David Perron

Blues demote Perron for playoff-clinching game vs. Avs

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All the St. Louis Blues need from tonight’s game against Colorado is one point, and they’re in the playoffs.

To that end, head coach Ken Hitchcock’s icing a lineup similar to the one that lost to the Avs 5-3 on Sunday night, with one notable change — winger David Perron has been dropped from the first line to the fourth, and looks to be off the power-play entirely.

“I respect the decision and I’ll just go out and play hard tonight,” Perron told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Hopefully we can clinch tonight and go [in the playoffs in] the front door, and that’s all I’ll worry about.

“Nothing else.”

Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch reports Perron was skating with Adam Cracknell and Ryan Reaves on the bottom forward unit — rookie Jaden Schwartz was in his place on the top line next to David Backes and Alex Steen.

Perron had a costly turnover during Sunday’s loss, which led to Jamie McGinn’s tally that put made it 3-1 in favor of Colorado.

Clearly, Hitchcock hasn’t forgotten about it.

The Blues head coach abruptly answered questions about Perron’s demotion — “It’s part of the 12 [forwards], don’t read anything into it. OK, thanks,” — before walking off.

Perron’s had an erratic year. He started well, scoring 20 points in the first 26 games of the year, but has struggled as of late and only has five points (just one goal) since Mar. 19.

That scoring slump won’t be helped any if he is indeed off the power play. Rutherford reports that two sets of forwards were practicing with the man advantage today, and Perron wasn’t a part of either.

Sidney Crosby looks hurt (and furious) after Alex Ovechkin slash

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NBCSN screen
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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 andĀ 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.

Dirty or not? Evgeni Malkin’s hit on Daniel Winnik

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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.

Blues aim to raise money for victims of Fort McMurray fires

An evacuee puts gas in his car on his way out of Fort McMurray, Alberta, as a wildfire burns in the background Wednesday, May 4, 2016. The raging wildfire emptied Canada's main oil sands city, destroying entire neighborhoods of Fort McMurray, where officials warned Wednesday that all efforts to suppress the fire have failed.  (Jason Franson /The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
AP
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Fires devastated the Canadian city of Fort McMurray, and the St. Louis Blues are doingĀ their partĀ 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 teamā€™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.

Video: Beagle’s perfect shot dogs Murray for early Caps lead

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Matt Murray was just on another level in Game 3, giving the impression that the Washington Capitals would only beat him with perfect shots.

Jay Beagle got that memo … and maybe added a little element of surprise on top of that.

As you can see from the video above, Beagle beat Murray from an unexpected angle with a pretty resounding goal. It was one of those “Wait, did that just happen?”-type moments.

The Capitals saw their lead go away moments before this post was completed, so it’s now 1-1.