Game recaps, an update on Dan Girardi, Flyers fire Craig Berube, Stars re-sign John Klingberg, Jarret Stoll arrested and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
Game recaps and playoff headlines.
THE TENNESSEAN: A three-goal third period outburst by Filip Forsberg, Craig Smith and Mike Santorelli lifted the Nashville Predators to a 6-2 beatdown of the Chicago Blackhawks to square their best-of-seven series at a game apiece. The Preds pulled off the feat without captain Shea Weber, who left in the game in the second period with a suspected right-leg injury. There’s currently no update on his status. Corey Crawford’s poor performance between the pipes is generating speculation in Chicago over who will be the starting goalie for the Blackhawks in Game Three. Backup Scott Darling relieved Crawford in Game One and helped the ‘Hawks overcome a 3-0 deficit to win that game.
THE WASHINGTON POST/NEWSDAY: The Washington Capitals overcome 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to down the New York Islanders 4-3 to tie their best-of-seven series 1-1. Three unanswered goals by Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Jason Chimera gave the Capitals the victory. Cal Clutterbuck, Ryane Strome and Kyle Okposo tallied for the Isles. Phillip Grubauer made 18 saves filling in for Braden Holtby, sidelined by a nagging illness he’s had since the end of the regular season.
Note: Games involving Canadian NHL teams are recapped in “Canadian Corner.”
TRIBLIVE.COM/NEW YORK POST: Pittsburgh Penguins superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin remain mired in playoff slumps stretching beyond this season. New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi didn’t require any dental procedures after being hit in the face with a puck in Game One against the Penguins and has declared himself ready for Game Two.
MLIVE.COM/THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: Detroit Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek is focusing on Game Two against the Tampa Bay Lightning following his game-stealing heroics in Game One. The Lightning hope to do a better job cashing in on their scoring opportunities in the second game.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks hope their physical play will continue to force the Winnipeg Jets into making mistakes as it did in Game One of their opening-round series.
STARTRIBUNE/STLTODAY.COM: Playoff experience has proven beneficial for the Minnesota Wild’s young players against the St. Louis Blues, who are hoping to put into practice in Game Two the lessons learned from their Game One loss against the Wild.
PHILLY.COM: To the surprise of no one, the Philadelphia Flyers yesterday fired head coach Craig Berube.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word on a possible replacement, though it’s believed Detroit’s Mike Babcock and San Jose’s Todd McLellan could be on the Flyers list if they’re available.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars yesterday re-signed defenseman John Klingberg to a seven-year contract extension worth $4.25 million per season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Klingberg, 21, just completed both his NHL rookie season and his entry-level contract. His new deal is a significant commitment from the Stars, who obviously liked what they saw of Klingberg, who had 40 points in 65 games this season. Should he continue to progress in his development, this deal could turn into a bargain for the Stars. If he struggles, however, management will come under fire for not re-signing him to a two-year bridge deal.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings center Jarret Stoll was arrested in Las Vegas on Friday on suspicion of possessing cocaine and Ecstasy. He is currently no longer in custody. The Kings have declined to comment until all the facts are in.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s the cherry on the shit sundae for the LA Kings this season. From Slava Voynov’s suspension pending his upcoming trial for domestic violence, to Mike Richards staggering decline to Tanner Pearson breaking his leg to missing the playoffs only a year after winning their second Stanley Cup in three years, 2014-15 will not be fondly remembered by the Kings and their fans.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Tonight’s NHL Draft lottery could set a new course for the Buffalo Sabres, who stand the best chance of winning the lottery and thus securing the right to select Eric Otters superstar Connor McDavid with the first-overall pick at the NHL Draft in June.