Cam Tucker

Video: Nugent-Hopkins splits the Kings defense, scores a beauty goal

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored an absolutely gorgeous goal on Tuesday.

After picking up the puck at full speed in the neutral zone, Nugent-Hopkins skated right through the L.A. Kings’ defense, leaving Drew Doughty in his dust, and deking to the backhand on Jonathan Quick for the goal.

That was his second goal of the night and 18th of the season.

Wild d-man Spurgeon injured in win over Hurricanes


There has been plenty of discussion about the Minnesota Wild and that team’s fall from first place in the Central Division.

The chances of winning the division have already gone out the window, but the Wild have clinched home ice in the first round of the playoffs, thanks to a 5-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.

After giving up three goals on six shots in the first period, Devan Dubnyk regrouped, stopping all 24 shots he faced after that.

But the win may have come at a price.

Jared Spurgeon, who is tied with Ryan Suter for the team lead in points among defensemen, left the game early in the second period and didn’t return because of a lower-body injury.

That said, it appears this situation isn’t as bad as it may have seemed initially.

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau told reporters afterward that he doesn’t believe the injury is serious and Spurgeon will travel with the team tomorrow. Minnesota finishes out its schedule on the road, facing the Avalanche on Thursday and the Coyotes on Saturday.

Flames goalie Chad Johnson leaves game vs. Ducks with lower-body injury


Brian Elliott will play the remainder of Tuesday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks.

Chad Johnson started the game in net but left for the locker room after just 5:19 and one save on one shot. The Flames have since announced that Johnson will not return because of a lower-body injury.

With the Flames heading to the playoffs, that’s definitely a development worth keeping an eye on.

As the Flames’ back-up netminder, Johnson has a 18-15-1 record and a .910 save percentage this season in Calgary, which has experienced a substantial turnaround in its goaltending following last summer’s moves, particularly with the play of Elliott.

The spoiler role: Maple Leafs fail to clinch playoff berth after loss to Capitals

1 Comment

Talk about spoiling the party.

The Toronto Maple Leafs — remember, they’re in a rebuild — had a chance to clinch a playoff spot on Tuesday.

They received help from out of town, with the Boston Bruins defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning and delivering a heavy blow to the Bolts’ already slim post-season chances, but the Maple Leafs needed to defeat the Washington Capitals and that’s where the celebration was halted.

Alex Ovechkin didn’t score but delivered some bone-crunching body checks and the Capitals dealt the Maple Leafs a 4-1 defeat in Toronto. The wait in Toronto for a post-season berth continues.

The Capitals were unable to clinch the Presidents’ Trophy due to the fact Pittsburgh defeated Columbus tonight.

Mike Babcock and company hold a five-point lead on the Bolts, with those teams facing each other on Thursday. Both teams have played 79 games.

The margin for error for the Bolts is razor thin.

Meanwhile, despite their struggles of late, the Ottawa Senators inched closer to a playoff spot thanks to a 2-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings.

Erik Karlsson returned to the lineup and had an immediate impact with a goal and an assist, while Clarke MacArthur also made his return after a surprise announcement earlier in the day.

The Sens, dealing with a plethora of injuries, move back into second in the Atlantic Division with 94 points — six clear of the Bolts — in 79 games.

WATCH LIVE: Oilers at Kings


Connor McDavid is taking over the Hollywood hockey scene tonight.

The Edmonton Oilers, still chasing first place in the Pacific Division, currently two points back of the Ducks, are in L.A. to face the Kings on Tuesday. You can catch the game on NBCSN (10:30 p.m. ET) or online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.


Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

PHT Morning Skate: Is it time for the Kings to move on from Darryl Sutter?

Plagued by scoring issues, Kings eliminated from playoff contention

A challenging offseason awaits Kings GM Lombardi

McLellan: Workhorse Talbot ‘has been better than I thought he’d be’