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Darcy Kuemper’s shutout keeps Coyotes in playoff race



John Hayden’s first goal of the season held up as the winner and goaltender Darcy Kuemper collected the shutout to lead the visiting Arizona Coyotes to a 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

Lawson Crouse, Jakob Chychrun and Phil Kessel also scored, while Alex Goligoski collected two assists for the Coyotes (21-22-5, 47 points), who snapped a two-game skid and moved one point ahead of the St. Louis Blues in the chase for fourth place in the West Division.

Kuemper made 26 saves to earn his second shutout of the season and 20th of his career. Calvin Petersen stopped 36 shots for the Kings (17-22-6, 40 points), whose slim playoff hopes took a hit. Los Angeles has lost four of its last five games and is seven points behind the Coyotes with 11 games remaining in the regular season.

Hayden snapped a 23-game goal drought just beyond the midway point of the opening period. He cruised to the slot for a pass from Derick Brassard and buried his first goal since March 7, 2020. Brassard’s assist was the 500th point of his career.

Golden Knights 5, Ducks 1

Chandler Stephenson had two goals and an assist as Vegas set a franchise record with its ninth consecutive victory, defeating host Anaheim.

William Carrier, William Karlsson and Shea Theodore also scored, and goaltender Robin Lehner made 23 saves for the Golden Knights, who moved four points ahead of Colorado atop the West Division. The Avalanche lost 5-3 at St. Louis on Saturday, though they still have two games in hand on Vegas.

Sam Steel scored and goalie John Gibson stopped 26 of 31 shots for last-place Anaheim, which has lost four in a row and six of its past eight games.

Penguins 4, Devils 2

Bryan Rust and captain Sidney Crosby each recorded their respective 20th goals of the season to lift host Pittsburgh to a win over New Jersey.

Jeff Carter and Jared McCann also scored and Jake Guentzel added two assists for the Penguins, who swept three straight home games against the reeling Devils. Casey DeSmith made 34 saves as Pittsburgh improved to 7-1-1 in its past nine games.

Jack Hughes and Miles Wood scored for New Jersey, which has dropped nine in a row and 13 of its past 14 games (1-11-2). Mackenzie Blackwood made 33 saves in defeat.

Flames 5, Canadiens 2

Johnny Gaudreau scored twice to lead host Calgary to a crucial victory over Montreal that gives more life to the Flames’ playoff hopes.

Milan Lucic, Brett Ritchie and Rasmus Andersson also scored for the Flames, who rode Jacob Markstrom’s 30-save performance to a second consecutive win over the Canadiens in as many nights.

Nick Suzuki and Tyler Toffoli replied for the Canadiens, who are in a 3-8-0 slide. Cayden Primeau, in his first NHL start of the season, stopped 29 shots.

Blues 5, Avalanche 3

Ryan O’Reilly had his second hat trick of the season and added an assist, Mike Hoffman and Ivan Barbashev also scored goals and host St. Louis beat Colorado.

The Blues broke a 3-3 tie with a goal on a 5-on-3 power play midway through the third period. St. Louis won the faceoff and worked the puck to Hoffman, whose one-timer just eight seconds into the two-man advantage put the Blues ahead at 11:19.

Jordan Binnington stopped 28 shots and Torey Krug and Brayden Schenn had two assists apiece for the Blues, which snapped a five-game skid against Colorado. Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar had a goal and two assists each and Gabriel Landeskog added a goal for Colorado.

Panthers 4, Hurricanes 3 (OT)

Aleksander Barkov scored 24 seconds into overtime as Florida beat Carolina in Sunrise, Fla., after trailing by two goals early in the third period.

It was only Florida’s second win in the eight-game season series as Carolina went 6-0-2 against the Panthers. MacKenzie Weegar had a goal and two assists, and Gustav Forsling and Alex Wennberg also scored for Florida. Chris Driedger got the win by making 16 saves.

Dougie Hamilton scored two goals for Carolina, and Brett Pesce also tallied, and Sebastian Aho finished with two assists. Hurricanes rookie Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 32 shots.

Capitals 6, Islanders 3

Daniel Sprong scored two goals to lead visiting Washington to a win over New York in Uniondale, N.Y.

Sprong skated on the Capitals’ top line in place of Alex Ovechkin, who is day to day with a lower body injury. Evgeny Kuznetsov added a goal and two assists for Washington, which is in first place in the East Division. Garnet Hathaway, T.J. Oshie, and Nic Dowd also scored and Brenden Dillon had two assists.

Anthony Beauvillier, Adam Pelech and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for the Islanders.

Maple Leafs 4, Jets 1

Toronto fell behind in the first minute of the game but then scored four straight goals and went on to defeat host Winnipeg.

Joe Thornton, Mitchell Marner, John Tavares and Alexander Kerfoot (empty net) scored for the Maple Leafs, who swept the two-game set and are 6-3-0 on the season against the Jets. Nikolaj Ehlers scored for the Jets, who have lost three games in a row.

Jack Campbell stopped 25 shots for Toronto. Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 33 saves.

Wild 6, Sharks 3

Goalie Kaapo Kahkonen and Minnesota held off a late-game push from host San Jose for a win and its seventh victory in a row.

Ryan Suter, Marcus Foligno, Jared Spurgeon, Kevin Fiala, Kirill Kaprizov and Nick Bonino all found the back of the net for Minnesota, and Kahkonen made 27 saves.

Logan Couture, Evander Kane and Joachim Blichfeld scored for San Jose. It was Blichfeld’s first career goal. Martin Jones allowed three goals on eight shots before being replaced by Josef Korenar, who made 15 saves.

