Rangers rout the Canadiens, questions over the status of Carey Price and Derick Brassard, the Blackhawks and Kings prepare for Game 1 of the Western Conference Final, and more.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/MONTREAL GAZETTE: Ryan McDonagh collected four points, Mats Zuccarello three and Rick Nash snapped his goal-scoring drought as the New York Rangers demolished the Montreal Canadiens 7-2 in Game One of the Eastern Conference Final.
There’s questions about the status of Canadiens goalie Carey Price and Rangers center Derick Brassard. Price appeared to suffer a right leg injury following a collision with Rangers winger Chris Kreider. He finished the second period but was benched for the third. Brassard is day-to-day after suffering an apparent back injury following a hit from Canadiens defenseman Mike Weaver.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Full marks to the Rangers, who were definitely better prepared for this game than the hapless Canadiens, who had the worst game I’ve seen them play this season. Pathetic doesn’t even begin to describe it. The Rangers can cope with the loss of Brassard, but if Price is seriously hurt, or his leg injury hampers his performance, the Canadiens are toast.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/LOS ANGELES TIMES: While the Western Conference Final between the Blackhawks and Kings seems closely-matched, the Kings are more dangerous offensively now than they were during the regular season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both teams had some streaky moments in their previous series this spring leading up to the Conference Final. Consistency could be the determining factor in this series.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: A source claims former NHL coach Marc Crawford is on the Florida Panthers’ list of potential coaching candidates.
TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild are considering carrying three goalies next season. They already have Niklas Backstrom (abdominal surgery) and Josh Harding (multiple sclerosis symptoms) under contract for next season, and must re-sign rookie Darcy Kuemper (restricted free agent).
MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward and Team USA captain Justin Abdelkader was suspended one game at the World Championships for a knee-on-knee hit against Konstantin Pushkaryov of Kazakhstan.