottest teams of late, going 9-1-2 in their final dozen games.

      Trailing 3-1 in the second period, the Predators got goals from a trio defensemen -- Ryan Ellis, Shea Weber and Roman Josi -- in a two-minute span. Goalie Carter Hutton had 27 saves for the Predators, who also got a pair of goals from center Craig Smith and single goals from left wing Rich Clune and center Calle Jarnkrok.

      Right winger Jason Pominville had a goal and two assists for the Wild (23-27-12), who started goalie Illya Bryzgalov, but lifted him after two periods of their final tune-up before the playoffs begin. Bryzgalov had 16 saves on 21 Nashville shots and was replaced by John Curry, who finished with 10 saves. Left wingers Erik Haula and Zach Parise also scored for Minnesota, which is heading to the postseason for the fifth time in team history.

      Minnesota led 2-0 on goals by Haula and Pominville when Bryzgalov tried to play a puck and stumbled, leaving the net open and leading to Clune's tap-in goal. After Parise's power-play goal early in the second gave the Wild a seemingly comfortable 3-1 lead, Nashville scored the next six goals unanswered.

      The Predators finish the season 38-32-12 and the departure of Trotz -- the only coach Nashville has had since the franchise entered the NHL in 1998 -- has been widely rumored. They finished the season with 14 goals in their final two games. Hutton improved to 20-11-4 this season.

      For Minnesota, it was the first regulation loss for Bryzgalov, who is now 7-1-3 since joining the Wild in early March via a trade with Edmonton. Pominville's goal was his team-leading 30th of the season and gave him 30 or more goals in a season for the third time in his career.

      NOTES: Wild C Kyle Brodziak had his first two-goal game of the season on Thursday but was scratched Sunday due to an undisclosed injury. It snapped a streak of 231 consecutive games played by Brodziak. ... Predators D Michael Del Zotto's season came to a quiet end on Sunday as he was a healthy scratch for the fourth time in Nashville's past five games. Del Zotto, who came to the Preds in a January trade with the New York Rangers, finished the season with just one goal in 25 games for Nashville. ... The Wild will open their second consecutive trip to the playoffs on Thursday in Denver. It will be the third time the Wild and Colorado Avalanche have met in the first round of the playoffs. In 2003, the Wild upset Colorado in seven games. In 2008, the Wild won the Northwest Division but were upset by the Avalanche in six games. ... After making it to the postseason in seven of eight previous seasons, the Predators will be out of the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

  • Sunday, April 13, 2014
    Senators 3, Penguins 2 (SO)
    By The Sports Xchange

    PITTSBURGH -- Centers Kyle Turris and Jason Spezza scored during the shootout as the Ottawa Senators closed their season with a 3-2 victory over the playoff-bound Pittsburgh Penguins.

    • Turris and Spezza both beat Penguins backup goaltender Jeff Zatkoff.

      Turris also scored in regulation as did teammate Mark Stone, a right winger.

      The Penguins rested a number of regulars in advance of the postseason, including centers Sidney Crosby and Brandon Sutter, defensemen Matt Niskanen, Deryk Engelland and Robert Bortuzzo and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

      The Penguins open the playoffs Wednesday night by hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets. It will be Pittsburgh's eighth consecutive postseason appearance.

      Crosby won the second scoring title of his nine-year career as he finished with 104 points. He had 36 goals and 68 assists.

      The Senators, meanwhile, missed the playoffs and finished with a 37-31-14 record. They ended the season on a high note with a season-high five-game winning streak.

      Left winger Jussi Jokinen and right winter Lee Stempniak scored for the Penguins.

      The Senators also used their backup goalie, starting Robin Lehner in place of Craig Anderson, who had a shutout Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Lehner stopped 26 shots.

      Jokinen scored the game's first goal at 14:46 of the first period on the power play, his 21st. That extended his point streak to five games and scored his first career goal against the Senators in 23 games.

      Turris answered with a power-play goal, his team-leading 26th, at 18:38 to draw the Senators into a 1-1 tie, to end a seven-game goal drought.

      The Penguins went back ahead 2-1 at 5:16 of the second on Stempniak's 12th goal, but the Senators tied it with another power-play goal, Stone's fourth at 17:14.

