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Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

John Romano: Lightning may not be the smartest kids in the class in this series

Sports / Hockey /

TAMPA, Fla. – Well, that was interesting. If you’re a Lightning fan, it wasn’t particularly riveting, inspiring or encouraging, but it was interesting.

Tampa Bay lost the opening game of the Stanley Cup semifinals against the Islanders 2-1 on Sunday, and the best thing you can say is that the Lightning didn’t play terribly. In some ways...Read more

Paul Zeise: The Penguins aren't built like teams that win playoffs these days

Sports / Hockey /

PITTSBURGH — Pretty much everything we have heard from the Penguins’ front office and coaching staff since the team was ceremoniously bounced from the playoffs by the Islanders is a version of “all is well, nothing to see here.”

The Penguins have lost four consecutive playoff series now, and yet, we are told that the core is good enough...Read more

Dirk Shadd/TNS

John Romano: Two words about Nikita Kucherov and the salary cap: tough noogies

Sports / Hockey /

TAMPA, Fla. — The chatter began even before Nikita Kucherov returned to the ice. The Lightning were, the whispers went, manipulating the salary cap by hiding one of the NHL’s most accomplished players on long-term injured reserve. Once Kucherov started working his typical magic against the Florida Panthers in the first round, the chatter ...Read more

Dirk Shadd/TNS

Lightning's Nikita Kucherov: 'Missing a whole year ... you don't want to be that guy'

Sports / Hockey /

TAMPA, Fla. — For those quick to accuse the Lightning of shady dealings in putting their best player on long-term injured reserve to become salary-cap compliant before the season, know that this process wasn’t fun for Nikita Kucherov, either.

In his final media availability before the offseason Thursday, Carolina defenseman Dougie Hamilton ...Read more

Tyler Schank/TNS

Blue Jackets promote Brad Larsen, making him eighth head coach in team history

Sports / Hockey /

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The new boss is one of Blue Jackets' old bosses, only Brad Larsen isn't old by NHL coaching standards.

Larsen, 43, will now run the Jackets' bench in his first opportunity as an NHL head coach after serving as an assistant the past seven seasons for both John Tortorella and Todd Richards. The team announced Larsen's hiring ...Read more

Ron Cook: Penguins' Malkin, Guentzel leave no doubt about their toughness

Sports / Hockey /

PITTSBURGH — It's fair to criticize Jake Guentzel for his lack of production in the playoff series against the New York Islanders. He had 25 shots on net but produced just one goal for the Penguins in the six-game flameout. "I let a lot of people down," Guentzel said in his getaway Zoom interview.

It's even fair to criticize Evgeni Malkin's ...Read more

Dirk Shadd/TNS

When a hockey stick breaks, everyone has to lend a helping hand

Sports / Hockey /

RALEIGH, N.C. — During the most critical moments of the Lightning’s second-round series opener against Carolina, defenseman Ryan McDonagh found himself in a tough situation.

In the final seconds of Tampa Bay’s 2-1 win at PNC Arena, the Hurricanes were pressuring the Lightning net with an extra attacker and McDonagh swung his stick in an ...Read more

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America/TNS

Lightning close out Hurricanes, advance to Stanley Cup semifinals

Sports / Hockey /

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Lightning emptied another road arena on Tuesday night, and turned out the lights on the Carolina Hurricanes.

Tampa Bay is back among the NHL’s final four teams, advancing to the Stanley Cup semifinals with a 2-0 Game 5 win over Carolina at the PNC Center.

After ending the Hurricanes season in five games in the second ...Read more

Red Wings feel internal improvement is key to lifting listless offense

Sports / Hockey /

DETROIT— Those who watched the Red Wings religiously this season know it to be true. And it’s been the case for the last couple seasons, for sure.

The Wings have trouble scoring goals.

They ranked 30th (out of 31 teams) in the NHL this season, averaging a weak 2.23 goals per game, which was still an overall improvement from a season ago. ...Read more

GINTS IVUSKANS/AFP/TNS

Florida Panthers agree to terms with top prospect who was 'tearing up the world championships'

Sports / Hockey /

The Florida Panthers have agreed to terms with top prospect Anton Lundell on a three-year, entry-level contract.

Lundell, 19, was selected 12th overall in the first round by the Panthers in the 2020 NHL Draft.

