Blues defeat Sharks, Conn Smythe Trophy candidates and more in today’s collection of notable NHL morning headlines. 


Blues goalie Brian Elliott makes one of his 31 saves against the Sharks in the opening game of the Western Conference Final.

Blues goalie Brian Elliott makes one of his 31 saves against the Sharks in the opening game of the Western Conference Final.

STLTODAY.COM/THE MERCURY NEWS: Brian Elliott made 31 saves (16 in the second period) to backstop the St. Louis Blues to a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final. David Backes and Jori Lehtera scored for the Blues while Tomas Hertl had the lone tally for the Sharks.

TAMPA BAY TIMES:  Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman, who fractured his left leg seven weeks ago, could return to action tonight in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta might be a healthy scratch from Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final. Blueliners Kris Letang and Brian Dumoulin, who were backed up in Game 1, are expected to skate in Game 2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maatta hasn’t been the same since being blindsided by Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik in the preivous round. 

USA TODAY: Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski and Blues goalies Brian Elliott are among the leading candidates for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

THE TENNESSEAN: Filip Forsberg (back), Roman Josi (broken finger and nose) and Craig Smith (lower-body) were among the Nashville Predators playing through injuries during the postseason.

CSN CHICAGO:  Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman expects to re-sign pending UFA forward Richard Panik.

MIAMI HERALD:  The Florida Panthers will today officially announce now-former general manager Dale Tallon as their new president of hockey operations.