Coyotes edge Predators in OT to take Game One of their Conference Semi-final, the Hart Trophy finalists are announced, updates on the other playoffs team, and more.
AZCENTRAL.COM/THE TENNESSEAN: Ray Whitney scored in overtime as the Phoenix Coyotes downed the Nashville Predators 4-3 to take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven Conference semi-final. Predators goalie Pekka Rinne, who faced only 24 shots, including only 1 in the third period, made no excuses for his performance in this game. For those predicting a boring, low-scoring goalie duel in this series, Game One was anything but that. It was exciting, with lots of quality scoring chances, and while both goalies made some big saves, they didn’t dominate this game.
CSNPHILLY.COM/NJ.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers face another heated rival in the New Jersey Devils, whose GM, Lou Lamoriello, said his team’s first round victory was a big one for his organization. If the stories of the ownership’s financial woes are anything to go by, they could use a deep run in this year’s playoffs.
LOS ANGELES TIMES/STLTODAY.COM: The Kings hope keeping Dustin Penner on the same line as Mike Richards and Jeff Carter pays off against the Blues, whose captain, David Backes, has grown into his role.
MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers head into the off-season with their heads held high, looking forward toward building upon this season’s success. As they should. Nobody gave the Panthers a chance against the Devils, chastising them for “backing into the playoffs”, yet they pushed the Devils to overtime in Game Seven before bowing out in a series which was far more entertaining than critics expected. It was a significant step in rebuilding this once-moribund franchise.
CSNNE.COM: Bruins center Patrice Bergeron playd through a torn/strained oblique and a broken nose in his team’s series against the Washington Capitals. It was obvious Bergeron was laboring in that series, and had the Bruins moved on to the second round, it’s doubtful Bergeron would’ve played very much. It’s incredible he was even able to play, since every move with a strained oblique muscle is like being stabbed in the side with a knife.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE/TAMPA BAY TIMES/NEW YORK POST: Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, Lightning center Steven Stamkos and Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist were named finalists for the Hart Trophy. For everyone whining about the players who didn’t get a nomination, it doesn’t matter, since Malkin is the runaway favorite to the Hart this season.