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Paul Zeise: This could be the end of an era for Penguins, but does it need to be?

Sports / Hockey /

The Penguins' first-round playoff loss to the Rangers is the fourth consecutive early exit for the team. It is their third straight first-round loss, and it was a series they all but had won and blew. The Penguins led 3-1 in the series, they had a two-goal lead in Games 5 and 6 and lost, and then in Game 7 entered the third period with a 3-2 ...Read more

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images North America/TNS

Will Nazem Kadri be a marked man against St. Louis? The Avalanche isn't overly concerned about the bad blood from the past

Sports / Hockey /

Nazem Kadri is prepared for whatever shenanigans might develop in Game 1 Tuesday in the Western Conference semifinals against St. Louis.

The Avalanche center might be asked to fight for the third time in four meetings against the Blues this season. Or, he could be targeted for big hits and taunted.

What is known is that St. Louis will try to ...Read more

Joe Puetz/Getty Images North America/TNS

Wild's goaltending situation is a major question after playoff defeat

Sports / Hockey /

Cam Talbot was benched during the best run of his NHL career, assigned to being the Wild's backup when the team started the playoffs before making a last-ditch, pinch-hit effort in a season-ending loss to the Blues.

But the goaltender wants to remain with the Wild and with another year left on his contract, he expects to stick around.

"Unless ...Read more

Cooper Neill/Getty Images North America/TNS

Mac Engel: Dallas Stars blow historic performance by their goalie; enter offseason needing change

Sports / Hockey /

The running joke with the Dallas Stars is that this entire season is their version of “The Last Dance,” minus the championships, titles and victory parades.

Indeed.

When Tom Gaglardi bought the franchise and saved it from bankruptcy in November of 2011, he thought he had a nucleus similar to the Chicago Blackhawks when that franchise was ...Read more

John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/TNS

Panthers' Brunette says facing Tampa Bay 'is a great opportunity for us'

Sports / Hockey /

After winning their first playoff series in more than 25 years, the Florida Panthers will face a familiar foe in the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Panthers pulled off a thrilling 4-3 overtime victory against the Washington Capitals in Game 6 Friday to close out the series, winning their first ...Read more

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Who are the coaching options? What will they do in free agency? What to watch for this Chicago Blackhawks offseason

Sports / Hockey /

CHICAGO — The 2021-22 Chicago Blackhawks season probably has faded from fans’ memories already — because who really wants to remember anything that transpired on or off the ice during that turbulent time?

The team would rather have fans look forward as it begins to reinvent the franchise, including introducing potential season ticket ...Read more

David Santiago/Miami Herald/TNS

For Panthers, 'a lot of guys wanted to play' Lightning. And a 'hard decision' on Duclair

Sports / Hockey /

The Florida Panthers were not openly rooting for anyone Saturday when the Tampa Bay Lightning took down the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of their first-round series.

A day later, they couldn’t help but be excited about the outcome, though.

“In the end,” defenseman Brandon Montour said, “I think a lot of guys wanted to play this team.�...Read more

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America/TNS

Rangers eliminate Penguins on Artemi Panarin's overtime goal

Sports / Hockey /

NEW YORK – A series that began in Game 1 with a triple overtime marathon that tested both teams’ stamina and Louis Domingue’s stomach was bookended in the same way.

Well, with one notable exception: The result.

The resilient Rangers fought back from 2-0, second-period deficits in Game 5 and Game 6 to force the all-or-nothing Game 7. They...Read more

Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

These 5 Panthers players could pose trouble for the Lightning

Sports / Hockey /

TAMPA, Fla. — The Battle of Florida is on for Round Two of the playoffs.

The Panthers, who won the Presidents’ Trophy with 122 points this season, earned their first postseason series win since 1996 by defeating the Capitals in six games with a 4-3 win in overtime Friday. The Lightning took out the Maple Leafs in seven games with a 2-1 ...Read more

Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Lightning-Panthers: It's time for the Sunshine State Series, Round 2

Sports / Hockey /

TORONTO — For many teams this season, the Lightning were the bull’s-eye after winning back-to-back Stanley Cup championships.

For the rival Florida Panthers, they were the blueprint.

Now the teams meet again in the postseason with more than Sunshine State bragging rights on the line.

