Honeymoon over? Legwand dropped to third line in Detroit

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David Legwand’s first nine games in a Detroit uniform were pretty good — he scored two goals and five assists, and was getting top-line minutes at center.

The last three games? Not so good.

Legwand is pointless with an ugly minus-6 rating, and Detroit has lost all three while managing to secure just one of a possible six points. For a team in the thick of a playoff chase, that’s not good enough — and that’s partly why Legwand was dropped to the third line, getting just 12:36 of ice time in Thursday’s defeat to Montreal.

“So-so,” is how Legwand described his play with Detroit thus far, per the Macomb Daily. “There is room to improve and be better in certain areas in the game.”

Thursday’s minus-3 effort against was the straw that broke the camel’s back (or, more specifically, broke Legwand.) He’ll reportedly stay down on the third unit for Saturday’s big game against Toronto, skating alongside Daniel Alfredsson and Joakim Andersson.

“We didn’t play very good so we changed things during the game,” head coach Mike Babcock said. “We’re just staying with what we finished with.

“I didn’t think he was great [vs. Montreal] but he was in a club with some other veteran guys that weren’t very good either so you know we weren’t good enough any way you look at it.”

It’ll be interesting to see how Detroit and Legwand respond to this recent poor stretch, as the stakes are pretty high for both right now. The Wings are fighting to extend their postseason appearance streak to 23 seasons while Legwand, a pending UFA, is playing for a new contract.

Erik Karlsson played through hairline fractures in foot to help Sens advance

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Remember when many were keeping an eye on Erik Karlsson after he was seemingly cramping up after logging more than 40 minutes in an OT contest against the Boston Bruins.

It’s possible he was also dealing with that sort of ailment, but he earned some “hockey tough” kudos on Sunday after word surfaced that the Ottawa Senators defenseman was dealing with hairline fractures in his left heel through the series.

Sportsnet’s Jason York refers to the issue as “two small fractures” while ESPN’s Joe McDonald went into specifics, noting that Karlsson explains that the injury happened on March 28 (and was why he missed some games late in the season).

There’s some optimism as the Senators ready for the New York Rangers, at least according to Karlsson.

Hmm.

Either way, that’s impressive stuff from the Senators defenseman, and the sort of information that usually only surfaces after a team has been eliminated. We’ll see if he’s hindered by such issues as the playoffs go along.

Gaudreau, Granlund and Tarasenko: 2017 Lady Byng finalists

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The NHL officially announced the nominees for the 2017 Lady Byng on Sunday, and they’re a star-studded bunch: Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Granlund and Vladimir Tarasenko.

The PHWA determines “the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

(Did Tarasenko help eliminate Granlund’s team in a gentlemanly fashion?)

For more on the three finalists, click here.

MacArthur, Senators end Bruins’ season in OT after controversial calls

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It’s a feel-good story, especially if you can look beyond questions of officiating.

Clarke MacArthur could have very well never played another NHL game considering his lengthy battles with concussion symptoms. Instead, he drew a penalty on the Boston Bruins in overtime of Game 6 and then managed to score the series-clinching goal.

Now, this isn’t to say that MacArthur didn’t rightfully draw a penalty; it most clearly was. And, in the bigger picture, it’s one of those stories that almost makes you wonder if real-life sports actually do follow Hollywood scripts.

People just wonder about some other decisions during that overtime, in particular, making it frustrating for some Bruins fans to see the season end in such a way.

Whether they like it or not, that is the case, though.

The Senators took Game 6 by a score of 3-2 (OT), winning their series 4-2. They can breathe a sigh of relief in avoiding a Game 7, an especially valuable bonus since Erik Karlsson had been pushed hard lately, logging more than 40 minutes in a recent game.

Ottawa avoids a do-or-die contest. Instead, they’ll face the New York Rangers in the next round while the Bruins enter the summer following an up-and-down campaign.

Bergeron takes advantage of slow Sens change, sends Game 6 to OT (Video)

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Every game in this Senators – Bruins series has been decided by one goal, so why not send Game 6 to overtime?

Oh, and speaking of overtime, this contest going beyond regulation makes it 17 OT games, tying an NHL record for the most in a single round.

Ottawa appeared to take a “lazy change” with a 2-1 lead, and Patrice Bergeron made the Senators pay, putting in a rebound to collect the goal that eventually sent this contest to overtime.