It’s official: Simon Gagne will get a chance to play in the Stanley Cup finals.
That’s the word out of Staples this morning following the morning skate — news broke a short time ago that the Kings winger will make his playoff debut on Monday and appear in a game for the first time since suffering a concussion in December.
Gagne missed 48 games during the regular season — and, obviously, all 16 of L.A.’s playoff games — and only recently resumed practicing. He’s been skating hard, having to the Stanley Cup finals once before (losing in 2010, with Philadelphia) and cognizant of the fact this might be his best chance at hoisting Lord Stanley’s mug.
Sounds as though Kings forward Brad Richardson will be the odd man out after playing just 2:23 in the third period and 1:10 in overtime of Game 2. This could be a move to inject offense into the L.A. lineup as the Kings only have two regulation goals in the series.
Gagne’s improbable return harkens back to last year’s Stanley Cup finals. The Canucks had all but ruled out Manny Malhotra (eye) playing in the series — very much like what L.A.’s done with Gagne — yet Malhotra returned for Game 2 and received a raucous ovation from the Rogers Arena faithful.
Expect Staples to be very loud this evening when Gagne hits the ice.
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.