Blackhawks down the Wild, Blues beat the Kings, Ducks defeat the Red Wings, plus the latest on Sidney Crosby, Jaromir Jagr, Derek Stepan, Brent Burns, Marian Gaborik and more.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE/STARTRIBUNE.COM: Bryan Bickell scored the winner in overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks edged the Minnesota Wild 2-1 to take Game One of their best-of-seven Conference quarterfinal. It was a tough loss for Wild backup Josh Harding. Pressed into service when starter Niklas Backstrom was sidelined in the warm-up by an apparent leg injury, Harding was the reason this game went to overtime. The Wild have yet to shed more light on Backstrom’s status.
STLTODAY.COM/LOS ANGELES TIMES: St. Louis Blues forward Alex Steen cashed in on a puckhandling blunder by LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick to pot a shorthanded overtime winner as the Blues downed the Kings 2-1. It was Steen’s second goal of the game, lifting the Blues to a 1-0 lead in this best-of-seven series, and came after Justin Williams forced overtime by tying the game with 31 seconds remaining.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: An embarrassing end for Quick, who was otherwise superb in this game, and the reason his Kings weren’t blown out of this one, as the Blues dominated the defending Stanley Cup champions.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: The Penguins are prepared to open their best-of-seven series against the NY Islanders without captain Sidney Crosby, who remains sidelined by a broken jaw.
CSNNE.COM: Boston Bruins winger Jaromir Jagr has shaken off the flu which sidelined him for the final two games of the regular season and is ready to go for Game One of the Bruins series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
NEW YORK POST: Rangers forward Derek Stepan is looking forward to a strong playoff performance.
MERCURYNEWS.COM: Defenseman-turned-forward Brent Burns could be the “X” factor for the San Jose Sharks in their series against the Vancouver Canucks.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: A report from Slovakia claims Blue Jackets winger Marian Gaborik will see an abdominal specialist in Philadelphia. If surgery isn’t required, he’s expected to suit up for Slovakia at the upcoming World Hockey Championships.
DENVER POST: Former Avalanche star Patrick Roy doesn’t appear to be in the club’s plans for a new head coach. Roy is currently coach/GM/owners of the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL. Roy claims no one from the Avalanche has contacted him since they fired Joe Sacco as head coach.
NEWSOBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos is selling his ECHL team but said he has no plans to sell the Hurricanes.
NATIONAL POST: Former NHL star Brian Rolston has officially announced his retirement after 17 NHL seasons. He won a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils as a rookie in 1995, and his career-best season was 2005-06 with the Minnesota Wild, with 34 goals and 79 points. Rolston finished his career with 342 goals and 761 points in 1, 256 games.