Penguins push the Senators to the brink, updates from the Kings-Sharks, Bruins-Rangers and Red Wings-Blackhawks series, Jakub Voracek survives a car crash, an update on Sergei Bobrovsky’s contract talks, and more.
TRIBLIVE.COM/OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Pittsburgh Penguins exploded for four straight goals in the third period to thump the Ottawa Senators 7-3 and take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Kris Letang had four assists while James Neal enjoyed a three point night.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators actually led 2-1 after the first period due to Craig Anderson’s goaltending, as the Penguins dominated the play from the opening whistle. The Penguins ultimately took control of the game in the second period and blew things open in the third. They now have a chance to wrap up the series on Friday night in Game Five back in Pittsburgh.
MERCURYNEWS.COM/LOS ANGELES TIMES: The San Jose Sharks defense has been frustrating the top line of the Los Angeles Kings, forcing Kings coach Darryl Sutter to shake up his lines in hopes of reigniting his offense.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After scoring six goals in the opening two games of this series, the Kings managed only two goals over the next two games, which they lost.
BOSTON HERALD/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Tuukka Rask’s performance in this year’s playoffs is making him worthy of a long-term, expensive new contract, while the NY Rangers will be without Anton Stralman for Game Four tonight. Stralman suffered an undisclosed injury in Game Three.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins can sweep the series with a win tonight in New York.
DETROIT NEWS/CHICAGO DAILY HERALD: Goaltender Jimmy Howard could hold the key to series victory for the Detroit Red Wings, while the Chicago Blackhawks are rallying around scoreless captain Jonathan Toews.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite being a nominee this season for the Messier leadership award, Toews has faced growing criticism in this year’s playoffs for his lack of offense and leadership, especially as the Blackhawks grow increasingly frustrated against the physical Red Wings defense.
PHILLY.COM: Flyers forward Jakub Voracek was uninjured after crashing his sports car in the Czech Republic. Speed was a factor, but alcohol wasn’t involved and Voracek paid his fines on the spot, which is allowed under Czech law.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Voracek is lucky to be alive. Hopefully he learns from this experience and slows down.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: There’s no progress to report in the Blue Jackets contract talks with RFA goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Worry about this a month from now if there’s no progress.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater suggests the availability of former Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault could lessen Patrick Roy’s leverage for the Colorado Avalanche vacant head coach job.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: An updated list of available coaches (including Vigneault) for teams seeking a new head coach.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Former Sabres and Canucks defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani has signed with Lev Prague of the KHL.