Stanley Cup playoffs

Edmonton Oilers' Sam Gagner, left, has his shot deflected by Calgary Flames goalie Mike Smith during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 6, 2019, in Calgary, Alberta. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)
April 08, 2019 - 2:37 am
Mike Smith and David Rittich helped the Calgary Flames finish first in the Western Conference. Yet there are still questions about how far those goalies can carry their team in the playoffs. Smith and Rittich sounds more like a law firm than the goaltending tandem anyone expected the NHL's second-...
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Buffalo Sabres head coach Phil Housley, top, Sam Reinhart (23), Zemgus Girgensons (28) and Kyle Okposo (21) react during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders, Saturday, March 30, 2019, in Uniondale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
April 07, 2019 - 8:00 pm
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres' dreadful second-half free-fall left general manager Jason Botterill no choice but to fire coach Phil Housley after his second year on the job. "Today certainly wasn't an easy day, but the results in the second half were just not there. We were very...
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Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) and Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak (81) fight during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 30, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
April 07, 2019 - 7:45 pm
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Tom Wilson tries not to read everything about him on social media. You'd think being on the receiving end of endless tweets and messages that are, well, not suitable for work would be reason enough to skip them. But Wilson can't just ignore it all because sometimes it goes...
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Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov (86) scores on Boston Bruins' Tuukka Rask (40) during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Saturday, April 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
April 07, 2019 - 4:11 pm
The team expected to win it all faces an opponent that loaded up for the same thing, the defending champions go up against a playoff newcomer and the wild West is wide open in the quest for the Stanley Cup. The NHL playoffs open Wednesday when the Presidents' Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning host...
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FILE - In this April 6, 2019 file photo Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) prepares to take a face-off during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Rangers in Pittsburgh. The Penguins are headed to the NHL playoffs for the 13th straight year thanks in large part to Crosby's ability to help prevent goals as easily as he scores them, making him a dark-horse candidate for the Selke Trophy, the award given annually to the top defensive forward in the NHL. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar/File)
April 07, 2019 - 3:22 pm
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Casey DeSmith has seen it at every stop of his hockey career. Practice comes, the focus shifts to defending and the guys paid lavishly to score goals take their foot off the gas. "I've had people on every single team I've ever played on like that, obviously," the Pittsburgh...
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Florida Panthers Head coach Bob Boughner watches a replay during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Saturday, April 6, 2019, in Sunrise, Fla. The Devils defeated the Panthers 4-3 in overtime. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)
April 07, 2019 - 2:18 pm
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Bob Boughner has become the latest coach to pay for Florida's almost-annual inability to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Panthers fired Boughner on Sunday, ending his two-year tenure with the team with one year remaining on his contract. The Panthers didn't make the...
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Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates his third-period goal with Evgeni Malkin (71) and Phil Kessel (81) and Patric Hornqvist (72) in the team's NHL hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings in Pittsburgh, Thursday, April 4, 2019. The Penguins won 4-1. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
April 05, 2019 - 7:38 pm
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Erik Gudbranson didn't want to be "that guy," the one who whooped it up after the Pittsburgh Penguins locked down a playoff spot for the 13th straight year with a win over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night. The veteran defenseman knows seasons in Pittsburgh are judged solely...
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Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Phil Kessel greets teammates after scoring during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings, Tuesday, April 2, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
April 03, 2019 - 5:23 pm
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Evgeni Malkin might be ready to get back to work. The Pittsburgh Penguins certainly need him. The veteran center practiced with his teammates on Wednesday and could be back in the lineup on Thursday night against Detroit. Malkin has missed eight games with an upper-body injury and...
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File-This March 20, 2019, file photo shows Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86), of Russia, skating with the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game past Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43), in Washington. With 125 points through 79 games, Kucherov has already matched Joe Thornton’s league-leading total in 2005-06. The highest total after that is Jaromir Jagr's 127 points in 1998-99, and the last player to top 130 points was Mario Lemieux, who had 161 in 1995-96. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)
April 03, 2019 - 11:32 am
Connor McDavid knows better than to risk making end-of-season NHL award projections. Through no fault of his own, the Edmonton Oilers captain was not included among last year's three MVP candidates, causing a stir back home. So McDavid understandably deferred when recently asked to list his Hart...
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FILE - In this June 12, 2018, file photo, Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia; Nicklas Backstrom (19), of Sweden; Braden Holtby (70); and Tom Wilson (43) greet each other on stage during the Stanley Cup victory celebration on the National Mall in Washington. Two Capitals said recently they would not join their teammates in visiting President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday to celebrate their Stanley Cup championship. Holtby and Brett Connolly, each of whom is Canadian, said they’d respectfully decline the invitation. Several other players, including Ovechkin, Americans T.J. Oshie and John Carlson and American coach Todd Reirden, have said they’re going. A vast majority of the team is expected to tour of the White House and meet Trump in the Oval Office in a private ceremony. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
March 24, 2019 - 2:57 am
WASHINGTON (AP) — The news is constantly on television at the Washington Capitals' practice facility, and like any workplace, there's no shortage of opinions. "We're human beings, and people share different opinions and different political views," veteran team leader Brooks Orpik said. "It's no...
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