Panthers win first overall pick, plus the latest news on the NHL playoff teams on the eve of the opening round.
NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers won the first overall pick in last night’s NHL Draft lottery. The Buffalo Sabres will pick second overall, followed by Edmonton, Calgary and the NY Islanders to round out the top five.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad, Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart and Kingston Frontenacs center Sam Bennett are considered the top three prospects in this year’s draft.
BOSTON HERALD: Jarome Iginla continues his long quest for the Stanley Cup.
DETROIT NEWS: Brothers Brendan and Reilly Smith will face each other in the NHL playoffs for the first time when Brendan’s Red Wings meet Reilly’s Bruins.
CSNCHICAGO.COM: The Blackhawks are toying with new lines in preparation of meeting the St. Louis Blues in their opening round series.
STLTODAY.COM: The Blues could have some of their injured forwards (like Brenden Morrow, T.J. Oshie and Vladimir Tarasenko) back in the lineup to start their series against the Blackhawks.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury’s future is on the line entering this year’s playoffs.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets centers Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov will be tasked with shutting down Penguins superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
TBO.COM: All eyes are on Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos as he enters the playoffs for only the second time in his career.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: News on the Lightning’s opening round opponent, the Montreal Canadiens, can be found in “Canadian Corner”.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau believes he’s ready to fulfill his dream of winning the Stanley Cup.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Tyler Seguin has his playoff memories with Boston, but he’s a different player now with the Stars.
CSNBAYAREA.COM: San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi isn’t sure if he’ll be the starter when his club faces off against the LA Kings.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings coach Darryl Sutter helps keep his team on level footing.
DENVER POST: Avalanche rookie Nathan MacKinnon hopes to carry his reputation as a big game playoff performer in Junior A into his NHL career.
TWINCITIES.COM: Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper has returned to practice but the coaches aren’t convinced he’s ready to return to action just yet.
PHILLY.COM: The Flyers remain tight-lipped as to the status of starting goalie Steve Mason on the eve of their series against the NY Rangers.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers center Derick Brassard (lower back) is questionable for Game One against the Flyers.