      NOTES: The Penguins recalled F Chuck Kobasew from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, where he scored 10 goals and had 11 assists in just 11 games. ... C Evgeni Malkin (foot), F Joe Vitale (mid body) and F Chris Conner (foot) all took part in the Penguins' optional skate Sunday morning, but coach Dan Bylsma said it was too early to know their availability for Wednesday's Game 1 against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. ... C Sidney Crosby was voted the Penguins' MVP by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association of America. ... The Senators missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011 but finished with a winning record for the 16th time in the last 17 seasons. ... Penguins LW Tanner Glass and Senators RW Chris Neil received five-minute majors for fighting in the first period.

  • Sunday, April 13, 2014
    Islanders finish on high note, beat Sabres in SO
    By The Sports Xchange

    BUFFALO, N.Y. -- For all intents and purposes, the New York Islanders' season ended a long time ago -- but their players kept on pushing until the end.

    • The Islanders, sitting in last place in the Metropolitan Division, ended their season on a high note Sunday by beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in a shootout. With the win, the Islanders finished the year on a three-game winning streak.

      "We knew we had a young group and a lot of rookies were dressed in the lineup playing hard," said Islanders center Brock Nelson, who scored the winning goal in the shootout. "We wanted to go out there and give it everything we had every night and I think we were able to do that. It showed and we got the three wins."

      Nelson scored the only goal of the shootout and also tied the game in the third period. On the game-winning shootout goal, Nelson's wrist shot was initially saved by Sabres goalie Connor Knapp, but the puck continued on and made its way into the net.

      Center Anders Lee scored twice for the Islanders, and goalie Anders Nilsson made 36 saves.

      With 79 points, the Islanders finished the season in 26th place overall but hope they will be able to take something from their final stretch of the year. Not only did New York (34-37-11) wrap up the year on a three-game win streak, it also won eight of its final 12 games.

      "These kids have played extremely hard and I'm proud of what they've done not only in the last month and a half but these last three games on this road trip, they really stuck together," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said.

      Defenseman Jamie McBain, left winger Matt Ellis and center Torrey Mitchell scored for the Sabres, whose season ended with yet another loss. The last-place Sabres (21-51-10) gave up a 2-0 lead in the defeat and finished the year with 52 points, 14 points fewer than the next-lowest team (Florida -- 66 points).

      The Sabres ended the year on a 0-6-1 streak and lost 18 of their last 20 games. They also set an NHL record for fewest goals in a season with 150 (since the 1967 expansion era began). Tampa Bay held the previous record with 151 goals in 1997-98.

      "This is our job, and we failed," Sabres left winger Marcus Foligno said. "So it's definitely salt in the wound and you want to get back next year and just be a completely different team, have a work ethic that we're going to make it tougher for teams to come in this building and steal two points."

      The game was at times both entertaining and sloppy with two teams that had little to play for on Sunday.

      McBain opened the scoring with a highlight-reel goal midway through the opening period. With a burst of speed, McBain skated around two Islanders before unleashing a wrist shot into the low right corner of the net. It was McBain's sixth goal of the season.

      Ellis gave the Sabres a 2-0 edge 7:23 into the second period on a nifty redirection in front of the Islanders net. Left winger Marcus Foligno fed Ellis with a saucer pass from the right circle, and Ellis' backhand tipped the puck into the left side of the net. It was Ellis' fourth goal of the season.

      New York got on the board with 3:23 left in the second period. After center Frans Nielsen banked the puck off of Knapp's stick, the puck fell into the crease, where Lee pounced to make it 2-1 on the power play.

      Lee tied the game just 17 seconds into the third period on his ninth of the season. Lee flung a backhand shot on goal from the right circle, and with Knapp out of position, the puck went into the left corner of the net.

      Mitchell made it 3-2 midway through the third period on a deflection in front of the Islanders' net. Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen put a hard shot on goal from the top of the right circle that was tipped through Nilsson's legs. It was Mitchell's second goal of the season and his first with the Sabres since joining the team at the trade deadline.

      Nelson evened the score at 3 with 3:44 remaining in the third with a scorching wrist shot in the top right corner of the net before his shootout heroics won the game for New York.

      "You always want to end on a good note and just getting the two points as a team is good for us," Lee said. "We'll go and evaluate our games this summer and try to come back ready for next year."

