USA tops Canada to claim bronze at hockey worlds

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The United States topped Canada 4-1 to claim the bronze medal at the world ice hockey championship on Sunday.

Chris Kreider led the U.S. with two goals.

Forward Nick Bonino scored the winner on a rebound during a power play in the final period. Anders Lee and Kreider added empty-net insurance goals to give the U.S. its third bronze in six years.

”It’s important for the team but it’s also important for USA Hockey,” U.S. captain Patrick Kane said. ”Now, we can build up off this level and try to keep being better and better.”

Kane had an assist in the game to finish the tournament with 20 points for eight goals and 12 assists, the first player to do so since 2008.

”Obviously I’m here to produce and try to create offense and make plays out there,” Kane said. ”Overall, I’m happy … it was a fun tournament and a great experience for me and I hope it will help me with my career going forward too.”

Canada had to settle for a disappointing fourth-place finish.

”We wanted to win gold,” Canada forward Bo Horvat said. ”We wanted to be in the final. It’s not a result we wanted. But we have to take the positives from this experience and bring it to next year.”

Kreider scored the go-ahead goal for the U.S. in the second period, capitalizing on a mistake by Canada captain Connor McDavid.

Canada answered with a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot that went in between the pads of goaltender Keith Kinkaid.

Sweden plays Switzerland for gold later Sunday.

Captained by McDavid, the NHL scoring leader, Canada was considered a contender for gold.

Chasing its third title in four years, Canada suffered losses in the preliminary round to the U.S. and Finland and was stunned by Switzerland 3-2 in the semifinals.

The U.S. had a great start to the tournament with six straight wins. It knocked out the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals but was trashed 6-0 by Sweden in the semis.

Swiss stun Canada, Sweden crushes U.S. in ice hockey semis

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Switzerland stunned title favorite Canada 3-2 to reach only its third final of the world ice hockey championship on Saturday.

The Swiss will play the gold medal game on Sunday against defending champion Sweden, which strode into the final by crushing the United States 6-0.

Canada and the U.S. will play for bronze.

”We obviously got motivated a lot playing them,” Switzerland defenseman Mirco Muller said. ”They’re the best country in the world, hockey-wise, and they have a great team here. It was a great battle for us.”

Canada goaltender Darcy Kuemper made some fine saves in the first period before Tristan Scherwey scored the go-ahead goal for Switzerland with 1:19 remaining in the first period.

Bo Horvat tied it in the second but Switzerland proved resilient, and Gregory Hofmann restored the Swiss lead on a power play.

Gaetan Haas struck again on a power play in the third, redirecting into the net a shot by Sven Andrighetto from the point.

Colton Parayko blasted a slap shot past Swiss goaltender Leonardo Genoni to reduce the lead with 2:07 left in the final period as Canada pulled Kuemper for an extra attacker in vain.

”Switzerland played an unbelievable game,” Canada defenseman Aaron Ekblad said. ”From the drop of the puck they came at us hard in every facet.”

Genoni stopped 43 shots.

”It’s important that we win the last game,” Canada captain Connor McDavid said. ”We’re up to do it.”

Switzerland’s best results have been runner-up in 1935 and 2013. Sweden is going for a third world title in six years, and 11th overall.

”We’re the big underdogs (against Sweden),” Swiss forward Reto Schaeppi said. ”We have a chance if we play a really good game.”

Sweden beat Switzerland 5-3 in the preliminary round.

The Swedes set up their victory over the Americans with three goals in a 3:07 span midway through the second period.

”We didn’t play our best game but we put up a lot of goals,” forward Patric Hornqvist said. ”We still have some improvement to do for the game tomorrow.”

Viktor Arvidsson led Sweden with two goals and goalie Anders Nielsen made 41 saves for the shutout.

Trailing 1-0 in the second, the U.S. had a four-minute power play but allowed a short-handed goal by Magnus Paajarvi, who scored on a rebound after goaltender Keith Kinkaid stopped Mikael Backlund on a breakaway.

Hornqvist stretched the lead to 3-0 on a power play, and Sweden underlined its control when Mattias Janmark made it 4-0 just 11 seconds later.

Arvidsson added his second into an empty net in the final period, and Adrian Kempe finished it off with the sixth. Sweden earned its ninth win from nine games in this championship.

The U.S. pressured in the opening period, outshooting Sweden 16-8 and 41-19 overall. But it was the Swedes who went ahead. Arvidsson knocked in a loose puck in the crease following a shot from above the right circle by Filip Forsberg.

U.S. captain Patrick Kane, the overall scoring leader, failed to register a point for the first time in the championship.

”We just made too many mistakes and they capitalized,” Kane said. ”They’ve got a lot of good players over there and made us pay for those mistakes.

”It’s gonna be tough to regroup (for the bronze medal game) … but we have to do it.”

