LA Kings take 2-0 series lead over frustrated Phoenix Coyotes, updates on the NY Rangers and New Jersey Devils, Claude Giroux wins award, and more.


Aftermath of Hanzal's hit on Brown.

LOS ANGELES TIMES/ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Jeff Carter netted a natural hat trick as the LA Kings cruised to a 4-0 shutout victory, and a 2-0 series lead, over the Phoenix Coyotes, whose frustration boiled over, resulting in Shane Doan and Martin Hanzal getting ejected from the game for separate boarding incidents. Carter’s hat trick was the first in the playoffs by an LA King since Wayne Gretzky in 1993, and the first natural playoff hat trick by a King since Luc Robitaile in 1991. As for Doan and Hanzal, the former probably won’t face supplemental discipline, while the latter could face suspension.

USA TODAY/NJ.COM: The NY Rangers lead all playoff teams in shot-blocking (293) by a wide margin, overshadowing the Devils own effective shot-blocking.

PHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux won the John Wanamaker Award, which is “presented annually to the “athlete or team that has done the most to reflect credit upon Philadelphia and their team or sport” during the past year.” He’s only the third Flyer to win the award, the last being Bernie Parent in 1975.

CSNBAYAREA.COM: San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan’s job seems safe, but he could be returning with a new assistant coach next season. (Hat tip to GJ Berg for the link).

TAMPABAY.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning might hire a coaching consultant to replace ailing assistant coach Wayne Fleming, who continues to battle brain cancer.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues prospect Vladimir Tarasenko is trying to decide if he’ll join the Blues next season or remain in the KHL. In a recent season post-mortem on the Blues I wrote for, a reader questioned why I didn’t mention Tarasenko, ” who instantly adds a much needed jolt of high end offense if he can be persuaded to join the team?”  No sense making note of what he can bring to the team if he’s still undecided over where he’ll play. Even if he does join the Blues next season, we don’t know if he’ll provide that “jolt of high end offense” right away, over time, or at all.