Kings take 2-0 series lead over the Sharks, Bruins win series opener over the Rangers, Lady Byng trophy nominees announced, and much more.
LOS ANGELES TIMES/MERCURYNEWS.COM: Despite being outplayed for most of the game, the Los Angeles Kings rallied with two late power-play goals by Dustin Brown and Trevor Lewis to edge the San Jose Sharks 4-3 to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven conference semifinal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a heartbreaking loss for the Sharks, who were poised to win the game 3-2 and tie the series. There’s a fear this could a back breaker for the Sharks, but the series switches to San Jose for Games Three and Four, where they’ll have a chance to get themselves back into it in front of their hometown fans.
BOSTON GLOBE/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Brad Marchand’s first goal of this year’s playoffs was a huge one, coming in overtime to give his Boston Bruins a 3-2 series-opening victory over the New York Rangers, who were gradually outplayed as the game went on.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If not for the play of Henrik Lundqvist, this game wouldn’t have been as close as it was. His teammates will need a better effort in Game Two.
POST-GAZETTE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins reunited Chris Kunitz with Sidney Crosby and Pascal Dupuis at practice yesterda, with Jarome Iginla moving to Evgeni Malkin’s line. It remains to be seen if they will stay that way for Game Two against the Senators.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Following their disappointing performance in Game One against the Penguins, the Ottawa Senators will make some changes to their lineup and game plan for Game Two.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators failed to use their speed to their advantage against the Penguins defense as the NY Islanders did. Expect them to try to step up the pace in Game Two.
DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings need more from forward Johan Franzen.
CSNCHICAGO.COM: Michael Frolik and Marcus Kruger have proven an unlikely but highly effective penalty-killing unit for the Blackhawks.
NHL.COM: Patrick Kane, Matt Moulson and Martin St. Louis are the nominees for the 2013 Lady Byng Trophy.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom underwent sports hernia surgery.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal will undergo an MRI Saturday on his right knee, which was injured during the Canada-Sweden quarterfinal game at the World Hockey Championships.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The severity of the injury – the result of knee-on-knee hit by Swedish defenseman Alexander Edler – remains unknown, but having watched the video, I expect Staal will undergo major knee surgery, which could sideline him for months.
NHL.COM: The league has suspended San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres from the remainder of the Sharks-Kings playoff series for his hit on Kings foward Jarret Stoll.
PHOENIX COYOTES: Yesterday announced the re-signing of forward Rob Klinkhammer to a two-year contract. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche front office will take its time finding a new head coach.