PHT Morning Skate: Marc-Andre Fleury meets Bark-Andre Furry

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• Golden Knights goalie coach Dave Prior has helped take Marc-Andre Fleury‘s game to the next level this season. (SinBin.Vegas)

• Speaking of Fleury, he got to meet a four-legged friend named Bark-Andre Furry. The Golden Knights netminder even signed the dog’s tiny jersey. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

• This edition of the Washington Capitals has an opportunity to redeem themselves for all their years of playoff futility. (Japers Rink)

• This is as close as Barry Trotz has ever been to winning a Stanley Cup, but he still doesn’t have a contract extension from the Capitals. (Washington Post)

• Whether they win or lose, the Tampa Bay Lightning have different variations of a shake after every game. These shakes help the players drum up more energy, especially during a difficult playoff series. (Tampa Times)

• The ESPN roundtable looks at different reasons why the Tampa Bay Lightning will make it back to the Stanley Cup Final. Whether it’s their top line, their depth up front of their stacked defense, the Bolts have a good shot at advancing. (ESPN)

Tyler Myers and Quentin Grimes can become the first set of brothers to suit up in the NHL and NBA. Myers is currently playing with the Winnipeg Jets, while Grimes is heading to Kansas to play college basketball. He could be in the NBA in the next year or so. (USA Today)

• Say what you want about commissioner Gary Bettman, but this postseason has shed even more light on how successful some of the expansion franchises he’s brought to life have been. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

• Don Waddell was working as a scout in Pittsburgh when he received a phone call that would change his career significantly. Taking a job in Carolina proved to be a very wise decision. (Raleigh News & Observer)

• If the Islanders decide to bring in Lou Lamoriello, that would likely trigger a chain of significant moves across the organization. (SNY.tv)

• Two-time Olympic gold medalist Cassie Campbell-Pascall will be donating her brain to concussion research. “I loved playing sports and have no regrets, but having had some concussions I would like to make sure that future generations are protected as much as possible while still being able to play sports at all levels.” (The Ice Garden)

• Blue Jackets forward Oliver Bjorkstrand has put together some solid performances for Denmark at the World Hockey Championship. (1st Ohio Battery)

• After a disappointing 2017-18 season, the Calgary Flames will have some interesting decisions to make when it comes to their restricted and unrestricted free agents. (Flames Nation)

Chris Tanev is arguably the Canucks’ most important defenseman. Unfortunately, he played just 42 games this season, so they have to find ways to keep him on the ice. Vancourier looks at eight (funny) ways to keep him healthy. (Vancourier)

• Here’s a Q & A with the founder of the “Hockey Fights” website. He talked about NHLers using his website as a resource, where fighting in hockey is heading and much more. (Sporting Ground)

• Up top, check out the highlights from Game 7 between the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators.

MORE:
NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018: Conference Finals schedule, TV info
NBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Hub

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

Buffalo Sabres to select No. 1 overall after winning 2018 NHL Draft Lottery

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Congratulations, Buffalo Sabres, you’ve won the 2018 NHL Draft Lottery and will have the opportunity to select defenseman Rasmus Dahlin first overall in June’s entry draft.

The Sabres entered Saturday night’s lottery with an 18.5 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick, the third time in five years they’ve held that honor. After NHL Commissioner Bill Daly revealed the top 12 picks prior to Game 2 of the San Jose Sharks-Vegas Golden Knights series, the top three were announced following the second intermission — quite a while for Marc Bergevin, Don Waddell and Jason Botterill to nervously sit around.

But for Botterill and the Sabres, it was clearly worth the wait.

Here’s the order of the top 15 picks:

1. Buffalo Sabres
2. Carolina Hurricanes
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. Ottawa Senators
5. Arizona Coyotes
6. Detroit Red Wings
7. Vancouver Canucks
8. Chicago Blackhawks
9. New York Rangers
10. Edmonton Oilers
11. New York Islanders
12. New York Islanders (From Calgary)
13. Dallas Stars
14. Philadelphia Flyers (From St. Louis)
15. Florida Panthers

[NBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Hub]

Better luck next time, Sens fan.

Finally, here are the final NHL Central Scouting rankings of the top prospects in this year’s entry draft, which will be held June 22-23 in Dallas.

North American Skaters
1. Andrei Svechnikov, RW, Barrie (OHL)
2. Brady Tkachuk, LW, Boston University (NCAA)
3. Filip Zadina, RW, Halifax (QMJHL)
4. Evan Bouchard, D, London (OHL)
5. Noah Dobson, D, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
6. Quintin Hughes, D, Michigan (NCAA)
7. Oliver Wahlstrom, RW, U.S. NTDP
8. Joseph Veleno, C, Drummondville (QMJHL)
9. Barrett Hayton, C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
10. Serron Noel, RW, Oshawa (OHL)

International Skaters
1. Rasmus Dahlin, D, Frolunda (Sweden)
2. Adam Boqvist, D, Brynas Jr., (Sweden)
3. Vitali Kravtsov, RW, Chelyabinsk (Russia)
4. Martin Kaut, RW, Pardubice (Czech)
5. Adam Ginning, D, Linkoping (Sweden)
6. Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C, Assat (Finland)
7. Grigori Denisenko, LW, Yaroslavl 2 (Russia)
8. Isac Lundestrom, C, Lulea (Sweden)
9. Jacob Olofsson, C, Timra (Sweden)
10. Filip Johansson, D, Leksand Jr. (Sweden)

North American Goalies
1. Olivier Rodrigue, Drummondville (QMJHL)
2. Kevin Mandolese, Cape Breton (QMJHL)
3. Alexis Gravel, Halifax (QMJHL)
4. Matthew Thiessen, Steinbach (MJHL)
5. Keegan Karki, Muskegon (USHL)

International Goalies
1. Lukas Dostal, Trebic (Czech-2)
2. Jakub Skarek, Jihlava (Czech)
3. Amir Miftakhov, Irbis Kazan (Russia Jr.)
4. Justus Annunen, Karpat Jr (Finland Jr.)
5. Olof Lindbom, Djurgarden Jr. (Sweden Jr.)

