By Sarah Kwak
An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• Rangers defenseman Marc Staal, who played Game 3, didn’t dress on Wednesday, but New York got right back in the series, tying it up last night with another grind-it-out win.
• The Bruins have taken the Maple Leafs to the brink, after Toronto defenseman Dion Phaneuf’s overtime gaffe set up Boston center David Krejci for this third goal of the night. How clutch is he come playoff time?
• The Ducks took a 3-2 series lead, thanks to a big goal by Nick Bonino in OT, one of the few things Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard could not save.
• Anaheim’s old leader, Scott Niedermayer, is passing the torch to its new one, Ryan Getzlaf.
• A fortuitous night for SoCal hockey as the Kings also won, after St. Louis forced OT. Los Angeles defenseman Slava Voynov, however, helped the defending Cup champions push the Blues to the brink.
• The Blues haven’t been officially eliminated yet, but fans in St. Louis are already resigned to their annual spring fate of “dashed hopes, broken dreams and lonely teardrops.”
• Have you heard? Tomas Vokoun will be between the pipes against the Islanders tonight after being asked again to save the Penguins’ season.
• Pittsburgh’s erstwhile No. 1 (in name at least), Marc-Andre Fleury is yet another example of how this postseason hasn’t been kind to netminders.
• Looks like the Penguins have plenty more to work on besides Fleury’s disconcerting play.
• In Montreal, goalie Carey Price is day-to-day, but captain Brian Gionta is done, and coach Michel Therrien has the tear stains on his shirt to prove it.
• On the brink of an abrupt end to their surprising and once-promising season, Montreal will continue to lean on standout defenseman P.K. Subban, a Norris Trophy nominee and hockey’s first black superstar.
• Meanwhile, no one has told Ottawa’s kids that their inexperience means they’re not supposed to have instant postseason success.
• The Wild hopes to stick around a little longer, but really, with their goaltending situation, that could be a difficult order. Forward Matt Cullen is hoping that Darcy Kuemper can channel Cam Ward circa 2006.
• The Blackhawks believe they’re close to taking their game to the next level, and hope to put the Wild away tonight.
• Craig Smith’s hat trick paced Team USA as it beat Finland at the World Championships.
• And in other news, Hockey Alberta is eliminating body checking in peewee.