Kings defeat Coyotes to take stranglehold on Western Conference Final, the latest on the Rangers and Devils, an update on the Capitals search for a new coach, and more.


Dwight King celebrates game-winning goal.

LOS ANGELES TIMES/ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Dwight King’s fifth goal of the playoffs was the winner as the LA Kings nipped the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1, taking a 3-0 lead in their Western Conference Final, with an opportunity to wrap it up on Sunday. Along with fellow mid-season call-up Jordan Nolan, King has brought size and speed to the Kings’ forward lines. Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett, meanwhile, has been frustrated by several issues in the series, not the least of which is embellishment to draw penalties by some Kings players.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: There’s a human cost to the effort to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix, as 49 employees of the city of Glendale were laid off due to the city council’s heavy investment in the team.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/NJ.COM: NY Rangers coach John Tortorella is facing a backlash for benching Marian Gaborik during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Final, while New Jersey Devils rookie Adam Henrique has performed like a seasoned veteran in this year’s playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That “backlash” seems more media-generated than anything. If Gaborik fails to improve and the Rangers lose the series, “Torts” will be crucified by a press corps already upset over his brusque treatment of them. If Gaborik improves throughout the remainder of the series (win or lose), Tortorella will look like a genius, though he’ll get grudging praise from the media.

WASHINGTON POST: Washington Capitals GM George McPhee claims he’s not in any rush to name a new head coach.

MERCURYNEWS.COM: San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson declined to say if head coach Todd McLellan has been told he’ll return behind the Sharks bench next season.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Former Red Wings Shawn Burr, who is battling leukemia, is to have bone marrow transplant.

TAMPABAY.COM: The Lightning face several hurdles if they hope to bring back goaltender Riku Helenius.