Professional hockey

Buffalo Sabres head coach Phil Housley, top, Sam Reinhart (23), Zemgus Girgensons (28) and Kyle Okposo (21) react during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders, Saturday, March 30, 2019, in Uniondale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
April 07, 2019 - 5:00 pm
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres' dreadful second-half free-fall left general manager Jason Botterill no choice but to fire coach Phil Housley after his second year on the job. "Today certainly wasn't an easy day, but the results in the second half were just not there. We were very...
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Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) and Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak (81) fight during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 30, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
April 07, 2019 - 3:56 pm
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Tom Wilson tries not to read everything about him on social media. You'd think being on the receiving end of endless tweets and messages that are, well, not suitable for work would be reason enough to skip them. But Wilson can't just ignore it all because sometimes it goes...
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Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov (86) scores on Boston Bruins' Tuukka Rask (40) during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Saturday, April 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
April 07, 2019 - 1:11 pm
The team expected to win it all faces an opponent that loaded up for the same thing, the defending champions go up against a playoff newcomer and the wild West is wide open in the quest for the Stanley Cup. The NHL playoffs open Wednesday when the Presidents' Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning host...
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Calgary Flames forward Derek Ryan (10) celebrates his goal with teammates against the Los Angeles Kings during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, April 1, 2019, in Los Angeles. Flames won 7-2. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
April 07, 2019 - 12:49 pm
Whenever Eric Desjardins reunites with his 1993 Montreal Canadiens teammates, the topic of Canada's ongoing Stanley Cup drought doesn't come up in conversation. "We don't see it that way. Canadian team, American team, it's just that we were part of the NHL," the former star defenseman said. "Sure,...
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FILE - In this April 6, 2019 file photo Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) prepares to take a face-off during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Rangers in Pittsburgh. The Penguins are headed to the NHL playoffs for the 13th straight year thanks in large part to Crosby's ability to help prevent goals as easily as he scores them, making him a dark-horse candidate for the Selke Trophy, the award given annually to the top defensive forward in the NHL. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar/File)
April 07, 2019 - 12:22 pm
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Casey DeSmith has seen it at every stop of his hockey career. Practice comes, the focus shifts to defending and the guys paid lavishly to score goals take their foot off the gas. "I've had people on every single team I've ever played on like that, obviously," the Pittsburgh...
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Florida Panthers Head coach Bob Boughner watches a replay during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Saturday, April 6, 2019, in Sunrise, Fla. The Devils defeated the Panthers 4-3 in overtime. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)
April 07, 2019 - 11:18 am
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Bob Boughner has become the latest coach to pay for Florida's almost-annual inability to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Panthers fired Boughner on Sunday, ending his two-year tenure with the team with one year remaining on his contract. The Panthers didn't make the...
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Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid, right, crashes into Calgary Flames goalie Mike Smith during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 6, 2019, in Calgary, Alberta. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)
April 06, 2019 - 10:01 pm
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid left Saturday's season finale against Calgary after injuring his left leg, and the team says X-rays came back negative. After a 3-1 win over Flames, the Oilers tweeted that X-rays came back negative and that the 22-year-old McDavid would...
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Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates his third-period goal with Evgeni Malkin (71) and Phil Kessel (81) and Patric Hornqvist (72) in the team's NHL hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings in Pittsburgh, Thursday, April 4, 2019. The Penguins won 4-1. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
April 05, 2019 - 4:38 pm
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Erik Gudbranson didn't want to be "that guy," the one who whooped it up after the Pittsburgh Penguins locked down a playoff spot for the 13th straight year with a win over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night. The veteran defenseman knows seasons in Pittsburgh are judged solely...
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Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) celebrates his goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Toronto on Thursday, April 4, 2019. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
April 04, 2019 - 11:59 pm
The lesson Nikita Kucherov learned from childhood coach Gennady Kurdin is on display every time he laces up his skates and steps on to the ice. Kurdin taught Kucherov the very common Russian hockey philosophy that the sport is about sacrificing for your partner. Each day at practice, Kucherov...
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In this Wednesday, March 20, 2019 photo, Ryan Straschnitzki speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Philadelphia, Straschnitzki, a young hockey player was paralyzed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Canada. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
April 04, 2019 - 11:04 am
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Tom Straschnitzki was wrangling his fussy youngest child when his iPhone buzzed. His hands full, Tom put the phone on speaker and heard the terrifying sound of his oldest son calling from a bus and screaming for help. "Dad, you've got to help this time! You've got to save the...
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