Capitals eliminate the Islanders. Lightning force Game Seven against the Red Wings, Norris Trophy finalists and more.
Game Recaps and Playoff Headlines.
THE WASHINGTON POST/NEWSDAY: Evgeni Kuznetsov’s highlight-reel goal with 7:18 remaining in the third period snapped a 1-1 tie and gave the Washington Capitals a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders in the seventh and deciding game of their opening-round series. Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak kept this game close by making 24 saves (compared to 10 for Washington’s Braden Holtby). Washington’s Joel Ward and the Isles Frans Nielsen were the other goalscorers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was unquestionably the hardest-hitting series of the opening round and one of the most exciting. The Islanders have nothing to hang their heads over, pushing the Caps to the limit despite losing three regular defensemen (Travis Hamonic, Calvin de Haan and Lubomir Visnovsky) to injuries by the time the series reached its latter stages. Full marks to the Capitals for not allowing the ghosts of blown series past to affect their performance in Game Seven. They dominated the Isles in this game but didn’t give in to frustration, especially after the Isles tied the game.
NEW YORK POST: The New York Rangers will face the Washington Capitals in the second round without forward Mats Zuccarello, who was diagnosed with a concussion after being struck in the head by a shot during the Rangers Game Five series against Pittsburgh. The Rangers will have defenseman Kevin Klein (broken forearm) back in the lineup when they face off against the Caps.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE/THE DETROIT NEWS: Tyler Johnson scored twice and Nikita Kucherov tallied three assists as the Tampa Bay Lightning took a 3-0 lead and held on for a 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings in Game Six of their best-of-seven series, forcing a seventh and deciding game in Tampa Bay on Wednesday. Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall could face supplemental discipline for a thunderous hit on Kucherov, though no penalty was called on the play.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/TWINCITIES.COM: The Blackhawks are ready for a formidable challenge in their second-round series against the Minnesota Wild, who are hoping for a different outcome in their third-straight playoff series against the ‘Hawks.
Other Notable Headlines.
NHL.COM: Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty, Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson and Montreal’s P.K. Subban are the finalists for the 2015 Norris Trophy.
PREDATORS.COM: Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber suffered a subluxed kneecap during Game Two of the Nashville Predators playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks. He underwent a medical procedure and is expected to make a full recovery within four to six weeks.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars forwards Jamie Benn and Ales Hemsky underwent hip surgery on Monday, while defenseman Trevor Daley underwent hip surgery last week. The trio are expected to be recovered in time for training camp in September.
NBC SPORTS: Former NHL star Marcel Pronovost passed away on Sunday at the age of 84. Pronovost played in over 1,200 NHL games, winning five Stanley Cups as a player with Detroit and Toronto, and three as a scout with the New Jersey Devils.
ESPN.COM: RLB Holdings Sports and Entertainment filed a zoning code interpretation request with the city of Tukwila, Washington, stating its intention to build a multipurpose arena. The group hopes to attract NHL and NBA franchises.