Game recaps, injury updates,Claude Julien remaining with the Bruins and more in today’s collection of notable NHL headlines. 

Playoff Recaps.

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: Joe Pavelski scored twice to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings to take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven series  Kings defenseman Alec Martinez, who recently returned after missing several regular-season games to an undisclosed injury, didn’t play in the third period.

Islanders captain John Tavares celebrates his game-tying goal against the Panthers.

Islanders captain John Tavares celebrates his game-tying goal against the Panthers.

NEWSDAY: John Tavares had a goal and two assists as the New York Islanders rallied to down the Florida Panthers 5-4 in Game One of their first-round matchup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: These two games were the best of the evening. Terrific back-and-forth play and plenty of good scoring opportunities, with the winning teams overcoming deficits and then hanging on for the win. In other words, entertaining playoff hockey.

THE WASHINGTON POST: John Carlson and Jay Beagle scored to give the Washington Capitals a series-opening 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, It was a costly loss for the Flyers, as center Sean Couturier could be sidelined for perhaps the rest of the series with an AC sprain in his left shoulder following a crushing, but clean, hit by Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin wasn’t a factor on the score sheet in this game, but that hit on Couturier could have a long-term effect upon this series. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Jason Spezza and Jamie Benn scored and Kari Lehtonen made 21 saves as the Dallas Stars blanked the Minnesota Wild 4-0 in the opening game of their first-round series.  The Stars also received some good news, as center Tyler Seguin (sliced right Achllles tendon) is expected to return to action in Game Two.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lopsided victory for the Stars. If the Wild don’t find a way to rally back in Game Two, this series could be over quickly. 

Injury Updates.

STARTRIBUNE.COM:  Wild left wing Zach Parise faces possible season-ending back surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back.

TRIBLIVE.COM:  Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (upper-body injury) could return to action during his club’s series against the New York Rangers. Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion), Bryan Rust (lower body) and Beau Bennett (shoulder) remain day-to-day.


NEW YORK DAILY NEWS:  Though goalie Henrik Lundqvist’s eye injury isn’t considered serious, swelling around the eye could keep him out of the lineup for Game Two of the Rangers’ series against the Penguins. The club has recalled Magnus Hellberg from their farm team.

Other Notable News.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: The Boston Bruins announced head coach Claude Julien will return with the club next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  So much for the “Julien-to-Ottawa” speculation. The announcement received mixed reviews from Bruins followers, with some praising the decision to retain Julien and others believing the club punted on an opportunity for a sweeping change. 

TSN.CA: Speaking of the Senators, now-former head coach Dave Cameron staged his first press conference since his dismissal, admitting team owner Eugene Melnyk’s criticism of his coaching decisions last month left him feeling like he’d been fired for three weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I sympathize with Cameron, but Melnyk couldn’t give two farts in a windstorm about his feelings. He’s a demanding owner, though he seems to give his management a free pass for his club’s inconsistent play in recent years. Some in the Ottawa media suggest Melnyk could make it difficult for the Sens to hire new coaches, but there’s plenty of bench bosses (ex-NHL and current minor league coaches) who’ll happily line up for an opportunity to coach the Senators. The problem, however, is finding one who’ll not only garner Melnyk’s respect but also improve a team whose defense over the last four seasons has ranked among the league’s worst. 

YAHOO SPORTS:  Los Angeles Kings center Vincent Lecavalier isn’t rethinking his plans to retire at the end of this season.