      NOTES: There were 20 scratches total for both teams' final regular-season game. Scratched for Buffalo were D Chad Ruhwedel, D Christian Ehrhoff, RW Matt D'Agostini, D Alexander Sulzer, D Tyler Myers, C Brian Flynn, RW Chris Stewart, G Jhonas Enroth, G Matt Hackett, G Michal Neuvirth and G Nathan Lieuwen. ... Scratched for the Islanders were D Radek Martinek, D Lubomir Visnovsky, RW Cal Clutterbuck, RW Kyle Okposo, C Johan Sundstrom, LW Eric Boulton, D Brian Strait, D Michal Grabner and D Calvin De Haan. ... Buffalo recalled D Mark Pysyk, LW Nicolas Deslauriers and G Andrey Makarov from AHL Rochester prior to the game.

  • Sunday, April 13, 2014
    Brodeur wins in possible Devils finale
    By The Sports Xchange

    NEWARK, N.J. -- Following the New Jersey Devils' 3-2 win against the Boston Bruins on Sunday afternoon at Prudential Center, the Devils skated to center ice to salute the sell-out crowd that attended their final game of the season.

    • The crowd cheered and the players waved, but the players weren't going to let goaltender Martin Brodeur off the ice until he took what was likely a final victory lap around the ice.

      The 41-year-old veteran, playing in what was likely his final game with the Devils and perhaps in his Hall of Fame career, stopped 16 shots to add to his NHL record for career victories at 668.

      Brodeur also holds the records for shutouts (124) and games played by a goaltender (1,259).

      Brodeur wouldn't rule out anything following the game, including retirement, but appreciated the support the fans showed him throughout the game.

      "(Left winger Patrik Elias) asked me," Brodeur said. "He was saying, 'Go by yourself, you deserve it.' I have a great relationship with some of the players that have been here a while, and that was nice of him. I probably would have done it anyway, but it was kind of nice for him to step in.

      "Them showing their appreciation, it was really (great) for me, my family and friends. We're all in the same boat a little bit. It was a nice ovation at the end."

      Brodeur made a pair of classic glove saves in the contest, on shots from right winger Reilly Smith and center Carl Soderberg. The final shot Brodeur faced eluded him, a backhander from center Brad Marchand with 16 seconds remaining in the third period, but it wasn't enough to ruin Brodeur's day.

      "We wanted to get a win for Marty," Devils center Dainius Zubrus said. "Started the game good, and the second period wasn't the way we wanted, but before the third we talked about it and mentioned it a few times that we'll give it all we have and win for Marty. Nice for him to go off the ice the way he did."

      The Devils caught a break as they faced a Bruins team that rested many of its key players with the postseason beginning this week. Left winger Loui Eriksson was one of the few regulars in the lineup for the Bruins, and he scored late in the first period to create a 1-1 tie.

      "That was the main thing," Marchand said about avoiding injuries against the Devils. "We didn't have our best game, but we're looking to the playoffs."

      Center Travis Zajac broke the tie early in the third period, and defenseman Marek Zidlicky scored his second of two goals in the game less than three minutes later to push the lead to 3-1.

      Marchand sliced the margin to one by beating Brodeur on a late power play.

      "If this is his last game, it is (cool) to have scored," Marchand said. "I should have the puck."

      It was a bittersweet day for the Devils, who earned a win in a meaningless game. Even if Brodeur decides to retire or signs elsewhere after the season, Zajac said nothing would diminish the eight years he spent with the future Hall of Famer as a teammate.

      "It'll hit me in the next couple of days, but obviously he's just the best goalie to ever play the game hands down," Zajac said. "He deserves all the credit over the years, and people will remember him for his Stanley Cups and championships and all those records.

      "He'll always be a Devil."

      NOTES: Boston, which previously clinched the best regular-season record in the league, will open the playoffs against the Detroit Red Wings. ... The Bruins rested many of their key players for the postseason. RW Jarome Iginla, LW Milan Lucic, LW Daniel Paille, C Chris Kelly, D Zdeno Chara, C Patrice Bergeron and C David Krejci were all given the afternoon off. ... The Devils announced that coach Peter DeBoer would be back next season. ... With two assists, Devils RW Jaromir Jagr tied Steve Yzerman for sixth on the career scoring list with 1,755 points and passed Gordie Howe for eighth on the career assists at 1,050. ... The Devils were without C Adam Henrique (lower body), D Bryce Salvador (lower body) and LW Ryane Clowe (upper body).