NHL Playoffs: Rivalries figure to heat up in first round
The Penguins have won only one playoff series since capturing back-to-back Cups in 2016 and 2017. Under coach Barry Trotz, the Islanders have won three playoff series in two years, after winning just one series in the previous 24 seasons. BostonRecords: Capitals 36-15-5, 77 points; Bruins 33-16-7, 73 pointsSeason series: Bruins won 4-2-2Any playoff series pitting Tom Wilson and Brad Marchand is sure to be interesting. The Golden Knights have won five playoff series in their first three years of existence and are deep and talented enough to make another run. The Wild signed Ryan Suter and Zach Parise to matching 13-year, $98 million contracts in 2012 and have two playoff series wins since then to show for it.mlive.com
Bruins erase 3-goal deficit against Capitals, win 5-3
Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) celebrates his goal with the bench during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, in Washington. Buoyed by their top scorer's first two goals of the season and a big rookie's fight against one of the toughest players in hockey, the Bruins erased a three-goal deficit to beat the Washington Capitals 5-3 on Monday night. “In the box, I was like a little kid in there just jumping around when we scored,” Frederic said. The Capitals had front-row seats for Pastrnak's breakout performance in his second game after undergoing offseason hip surgery. Former Bruins captain Zdeno Chara scored in his second game against his old team.
Ovechkin returns, scores OT winner as Capitals beat Bruins
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, celebrates his game-winning goal in overtime of an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021, in Washington. In his first game since Jan. 19, Ovechkin scored the overtime winner to help the Washington Capitals beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 Saturday night in a showdown between the top teams in the NHL’s East Division. After Ovechkin missed the previous four games because of COVID-19 protocols, the high-scoring forward showed his career-long flair for the dramatic by beating Tuukka Rask with a perfect shot 28 seconds into overtime. “It was fun,” said Ovechkin, who also had an assist while being eased back in with 14 minutes of ice time. The Capitals beat the Bruins for the 17th time in 19 regular-season games dating to 2015.
'Sloppy' hockey is the name of the game early in NHL season
San Jose's Erik Karlsson (65) handles the puck against Minnesota Wild's Nick Bjugstad (27) in the third period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. San Jose won 5-3. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)With an outbreak delaying the Dallas Stars opener, Rick Bowness got to watch a lot of hockey in the first couple of nights of the NHL season. The San Jose Sharks have been the NHL's nomads since they opened training camp in Arizona because of a ban on contact sports by Santa Clara County, California. “We’re staying in 5-star hotels, get to play hockey, so I can’t complain,” defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic said. Ad___Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno___More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
NHL offseason moves influenced by coronavirus' impact on cap
Zdeno Chara is no longer in Boston after the Bruins captain signed with Washington. And the Sabres made an even bigger splash in free agency by landing 2018 NHL MVP Taylor Hall in October. Hall, for example, signed a one-year, $8 million deal with Buffalo by realizing the free-agent market was going to be tight. Oilers general manager Ken Holland chalked it up to the new economic realities facing the NHL. “It’s salary-cap related, which is related to the pandemic, which has given us a hard, flat cap for the foreseeable future,” Holland said.
NHL training camps open with sense of urgency
It was the first day of training camp for Laviolette and the Washington Capitals and most of the NHL. Camps are now open for the league's 31 teams and they will last just 10 days. “You get a fresh start,” said Jeff Skinner of the Buffalo Sabres, who haven't played a game since March. “Most players would argue that camps are a little bit long anyway," Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler said. “I’ve been told from our team and from the league, when a player is not on the ice during training camp, we’re supposed to say he’s not available today,” Philadelphia coach Alain Vigneault said.
Longtime Bruins captain Zdeno Chara leaves for Capitals
FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 file photo, Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) pushes Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) from the crease in the third period of an NHL hockey game in Boston. Longtime Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara signed with the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, a stunning move less than a week before most NHL teams open training camp. “The Boston Bruins have informed me that they plan to move forward with their many younger and talented players, and I respect their decision,” Chara posted on Instagram. “I'm proud that we were able to return the Stanley Cup to Boston,” Chara said in his post thanking the Bruins and their fans. Instead, Chara and the Capitals will face the Bruins eight times in the realigned East Division after the season opens Jan. 13.
Engelland latest NHL veteran retiring before 2021 season
FILE- In this July 14, 2020, file photo, Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland (5) skates during NHL hockey summer training camp in Las Vegas. Engelland on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, became the latest NHL veteran to step away from hockey before players report to training camps to prepare for the 2021 season (AP Photo/John Locher, File)Deryk Engelland on Tuesday became the latest NHL veteran to step away from hockey before players report to training camps to prepare for a shortened 2021 season. The 38-year-old is moving on after 11 seasons to take a role with the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation. Engelland was the Golden Knights' first local player, selected in the expansion draft after living in Las Vegas for most of his career. ___Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno___More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Several Stanley Cup winners breaking up championship core
FILE - In this June 15, 2015, file photo, Chicago Blackhawks' goalie Corey Crawford kisses the Stanley Cup Trophy after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final series in Chicago. The past few weeks have seen several recent Stanley Cup winners get rid of members of their championship core. The Blackhawks moved on from Corey Crawford, the Washington Capitals did the same with Braden Holtby, the Pittsburgh Penguins traded fellow goalie Matt Murray and forward Patric Hornqvist and the St. Louis Blues signing Torey Krug means captain Alex Pietrangelo will sign elsewhere. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
Several Stanley Cup winners breaking up championship core
FILE - In this June 15, 2015, file photo, Chicago Blackhawks' goalie Corey Crawford kisses the Stanley Cup Trophy after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final series in Chicago. The past few weeks have seen several recent Stanley Cup winners get rid of members of their championship core. Hornqvist was “blindsided” the Pittsburgh Penguins wanted to trade him. The past several weeks have featured several recent Stanley Cup winners breaking up their championship core by saying goodbye to a key player with his name on the trophy. The agitating, go-to-the-net winger helped Pittsburgh win the Cup in 2016 and 2017.
NHL players discuss options for racial injustice protests
NHL players are discussing options to protest racial injustice after the NBA and other professional sports leagues postponed games, according to a person with knowledge of those talks. Players in those leagues were protesting the shooting by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, of Jacob Blake, a Black man. He and Dumba, who gave an anti-racism speech on the opening night of the NHL restart and afterward knelt for the U.S. anthem, called on white players to take action about racial injustice. The NHL Players' Association is having those discussions ahead of two games scheduled for Thursday. Boston captain Zdeno Chara expressed support for NBA players but said it was too close to the 8 p.m. game time for players to have a serious discussion about not taking the ice.
NHL awards regular-season trophies for season cut short
Washington's Alex Ovechkin and Boston's David Pastrnak share the Maurice Rocket Richard Trophy the league announced Thursday, May 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson, File)Since the NHL is planning to go straight to the playoffs, it's handing out a handful of trophies for the regular season cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. Not long after unveiling a 24-team right to the playoffs format, the league on Thursday announced the winners of its regular-season awards. Although Ovechkin was stopped short of a ninth 50-goal season, his ninth goal-scoring title extends his NHL record. The benefit and the curse of a bye, I suppose.___For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports