• Sharks retrieve Game 1 black cat; hope to find it a home

    Sharks black cat

    The black cat that gained notoriety by making an appearance Friday before Game 1 of the series between San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators will soon find a new home.

    According to the Sharks, the cat, which has been renamed Joe PAW-velski in honor of captain Joe Pavelski, was retrieved by staff at the SAP Center on Saturday. The team said it is making arrangements to transport the cat to a nearby animal shelter, where it will undergo a full medical exam and microchip scan to determine if it has an owner. If the cat doesn’t have an owner, the Sharks are hoping it will be made available to adoption.

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  • Former Penguin Dupuis highlights Masterton nominees

    Pascal Dupuis (Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images)

    Pascal Dupuis’ career may have ended under less than ideal circumstances, but at least he has a chance to collect some hardware as a parting gift.

    Dupuis retired from the NHL on Dec. 8 as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins because he was suffering from blood clots. He had two goals and four points in 18 games this season before he stopped playing. Dupuis was first diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung in November 2014 and missed the rest of the 2014-15 season.

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  • Getting To Know: Shane Hnidy

    Mark Malinowski
    Shane Hnidy. (Getty Images)

    Status: Former NHL defenseman from 1999-2011 for Ottawa, Nashville, Atlanta, Anaheim, Boston and Minnesota. Now works as a radio analyst covering the Winnipeg Jets.

    HT: 6-1 WT: 204 pounds. DOB: November 8, 1975 In: Neepawa, Man.

    First Hockey Memory: “Just playing road hockey with my friends back in my small hometown in Manitoba. That was something, every night the phone would ring – there were no cell phones then – someone would call, we’d set up the game if we had enough people. It was so cold in the winter and we’d be out there in our jerseys and whatever and we’d play road hockey under the street lights.”

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  • Future Watch: Dylan Strome is primed to become the No. 1 center Arizona desperately needs

    Dylan Strome. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

    The Strome family has a tradition. Three sons have been drafted into the OHL over the years, and a couple nights before each one has left home, the family has thrown a big party featuring all their relatives. The son who was leaving would give a speech, and things would get misty. OK, fine. There were full-on waterworks. Ryan is the eldest and currently a member of the New York Islanders. Matthew is the youngest and just gave his speech last summer before departing the family home in Mississauga for Hamilton. And in the middle is Dylan, an Arizona Coyotes draft pick who has been tearing up the OHL as a member of the high-flying Erie Otters for nearly three seasons. “We thank everyone for the help and generosity they’ve given us,” Dylan said.

    “They’ve followed us for so many years of our lives, and they know we’re going off to do what we love to do. For them to help us out so much, you get emotional when you talk about it. I was crying, Matt was crying, Ryan cried. I cried when Ryan said it, I cried when Matt said it. My parents were both crying. It’s OK to show emotion in our family.”

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  • Suspend him or not: Capitals’ Orpik could be in trouble after hit on Penguins’ Maatta

    WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Olli Maatta #3 of the Pittsburgh Penguins falls back to the ice after getting injured in the first period against the Washington Capitals during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on April 30, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

    Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik was only playing his second game since returning from what looked to be a serious injury resulting from a questionable check. And in that second game back, Orpik became the hitter under that same scenario rather than the recipient.

    Orpik caught Pittsburgh Penguins blueliner Olli Maatta with a high and late hit in the first period of Game 2 on Saturday – a 2-1 Pittsburgh victory. Orpik made contact with Maatta almost two seconds after he released the puck. Orpik’s forearm or elbow appeared to make contact with Maatta’s head.

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  • Letang amazing as Penguins even series with Capitals

    PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 23:  Kris Letang #58 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the New York Rangers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on April 23, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

    Defenseman Kris Letang showed how value he is to the Pittsburgh Penguins throughout Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Washington Capitals.

    With Olli Maatta knocked out of the game 4:13 in thanks to a questionable hit by former Penguin Brooks Orpik, Letang was forced to be a workhorse in the 2-1 win – a win that evened the series. Letang skated for well more than half the game – 35:22 to be exact – as Pittsburgh’s blueline depth was shredded. He played almost 10 minutes more than his regular season average of 26:56, which was fourth highest in the NHL.

    With the 29-year-old rearguard patrolling the ice, the Penguins held the Capitals high-powered offense to 24 shots on goal on Saturday, including just 10 through the first two periods. That the Capitals came on during the third can be partially explained by Letang’s short absence. Letang was called for tripping 2:56 into the frame when he knocked Caps right winger Justin Williams off the puck, a call he vehemently disagreed with. Marcus Johansson scored on the power play to tie the game barely a minute later. It was one of only two power plays the Capitals were afforded in the contest.

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  • Lottery winners?! Auston Matthews is the superstar Maple Leafs have lacked for 99 years

    Matt Larkin
    Auston Matthews (Photo by Sparta Prague/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)

    Somewhere, somehow, some quack-job Toronto Maple Leafs fan found a magic lamp. Or wand. Or puck. Or Punch Imlach’s fedora. Or anything to wish a mystical transformation upon hockey’s most sad-sack franchise.

    And all the far-fetched theories or ideas typically reserved for irate late-night radio show callers began to come true.

    “Yo, the Leafs should make Brendan Shanahan their president.”

    “Yo, the Leafs should hire Mike Babcock as head coach.”

    “Yo, the Leafs should trade Phil Kessel.”

    “Yo, the Leafs should hire Lou Lamoriello as GM.”

    “Yo, the Leafs should trade Dion Phaneuf.”

    They all would’ve seemed like typical Toronto-media-constructed fantasies even a few years ago. Instead, they’ve happened. The Shanahan regime continues to slide pieces into place, transforming the Leafs team culture. Assistant GM Kyle Dubas is the franchise’s analytics driver and oversees the powerhouse AHL affiliate Marlies. Lamoriello has instilled the same tight-lipped mentality he used in New Jersey for close to three decades. Director of player personnel Mark Hunter holds the keys to the draft. And Babcock has changed the way this team plays. It spent year after year as one of the worst possession drivers in hockey and jumped to the middle of the pack in his first year as bench boss.

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