Blackhawks defeat Kings in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final, Price uncertain for Game 2 of Eastern Conference Final, Ovechkin injured at World Championships and more.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/LOS ANGELES TIMES: Goals by Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews lifted the Chicago Blackhawks to a series-opening 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final.
MONTREAL GAZETTE/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Canadiens goalie Carey Price (right knee) remains a game-time decision for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final. The Rangers yesterday attended the funeral for teammate Martin St. Louis’ mother in Laval, Quebec.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I noted in my series prediction, if Price is sidelined or his performance is hampered by injury, the Canadiens are toast. Peter Budaj’s not winning any goaltending duels with Henrik Lundqvist no matter how well the Habs play in this series. A large part of the Canadiens’ confidence is tied to Price, and I think that will be lacking if Price can’t play or if he’s at less than 100 percent. That’s not making excuses or downplaying the Rangers’ effort. It’s simply the way it is.
**UPDATE** It’s been confirmed Price has been sidelined for the remainder of the Eastern Conference Final with a knee injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: And with that, the Canadiens’ Cup hopes are pretty much dashed. Maybe they’ll be able to rally back, but I doubt backup Peter Budaj or call-up Dustin Tokarski can fill Price’s skates. The Habs will do their best, but I don’t believe they can overcome the loss of Price.
WASHINGTON POST: Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin suffered an right leg injury after being hit by a hip check during Russia’s game against German at the World Championships in Minsk. He was taken to hospital for an MRI and more details on his condition are expected to be released later.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin had to be helped from the ice and couldn’t put any weight on his leg. It’s since been reported Ovechkin returned to the team hotel walking with a limp.
CBS SPORTS: Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons was suspended one game for spearing Russian forward Alexander Burmistrov in the groin during World Championship play.
STLTODAY.COM: Goaltender Jake Allen is looking forward to making the jump full-time to the NHL and the Blues next season.