Ducks edge Blackhawks in Game Three of Western Conference Final, updates on Henrik Lundqvist and Alex Killorn, latest update on the NHL salary cap and much more.
Stanley Cup Playoffs Headlines.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER/CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Patrick Maroon and Simon Despres scored while Frederik Andersen made 27 saves as the Anaheim Ducks edged the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of their Western Conference Final, taking a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Patrick Kane tallied for the Blackhawks, who went scoreless in five power-play attempts.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers coach Alain Vigneault dismissed the notion of sitting starting goalie Henrik Lundqvist after he gave up 12 goals over the past two games against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another porous performance by Lundqvist in Game Four tonight will put pressure on Vigneault to replace “King Henrik” with backup Cam Talbot.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: Three years after graduating from Harvard University with a degree in government and political science, Lightning forward Alex Killorn is the fourth-highest scorer of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Latest NHL Coaching News.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres GM Tim Murray downplayed reports claiming he believed he had a done deal with Mike Babcock before the latter opted to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Murray also declined to comment on a report he was speaking to former Pittsburgh Penguins bench boss Dan Bylsma, who’s received permission from his former club to speak to any team he chooses about a new coaching gig.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Jeff Blashill, coach of the Red Wings AHL farm team, wants to make the jump to the parent club.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues GM Doug Armstrong and coach Ken Hitchcock are still discussing the latter’s future with the club.
NBC SPORTS: The New Jersey Devils spoke with former Lightning coach Guy Boucher regarding their vacant head-coaching role.
Other Notable NHL Headlines.
ESPN.COM: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman anticipates the salary cap for 2015-16 will rise to $71 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league’s cap projections have slowly but steadily declined from their original prediction of $73 million in December. Blame the weak Canadian dollar for that.
Bettman is likely assuming the NHLPA will agree to their annual five-percent escalator clause, which they’ve done every year but one since the implementation of the salary cap. However, several reports since last fall claim the PA membership, unhappy over the high percentage of escrow clawbacks, could vote against that escalator.
If that occurs, the league and the PA must mutually agree on a workable number for next year’s salary cap. While it won’t remain at, or fall below, the current level of $69 million, it could come in below Bettman’s latest projection of $71 million.
MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings signed prospect Dylan Larkin to a three-year entry-level contract.
BOSTON HERALD: The Bruins new GM Don Sweeney made his first move yesterday, signing Finnish center Joonas Kemppainen to a one-year, tw-way contract worth $700,000.
PHILLY.COM: The Flyers signed former NHL and KHL forward Aaron Palushaj to a one-year contract.
CSNBAYAREA.COM: The San Jose Sharks signed forward Joonas Donskoi to an entry-level contract.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Former New Jersey Devils forward Jim Dowd was found not guilty of assaulting a player on the high school team he coaches.