Author: Ryan Dadoun


Penguins’ Murray adds AHL’s top goalie honors to long list of rookie accomplishments


For Pittsburgh Penguins fans looking for a pick-me-up after last night’s 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers, there’s always Matt Murray’s growing list of AHL rookie accomplishments.

The AHL announced that 20-year-old Penguins prospect is the winner of the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award, which is given annually to the league’s top goaltender. That’s in addition to being named the rookie of the year and appearing on both the AHL All-Rookie Team and AHL All-Star First Team.

Murray posted a 1.51 GAA and .943 save percentage in 39 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2014-15. He also earned 12 shutouts, which is the second highest total of any goaltender in the AHL’s 79-year history. Along the way he established a new AHL record for the longest shutout streak with his stretch of 304:11 minutes of perfect play.

He was taken with the 83rd overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoff TV schedule for tonight

Pekka Rinne, Anton Volchenkov, Jonathan Toews

A quick look at what games will be on what channels in tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action…

Senators at Canadiens, 7 p.m. ET on CNBC

Montreal earned a 4-3 victory in Game 1, but the big story was P.K. Subban’s slash on Mark Stone. The Senators wanted to see Subban suspended over that one, but it looks like that won’t happen. Now tempers are running high going into Game 2. As previously noted, the Senators need to control their emotions though before this series gets away from them.

Islanders at Capitals, 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN

The Islanders secured a 4-1 victory over Washington in Game 1 with Josh Bailey, Ryan Strome, and Brock Nelson leading the charge. If John Tavares gets hot in Game 2, then New York might find itself in a commanding position by the end of the night, although we might end up seeing Alex Ovechkin respond instead. Meanwhile goaltender Jaroslav Halak now has a 2.23 GAA and .941 save percentage in seven career playoff games against Washington.

Blackhawks at Predators, 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

It took 87:49 minutes to settle Game 1, but in the end Chicago completed its comeback from a 3-0 deficit. Along the way Patrick Kane recorded two power-play assists in his return from a broken clavicle. Chicago struggled to convert on its power-play chances after the All-Star break, but the return on Kane might have ended that issue, which is yet another thing Nashville has to worry about.

Flames at Canucks, 10:00 p.m. ET on CNBC

Down 1-0 going into the second intermission, the Flames rallied in the final frame and Kris Russell scored the winner with just 30 seconds remaining in Game 1 on Wednesday. The Flames were one of the best teams in the league when it came to battling back from a deficit in the third period over the course of the regular season, but they obviously don’t want to make a habit of it in the playoffs. The Flames might not be so fortunate this time around if they fall behind again.

PHT Morning Skate: Ottawa Sun runs with front page headline ‘Heads Up, P.K.’

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Montreal Canadiens

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

The Ottawa Sun is advising P.K. Subban to keep his head up:

Editor’s Note: Play one-day fantasy hockey tonight! Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $25,000 league for Friday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first place wins $2,000. Starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET. Play Now!

Here’s a look at the pros and cons of keeping Flyers coach Craig Berube. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Getting Patrick Kane back helps Chicago in a number of ways, including with the man advantage, which was an area the Blackhawks struggled in after the All-Star break. (CSN Chicago)

Missing the playoffs has only made Kings bench boss Darryl Sutter more eager to continue coaching. (Edmonton Journal)

Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec and captain Andrew Ladd crashed into each other during the team’s pregame warmups on Thursday. This could have ended so much worse:

Neither was hurt, although Anaheim went on to earn a 4-2 victory in Game 1:

Ben O’Connor scored a between the legs, top shelf shootout goal versus South Korea in IIHF play (h/t Puck Daddy):

WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action

Sidney Crosby, Martin St. Louis

Yesterday featured a double overtime game, a come-from-behind rally that was completed by a game-winning goal with just 30 seconds remaining in the third period, and a controversial slash delivered by a former Norris Trophy winner to a serious contender for the 2015 Calder Trophy. And that was just the first night of the playoffs.

All four of tonight’s games will be televised and you’ll also have the option of streaming them via NBC Sports Live Extra.

The New York Rangers will host the Pittsburgh Penguins with pregame coverage starting at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the live stream:


CNBC will carry Game 1 of the Tampa Bay Lightning versus the Detroit Red Wings, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET:


NBCSN will round out its doubleheader with the series opener between the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues, beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET:


Finally, the Anaheim Ducks will host the Winnipeg Jets on CNBC and the puck is scheduled to drop at 10:30 p.m. ET:


Will penalty problems continue to sink the Penguins?

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game One

If the Penguins could change anything about their performance in tonight’s 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers, it would probably be their lack of discipline in the first period. After all, when assistant coach Gary Agnew had to give his three impressions of the game, here was number one, per the Penguins’ website:

The first period, you can’t take four minor penalties. It just kills your momentum if you had any, but obviously giving up the early goals, especially the early goal, they fed off their crowd and got rolling pretty good with the momentum and t8hat caused us to take those penalties. We’ve got to be more disciplined.

And if you need further convincing:

It sounds straightforward, but this isn’t a new issue for the Penguins. In the regular season they had the second most minor penalties in the league with 349 and their 13.7 PIM per game was higher than any other team. If not for an impressive 84.8 penalty killing percentage, they likely wouldn’t have gotten to the playoffs in the first place, but penalties hurt even when you don’t surrender a goal.

Tonight was a good example of that as the Rangers took the lead just 28 seconds into the contest and the Penguins basically had to wait until the second frame before they could attempt to get back into the game because they spent a good chunk of the first playing a man short.

Perhaps Pittsburgh will change its game, but given that this has been a persistent problem this season, there’s certainly cause to suspect this might also be an ongoing narrative in the series.