Playoff game recaps, updates, the Senators’ coaching search & more in this morning’s collection of NHL headlines.

NHL Playoff Game Recaps.

Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko celebrates one of his two goals against the Blackhawks.

Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko celebrates one of his two goals against the Blackhawks.

STLTODAY/CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Vladiimir Tarasenko scored twice as the St. Louis Blues edged the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3, taking a 3-1 lead in their best-of seven series and pushing the defending Stanley Cup champions to the brink of elimination. It became nasty affair, with Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford throwing punches with Blues rookie Robby Fabbri after the later collided with Crawford in the crease. ‘Hawks forward Andrew Shaw could face supplemental discipline for making an obscene gesture and uttering gay slurs at officials after he took a penalty late in the game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks’ growing frustration boiled over in this one. For Shaw, his actions could cost him at least one game. While it’s possible the Hawks could rally back in this series, they appear to be a team on the ropes right now. Their best players have been largely rendered ineffective by the Blues in this series, while St. Louis’ top scorers (particularly the Tarasenko line) have given the Hawks fits throughout this series. Speaking of Tarasenko, he continues to elevate his game in the postseason. In 17 career NHL playoff games, he’s tallied 13 goals and 16 points. 

THE TAMPA TRIBUNE/THE DETROIT NEWS: Power plays made the difference in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game Four of their best-of-seven opening-round series. Jonathan Drouin collected three assists and Nikita Kucherov scored twice as all the Lightning’s goals came with the man advantage, while the Wings failed to score on their power-play opportunities. Detroit is now 1-for-21  on the PP in this series, which returns to Tampa Bay for Game Five with the Bolts leading three games to one.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings actually overcame a 2-0 deficit to tie the game and came close several times to winning before a late penalty set the stage for Ondrej Palat’s winning goal. If the Wings can’t get anything going on their power play in Game Five, they stand little chance of forcing a Game Six. 

TRIBLIVE.COM/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The Pittsburgh Penguins all but neutralized the New York Rangers offense, out-shooting the Blueshirts 31-17 on route to a 3-1 win, spoiling the return to action of Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh and taking a 2-1 series lead. Backup Matt Murray, returning for the first time since his late-season undisclosed injury, had a fairly easy night. The Pens overcame a 1-0 deficit on goals by Sidney Crosby, Matt Cullen and an empty netter by Kris Letang, who got away with a slash to the face of Rangers forward Viktor Stalberg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  The Penguins squeezed the life out of the Rangers and out of this game. This didn’t lose their poise when the Blueshirts took the early lead, and after they tied the game went on to dominate their opponents. Game Four is now a must-win for the Rangers. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Frederik Andersen made 27 saves for his second career NHL pllayoff shutout as he backstopped the Anaheim Ducks to a 3-0 bounceback victory against the Nashville Predators, who still hold a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven series. Jamie McGinn, Rickard Rakell and Chris Stewart

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  The Ducks did a better job not allowing their emotions to get the better of them in this game. However, they still took five penalties compared to two for the Preds. They must maintain their composure if they hope to rally back in this series. 


NHL Playoff News

THE WASHINGTON POST:  The Capitals got a bit of a scare yesterday when goaltender Braden Holtby left practice following a collision with a teammate. However, he’s not expected to miss Game Four against the Philadelphia Flyers. Defenseman Brooks Orpik (upper-body injury) won’t be suiting up for that game and is listed as day-to-day.

PHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was suspended for one game Tuesday for his hit on the Capitals’ Dmitry Orlov late in Washington’s 6-1 win Monday.

MIAMI HERALD:  The Florida Panthers top line of Jaromir Jagr, Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau have been a non-factor thus far in their series against the New York Islanders. The trio have just one goal between them in three games.

NEWSDAY: Speaking of the Islanders, they’ll attempt to win consecutive playoff games for the first time since 2002 in Game Four tonight against the Panthers. The Isles lead the series two games to one.

TWINCITIES.COM: Sidelined Minnesota Wild forwards Zach Parise and Thomas Vanek took part in yesterday’s option skate but aren’t expected to suit up for Game Four of their series against the Dallas Stars.

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: The Sharks need more from their fourth line, which saw limited action in their Game Three loss to the Los Angeles Kings.

Other Notable Headlines.

OTTAWA SUN: Former Minnesota Wild bench boss Mike Yeo reportedly tops the list of potential candidates for the Ottawa Senators vacant head coaching job.

TSN: Former Calgary Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller signed a three-year contract with Swiss club EHC Biel.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes reached an agreement to purchase the AHL’s Springfield Falcons with the intent of moving the club to Tucson.