————

Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

NHL 2018 Draft Lottery: Details, No. 1 pick odds, top prospects

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The 2018 NHL Draft Lottery will be held Saturday night and during the second intermission of Game 2 between the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights (8 p.m. ET, NBC, live stream) we’ll find out who will get the chance to select Rasmus Dahlin with the No. 1 overall pick.

In a change from previous years, picks 15 through 4 will be revealed during the Game 2 pre-game show beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. The teams holding the top three picks will have to wait a little bit to learn their fate.

[NBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Hub]

As a refresher, here are the Draft Lottery details and percentages for all 15 teams that did not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs: 

From the NHL:

The 2018 NHL Draft Lottery will consist of three drawings: the 1st Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting first overall, the 2nd Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting second overall and the 3rd Lottery Draw will determine the club selThe 2018 NHL Draft Lottery will consist of three drawings: the 1st Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting first overall, the 2nd Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting second overall and the 3rd Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting third overall.ecting third overall.

The odds for the remaining clubs will increase on a proportionate basis for the 2nd Lottery Draw, based on which club wins the 1st Lottery Draw, and again for the 3rd Lottery Draw, based on which club wins the 2nd Lottery Draw.

The 12 clubs not selected in the 2018 NHL Draft Lottery will be assigned 2018 NHL Draft selections 4 through 15, in inverse order of regular-season points.

Buffalo Sabres: 18.5%
Ottawa Senators*: 13.5%
Arizona Coyotes: 11.5%
Montreal Canadiens: 9.5%
Detroit Red Wings: 8.5%
Vancouver Canucks: 7.5%
Chicago Blackhawks: 6.5%
New York Rangers: 6.0%
Edmonton Oilers: 5.0%
New York Islanders: 3.5%
Carolina Hurricanes: 3.0%
New York Islanders (from CGY): 2.5%
Dallas Stars: 2.0%
St. Louis Blues^: 1.5%
Florida Panthers: 1.0%

* Under the terms of a Nov. 5, 2017, trade: The Senators have the option to retain their pick and instead send the Avalanche their first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

^ Under the terms of a June 23, 2017, trade: If St. Louis’ pick is in the top 10, the Blues have the option to retain their pick and instead send the Flyers their first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. Otherwise, Philadelphia will receive St. Louis’ first-round pick in 2018.

Finally, here are the final NHL Central Scouting rankings of the top prospects in this year’s entry draft, which will be held June 22-23 in Dallas.

North American Skaters
1. Andrei Svechnikov, RW, Barrie (OHL)
2. Brady Tkachuk, LW, Boston University (NCAA)
3. Filip Zadina, RW, Halifax (QMJHL)
4. Evan Bouchard, D, London (OHL)
5. Noah Dobson, D, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
6. Quintin Hughes, D, Michigan (NCAA)
7. Oliver Wahlstrom, RW, U.S. NTDP
8. Joseph Veleno, C, Drummondville (QMJHL)
9. Barrett Hayton, C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
10. Serron Noel, RW, Oshawa (OHL)

International Skaters
1. Rasmus Dahlin, D, Frolunda (Sweden)
2. Adam Boqvist, D, Brynas Jr., (Sweden)
3. Vitali Kravtsov, RW, Chelyabinsk (Russia)
4. Martin Kaut, RW, Pardubice (Czech)
5. Adam Ginning, D, Linkoping (Sweden)
6. Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C, Assat (Finland)
7. Grigori Denisenko, LW, Yaroslavl 2 (Russia)
8. Isac Lundestrom, C, Lulea (Sweden)
9. Jacob Olofsson, C, Timra (Sweden)
10. Filip Johansson, D, Leksand Jr. (Sweden)

North American Goalies
1. Olivier Rodrigue, Drummondville (QMJHL)
2. Kevin Mandolese, Cape Breton (QMJHL)
3. Alexis Gravel, Halifax (QMJHL)
4. Matthew Thiessen, Steinbach (MJHL)
5. Keegan Karki, Muskegon (USHL)

International Goalies
1. Lukas Dostal, Trebic (Czech-2)
2. Jakub Skarek, Jihlava (Czech)
3. Amir Miftakhov, Irbis Kazan (Russia Jr.)
4. Justus Annunen, Karpat Jr (Finland Jr.)
5. Olof Lindbom, Djurgarden Jr. (Sweden Jr.)

————

Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.