Rangers avoid elimination against the Capitals, Red Wings allow coach Mike Babcock to speak to other clubs, and more in your NHL morning headlines.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/THE WASHINGTON POST: Ryan McDonagh’s overtime goal snapped a 1-1 tie and lifted the New York Rangers to a 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals in Game Five of their best of seven second-round series. All the scoring in regulation came in the second half in the third period. Washington’s Curtis Glencross swatting in his own rebound to make it 1-0, but Chris Kreider tallied at 18:19 to square the score and force overtime.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another low-scoring but entertaining contest between these two clubs. The series shifts back to Washington for Game Six on Sunday with the Capitals holding a 3-2 series lead.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: The Red Wings will allow head coach Mike Babcock to field offers from rival clubs. Several NHL teams (Buffalo, Edmonton, New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Jose and Toronto) are believed to have interest in hiring Babcock, who hasn’t ruled out re-signing with the Red Wings. If he decides to sign with another club before his contract expires on July 1, the Wings will be compensated “with a third-round draft pick within the next three seasons, at the choice of the signing team.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Several pundits believe Babcock is all but certain to leave the Wings, but he pointed out his family loves Detroit and he’s made no decision about coaching elsewhere. If he decides to stay expect the Wings to reward him handsomely.
NHL.COM: Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival suffered a fractured left ankle during Game Four of his club’s series against the Minnesota Wild. He will be sidelined for the remainder of the playoffs.
CBS SPORTS: Adam Gretz examines the offensive decline of Minnesota Wild winger Thomas Vanek, who was held goalless throughout this year’s playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wasn’t just Vanek’s playoff performance which was disappointing this season. It was assumed his performance would improve playing in the state where he makes his offseason home and has longstanding hockey and personal ties. In his first season with the Wild, Vanek’s 52 points were his lowest in a full NHL season since his rookie campaign (48) back in 2005-06.
NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils have reportedly re-signed winger Jordin Tootoo to a one-year, $825K contract. Tootoo, 32, was eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. He earned a roster spot with the Devils last season. In 68 games, he tallied 10 goals and 15 points.