Canucks 4, Senators 2

Tanner Pearson scored the tiebreaking goal with 6:15 left in the third period and host Vancouver beat Ottawa.

Nate Schmidt, Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller, who recorded an assist, also scored for the Canucks, who rebounded from a 3-0 loss to Ottawa on Thursday while improving to 3-1-0 since their extended COVID-19 pause.


Evgenii Dadonov had a goal and an assist for Ottawa, and Colin White also scored. Matt Murray, pressed into duty in goal after a pregame injury to Anton Forsberg, made 12 saves before leaving with an injury of his own. Marcus Hogberg, in his first action since April 7, stepped in and stopped 18 of 20 shots.


Stars 2, Red Wings 1 (OT)


Jamie Benn scored 32 seconds into overtime and Dallas beat host Detroit for the sixth time in eight games this season.


Benn made a steal at center ice, skated into the Wings’ zone along the left side and flipped a shot over goaltender Jonathan Bernier’s right shoulder for his 10th goal of the season.


Bernier made a career-high 50 saves for the Red Wings. Dennis Cholowski scored his first goal of the season. Mark Pysyk scored in regulation for the Stars, while Anton Khudobin made 16 saves.


–Field Level Media

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Djokovic outlasts Sonego to set up Rome final with Nadal



Defending champion Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal will clash for the Italian Open title after the top two seeds advanced to the final of the Masters tournament on Saturday.

Djokovic, who beat Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 4-6 7-5 7-5 in a rain-delayed quarter-final earlier in the day, was also stretched to three sets in the semi-final before overcoming local favourite Lorenzo Sonego.

Sonego, the first Italian to make the semi-finals in Rome in 14 years after he beat world number seven Andrey Rublev earlier on Saturday, had his dream run ended by Djokovic who triumphed 6-3 6-7(5) 6-2.

Djokovic failed to convert two match points in the second set that lasted 91 minutes as Sonego forced a tiebreak, where the Serb lost a 4-2 lead.

However, the world number one controlled proceedings in the decider and advanced after Sonego’s return on match point found the net.

Earlier, Nadal beat Reilly Opelka 6-4 6-4 to move into the final in Rome for the 12th time.

The match was Nadal’s 500th on clay where he has a formidable 458-42 record and the Spaniard advanced after twice breaking the big-serving American.

“When you play these kind of matches, you know it’s not going to be a beautiful match… you’re not going to find rhythm in the match. You’re going to have just a few chances to break,” Nadal told reporters.

“It’s important not to suffer much with your serve because if you are… you feel the stress all the time. So the positive thing today, I just faced break points in one game during the whole match.”

Djokovic was trailing Tsitsipas 6-4 2-1 when Friday’s quarter-final was halted by rain but the Serb raised his game at key moments to twice come back from a break down in the deciding set.

Djokovic has a 29-27 career record against Nadal but the Spaniard has won five of their eight matches in Rome.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru and Sudipto Ganguly in Berhampore, India; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Ed Osmond)

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New York Rangers get OK to interview Gerard Gallant for coaching job



The New York Rangers plan to interview Gerard Gallant for their head coaching job, TSN reported.

The Vegas Golden Knights, who fired Gallant during the 2019-20 season, reportedly have granted permission.

A first conversation between the Rangers and Gallant was expected to take place quickly, before Gallant heads to Latvia to coach Team Canada at the IIHF World Championship, which runs from May 21-June 6.

Gallant, 57, was the first coach of the expansion Golden Knights and led them to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season in 2017-18. The Washington Capitals won in five games.

He was fired 49 games into his third season when the team was 24-19-6, and he had an overall record of 118-75-20 with Vegas.

He also coached the Columbus Blue Jackets (2003-07) and Florida Panthers (2014-17) and has a career record of 270-216-4-51 in 541 career games as a head coach.

The Rangers are in the midst of an overhaul. They fired head coach David Quinn and three assistant coaches on Wednesday, following the dismissal last week of team president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton.

The Rangers failed to qualify for the playoffs for the fourth straight season after posting a 27-23-6 record in 2020-21. They finished in fifth place in the East Division.

Quinn, 54, compiled a 96-87-25 record during his three seasons as coach of the Rangers after taking over for Alain Vigneault on May 23, 2018.

–Field Level Media

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NHL wants answer on Canada border crossing soon



The NHL has asked the Canadian government for a decision by June 1 about U.S. teams crossing the border during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, ESPN reported Friday.


The Canadian teams played only each other during the 2020-21 season in a revamped North Division because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that will continue during the first two rounds of the playoffs. It’s what happens after that — in the semifinals and finals — that is up in the air.


“The conversations are ongoing. We’ve told them we really do need to know by the end of the first round, and that’s around June 1,” Steve Mayer, the league’s chief content officer, told ESPN. “That’s pretty much the date that we’ve talked to them about, saying we have to know one way or another.”


Last season, the playoffs were held in bubbles in Edmonton and Toronto.


Under current rules, American-based teams couldn’t play in Canada without mandatory quarantines, which would make travel for home-and-away games impossible under the playoff calendar.


The NHL and government representatives last talked a week ago, and the Canadian officials submitted a variety of questions for the league’s response.


In the interim, Mayer said, the league has discussed the possibility of the Canadian team that advances from the North Division being based in the U.S. for the duration of the postseason. Talks have occurred with officials at NHL arenas where teams didn’t qualify for the playoffs.


An NHL source told ESPN this week that the league expects “a positive resolution” to the issue, however.


–Field Level Media

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