SethJones

Jones ‘definitely’ wants to prove Avs, Panthers and Bolts wrong

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The surprise of the early part of the NHL Draft — Seth Jones falling to Nashville at No. 4 overall — has left a chip on Jones’ shoulder.

“You definitely want to prove them wrong and you definitely want to show them why they should have picked you,” Jones said after Colorado, Florida and Tampa Bay all passed on selecting him. “That’s not my only goal next year, but it’s definitely on my list.”

Jones, the No. 1-rated North American skater by NHL Central Scouting, was thought to be a virtual lock for a top-three spot. Preds GM David Poile — who didn’t figure he’d have a chance to pick Jones — couldn’t stop raving about the WHL Portland blueliner prior to the draft.

“Absolutely, 100 percent. 110 percent,” Poile said earlier this week, when asked if the Preds would take Jones. “I think he’s the best player in the draft.

“He’s the whole package, He has size, he has great skating, he has offensive abilities. I certainly think he’s going to be an aggressive player.”

It’s unclear exactly why Jones fell.

Colorado was clearly enamored with Nathan MacKinnon at the No. 1 spot, and Florida thought highly enough of Aleksander Barkov to use the No. 2 pick on him (after a “healthy debate,” according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.)

Tampa Bay opted for Jonathan Drouin — considered to be the best playmaker in the draft — at No. 3, leaving Nashville the golden opportunity to draft the guy they wanted all along.

“He can be a Norris Trophy winner,” Poile said. “That’s not to say the other guys couldn’t be equally as good, but that’s how I would have him — as the best player in the draft.”

Nashville also has to be thrilled about the Jones-Phil Housley reunion. Housley, who coached Jones on the gold medal-winning American World Junior team in 2013, was hired as an assistant coach in Nashville earlier this month.

And as for Jones? He’s happy to be going to Music City.

“I love country [music], to be honest,” he said. “I listen to it a lot, actually. “

Penguins push Capitals to brink of elimination with OT win

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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 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 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.

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 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.