Evgeni Malkin

Rangers finally score, but Penguins win third straight


After being shutout in the previous two games, New York’s goal scoring drought finally ended at 145:30 minutes, but the Rangers didn’t generate many other scoring chances and Pittsburgh still came ahead with a 4-2 victory.

The Penguins have elevated their game defensively in the second round. They held the Rangers to just 15 shots and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was decent when challenged. The Rangers’ first goal was scored by Carl Hagelin when he was able to blaze past the Penguins’ players without much resistance after Pittsburgh presented him with a clear path to the net.

The goal Fleury allowed to Mats Zuccarello at 13:07 of the third period was arguably one he should have stopped, but in both cases, the Rangers’ efforts to force themselves back into the contest proved to be moot.

Hagelin’s marker tied the game at 1-1, but later in the period, the Rangers’ ugly power-play unit reared its head again. Not only have they failed to score a goal with the man advantage for nine straight games, but Brandon Sutter gave the Penguins back the lead while Pittsburgh was shorthanded.

Zuccarello’s goal put the Rangers within one, but Chris Kunitz responded less than a minute later.

Pittsburgh now has a 3-1 series lead, which gives the team a chance to finish this series at home on Friday. That would give the Penguins a much needed breather before the Eastern Conference Final after the first four games of this series were played over the span of six days.

Report: Kings, Richards nearing settlement

Mike Richards
1 Comment

The Los Angeles Kings and Mike Richards may be nearing a settlement in their dispute over Richards’ terminated contract, TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting.

You can read the report for all the details, but we’re sure curious about this part:

If a settlement is reached, there’s no word yet on what salary cap penalties the Kings would still face. There’s bound to be something, but not likely as onerous as the full value of Richards’ contract, which carries with it a cap hit of $5.75 million. If there’s a settlement, Richards would undoubtedly become a free agent though there’s no telling at this point what monies he would be entitled to from the Kings in a settlement.

The issue here is precedent, and what this case could set. The NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door, and many are adamant that that’s what the Kings were attempting to do in Richards’ case.

Bettman to players: Don’t screw up ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ with drugs

Gary Bettman
Leave a comment

The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.

“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.

“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”

While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.

“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”

Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?