Kings celebrate as if in playoffs after win over Avs

Sports / Hockey /

DENVER -- When the final horn sounded on the Los Angeles Kings' 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, defenseman Drew Doughty pumped his fist twice, then wrapped goalie Peter Budaj in a smothering embrace.

It was a hug worthy of a one-sided playoff win, not a one-goal squeaker against the worst team in the league. But given the way ...Read more

Red Wings unable to build on weekend, lose to Islanders, 3-1

Sports / Hockey /

DETROIT -- The big weekend against the best teams in the Eastern Conference segued into inconsistency against one of the teams standing between the Detroit Red Wings and the playoffs.

The Wings lost, 3-1, to the New York Islanders on Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena, unable to build on the momentum earned with victories over Washington and Pittsburgh...Read more

Jonathan Toews tallies hat trick as Blackhawks down Wild, 5-3

Sports / Hockey /

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Blackhawks' top line of Jonathan Toews, Richard Panik and Nick Schmaltz continued their impressive play of late and led the Hawks to a 5-3 victory over the Wild.

Toews tallied his first hat trick of the season and a season high five points as Panik and Schmaltz each added a goal.

In the process, the line helped pull the ...Read more

Penguins hang on in 3-1 victory over Hurricanes

Sports / Hockey /

RALEIGH, N.C. -- There was nothing easy about the Penguins' 3-1 victory Tuesday night against Carolina at PNC Arena.

Mostly because they spent much of the first two periods causing problems for themselves.

They went in front late in the second period on a Sidney Crosby goal, however, and hung on for a victory that raised their record to 37-14-...Read more

Franchise-best 5-0 road trip catapults Panthers back into playoff picture

Sports / Hockey /

Florida Panthers received a much-deserved day off Tuesday after earning 10 out of 10 points on their franchise-record best 5-0 road trip, which has catapulted them back into the playoff picture for the first time since the second week of the season.

The Panthers began the cross-country trek on Feb. 10 in 12th place of the Eastern Conference, 14...Read more

Red Wings' Brendan Smith tries to put trade talk out of mind

Sports / Hockey /

Brendan Smith is taking the Thomas Vanek approach: He'd prefer to stay but understands that the NHL is a business.

The Detroit Red Wings' schedule this week shows a date Wednesday night against the New York Islanders (7:30, FSD) at Joe Louis Arena, then a five-day bye, courtesy of the fall's World Cup of Hockey. That means the Wings will be off...Read more

Stadium Series: Inside the NHL's plan for warm weather at Heinz Field

Sports / Hockey /

Dan Craig wakes up and checks his phone. National Hockey League vice presidents of facilities operations -- they're just like us.

Except Craig isn't up at 7 a.m., checking his texts or Twitter. He's up at 2:30 a.m., looking at a custom-built app designed to monitor the temperature of the ice housed in rinks at the league's outdoor games. In ...Read more

Slow start dooms Ducks in 3-2 loss to Coyotes

Sports / Hockey /

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Once again, the Anaheim Ducks got to the point of liftoff and ended up scrapping their launch.

Like any coin that has two sides, the Ducks seem to have theirs and it is good and bad. Average teams are often like that and the flip side to their confident win over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday was on display one night later ...Read more

Blackhawks are hot, but still can't catch Wild

Sports / Hockey /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Before the Blackhawks faced the Wild on Feb. 8, winger Patrick Kane called it "the biggest game" of the Hawks' season.

Now that they are meeting again just 13 days later in St. Paul, Minn., what does Kane have to say?

"You could probably say the same thing once again," he said. "These are huge games. Especially when, if you're ...Read more

Panthers down Blues, 2-1, on Trocheck's last-second goal

Sports / Hockey /

ST. LOUIS -- Not since Thelma and Louise has there been a more memorable road trip.

In a much happier ending, the Panthers, led by red-hot goalie James Reimer and a last-second goal by Vincent Trocheck, completed the franchise's first 5-0 road trip with a 2-1 gem over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night at Scottrade Center.

