Blackhawks force Game Seven in Western Conference Final, plus updates on the Rangers, Lightning, possible NHL coaching hires and more.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Anaheim Ducks 5-2 in Game Six of the Western Conference Final, forcing a seventh and deciding game in Anaheim on Saturday. Duncan Keith led the way for the ‘Hawks at both ends of the ice, triggering three second-period goals and robbing the Ducks of a golden opportunity to tie the game in the third period. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf blamed himself for his club’s tentative performance.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks experience in Conference Final play was definitely an advantage in this game. Facing elimination in the series, the ‘Hawks put in a mostly poised performance in this game. Even when the Ducks were pressing to tie the game in the third, the Blackhawks didn’t succumb to panic. Saturday’s winner-take-all will be a clash of a Ducks team determined to win at home against the resurgent Blackhawks. If that game is anything like the others in this series, it should be a terrific finish.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The New York Rangers must step up their offense in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Final on Friday. They’ve “scored 19 goals and allowed 21 in 10 home games this postseason”, compared to 26 goals while allowing just 18 in eight road games.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: The Lightning are grateful for the extra day off before Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Final. Several of their players are battling flu-like symptoms.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks will officially introduce former New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer as their new bench boss.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres hosted a meeting with former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, who could become the likely candidate to take over their vacant head-coach position.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A report last night claimed Bylsma’s hiring by the Sabres could be imminent.
CSNNE.COM: The agent for defenseman Adam McQuaid is still awaiting a contract offer from the Boston Bruins. McQuaid is eligible for unrestricted free agency on July 1.
POST-GAZETTE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Christian Ehrhoff has been given a clean bill of health. Ehrhoff, who’s eligible for UFA status this summer, suffered two concussions this season.
NEWSDAY’s Arthur Staple reports the following about Lubomir Visnovsky via Twitter: “Lubo Visnovsky’s agent,
@ICEHockeyAgent, told me European report of Lubo signing there or talking contract there is not true.”