Alie Skowronski/Miami Herald/TNS

Panthers embrace physicality, defense-oriented game in series-opening win vs Lightning

Sports / Hockey /

As Matthew Tkachuk looked down at the scoresheet from the Florida Panthers’ 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning to begin the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Sunday afternoon, one tidbit stood out above the rest.

“Everyone got a hit,” the Panthers’ star winger said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen that.”

The physicality was expected, ...Read more

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America/TNS

Mike Vorel: It's time for the Kraken to embrace change. Are they willing to?

Sports / Hockey /

SEATTLE — On May 15, 2023, thousands of fans filed into Climate Pledge Arena to watch a hockey game. They came in jerseys and octopus hats and blue hair dye and mermaid fins, looking the playoff part. They came despite the unrelenting 86-degree heat, a Seattle spring outlier. They came with signs and dolls donning custom-made Kraken jerseys, ...Read more

Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald/TNS

Bruins, Jeremy Swayman take Game 1 from Maple Leafs, 5-1

Sports / Hockey /

BOSTON — If Bruins coach Jim Montgomery was really thinking about going with a straight goalie rotation for the playoffs like he did all season, Jeremy Swayman made a pretty good argument against it Saturday night at TD Garden.

In Game 1 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Swayman (35 saves) was excellent, especially early, and ...Read more

Grant Halverson/Getty Images North America/TNS

Hurricanes tough out Game 1 win over Islanders to open NHL playoffs

Sports / Hockey /

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes got just the kind of game they were expecting from the New York Islanders on Saturday as the Stanley Cup playoffs began.

The Hurricanes took a 3-1 victory at PNC Arena in Game 1, which was tight-checking, hard-fought and grinding. Canes goalie Frederik Andersen earned the win with 34 saves.

Stefan ...Read more

Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

John Romano: Steven Stamkos is still with Lightning, which should not go unnoticed

Sports / Hockey /

TAMPA, Fla. — By now, he is part of the landscape. Like bridges and beaches, Steven Stamkos is Tampa Bay.

It’s not any one thing, it is everything. He arrived as a teenage savior and somehow exceeded most expectations. He’s had a Hall of Fame career, won two Stanley Cups and walked with dignity no matter the hour or score. And 16 years ...Read more

Jumping on the Hurricanes' Stanley Cup playoff bandwagon? What you need to know.

Sports / Hockey /

RALEIGH, N.C. — College basketball is done, the Masters has been played and it’s time for what has become another rite of spring in Raleigh: the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Some spring, too.

N.C. State sent both its men’s and women’s hoops teams to the Final Four, lighting the Belltower red over and over again. Scottie Scheffler took all the...Read more

Claus Andersen/Getty Images North America/TNS

Bruins-Maple Leafs matchups for their NHL playoff series

Sports / Hockey /

BOSTON — And so they meet again. The Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs don’t hold their spring clash quite as a frequently as the B’s and Montreal Canadiens once did, but the Blue-and-White have replaced the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge as the B’s chief rival.

This will be the fourth time in 11 years the two Original Six teams will meet in the ...Read more

Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America/TNS

Knights drop finale to Ducks; 1st-round playoff opponent set

Sports / Hockey /

LAS VEGAS — The Vegas Golden Knights were in control of their own destiny, but couldn’t deliver.

After a wild turn of events, they’re off to Dallas.

The Knights ended the regular season with a 4-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at T-Mobile Arena on Thursday, and will begin their Stanley Cup title defense as the second wild card in the Western...Read more

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America/TNS

Nathan MacKinnon breaks Avalanche single-season record for points in regular-season finale

Sports / Hockey /

DENVER — Nathan MacKinnon’s season for the ages has officially set a new standard for the Colorado Avalanche franchise.

MacKinnon had a pair of assists Thursday night in Game No. 82 at Ball Arena to help the Avs cruise past the undermanned Edmonton Oilers in a 5-1 win. He finished the season with 51 goals and 140 points. That is one more ...Read more

Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America/TNS

Knights drop finale to Ducks; playoff opponent still undetermined

Sports / Hockey /

LAS VEGAS — The Golden Knights dropped their final game of the regular season 4-1 to the Anaheim Ducks at T-Mobile Arena on Thursday.

Center Jack Eichel scored, and goaltender Adin Hill made 19 saves for the Knights (45-29-8).