Reimer notched 26 ...Read more

Panthers' Luongo receives confidence boost after sterling effort

Sports / Hockey /

ST. LOUIS -- Despite tying former Panthers goalie Ed Belfour for fourth place all-time when he played his 963rd game Saturday night, Roberto Luongo still needed a stellar outing to restore his confidence.

He got it when he made 33 saves, many spectacular, to lead the Panthers to a 3-2 victory over the Kings on Saturday for his 452nd career win,...Read more

General manager Hextall still believes in Flyers

Sports / Hockey /

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Even after watching the Flyers struggle for two months, general manager Ron Hextall still believes in his inconsistent hockey team, still believes it has the talent to make a playoff run, still is unsure if he'll issue a "for sale" sign before the March 1 trade deadline.

"We've got lots of hockey left," Hextall ...Read more

Gostisbehere's three assists lead Flyers past Canucks

Sports / Hockey /

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Shayne Gostisbehere's struggles have been well-documented, but the second-year defenseman had a breakout game Sunday night at Rogers Arena.

Displaying the offense that made him the runner-up in last year's rookie-of-the-year voting, Gostisbehere collected a career-high three assists to lead the Philadelphia Flyers...Read more

Sharks lose to Bruins, 2-1, in overtime

Sports / Hockey /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Sharks missed a chance to build more of a cushion in the Pacific Division standings Sunday night before they begin their bye week.

As has been the case four other times this month, the loss came after regulation time.

Brad Marchand scored with 2:24 left in overtime as the Sharks lost, 2-1, to the Boston Bruins on Sunday...Read more

Josh Manson notches winner in second half as Ducks clip Kings, 1-0

Sports / Hockey /

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- John Gibson stopped all 24 shots he faced and Josh Manson's second-period goal stood up for the Ducks in a 1-0 over the Kings on Sunday night.

Before a sellout crowd at Honda Center, the Ducks(31-19-10) turned in a strong defensive effort to get their second 1-0 win in a three-game span. Gibson starred in the other one at ...Read more

McElhinney, Maple Leafs blank Hurricanes, 4-0

Sports / Hockey /

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes' fast-dwindling playoff hopes took another hit Sunday.

In a game that came as close as possible to being in a "must-win" category, the Canes did not win, losing for the fourth straight time.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, who had the best player in the game, won 4-0 at PNC Arena as backup goalie Curtis ...Read more

Blackhawks continue dominance of Sabres with 5-1 victory

Sports / Hockey /

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Blackhawks took over in the final two periods Sunday and ran away from the Sabres in a 5-1 victory.

The Hawks have now won six of their last seven games, 11 straight against the Sabres, and got a goal from every line Sunday.

The Hawks got on the board first with a nice shot from Ryan Hartman, who sent home a wrister over ...Read more

Red Wings top Penguins for second consecutive impressive win

Sports / Hockey /

PITTSBURGH -- Defeat the top team in NHL? Check. Hand the defending Stanley Cup champions only their fourth home regulation loss of the season? Check.

The Detroit Red Wings wrapped up as good a weekend as they've had all season with a gutsy 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday afternoon at PPG Paints Arena, a day after beating the...Read more

Kings battle back but fall against Panthers

Sports / Hockey /

LOS ANGELES--The Los Angeles Kings began a stretch Saturday that will see them play seven times in 11 days, with all but one of those games coming against playoff contenders.

That's a span that could go a long way toward determining the team's own postseason future. But it's one that got off to a bad start with Aleksander Barkov's tiebreaking ...Read more

Wild pull away from Predators for 5-2 victory

Sports / Hockey /

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The first year of the so-called "bye week" has coaches raging across the NHL, particularly because teams coming off of them have won three of 19 games to date.

The Nashville Predators came off its five-day break Saturday and didn't even have the chance to practice Friday because they had to fly to Minnesota.

Still, coach ...Read more