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Rangers' Gallant calls out Hurricanes for 'bullshit' at end of Game 3

Rangers' Gallant calls out Hurricanes for 'bullshit' at end of Game 3

23/05/2022, USA, Hockey-Ice, NHL (ice-hockey), Article # 30721333

New York Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant tore into the Carolina Hurricanes for their actions following his club's 3-1 victory Sunday in their second-round playoff series.

"No, I wasn't happy with the bullshit at the end of the game that they initiated," Gallant told the media, including SNY, postgame. "We didn't do that when the games were close. They put their guys on, that's fine. If they want to play like that, we've got the guys that can match that."

Hurricanes forward Max Domi crosschecked Rangers blue-liner Ryan Lindgren in the back immediately after the final buzzer sounded. That led to a scrum, and the two players wrestled each other to the ice. Carolina rearguard Tony DeAngelo then yelled at the New York bench, to which Gallant directly responded in the moment.

"I don't like it (coming) at the end of a game," Gallant said after Game 3. "The game's over. We've still got four games to go with those guys. I mean, they're not sending any message. We've got the guy that can handle all their guys if we want to, and we didn't do it like that. But Domi took a cheap shot at our defenseman."

The Rangers bench boss also reminded the Hurricanes that the roles may be reversed before the end of the series.

"You've got a long memory in this, you think about this, and like I said, (it) might be on the other foot someday," Gallant added.

The Hurricanes lead the series 2-1, with Game 4 scheduled for Tuesday night in New York.

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https://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/2362723
Kadri says Binnington threw water bottle at him after dramatic Game 3

Kadri says Binnington threw water bottle at him after dramatic Game 3

23/05/2022, USA, Hockey-Ice, NHL (ice-hockey), Article # 30721335

Nazem Kadri is at the center of another, yet less serious, playoff controversy.

The pesky Colorado Avalanche forward said St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington threw a water bottle at him during a postgame interview following Saturday's Game 3 victory.

The Athletic's Peter Baugh spoke to two people who confirmed it was Binnington who threw the bottle.

The NHL isn't expected to discipline Binnington for throwing it, a league spokesperson told The Athletic's Jeremy Rutherford.

A collision between Kadri and Binnington in the first period knocked the Blues netminder out of the contest. Binnington will miss the remainder of the series after sustaining a lower-body injury on the play.

Hockey Diversity Alliance chairman Akim Aliu said Sunday that Kadri had been targeted by racist attacks since the incident, and law enforcement intervened.

Kadri and Binnington have a bit of history. In October, Binnington swung his stick at the forward during a regular-season matchup between the two clubs.

Kadri was suspended eight games last postseason for a hit to the head on Blues defenseman Justin Faulk. It was the third playoff ban of Kadri's career after he was disciplined in consecutive years as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2018 and 2019.

Kadri played a key role in Colorado's 5-2 victory on Saturday, registering a goal and an assist before the postgame drama.

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https://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/2362333
Maple Leafs sign Giordano to 2-year extension with $800K AAV

Maple Leafs sign Giordano to 2-year extension with $800K AAV

23/05/2022, USA, Hockey-Ice, NHL (ice-hockey), Article # 30721334

Mark Giordano is staying in Toronto on a hometown discount.

The Maple Leafs signed the veteran defenseman to a two-year extension with an average annual value of $800,000, the team announced Sunday.

"Everything (Giordano) does is done to help the team win, and that includes a tremendous sacrifice in this contract negotiation," general manager Kyle Dubas said.

Giordano, a Toronto native, recorded 35 points in 75 games last season, split between the Maple Leafs and Seattle Kraken. The Leafs acquired him, along with forward Colin Blackwell, at the trade deadline for two second-round picks and a third-rounder.

The 38-year-old posted strong underlying numbers last season, specifically on the defensive end:

Evolving-Hockey.com

Giordano's previous cap hit carried an AAV of $6.75 million. His market value is $6.3 million per year, according to The Athletic's Dom Luszczyszyn.

The extension will take Giordano through his age 39 and 40 seasons.

Giordano spent the first 15 years of his career with the Calgary Flames, serving as team captain for eight of those campaigns. He won the Norris Trophy in 2018-19 at age 35 after posting a career-high 74 points. The Kraken selected him in the 2021 expansion draft.

The Maple Leafs now have five defensemen signed for next season: Giordano, Morgan Rielly, Jake Muzzin, T.J. Brodie, and Justin Holl. Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren are restricted free agents, while Ilya Lyubushkin is an unrestricted free agent.

Rielly, Muzzin, Giordano, and Sandin have all played primarily on the left side in their careers. Barring any further moves, one of them may need to slide over to the right.

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https://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/2352664
Binnington out for Round 2 with lower-body injury

Binnington out for Round 2 with lower-body injury

23/05/2022, USA, Hockey-Ice, NHL (ice-hockey), Article # 30721338

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington will miss the remainder of the club's second-round series against the Colorado Avalanche after a collision with Nazem Kadri forced him out of Game 3 and resulted in a lower-body injury, the team announced Sunday.

Kadri was driving to the net in pursuit of a rebound and got tied up with Blues defenseman Calle Rosen. The pair then collided into Binnington, who was rattled and slow to get up.

There was no penalty called on the play.

Berube hinted he believes there was intent on Kadri's end.

"Look at Kadri's reputation, that's all I have to say," Berube said, according to Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Kadri has been suspended six times in his career, including three in the postseason.

Ville Husso, who started the first three games of the Blues' first-round matchup against the Minnesota Wild, entered the contest in relief.