Ask the Lightning’s players and coaches and they’ll...Read more

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America/TNS

Kings bid farewell to Dustin Brown and season in emotional Game 7 loss

Sports / Hockey /

EDMONTON, Canada — By the end of a wildly back-and-forth Stanley Cup playoff series between the Los Angeles Kings and the Edmonton Oilers there were no surprises in the decisive game of their first-round matchup Saturday night at Rogers Place in buzzing downtown Edmonton, just superstar efforts.

“You keep seeing the same team every other ...Read more

Claus Andersen/Getty Images North America/TNS

Lightning advance with Game 7 road win over Leafs

Sports / Hockey /

TORONTO — When the Lightning acquired forward Nick Paul at the trade deadline, general manager Julien BriseBois said his game was made for the playoffs.

And with the Lightning’s season on the line, it was Paul — one of just two players in the Tampa Bay lineup playing in his first postseason — who was the difference in sending the ...Read more

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America/TNS

Hurricanes beat Bruins in Game 7 of first round behind unlikely hero Max Domi's 2 goals

Sports / Hockey /

RALEIGH, N.C. — It was Max Domi’s day and the Carolina Hurricanes’ game Saturday.

And the Boston Bruins no longer are a playoff threat to the Canes.

The Hurricanes, sharp from the start in Game 7, turned back the Bruins 3-2 to end a hard-fought series that had many ebbs and flows.

Domi, a late-season addition for the Canes, had the ...Read more

Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America/TNS

Dave Hyde: A 26-year ghost disappeared as the Panthers celebrated their thrilling opening-round playoff win

Sports / Hockey /

Twenty-six years. Sixteen coaches. Ten general managers, including Dale Tallon twice and one set of brothers, Bryan and Terry Murray.

There were five owners, not counting the group of eight investors briefly fronted by beloved Miami quarterback Bernie Kosar, who said hockey was his, “first and special love” before fading away to the bigger ...Read more

Return of Sidney Crosby buoys Penguins heading into Game 7

Sports / Hockey /

Nobody associated with the Penguins seemed to want to say much about Sidney Crosby's potential return for Game 7 of their first-round playoff series against the New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

They didn't have to.

Crosby's ear-to-ear grin as he returned to practice Saturday at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex said plenty. So ...Read more

Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America/TNS

Mac Engel: Vladimir Putin has turned the NHL's Russian tough guys into a roster of meek cowards

Sports / Hockey /

FORT WORTH, Texas — His name was Roman Lyashenko, and the ruling was suicide.

He played 122 games for the Dallas Stars from 2000 to 2002. After 17 games with the New York Rangers, he was dead.

On July 6, 2003, Lyashenko left a note in his Turkish hotel room where he was discovered after he hanged himself during a family vacation; his suicide...Read more

Panthers pull off third straight comeback to win first playoff series since 1996

Sports / Hockey /

WASHINGTON — Carter Verhaeghe wheeled his arm into a fist pump and, suddenly, two and a half decades of frustration for the Florida Panthers were over.

The forward — the hero of this series for and a game-tying decision — scored with 17:14 left in overtime period and the Panthers beat the Washington Capitals, 4-3, to win the series 4-2 in...Read more

Penguins' Sidney Crosby, Tristan Jarry out for Game 6 against Rangers

Sports / Hockey /

PITTSBURGH — The Penguins enter Game 6 against the New York Rangers without their captain Sidney Crosby, their No. 1 netminder Tristan Jarry and top-pairing defenseman Brian Dumoulin.

Crosby, who took an elbow to the head at Madison Square Garden in Game 5, skated individually with skills coach Ty Hennes ahead of Friday’s full-team session....Read more

Harry How/Getty Images North America/TNS

Kings seeking a finishing kick against Oilers after falling in Game 6

Sports / Hockey /

LOS ANGELES — Rebuilding a team goes beyond filling roster spots, past finding right-handed-shooting defensemen to pair with left-handed shooters and acquiring role players who fit alongside the franchise’s foundations.

When all goes right — and that’s rarely swift or sure — a rebuilt team naturally develops and rallies around an ...Read more

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America/TNS

Blues tame the Wild, take series with 5-1 win

Sports / Hockey /

ST. LOUIS — Nick Leddy opened the door. Ryan O’Reilly, Tyler Bozak and Vladimir Tarasenko then kicked it over.

For the first time since the Stanley Cup season, the St. Louis Blues have made it out of the first round. Next stop, Denver. And the Colorado Avalanche.

The Blues said farewell to the Minnesota Wild with a 5-1 win in Game 6 of ...Read more