Dan Carcillo suspended for two games next season for abusing officials in Game 4 loss to Boston

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If nothing else, Philadelphia’s Dan Carcillo sure knows how to liven things up even when his team isn’t even playing.

It feels like it was forever ago that the Philadelphia Flyers were in the playoffs but during Game 4 of the Bruins sweep of the Flyers out of the playoffs, there was an incident that caught the attention of the league.

Flyers agitator Dan Carcillo was suspended for two games next season by the NHL for a situation that developed between the first and second periods of the Bruins 5-1 Game 4 win over Philly.

Operating on the “better late than never” means of getting to work, NHL Senior VP of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy, sitting in for Colin Campbell because the incident happened against Boston, had this to say about what happened.

“Between the first and second period, while off ice and outside the officials’ locker room, Mr. Carcillo engaged in aggressive behavior and inappropriate conduct directed at the officials,” said Murphy. “While Mr. Carcillo acknowledged in the hearing that he regrets his actions outside of the officials’ room, there can be no defense for his conduct.

“I also reviewed the verbal confrontation between Carcillo and linesman Brian Murphy at the players’ bench prior to the start of the second period and have determined that, while the verbal abuse may have been worthy of a penalty, there is no evidence that Carcillo’s action merit supplemental discipline,” concluded Murphy.

The officials that night were Steve Kozari and Stephen Walkom along with linesmen Brian Murphy and Steve Miller. What’s a bit unfortunate here is that there’s no account of what happened either in print or video form as it would be fascinating to find out what, exactly, a player could do or say to get a two game ban from the league. We know that Carcillo is one of the more colorful players in the league so we can only imagine that it was on par with something like what Sean Avery might say when addressing the media about the dating habits of his rival players.

Making things a bit awkward is that Carcillo is a free agent now so whoever ends up signing him in the NHL, should that happen, will have to deal with him being suspended for two games. While we don’t know who will be in the market for an energy line semi-tough guy with a penchant for taking back-breaking penalties, we’re sure they’ll be more than invested and prepared for the hysterics that Carcillo provides on the ice anyhow.

As for how much money the suspension costs Carcillo, we’ll need to wait and see what he signs for over the summer to find out. We’re sure the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund eagerly anticipates his signing to get their first contribution of the 2011-2012 season.

Paul Carey replaces Brett Connolly for Capitals in Game 2

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After dropping Game 1 of their second-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night, the Washington Capitals are making a minor lineup change on Saturday for Game 2 of the series when Paul Carey replaces Brett Connolly on the team’s fourth line.

Carey, 28, appeared in only six games for the Capitals this season and did not record a point. He has one goal and one assist in 32 career NHL games with the Colorado Avalanche and Capitals, and appeared in three playoff games for the Avalanche back in 2014.

Given how Connolly’s ice time has been decreasing over the past few games this postseason it probably should not be too much of a surprise that he is now being removed from the lineup. After logging at least 10 minutes of ice time in each of the Capitals’ first three playoff games, he has not played more than 6:12 in each of the past four.

Coach Barry Trotz said on Saturday that he likes Carey’s speed in the lineup against the faster Penguins.

Connolly scored 15 goals in 66 regular season games for the Capitals this season.

In other Capitals lineup news, there is no change in the status of defenseman Karl Alzner as he will remain out of the lineup. He has been sidelined since Game 3 of their first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs with an upper-body injury. Nate Schmidt will continue to take his place.

Scott Darling trade ‘worth the risk’ for Hurricanes

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The Carolina Hurricanes made a somewhat surprising move on Friday night when they acquired goaltender Scott Darling from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a third-round draft pick in 2017.

On the surface it looks like a good move for both the team and the player. Goaltending has been a major thorn in the Hurricanes’ side for several years now, while Darling has probably earned the opportunity to be a No. 1 goalie in the NHL after performing extremely well as Corey Crawford‘s backup in Chicago.

The risk for the Hurricanes is that Darling will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, and they will have to get him signed to a new contract before then to avoid potentially losing him (and the third-round pick they sent to Chicago) for nothing.

Shortly after the trade on Friday, Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis said all of that was worth the risk because the team has accumulated so many draft picks in this year’s class.

“This is a bit of a gamble but one we believed was worth taking,” Francis told Chip Alexander of the News & Observer. “This is why we accumulated these picks and we still have 10 left. It was worth the risk.”

He added that they would “like to get something done sooner rather than later.”

The duo of Cam Ward and Eddie Lack finished the 2016-17 season with a .901 save percentage, 26th in the NHL. The Hurricanes have finished higher than 25th just once in the past five years. The Hurricanes have solid young core of talent in place and a defense that allowed the fifth fewest shots on goal in the entire league this season. Solidifying the goaltending position would go a long way toward ending the team’s current eight year playoff drought.

 

2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule for Saturday, April 29

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The second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoff continues on Saturday with a pair of games on NBC.

All of the action starts at 3 p.m. ET when the New York Rangers try to even their series against the Ottawa Senators. Later, the Pittsburgh Penguins look to take a 2-0 series lead against the Washington Capitals at 8 p.m. ET.

Here is all of the information you need for today’s games.

New York Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators

Time: 3:00 p.m. ET

Network: NBC (Stream Online Here)

Announcers: John Forslund, Brian Boucher

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals

Time: 8:00 p.m. ET

Network: NBC (Stream Online Here)

Announcers: Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk, Pierre McGuire

Talbot torments Ducks as Oilers take 2-0 series lead

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Those who vehemently argued for Cam Talbot being a Vezina finalist likely felt vindicated tonight (even if postseason results don’t factor into the voting).

In Game 1, Leon Draisaitl stole the show. Talbot was the standout of Game 2, snubbing a steady Ducks threat as Edmonton won 2-1 on Friday.

And, just like that, the Oilers are up 2-0 in their second-round series against the Anaheim Ducks. Better yet for this young group: the venue shifts to what’s likely to be a rowdy scene in Edmonton for Games 3 and 4.

The tone was set when Andrej Sekera scored just 65 seconds into the contest. That said, the Oilers could have sulked when a would-be 2-0 goal was called off (and they had to kill a penalty). Instead, they just kept battling, even after Jakob Silfverberg ended Talbot’s shutout bit with a laser beam on the power play.

Speaking of the power play, the Oilers managed to match the Ducks (1-for-4 each on the PP), even as Talbot faced 12 shots on goal during Anaheim’s power-play opportunities.

Talbot ultimately made 39 of 40 stops, and while the Ducks kept Connor McDavid from scoring, number 97 sure looked speedy and dangerous at times in Game 2.

Anaheim came into the second round with home-ice advantage through the West side of the playoffs, seemingly enjoying a golden opportunity when other conference powers fell. Instead, it’s looking like the Oilers might just have a chance to prove that they’re big-time contenders, too.

Game 3 airs on NBCSN at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday. You can watch online and via the NBC Sports App; click here for the livestream.