The Knights no longer control their own destiny for playoff seeding. The Los Angeles Kings can clinch the No. 3 seed...Read more

Kraken finish off disappointing season on a high, winning in Minnesota, 4-3

Sports / Hockey /

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Kraken goalie Joey Daccord was his team’s feel-good story in their third season of franchise existence, so it was almost inevitable he’d be tasked to salvage the Thursday night finale of a disappointing campaign.

And though the Kraken took a while to get their offense going, they played a tight enough defensive game for ...Read more

PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Jazz owner Ryan Smith gets his NHL team, moving Arizona Coyotes to Utah

Sports / Hockey /

Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith has officially landed a National Hockey League franchise.

Thursday afternoon, the league’s board of governors approved a plan to relocate the Arizona Coyotes to Utah for next season. In an unusual deal that helps the NHL avoid a potential arena crisis in Arizona, Smith and his wife Ashley bought the Coyotes’ ...Read more

Winslow Townson/Getty Images North America/TNS

Paul Zeise: Penguins are living in a fantasy land -- it's time to join reality

Sports / Hockey /

PITTSBURGH — No, the top teams in the playoffs weren't "shaking in their shoes" with fear that the Penguins might sneak into the playoffs. And no, the Penguins weren't capable of making some magical Florida Panthers-like run to the Stanley Cup Final had they gotten into the tournament.

And, finally, no, this notion that this core group of old...Read more

Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Nikita Kucherov joins 100-assists club in Lightning's regular-season finale

Sports / Hockey /

TAMPA — Nikita Kucherov isn’t much for the spectacle, and he goes out of his way to shun the spotlight.

But the Lightning right wing couldn’t avoid it on Wednesday night in the regular-season finale, when he capped the best single-season performance in team history by joining one of the most elite clubs in hockey.

Whether Kucherov wins ...Read more

Hyosub Shin/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Ken Sugiura: Interest in NHL expansion team in Atlanta stronger than you think

Sports / Hockey /

ATLANTA — Whether it happens that the NHL sets up shop in Atlanta for a third time remains to be seen. But the league and the owners of its 32 franchises know beyond a doubt that interest is strong.

Two groups, one based in Forsyth County and another in Alpharetta, are known to have reached out to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to express ...Read more

Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal/TNS

Logan Thompson, Golden Knights edge Blackhawks

Sports / Hockey /

The Golden Knights won their third straight game with a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday.

Defenseman Brayden McNabb and right wing Michael Amadio scored for the Knights (45-28-8) to take a one-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings for third place in the Pacific Division with one game remaining. Nicolas Roy ...Read more

Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald/TNS

Bruins lose to Senators, will face Maple Leafs in first round of playoffs

Sports / Hockey /

BOSTON — If the Bruins were looking to lower expectations heading into the playoffs, they did a good job of it the last two nights.

With the Atlantic Division title on the line for the second straight night, the Bruins again showed up to the rink with little pace and purpose early and paid the price for it on the scoreboard.

The B’s, who ...Read more

Joel Auerbach/Getty Images North America/TNS

Red Wings beat Canadiens in OT but miss the playoffs as Capitals win in Philadelphia

Sports / Hockey /

MONTREAL — The NHL playoffs will begin this weekend, but the Red Wings aren't going to be part of them.

But brother did they try.

Patrick Kane scored in the shootout, giving the Wings a 5-4 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Still, it will be the eighth consecutive season without the playoffs for the Wings.

The Wings were eliminated ...Read more

Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS

Panthers beat Maple Leafs; first-round playoff matchup with Lightning set

Sports / Hockey /

SUNRISE, Fla. — The Florida Panthers have won the Atlantic Division, and their path for the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs is now set.

First up: The Tampa Bay Lightning.

With a 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday in their regular-season finale and a 3-1 Boston Bruins loss to the Ottawa Senators, the Panthers vaulted to the No. 1 spot ...Read more

Kraken put up fight but fall to playoff-bound Jets for 4th consecutive loss

Sports / Hockey /

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — There were plenty of opportunities for the Kraken to quit by the early second-period stages of the one game they definitely weren’t supposed to win on this trip.

And they didn’t in this one after falling behind by a pair Tuesday night against the playoff-bound Winnipeg Jets, tying it up and narrowly missing taking a ...Read more