“Anton is a cerebral, skilled and dynamic young player who continuously established himself in Finland’s top league and played a ...Read more

Douglas R. Clifford/TNS

The Canes' aggressive pressure on the penalty kill isn't fazing Tampa Bay's power play

Sports / Hockey /

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper respects the Carolina Hurricanes’ penalty killing, calling it among the most aggressive and effective in the league.

At the same time ...

“They’re taking the gamble you can’t make plays under pressure, and we’re saying we can,” Cooper said after Game 1 of the playoff series with the Canes.

On Tampa Bay�...Read more

Lightning score six goals in comeback win over Hurricanes

Sports / Hockey /

TAMPA, Fla. — The Lightning always have an answer. Dating to the beginning of last postseason, they refuse to lose back-to-back games, winning all nine times when coming off a loss.

Their streak was in danger when the Hurricanes took a two-goal lead with 7:19 left in the second period of Saturday’s Game 4. Carolina’s back-to-back scores ...Read more

Husband and wife Troy and Francesca Bodie team up on family business venture --Kraken's AHL affiliate

Sports / Hockey /

SEATTLE — When Troy Bodie was growing up in Manitoba, his father was a crop duster and his mother “ran the books” for then a small family business.

His parents, John and Shirley, have long since retired, but Bodie, 36 and the recently named head of hockey and business operations for the Kraken’s coming American Hockey League affiliate ...Read more

Joe Starkey: Penguins should keep 'core' intact -- but only for a discount

Sports / Hockey /

PITTSBURGH — It's too early to break up the Penguins' core. It's also too late.

Let me explain.

First, let's be clear: By "core," we mean three players: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. And if we're asking if time's up — which people have been asking for a few years — we're really asking this: Is it time to trade Letang and/...Read more

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America/TNS

Jordan Staal's overtime goal gives Hurricanes first playoff win over Lightning

Sports / Hockey /

The Carolina Hurricanes found a way to win.

After losing the first two games of their playoff series to the Tampa Bay Lightning at home, the Canes went into Amalie Arena for Game 3 and took a gutsy 3-2 overtime win.

Jordan Staal’s power-play goal in overtime has given the Canes new life in the series. Sebastian Aho, who scored in the second ...Read more

Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune/TNS

Wild's top three scorers -- Kaprizov, Fiala, Eriksson Ek -- need new contracts

Sports / Hockey /

Kirill Kaprizov, Kevin Fiala and Joel Eriksson Ek set the tone for the Wild all year long, and that won't change now that the season is over.

The team's top three goal scorers are up for new contracts, negotiations that will headline a unique offseason for the Wild that includes a likely flat salary cap, expansion draft and opportunity to stoke...Read more

John Niyo: Still no lottery luck for Red Wings, but Yzerman flush with draft options

Sports / Hockey /

It was more than quarter-century ago now that Steve Yzerman was standing at a craps table in Las Vegas, enjoying an offseason break during his Hall of Fame playing career. A couple of Red Wings fans from Windsor spotted him, but given Detroit’s history of playoff failures back then — Yzerman and his teammates hadn’t yet ended this storied ...Read more

John J. Kim/TNS

Blackhawks face 2nd lawsuit relating to alleged sexual assault by former video coach

Sports / Hockey /

CHICAGO — A former Michigan high school hockey player has sued the Chicago Blackhawks in a second civil complaint tied to sexual assault allegations against former video coach Bradley Dale Aldrich.

In a complaint filed May 24 in Cook County Circuit Court, the plaintiff, identified in the lawsuit as John Doe 2, alleges that neglect by Hawks ...Read more

Kraken get No. 2 overall pick in next month's NHL entry draft

Sports / Hockey /

SEATTLE — The Kraken had a big question answered by Wednesday’s NHL entry draft lottery, and now have some new ones worth asking.

Kraken general manager Ron Francis, already guaranteed a pick in the top five, waited for the lottery balls to tumble twice at NHL Network studios in Secaucus, N.J., and learned he had come away with the second ...Read more

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America/TNS

Lightning win Game 2 over Hurricanes, take control of series

Sports / Hockey /

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Lightning were opportunistic Tuesday night in their 2-1 win over the Hurricanes at PNC Arena. And they needed to be in Game 2.

They were outshot by Carolina 32-15. The Hurricanes quieted the Tampa Bay power play. The Lightning struggled through the neutral zone for most of the night.

The Lightning didn’t dominate the ...Read more