Get your game notes: Kings at Sharks


Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the San Jose Sharks hosting the L.A. Kings starting at 10 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• With a win tonight, the Kings will become the fourth team in NHL history to overcome an 0-3 series deficit to win a series, and the third of those teams to win Game 7 on the road. Two current Kings were on the most recent comeback club, the 2010 Flyers: Mike Richards (who assisted on Simon Gagne’s series-winning goal) and Jeff Carter (who missed the series after undergoing foot surgery).

• The Sharks were in a similar situation in the 2011 Western Conference Semis vs. Detroit, when they won Games 1-3, lost Games 4-6 and faced a deciding Game 7 at the “Shark Tank.” San Jose prevailed, 3-2, advancing to the conference final (where they lost to Vancouver in five games). Eight players from that roster remain, including the winning goaltender that day, Antti Niemi, and four of the five skaters who registered points: Logan Couture, Patrick Marleau, Dan Boyle and Joe Thornton.

• This is the sixth time in Stanley Cup playoff history that two teams will meet in Game 7 in consecutive postseasons. In four of the previous five instances, the same team clinched both series.

• Kings forward Justin Williams has played in four Game 7s for three different teams in his 13-year NHL career, and he has scored a goal in all of them: for PHI vs. TOR in 2003, for CAR vs. BUF and EDM in 2006, and for LA vs. SJ in 2013 (two goals). Williams is the only player in NHL history to score goals in each of his first four Game 7s. Only one other player, Jeff Friesen, scored goals in four consecutive Game 7s at any point in his career: for SJ vs. STL in 2000, for NJ vs. OTT and ANA in 2003 and for ANA vs. CGY in 2006. Elias Sports Bureau

• Through six games, the Kings-Sharks series has featured 42 goals (most of any series), 562 hits (most) and 298 penalty minutes (second-most, behind Anaheim-Dallas – 327). It has also featured the most blow-out victories of any series: five of the six games have been won by three or more goals. This in contrast to last season’s seven-game series, when five games were decided by one goal.

• Since the beginning of the 2012-13 season, the Sharks have the NHL’s best regular-season home record, in terms of points (102 pts., 46-9-10 record). They had won seven straight home playoff games until Jonathan Quick and the Kings shut them out 3-0 in Game 5.

• In Game 5, Quick picked up only his second win in his last 12 appearances (regular season or playoffs) at San Jose. Since the beginning of the 2011-12 season, he is 2-6-3 (one no-decision) against the Sharks on the road, with a 2.73 GAA, .912 save percentage and two shutouts.

The Buzzer: Shutouts for three, Dubnyk gets win No. 200

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Players of the Night:

Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins, Keith Kinkaid, New Jersey Devils and Curtis McElhinney, Toronto Maple Leafs: Where do we begin on the night of the shutout? Rask didn’t have a particularly busy night making 23 saves, but when you’re facing names like Kucherov and Stamkos, it’s always dangerous. Still, Rask kept rolling along. He is 27-3-2 in his past 32 starts. That’s just silly. … Kinkaid, meanwhile stopped 38 — including 19 in the first period — in a 3-0 win against the Kings for his fourth career shutout. … No Frederik Andersen for Toronto? No problem. McElhinney stepped in and pitched a 33-save performance as the Leafs down the Montreal Canadiens 4-0.

Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues: The Blues defenseman scored twice in regulation and then assisted on Brayden Schenn‘s overtime winner to cap off a three-point night.

Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild: While he didn’t get a shutout, Dubnyk did stop 30 of 31 en route to his 200th career NHL win. The win was also important for the Wild, who moved to within five points of the Winnipeg Jets for second place in the Central Division, and moved five points ahead of the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche for third place.

Highlights of the Night:

Filthy pass:

First-goal celebrations are always the best:

Voracek with a slick move in front:

Save of the year candidate:

Factoids of the Night:

Home is where the wins are:

A legend passes a legend:

Believe in McJesus:

Scary Scenes of the Night:


Sabres 5, Blackhawks 3

Oilers 4, Panthers 2

Devils 3, Kings 0

Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 0

Bruins 3, Lightning 0

Flyers 4, Hurricanes 2

Blue Jackets 2, Senators 1

Blue 4, Rangers 3 (OT)

Wild 3, Coyotes 1

Sharks 5, Canucks 3

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Senators’ Ryan Dzingel drilled in the head with a puck (video)

Leave a comment

We already saw one lacerated leg, and now we have a one-timer drilling a player in the back of the helmet.

Saturday night hasn’t been so kind.

Ottawa Senators forward Ryan Dzingel was forced to leave the game after some friendly fire against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 2-1 loss.

Dzingel was drilled in the back of the head from teammate Mike Hoffman‘s one-timer of the back of his helmet around the mid-way point of the third period.

Dzingel remained down for a time but was able to skate off the ice with some assistance from Ottawa’s trainers.

He did not return to the game.

If you watch this closely, you will see Dzingel’s No. 8 on the back of his helmet fly off after contact with the puck.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Bruins’ David Backes suffers leg laceration in collision (video)


A scary scene unfolded in the first period between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the visiting Boston Bruins on Saturday night.

David Backes and Yanni Gourde came together in the Lightning crease, with Gourde’s skate appearing to cut Backes on the outside of his right leg.

Backes was able to make his way to the Bruins bench on his own, but he was clutching the back of his leg before getting some help down the tunnel.

Backes did not return to the game.

The Bruins said that Backes suffered a laceration above his right knee, which required several stitches to close.

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Dundon, Hurricanes suspend search for new GM: report


The Carolina Hurricanes’ search for a general manager is on hiatus.

Sportsnet’s John Shannon reported Saturday that the process of replacing former GM Ron Francis is being put on hold for the time being, citing that owner Tom Dundon needs more time.

“Tom hasn’t had the time he needs to do face to face interviews and feels that waiting will pay off,” Shannon wrote in a tweet.

Francis was removed from his post as GM on March 7 and “promoted” to a new role as president of hockey operations. There was only one catch: whoever replaced Francis would bypass the Hurricanes’ legend and report directly to Dundon.

The search, thus far, hasn’t been going that well, with three potential targets already withdrawing any interest they were thought to have had.

Part of that problem could be how hands-on Dundon appears to want to be. Part of it could just be timing. Fenton, for instance, could be on his way to a Stanley Cup ring this year in Nashville.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman touched on the situation in a recent 31 Thoughts column.

“I think what I’m looking for, is we have to be comfortable with each other. That’s the most important thing,” Dundon told Friedman when asked what he wants in a new GM. “I actually like to disagree and argue. I don’t want someone to come in and just do what I say, and I don’t want to make decisions. Someone to create a structure of how something is a good idea, and now we are going to get it done.”

You can add Pittsburgh Penguins assistant GM Bill Guerin to the list:

I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that Dundon wanting his hands all over the team — including whatever the GM is doing — isn’t the best selling point.

There’s some good, young talent on the Hurricanes for a new GM to come in and build around, but there’s also some dead weight, including what’s turned into a bad contract with goalie Scott Darling.

No GM wants to play puppet for an owner.

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun said the Hurricanes will suspend their search until the summer when a larger crop of candidates reveals itself.

Still, you have to wonder who’ll be willing to take that plunge. Someone will, of course, but people haven’t exactly been lining up to fill the role.

UPDATE: On Headlines on Saturday, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reported that the salary being offered to a prospective GM in Carolina is $400,000, to which he said he doesn’t see any GM taking as it’s too low. Friedman, meanwhile, believes the search for a new GM is not on a complete hiatus.

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck