Canada will have a chance at repeating as gold medalists at the World Championship for the first time in more than a decade, and they’re heading to the gold medal game following a thrilling 4-3 victory over the rival United States.
In what has become a staple of international competition between the men’s national teams on the world stage, the Canadian and American squads turned in a one-goal contest that left one club heartbroken. And this time around, in the semi-final of the World Championship, it was the U.S. squad that left the ice with a bit of heartbreak. However, the American side, which boasted far fewer big-name NHL stars, should be proud of an effort that nearly had their Canadian heading to Sunday’s bronze medal game.
In the first frame, Canada and the U.S. traded chances back and forth, but the only goals in the opening period came from Canadians Brendan Gallagher and Brad Marchand. The 2-0 lead after 20 minutes may have made it appear as though Canada could stomp out any hopes the American club had, but the young team — led in scoring by top prospect Auston Matthews, Dylan Larkin and Frank Vatrano — answered back in the second. Read more
Almost everything that could go right has gone as such for the Penguins over the past two games, but there was a moment late in Game 3’s victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning that had some in Pittsburgh worrying about the health of Patric Hornqvist.
With the Penguins in their defensive zone with little more than seven minutes left in the third period, Hornqvist went to close off a shooting lane when the puck came back to Lightning winger Alex Killorn. Hornqvist spread out to block the shot and managed to get his left hand in front of Killorn’s attempt.
However, upon the puck striking Hornqvist, he almost immediately dropped his stick to the ice, winced in pain and skated to the Pittsburgh bench. Shortly thereafter, he headed to the dressing room: Read more
University of Michigan forward Mike Legg became known throughout the hockey world for one of the most creative goals that had ever been scored.
Legg’s lacrosse-style goal — a scooping move that saw him hoist the puck up and over the shoulder of a University of Minnesota netminder from behind the net — became known as ‘The Michigan,’ and a number of players have replicated it since, including Sidney Crosby, Mikael Granlund and Kael Mouillierat.
You can add Graeme Clarke to that list. And what makes that most impressive is that Clarke, 15, wasn’t born until more than five years after Legg’s goal, yet Clarke’s pulling it off with a smoothness and decisiveness that would almost lead one to believe he was the one who invented the move. Check it out: Read more
Tomas Hertl entered Game 3 of the Western Conference final following a very odd pattern.
In San Jose’s first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings, the Sharks winger scored in the opening game. For the remaining four games of the series, though, he was unable to find the back of the net. When the Sharks made it to the second round to square off against the Nashville Predators, Hertl again found the net in Game 1. However, over the next six games, Hertl again was held out of the goal column. So when he scored in Game 1 of the conference final and was held scoreless in Game 2, it seemed again like he might hit another series-long drought.
He broke the strange streak in first period of Game 3, though, and he did so with a no-doubter of a slap shot. Hertl found himself wide open and received a perfect cross-ice pass from Sharks captain Joe Pavelski with little more than four minutes remaining in the opening frame, picked a spot over St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott’s glove and laid into shot that came out of the net as fast as it went in: Read more
Phil Kessel has been outstanding through three games of the Eastern Conference final, and in Game 3 he scored once, has an assist and put eight shots on goal in more than 19 minutes of playing time.
With a performance like that, you’d expect the 28-year-old winger to be a bit gassed after the contest, so NBCSN’s Pierre McGuire was trying to get a window into Kessel’s conditioning following Pittsburgh’s Game 3 victory. The wording of the question tripped up Kessel, though, which led to him giving a ridiculous response not about his conditioning level — or breath, as McGuire said — but instead saying he could maybe use a Tic Tac. The question comes around the 1:05-mark: Read more
Much had been made about Sidney Crosby’s cold streak heading into Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final. The Penguins captain hadn’t scored in eight-straight games and had been held to only three points over that span. Everyone knew it wouldn’t last, though.
In Game 2, Crosby finally broke through with the overtime game-winner only 40 seconds into the first extra frame, and now it appears like he could be on a much different streak as he’s scored the game-winning goal in back-to-back games. And for the second-consecutive game, he’s managed the game-winner on a one-time blast going upstairs on Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Crosby’s winner in Game 3 came midway through the third period with the Penguins already ahead a goal. After Tampa Bay blueliner Braydon Coburn headed off for elbowing, Pittsburgh’s power play went to work on a 4-on-3, and the open ice gave Crosby room to operate to the right of the net. After a pass to Evgeni Malkin on the blueline, Crosby opened up for a one-timer, took a pass back from Malkin and hammered the puck past Vasilevskiy: Read more
Detroit Red Wings center Riley Sheahan said he was almost more nervous than before a playoff game and all he was about to do was meet one of his biggest fans for a night of dancing.
During the late stages of the season, Sheahan, 24, received a letter from Morgan Behen to be her date to a prom that had been organized by Wish Upon A Teen, a group which helps young people dealing with life-threatening illnesses. Behen, 22, is fighting a brain tumor, which doctors have told her is inoperable. Sheahan accepted Behen’s invite but didn’t tell her that he would be at the event.
As the event approached this past Saturday, Sheahan still hadn’t informed Behen he would be at the prom. Instead, he waited until the day of and surprised her by showing up to be Behen’s date and dance partner for the evening. Brad Galli of ABC’s WXYZ Detroit was at the event: Read more
One of the biggest talking points entering the Western Conference final was special teams. If the Blues were going to get by the Sharks and into the Stanley Cup final, St. Louis couldn’t go down a man often or San Jose would make them pay.
In Game 1, however, the Blues managed to shut down the Sharks power play. Three times San Jose went on the man advantage, and three times St. Louis killed off penalty. Game 2 didn’t go quite the same way, though, and it may just have been that Game 1 was the exception to the rule that the Sharks power play will almost assuredly burn teams who give them chances to operate. Twice in Game 2 the Sharks struck with the extra man, including a second period goal from Brent Burns that was a thing of beauty.
After Blues winger Troy Brouwer was sent off for slashing, the Sharks’ top power play unit went to work. San Jose maintained possession in the St. Louis zone following the faceoff after Brouwer went off, and Burns ended up retreating to the blueline with the puck. As he reached the backend, he set into motion a play that saw four Sharks touch the puck in four seconds. Watch this clinic: Read more