Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins meet in 2nd round for 3rd straight postseason

11:23 PM ET Greg WyshynskiESPN COLUMBUS, Ohio — For the third straight postseason, it’ll be the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Metropolitan Division semifinals. “Here we go,” declared center Nicklas Backstrom after the Capitals eliminated the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 6-3 Game 6 victory on Monday night. The Penguins also won in six games, eliminating the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. Backstrom was asked if the Capitals enter this showdown as the underdog, despite winning the Metro Division. “Yeah, but it doesn’t really matter if we’re underdogs…

Alex Ovechkin Carries Capitals Past Blue Jackets and Into Second Round

MAPLE LEAFS 3, BRUINS 1 Frederik Andersen stopped 32 shots, leading Toronto to a home win over Boston that forced a decisive Game 7 in the teams’ first-round series. William Nylander, Mitch Marner and Tomas Plekanec scored for the Maple Leafs, who had trailed the series, 3-1, before winning two straight. Nikita Zaitsev added two assists, and Marner and Plekanec each had one. Jake DeBrusk scored for the Bruins, and Tuukka Rask, who had been pulled in Game 5 at home, finished with 27 saves. Game 7 will be Wednesday…

Toronto Maple Leafs hold moment of silence for van-attack victims

The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins held a moment of silence before Game 6 of their first-round series to pay tribute to the victims of a van attack in Toronto that left 10 pedestrians dead and 15 injured on Monday. The arena was darkened and images of the city were displayed on the videoboard. The public address announcer asked patrons to remove their hats. “Earlier today,” he said, “our city was impacted by a horrific incident that claimed the lives of nine people and injured many others. Our…

NHL – Columbus Blue Jackets

10:10 PM ET Emily KaplanESPN As each NHL team is eliminated from playoff contention — either mathematically or by losing in the postseason — we’ll take a look at why its quest for the Stanley Cup fell short in 2017-18, along with three keys to its offseason and a way-too-early prediction for what 2018-19 will hold. What went wrong Another season with dominant stretches for the Columbus Blue Jackets, another spring with disappointment in the playoffs. From the first round all the way through the Stanley Cup Final, ESPN has…

Eight candidates who could replace Chuck Fletcher as Minnesota Wild GM

7:00 AM ET Greg WyshynskiESPN Before we get to the potential replacements for Chuck Fletcher as Minnesota Wild general manager, a few words about the executive whose nine-year run ended on Monday when the team announced that he wouldn’t be offered a new contract. The Wild will not offer a new contract to general manager Chuck Fletcher. It was another one-and-out in the playoffs for Minnesota. How do the Wild get over the hump? Here are keys to the summer. 1 Related The defining moment of Fletcher’s tenure came on…

Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon on coaching, general manager search and more

7:00 AM ET Emily KaplanESPN The Carolina Hurricanes are out of the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season — the longest drought in the NHL. They are without a coach (Bill Peters resigned, and he quickly found a new home in Calgary) and general manager (Ron Francis was transitioned upstairs in March). After placing wagers at 200-1 (or more) for a Golden Knights championship, these fans are looking at their “joke” bets a little more seriously. Only one NHL team gets to raise the Stanley Cup in June. The rest…

Calgary Flames name Bill Peters as new head coach

The Calgary Flames named Bill Peters as their head coach Monday. Peters, 51, resigned as the Hurricanes‘ coach Friday after four seasons with Carolina. He replaces Glen Gulutzan, who was fired last week. Peters went 137-138-53 with the Hurricanes, who missed the Stanley Cup playoffs for the ninth consecutive season — the longest drought in the NHL. He will take over a Flames team that faltered down the stretch this season, losing 17 of its last 24 games. “There’s a lot of good talent and a lot of good pieces…

Chuck Fletcher out as general manager of Minnesota Wild

3:07 PM ET Greg WyshynskiESPN Chuck Fletcher will not return as general manager of the Minnesota Wild, owner Craig Leipold announced Monday. Fletcher’s contract was up after this season, and the team decided not to offer a new one. Brent Flahr, senior vice president of hockey operations, will serve as acting general manager. Wild owner Craig Leipold met with Fletcher on Monday to tell him the club was not renewing his contract. He then addressed the players. “Very agonizing,” Leipold said. “I like Chuck. Probably more than I like Chuck,…

A Gay Referee Tries to Find His Place in Hockey

Gay Men in Hockey: A Short History There are few men in hockey who seem to embody the sport quite like Brian Burke, whose famous gruffness toward a prying scrum of reporters as an executive roughly equaled his playing style as a college and minor league scrapper in the 1970s. He has spent nearly all his life in hockey, but Burke, 62, the president of the Calgary Flames, has come to represent something else to the game. In 2009, when Burke was president and general manager of the Toronto Maple…

2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs – Vegas Golden Knights fans ready to cash in ‘miracle’ wagers

7:00 AM ET Greg WyshynskiESPN Leave it to a team in Las Vegas to defy the odds. The expansion Vegas Golden Knights have gone from the largest underdog in NHL preseason wagering to just 12 wins away from perhaps the most unexpected championship in pro sports history. They’ve converted hordes of nonbelievers during their 109-point season, a record for a first-year franchise. But Montreal’s Kar Yung Tom believed in them even before a single player had been added to the roster. Given goalie Marc-Andre Fleury’s dominance and the Golden Knights’…