The referees for tonight’s Eastern Conference quarterfinal Game 7 between the Rangers and Senators are Brad Watson (#23) and Dan O’Halloran (#13)
Working the lines will be “Mean” Jean Morin (#97) and Brad “B-Rad” Kovachik (#71).
— Judging by his assignments, Watson has been this posteason’s “cooler”.
He was assigned Game 2 of the Detroit-Nashville series (after Game 1 had 17 minor penalties and the infamous Shea Weber-Henrik Zetterberg head smash) and Game 3 of New York-Ottawa (after Game 2 had the Matt Carkner-Brian Boyle attack and Carl Hagelin’s high hit on Daniel Alfredsson.)
— In Sens-Rangers Game 3, Watson and fellow referee Mike Leggo sent an early message by calling two penalties in the first five minutes.
“They were trying to get control of it, and with what’s going on, I don’t really blame them,” Rangers forward Brian Boyle said of the officiating. “You don’t want to go in the box, especially with what’s at stake.”
— O’Halloran’s postseason has been quiet. His most contentious ruling (if you can call it contentious) came in Game 4 of the LA-Vancouver series, when he waved off a goal from Kings forward Brad Richardson.
— That said, this is not O’Halloran’s first rodeo. He came into this year with 74 playoff games worked and was front-and-center during last year’s Stanley Cup finals (most notably in watching the Brad Marchand-Daniel Sedin speedbagging.)
— Not much to say about the linesmen, other than they’re somewhat unfamiliar with this series. Kovachik worked Game 5; Game 7 will be Morin’s first.
The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.
Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.
With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.
It was a thrilling, sometimes nasty contest, from Sidney Crosby shaking off an Alex Ovechkin slash, to Evgeni Malkin delivering a hit some thought was over the line and plenty of typical playoff skirmishes.
Ultimately, Matt Murray played another strong game and Patric Hornqvist scored the overtime-winner to put the Capitals in a tough spot.
The Penguins lost their previous eight playoff overtime games, so maybe it was just a matter of time before such a game went their way?
Then again, the history between the two teams is a little different:
If the Capitals want to advance beyond the second round for the first time in the Ovechkin era, they’ll need to accomplish quite the feat against arguably the hottest team in the NHL.
Sidney Crosby is known to get fiery, but even for his feisty standards, he was furious during the third period of Game 4.
An Alex Ovechkin slash caught Crosby on the hand, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins star shaking his mitt and pleading for a call.
After that, Crosby left to get his hand looked at … but not before flipping out and destroying his stick.
You can watch it happen in the GIF and the videos above.
Crosby was able to return not that long after that moment, although we can only speculate regarding how his overall game will be affected if his hand isn’t 100 percent.
Tensions seem to rise with every passing game in the playoffs, particularly in a series with bad blood like the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.
Kris Letang was suspended for his hit in Game 3, and some wonder if Evgeni Malkin should suffer a similar fate for his check on Daniel Winnik on Wednesday.
Winnik left the contest and has not yet returned during the third period.
Take a look at the hit in the video above and decide for yourself.
Fires devastated the Canadian city of Fort McMurray, and the St. Louis Blues are doing their part to help those who were affected.
Here’s what the team is doing to raise money during Game 4 against the Dallas Stars:
Proceeds raised through the team’s 50/50 raffle and the Blues for Kids silent auction will benefit families who have been misplaced by the fires.
Blues forward Scottie Upshall shared his thoughts with the Associated Press regarding several family members being among those evacuated from the area.
“It’s been a great city, a city that’s survived for many years through some tough times and for me, growing up there doesn’t seem too long ago,” Upshall said. “Places that probably aren’t standing anymore will be really, really tough to take. But as long as everyone’s OK, that’s the main thing.”
Other people from around the hockey world weighed in on the scary scene, including Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, who told the Ottawa Citizen that “it hurts a lot.”
People shared some scary sights from the evacuation.