Kings take commanding series lead over the Blackhawks, updates on the Rangers and Canadiens, Capitals hire Barry Trotz as new head coach, and more.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Justin Williams and Jake Muzzin enjoyed two-point performances while Marian Gaborik potted his 10th goal of the playoffs to lead the LA Kings to a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final. The win gives the Kings a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven series. They can wrap up the series in Game 5 on Wednesday in Chicago.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks special teams, especially their penalty kill, were largely to blame for their loss in Game 4.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Since staging a comeback victory in Game 2, the Kings have dominated the Blackhawks, who’ve struggled to contain the Kings’ lethal scoring punch. If the ‘Hawks can’t find a solution in Game 5, they’ll be hitting the golf course while the Kings march on to the Stanley Cup Final.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers hold a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Final, but aren’t taking anything for granted.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The odds of a comeback aren’t in the Canadiens’ favor.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Canadiens hope to extend the series they must open the scoring and maintain a lead, which they’ve been unable to do throughout the Conference Final. They’ve had the lead for less than three minutes in the series, playing catch-up throughout.
THE WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals yesterday announced the hiring of former Nashville Predators bench boss Barry Trotz as their new head coach, while promoting assistant GM Brian MacLellan as their new general manager.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trotz was linked to the Capitals for weeks so no surprise they’ve hired him as their new coach. It’ll be interesting to see how he does with two superstars scorers (Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom), which he lacked for most of his years with the Predators. MacLellan has years of front office experience with the Capitals, but this move is a surprise as it was expected the Capitals would look outside their organization for a replacement for former GM George McPhee.
NBC SPORTS: Colorado Avalanche goaltender J-S Giguere may be set to announce his retirement after 18 NHL seasons.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres have signed Nicholas Deslauriers to a two-year contract.