Rangers-Hurricanes series getting chippy heading into Game 4

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New York Rangers coach Gerard Gallant was displeased with the skirmish at the end of his team’s Game 3 win against the Carolina Hurricanes.

One day later, he was ready to put it behind them.

“Last night in the heat of the moment, you’re (upset),” Gallant said Monday. “Game’s over and you get a big win. Today, you move on towards a huge game, so you don’t do something stupid. There’s opportunities to make sure you make people pay a price, but you don’t do that.

“You’re worried about winning the game and getting this series tied 2-2 and that’s the biggest thing.”

Gallant was angry after the buzzer of Sunday’s 3-1 win that cut the Rangers’ series deficit to 2-1, when Carolina forward Max Domi hit New York’s Ryan Lindgren and the defensemen struck him back, resulting in some fighting. The coach also had a verbal exchange with Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo.

“No, I wasn’t happy with the (things) at the end of the game they initiated,” Gallant said after Sunday’s game. “We didn’t do that when the games were close. They want to play like that, we got the guys that can match that.”

The Rangers will be looking to even the series in Game 4 on Tuesday night (7 p.m. EDT, ESPN).

On Monday, Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour downplayed what happened.

“I don’t know what he’s talking about,” Brind’Amour said. “It’s not like we have guys that send messages.”

Though he didn’t want to dwell on it, Gallant believed it could help his team get engaged.

“I don’t think it hurts us one bit,” he said. “I think it helps us. It’s good when guys get a little (upset) once in a while. We play better. It gets us more focused.”

Ryan Reaves, one of the Rangers players Gallant referenced who can respond, agreed.

“Some of those top guys, I think they start playing a little more physical and getting into battles a little more,” he said. “I think our team thrives on it. Some teams shy away, I think we do well with it.”

The Hurricanes aren’t concerned by it, and expect a playoff series to get physical.

“It’s playoffs, it’s pretty normal to get hit or make a hit,” Carolina forward Sebastian Aho said. “It’s intense and fast and it’s a battle out there, so there’s nothing new there. I’m not surprised if I get hit in a playoff game. Obviously you’ve got to be ready for it.”

Gallant shuffled his lines at the start of Game 3 after totaling one goal in the first two games. In the third period, he reverted to the usual combinations. He indicated there could be more changes for Game 4.

Brind’Amour mixed up his lines during practice Monday to try to get his team’s offense jump-started the same way.

The Hurricanes have struggled on the power play. After converting on 22% of their chances with the man-advantage during the season, they are at 11.6% during the playoffs — including 0 for 7 in this series.

“One group’s been actually very good creating a lot of chances,” Brind’Amour said. “Our so-called top unit hasn’t been very good. They’re the ones that have really struggled. Just trying to shake it up a little bit there and see where it goes. … We’ve got to find some goals.”

FLAMES at OILERS, Oilers lead 2-1 (9:30 p.m. EDT, ESPN)

The Calgary Flames know they need to figure out a way to contain Edmonton’s Connor McDavid as they try to avoid being pushed to the brink of elimination.

McDavid has totaled two goals and seven assists in the first three games of the series, and has six goals and 17 assists through 10 playoff games. Only Wayne Gretzky (29 in 1983 and 25 in 1985), Mario Lemieux (25 in 1992) and Rick Middleton (23 in 1983) have more points in that number of games.

“We’ve let one guy beat us a few nights now,” Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk said. “Back to the drawing board and figure out a way to stop him.”

On Sunday night, McDavid had three assists, including the primary one on two of Evander Kane’s three goals in a 4-1 win that gave the Oilers their second straight victory after losing a 9-6 slugfest in the series opener.

Edmonton scored four goals in a 12:06 stretch of the second period to jump ahead and cruise to the win at home.

“I think we had a lot of our younger guys that haven’t been in this situation before (and) were a little bit intimidated by the atmosphere,” Calgary coach Darryl Sutter said.

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    Sharks goalie James Reimer declines to wear Pride jersey

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    San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer didn’t take part in pregame warmups, saying the team’s decision to wear Pride-themed jerseys in support of the LGBTQ community runs counter to his religious beliefs.

    Reimer said in a statement Saturday that he made the decision based on his Christian beliefs, adding that he “always strived to treat everyone with respect” and that members of the LGBTQ community should be welcome in hockey.

    “In this specific instance, I am choosing not to endorse something that is counter to my personal convictions, which are based on the Bible, the highest authority in life,” Reimer said.

    Reimer is the second NHL player this season to refuse to take part in warmups with Pride-themed jerseys, with Philadelphia’s Ivan Provorov declining to in January. Reimer was not slated to start in Saturday night’s home game against the New York Islanders, which is Pride night.

    Additionally, the New York Rangers opted not to wear Pride jerseys or use Pride stick tape as part of their night in January despite previously advertising that plan.

    The Sharks said in a statement that they are proud to host Pride Night, saying the event reinforces the team’s commitment to inclusiveness.

    “As we promote these standards, we also acknowledge and accept the rights of individuals to express themselves, including how or whether they choose to express their beliefs, regardless of the cause or topic,” the team said in a statement. “As an organization, we will not waver in our support of the LGBTQIA+ community and continue to encourage others to engage in active allyship.”

    The You Can Play Project, which works to promote inclusiveness in sports, said the organization was disappointed in Reimer’s actions.

    “Religion and respect are not in conflict with each other, and we are certainly disappointed when religion is used as a reason to not support our community,” the organization said. “Wearing pride jerseys, like any celebration jersey worn, is not about the personal feelings of an athlete; rather the communication from the team that a community is welcome in the arena and the sport.”

