Blues eliminate Sharks in five games, Blackhawks fend off elimination against Coyotes, Torres suspended 25 games, Bruins and Rangers on brink of elimination, and more.


Blues celebrate first round victory over Sharks.

STLTODAY.COM/MERCURYNEWS.COM: For the first time in ten years, the St. Louis Blues won a playoff round, downing the San Jose Sharks 3-1 to win their series in five games, leaving the Sharks struggling to find answers for their early exit. Expect speculation of off-season changes for the Sharks to ramp up soon.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Jonathan Toews scored 2.44 into overtime to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 victory and preventing the Phoenix Coyotes from a golden opportunity to end the series on home ice in five games. Every game in this series has ended in overtime.

Coyotes forward Raffi Torres, meanwhile, received a 25-game suspension for his blindside head shot on Chicago forward Marian Hossa in Game Three. It’s been reported a few NHL GMs, speaking on condition of anonymity, were “furious” with league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, considering this suspension too long. Those gutless curs lack the courage to voice their displeasure, preferring instead to hide in the shadows and snipe at Shanahan from the sidelines. I have no problem with a GM disliking the suspension, but if they’re afraid to voice their displeasure publicly- be it out of fear of receiving a fine from the league, or of looking like a douchebag – then the swine should keep their pieholes shut and their opinions to themselves.

WASHINGTON POST/BOSTON HERALD: Troy Brouwer’s goal with less than 90 seconds remaining in overtime gave the Capitals a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins, and a 3-2 series lead, pushing the defending Stanley Cup champions to the brink of elimination. The Bruins could be without center Patrice Bergeron (suspected head injury) and defenseman Joe Corvo (possible knee injury) for Game Six, which goes today in Washington at 3 pm ET.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM/NJ.COM: Jose Theodore made 30 saves as the Florida Panthers downed the New Jersey Devils 3-0, giving the Panthers a 3-2 series lead and a chance to win their first playoff round since 1996, while the Devils are facing the possibility of another early playoff exit.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers find themselves on the brink of elimination following a 2-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators, falling behind 3 games to 2. The Blueshirts also lost forward Brian Boyle to a concussion incurred from a hit by Senators forward Chris Neil. It remains to be seen if that hit will come under review by the league. For more on the Senators, check out “Canadian Corner”.

PHILLY.COM/PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: The young Flyers are learning how difficult it is to win a playoff series, while  the Penguins remain focused on the knowledge today’s game is do-or-die.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: After another extended break in this series, the Kings are hoping to wrap things up today in Game Five against the Vancouver Canucks. For the latest on the Canucks, go to “Canadian Corner”.

THE TENNESSEAN: Predators frenzy is building in Nashville in the wake of their club’s five game elimination of the Detroit Red Wings. Critics who once constantly lumped Nashville  among those southern-US cities where they believed hockey couldn’t flourish haven’t had much to say about the city in recent years. Just goes to show that a well-run, well-maintained, competitive southern-based NHL franchise can gain and maintain a large following, just like those in more northern climes.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres forward Ville Leino reflects on his disappointing first season with the club and looks ahead to next season.