The Kings eliminate the Coyotes and advance to the Stanley Cup Final, the Rangers and Devils prepare for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final, and more.
LOS ANGELES TIMES/ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Los Angeles Kings are headed to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1993, as Dustin Penner scored in overtime to give the Kings a 4-3 victory over the plucky Phoenix Coyotes to win the Western Conference Final four games to one. The game wasn’t without controversy, for moments prior to Penner’s goal, Kings captain Dustin Brown leveled Coyotes defenseman Michal Rozsival with what appeared to be a questionable hit, knocking the blueliner from the game with a knee injury. That led to several Coyotes angrily confronting the referee following Penner’s goal, and some cross words between Brown and Coyotes captain Shane Doan in the post-game handshake line.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Kings on their series victory, and kudos to the Coyotes for their “never-say-die” attitude and work ethic. As for the Brown hit, in my opinion it wasn’t worthy of a suspension, as Rozsival cut into the middle head down, and Brown was clearly aiming for an upper body hit, not a knee-on-knee one. As Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said following Game Five, the important thing to remember is the Kings were the better team in the series, and they – not the officials – were responsible for beating his team.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/NORTHJERSEY.COM: Rangers head coach John Tortorella facetiously called for divine intervention to bolster his team’s struggling offense, while the Devils defense corps, despite lacking big name stars, are quietly getting the job done.
CSNNE.COM: Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton is “coming along” in his recovery from post-concussion symptoms.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: The Red Wings could be facing a decision on veteran forward Tomas Holmstrom.
CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Philadelphia Flyers assistant coach Craig Berube expressed interest in the vacant Washington Capitals head coach position.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Pending Lightning UFA winger Ryan Shannon has signed a three-year deal with ZSC Lions of Zurich, Switzerland. My thanks to everyone who sent this in.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Free tickets to the NHL Entry Draft on June 22-23 at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh will be available June 5.