    Panarin, Shesterkin lead Rangers to 6-0 rout of Penguins

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    NEW YORK — Mika Zibanejad had a goal and two assists, Artemi Panarin scored twice and Igor Shesterkin made 33 saves as the New York Rangers routed Pittsburgh 6-0 on Saturday night for their second win over the Penguins in three days.

    Vladimir Tarasenko, Chris Kreider and Jacob Trouba also scored for the surging Rangers, who have won nine of their last 11 home games and are 12-4-0 in their past 16 at Madison Square Garden.

    Shesterkin won his fifth straight and posted his second shutout this season. He nimbly denied Pittsburgh forward Mikael Granland with a sprawling save five minutes into the third period to preserve the shutout, the 10th of his career. His other one this season was a 1-0 home win over Philadelphia on Nov. 1.

    “When you put in hard and honest work, miracles happen,” Shesterkin said through a translator. ”We played wonderfully today – scored many, many goals. Honestly, I hope the fans loved it. We’re playing for them.”

    The Penguins lost their third straight and trail the Rangers by 12 points for third place in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh, still in wild-card position, is trying to reach the playoffs for the 17th straight time.

    “Tonight was a humbling experience for all of us,” coach Mike Sullivan said. ”At this time of year, you have to have a short memory. We still have control of our destiny.”

    Patrick Kane and defenseman K’Andre Miller also had two assists apiece as New York improved to 7-1-1 in its last nine home games against Pittsburgh. The Rangers are five points behind the second-place New Jersey Devils, who lost at Florida on Saturday.

    “This was a big game for our goalie and our team,” Panarin said. “If you work at playing the right way, you have opportunities for goals.”

    Since Dec. 5, when they turned around their season with a 6-4 comeback win at home over St. Louis, the Rangers are 29-9-5.

    As he did on Thursday when the Rangers beat the Penguins 4-2, Zibanejad opened the scoring. He got his team-leading 36th goal at 5:10 of the first, beating Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry. Trouba and Miller assisted.

    Panarin made it 2-0 at 19:49 on the power play, whipping the puck past Jarry from the left circle off a pass from Adam Fox.

    Tarasenko increased the lead at 3:54 of the second with his fifth goal since joining the Rangers in a trade with St. Louis on Feb. 9. Tarasenko has points in 10 of his first 18 games with the Rangers.

    Kreider made it 4-0 at 6:43 with his 31st goal and third in two games against the Penguins. Kane and Vincent Trocheck assisted on Kreider’s 260th career goal, which moved the Rangers forward within two of Vic Hadfield for fifth place on the franchise list.

    New York won Thursday when Kreider scored the go-ahead goal in the third and added an empty-netter.

    After Casey DeSmith replaced Jarry in net following Kreider’s goal, Trouba beat the replacement with a sharp-angle shot at 8:39 for his eighth to increase the margin to 5-0. Trouba has points in six of his last eight games.

    Panarin scored again at 16:38 of the second – his 22nd goal of the season – to make it 6-0, with assists to Kane and Filip Chytil.

    “We’re building chemistry, building every day and every game,” Kane said.

    Panarin has points in eight of his last 10 games and leads the Rangers with 77 points overall, while Kane has seven points in his last six games.

    “It’s nice to see that many great players on your team,” added Panarin, whose first two NHL seasons were played alongside Kane with the Chicago Blackhawks. “We’re happy tonight.”

    Zibanejad assisted on goals by Tarasenko and Trouba and has 25 points – including 14 goals – over his last 20 games.

    “It was just one of those nights when the puck goes in for us,” Zibanejad said. “And obviously Igor gives us a boost making all those saves.”

    NOTES: The Penguins were missing defenseman Jeff Petry after he was hit with an unpenalized elbow from Rangers forward Tyler Motte on Thursday. … Pittsburgh also scratched defenseman Jan Rutta and forward Dalton Heinen and played defenseman Mark Friedman for the first time since Feb. 11. … The Rangers were without injured defenseman Ryan Lindgren for the 10th straight game.


    Penguins: Host the Ottawa Senators on Monday.

    Rangers: Host the Nashville Predators on Sunday night.

    Coyotes sign Shane Doan’s son to entry-level contract

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    TEMPE, Ariz. — Josh Doan is following his father’s footsteps into professional hockey.

    The Arizona Coyotes signed the 21-year-old forward to a three-year entry-level contract, beginning with the 2023-24 NHL season. He will report to the Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL and play his first game against the Calgary Wranglers.

    Doan’s father, Shane, played 21 seasons with the franchise, many of those as captain, and followed it from Winnipeg to the desert in 1996. Shane Doan now serves as Arizona’s chief hockey development officer.

    The Coyotes drafted Josh Doan in the second round of the 2021, but he opted to play for the hometown Arizona State Sun Devils.

    Josh Doan set school records for goals (12) and assists (25) as a freshman last season. He had 16 goals and 22 assists in 39 games with Arizona State this season.

    The 6-foot-1, 183-pounder also played two seasons for the Chicago Steel of the USHL.

    Blackhawks forward Cole Guttman has shoulder surgery

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    CHICAGO — Chicago Blackhawks forward Cole Guttman had surgery on his right shoulder.

    The team said the operation was performed in Los Angeles. Team physician Michael Terry said the 23-year-old Guttman is expected “to be out of hockey activities for approximately four months.”

    Guttman had been a pleasant surprise for rebuilding Chicago. He made his NHL debut last month and finished the season with four goals and two assists in 14 games.

    Guttman was selected by Tampa Bay in the 2017 draft. He agreed to a two-year contract with Chicago in August 2022 that had a $950,000 salary cap hit.