Alex Ovechkin Nicklas Backstrom Dennis Wideman John Carlson

Tonight on Versus: Caps look to shake off western Canada funk against angry Ducks

What started out as a western Canada trip riding high for the Capitals turned into a brutal one thanks to losses to Edmonton (2-1) and Vancouver (7-4). All of a sudden, the Caps had injury worries to Mike Green (who is out again tonight) and a lingering question about who to start in goal upon returning home. Tonight, they’ll get the chance to fix things up at home against a Ducks team that’s angry (7:30 p.m. ET).

The Ducks too are coming in losers of two in a row. The way Anaheim has lost their pair of games, however, has them left feeling ornery. Mired in the middle of a seven-game road trip, the Ducks have been shut out 3-0 by Nashville and shutdown 3-1 by Columbus with each game providing its own heightened level of nonsense including four fights against an equally grumpy Blue Jackets team.

Two teams with losing streaks and unhappy with their play squaring off head-to-head. Sounds like the making of what should be a feisty game, eh?

On the bright side, the Caps have been getting goals from their main man Alex Ovechkin. Ovi had two goals against Vancouver and has found his stride as their offensive lynchpin. The Ducks, meanwhile, have gotten Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne to thank for a lot of their production of late. While Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are doing just fine, Ryan and Selanne have found some magic when working together.

In goal, the Caps aren’t yet sure which way they’ll go yet. It’ll either be Tomas Vokoun or Michal Neuvirth and after seeing Vokoun chased early from their 7-4 loss to Vancouver only to see Neuvirth have equal amounts of trouble… Flip a coin to see who starts. Jonas Hiller, meanwhile, has had a slow start to his season in coming back after dealing with vertigo last year.

BREAKING: Flames fire head coach Bob Hartley

Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley gives instructions during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Saturday, March 5, 2016. The Flames won 4-2. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Associated Press
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The Calgary Flames have decided to move on from head coach Bob Hartley. The team made the announcement via their Twitter account on Tuesday morning. Associate coach Jacques Cloutier has also been informed that he won’t be back next season.

Hartley and the Flames surprised many last year when they won 45 games and made the postseason. Hartley was awarded the Jack Adams Trophy as the league’s top coach.

What a difference a year makes. Unfortunately for the Flames, they won just 35 games in 2015-16 and finished 26th in the overall standings.

More details to come.

Kris Letang will have a hearing for hit on Marcus Johansson


Many expected it to happen and now it has. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety confirmed that Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will have a hearing for his hit on Caps forward Marcus Johansson in Game 3.

After Brooks Orpik was suspended three games for this hit on Olli Maatta in Game 2, many people are expecting a similar outcome for Letang. It’s important to note that there are certain similarities between the two hits, but there are also some key differences.

Both victims definitely took shots to the head, there’s no doubt about that, but to say that the hits are identical isn’t accurate. First, although Letang’s hit appears to be late (0.6 seconds after the puck is gone is considered late), it isn’t as late as Orpik’s hit on Maatta. Another key factor to consider is that unlike Maatta, Johansson returned to the game.

Letang was given a two-minute penalty for interference on the play.

TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie breaks it down perfectly:

A decision is expected to be made later on this evening.

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoffs schedule for tonight

Stanley Cup
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The Stanley Cup playoffs continue with three games on Tuesday night. You can catch tonight’s games via the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

Tampa Bay at NY Islanders (7:00 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 3 will be on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

San Jose at Nashville (9:00 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 3 will be on the USA Network. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Dallas at St. Louis (9:30 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 3 will be on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Here’s some reading material to get you ready for tonight’s action:

Lightning strikes: Bolts even series with Islanders

The Sharks are the only team to grab a 2-0 series lead in the second round

Seguin resumes skating in Dallas, Ruff notes ‘they have flights to St. Louis every day’

PHT Morning Skate: Adam Henrique wants to make NHL 17 great again

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Martin Jones is a calming presence in the Sharks’ net. (Sports Illustrated)

–The Rangers should go after Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. (The Hockey News)

–Some people have pretty wild hockey tattoos. (BarDown)

–Watch the highlights of last night’s game between the Penguins and Capitals. (Top)

–A great piece on how Bruce Boudreau impacted the Ducks and Capitals. (Sportsnet)

–It should be an interesting off-season for the Anaheim Ducks. (Daily Breeze)

Adam Henrique is a funny guy. He took to Twitter to try and get himself on the cover of NHL 17: