Canadiens down Rangers in overtime, updates on the Kings and Blackhawks, the Islanders sign Jaroslav Halak, plus updates on Dennis Seidenberg, Olli Maatta and more.
MONTREAL GAZETTE/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Alexander Galchenyuk scored early in overtime while Dustin Tokarski made 35 saves to lift the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers, cutting the Rangers’ lead in the Eastern Conference Final to 2 games to 1. The game had a rough start, as Canadiens forward Brandon Prust could face supplemental discipline for a late hit on Rangers forward Derek Stepan, while Blueshirts forward Dan Carcillo could face suspension for abuse of an official.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was a weird one. Most of the goals came from deflections, especially Galchenyuk’s which bounced into the Rangers’ net off his upper body following a save by Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers dominated this one but Tokarski, in only his second NHL playoff game, was fantastic, making several big saves, including robbing Martin St. Louis of a sure goal with a glove save late in the game.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr remains sidelined by a knee injury.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw will return to the lineup for Game 3.
NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders have signed goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a four-year, $18 million contract. The club has also have “good conversations” with Evgeni Nabokov about returning with the Isles as Halak’s backup.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Halak’s new deal is worth an annual cap hit of $4. 5 million. Since backstopping the Canadiens to the Eastern Conference Final four years ago, Halak’s garnered a reputation as a good regular season goalie who was unable to carry the St. Louis Blues deep in the playoffs. Dealt from the Blues before the trade deadline to Buffalo for Ryan Miller, then shipped to Washington for Michal Neuvirth, the 29-year-old is undoubtedly seeking an opportunity to prove himself as a still-worthwhile NHL starter. He’s certainly an improvement over what the Isles have had between the pipes in recent years.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Islanders have decided to keep its first round draft pick (fifth overall) in this year’s draft, and will instead ship its first round pick in next year’s draft to the Sabres. The deal is part of the Thomas Vanek-for-Matt Moulson trade earlier this season.
CSNNE.COM: Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg expects to be fully recovered by September from the right knee surgery which cut short this season.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta will be sidelined four-to-six months by shoulder surgery, while winger Beau Bennett will be sidelined four months by wrist surgery.
NBC SPORTS: The Washington Capitals won’t be bringing in Wayne Gretzky to fill a front office position.
THE SPORTING NEWS: There’s speculation NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire is “a consideration” for the vacant Penguins GM position.