Playoff game recaps, Hart Trophy finalists revealed, Wild hire Bruce Boudreau and more in this morning’s collection of notable NHL headlines.

NHL Playoff Recaps

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin celebrates his power-play goal against the Penguins.

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin celebrates his power-play goal against the Penguins.

THE WASHINGTON POST/TRIBLIVE.COM: The desperate Washington Capitals took advantage of undisciplined mistakes by the Pittsburgh Penguins to take a 3-1 win in Game 5 of their best-of-seven series and avoid elimination. The Penguins still lead the series three games to two with Game Six set for Tuesday night. Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie scored power-play goals for the Caps while goaltender Braden Holtby made 30 saves.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One Pittsburgh pundit believes it’s time for Marc-Andre Fleury to return to the Penguins goal, though he doesn’t blame rookie Matt Murray for the Game 5 loss. However, that could be a big mistake. Fleury hasn’t played in weeks since being sidelined by concussion symptoms while Murray’s been outstanding for the Penguins. There’s simply no reason to make this change now. 

STLTODAY.COM/DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Brian Elliott had a 27-save performance while Dmitrij Jaskin and Troy Brouwer tallied second-period goals to lift the St. Louis Blues to a 4-1 victory in Game 5 of their best-of-seven series over the Dallas Stars. The victory pushes the Stars to the brink of elimination with Game 6 set for Monday. It’s unknown if the Stars will have sidelined forwards Tyler Seguin and Patrick Eaves back in the lineup for that game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars have definitely missed those two throughout this series. Though defensive errors and sometimes suspect goaltending is largely to blame for the Stars being on the verge of elimination, perhaps the outcome might be different had Seguin and Eaves been able to play. 

THE MERCURY NEWS/THE TENNESSEAN: Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton each had two points and Martin Jones made 24 saves as the San Jose Sharks downed the Nashville Predators 5-1 to take a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven series. Mike Ribeiro’s to the lineup and Colin Wilson setting a franchise record by getting a point in his sixth straight playoff game couldn’t help the Predators. Game 6 is set for Monday night.

Notable NHL Headlines


NHL.COM:  Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn, Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane are the finalists for the 2016 Hart Memorial Trophy.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Former Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau wasn’t unemployed for long. Less than a week after being firing by the Ducks, Boudreau was hired on Saturday as the new bench boss of the Minnesota Wild. He will receive a four-year contract worth just under $3 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild now have one of the NHL’s top coaches, but the roster still needs improvement. They need a good backup goalie, a reliable scoring center and a top-six winger. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers made Dale Tallon their president of hockey operations, while promoting Tom Rowe into Tallon’s former job of general manager.

CBS SPORTS: Nyquist, a horse named after Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist, won the Kentucky Derby yesterday. Before the race, Nyquist spent a few moments with the Stanley Cup.