NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 29, 2014

Blackhawks avoid elimination with double OT win over the Kings, Canadiens and Rangers prepare for crucial Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final, and more.

Michael Handzus scores in double OT lifting the Blackhawks to a 5-4 victory over the Kings.

Michael Handzus scores in double OT lifting the Blackhawks to a 5-4 victory over the Kings.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/LOS ANGELES TIMES: Michal Handzus’ goal in double overtime lifted the Blackhawks to a 5-4 victory over the Kings, forcing a Game 6 in Los Angeles on Friday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a thrilling end to one of the best games of this year’s playoffs. It was a real see-saw battle, with the Blackhawks taking a 3-1 lead, the Kings rallying to go up 4-3, and the ‘Hawks tying it early in the third to force overtime.

MONTREAL GAZETTE/NEW YORK POST: The Canadiens are “ready for anything” in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final, while the Rangers hope to end the series tonight and avoid returning to Montreal for Game 7.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers defenseman John Moore received a two-game suspension for his illegal hit to the head of Canadiens forward Dale Weise in Game 5.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s very simple for the Canadiens. Win and force Game 7. Lose and the season is over. As for Moore, no surprise he got two games as that’s what Brandon Prust of the Habs received for a similar hit on Derek Stepan earlier in the series. 

TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox believes superstars Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby are losing their luster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Since the Capitals and Penguins last faced each other in the playoffs back in 2009, both clubs have declined, which in turn has affected the status of Ovechkin and Crosby as the dominant players in the league. The Capitals have fallen furthest, going from President’s Trophy winners in 2010 to missing the playoffs this season. The Penguins remain a strong regular season club but haven’t returned to the Stanley Cup Final since their championship run in 2009. Still, Ovechkin and Crosby are in their late-twenties so I wouldn’t write them off just yet. 

TWINCITES.COM: Minnesota Wild forward Erik Haula suffered a broken jaw at the World Championships. His injury won’t require surgery.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: David Shoalts on NHL secrecy clouding the concussion picture. One reason for the silence is the league is facing four class action lawsuits over concussions from former players. The NHLPA has also been quiet on the matter.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Tom Fitzgerald, assistant to former Penguins GM Ray Shero, as emerged as an in-house candidate to replace Shero, who was fired earlier this month.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Phoenix Coyotes’ arena deal with Glendale will come up short this season.