The Blues held a 1-0 lead at the time of the incident, but Colorado forward Logan O'Connor tied it up shortly after. The Avalanche went on to win the game 5-2.

Binnington has been stellar for the Blues in the playoffs after taking over the crease midway through the opening round. Including Saturday's brief outing, he owns a .949 save percentage and 1.72 goals-against average across six postseason appearances in 2022.

Husso, meanwhile, has an .891 save percentage and 3.38 goals-against average in four postseason showings.

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https://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/2362079
Avs' Girard out for playoffs after breaking sternum

Avs' Girard out for playoffs after breaking sternum

22/05/2022, USA, Hockey-Ice, NHL (ice-hockey), Article # 30721337

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard will miss the remainder of the postseason after suffering a broken sternum in Saturday's Game 3 against the St. Louis Blues, the team announced.

Girard was taken to the hospital after he got crunched into the boards by Blues forward Ivan Barbashev during the first period.

No penalty was called on the play.

Here's how the Avalanche spread out the minutes on defense on Saturday:

Player Minutes
Devon Toews 30:56
Cale Makar 28:49
Josh Manson 20:42
Erik Johnson 19:27
Bowen Byram 17:45
Samuel Girard 0:56

Byram will likely be tasked with taking Girard's spot on the second pairing with Manson moving forward. Veteran Jack Johnson is the most logical candidate to enter the lineup and could slot in on the third pairing. Kurtis MacDermid and Ryan Murray are also options, although the latter hasn't played since March 21 due to a hand injury.

Girard entered Saturday with three points in six games this postseason. He tallied five goals and 23 assists in 67 regular-season contests while averaging 21:38 per game - the third-most minutes on the team.

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https://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/2362089
Report: Trotz, Flyers to meet for head coaching vacancy

Report: Trotz, Flyers to meet for head coaching vacancy

22/05/2022, USA, Hockey-Ice, NHL (ice-hockey), Article # 30721336

Veteran bench boss Barry Trotz will meet with the Philadelphia Flyers next week regarding their head coaching vacancy, Sportsnet's Jeff Marek reported during Saturday's "32 Thoughts" segment.

"Couple of things here: One, they want to meet him, obviously, because he's an outstanding coach, but two, he has a lot of divisional knowledge about the Metropolitan having coached recently the Islanders and before that, the Washington Capitals," Marek said.

"I don't get the sense that the Philadelphia Flyers are in any hurry here to name a coach," he continued. "They want to take their time. They want to be thorough even if that means they may miss a candidate along the way."

The New York Islanders recently fired Trotz after they failed to make the playoffs for the first time in his four-year tenure. He won the Stanley Cup in 2018 with the Capitals prior to his arrival in New York.

The Flyers struggled tremendously in 2021-22. They fired head coach Alain Vigneault in December after stumbling to an 8-10-4 start. Mike Yeo took over on an interim basis and led the Flyers to a 17-36-7 mark to close out the season.

Philadelphia announced earlier this month that Yeo would not return as head coach next season.

Trotz will reportedly also interview with the Winnipeg Jets, while Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman added Saturday that the Detroit Red Wings and Vegas Golden Knights may also be in the mix for his services.

The 59-year-old has won the third-most regular-season games of all time (914), placing behind only Scotty Bowman and Joel Quenneville.

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https://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/2362114
Penguins, Rust agree to 6-year extension worth $30.75M

Penguins, Rust agree to 6-year extension worth $30.75M

22/05/2022, USA, Hockey-Ice, NHL (ice-hockey), Article # 30721339

One of the top pending unrestricted free-agent forwards won't be hitting the open market.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and winger Bryan Rust agreed to a six-year contract extension that carries an average annual value of $5.125 million.

"Bryan exemplifies what it means to be a Pittsburgh Penguin," general manager Ron Hextall said. "Since being drafted by Pittsburgh, he has developed into a versatile player and leader on our team, capable of contributing in any situation. His leadership qualities and experience as a two-time Stanley Cup champion is an important piece of our team."

Rust recorded a career-high 58 points last season. He's averaged 35 goals and 40 assists per 82 games over the last three campaigns while primarily riding shotgun with Sidney Crosby.

Pittsburgh drafted Rust in the third round in 2010.

The 30-year-old was one of three big pending UFAs for the Penguins this offseason along with franchise cornerstones Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.

The Penguins now project to have approximately $24 million in cap space this summer with a roster of only 15 players.

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https://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/2362068
Woodcroft: McDavid's will to win inspiring Oilers

Woodcroft: McDavid's will to win inspiring Oilers

22/05/2022, USA, Hockey-Ice, NHL (ice-hockey), Article # 30721340

Connor McDavid is playing at an incredible level through nine games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the rest of the Edmonton Oilers know it.

McDavid was instrumental in Edmonton tying its second-round series against the Calgary Flames at 1-1 on Friday night, recording a goal and an assist in a 5-3 win to give him a league-leading 20 points in the postseason.

"The way this guy is playing right now, it's special. He's driving our team forward," interim head coach Jay Woodcroft said, according to The Athletic's Daniel Nugent-Bowman. "We got a lot of really good efforts from a lot of people tonight. But the way Connor is playing is very inspiring."

Woodcroft added: "Connor is the best hockey player in the world. He's willing to pay a price to win. He's driven to win. He has an effect on everybody in our organization with that desire to take his game to the next level."

McDavid has produced at a historic pace so far this postseason; Wayne Gretzky (on four occasions) and Mike Bossy (1981) are the only players in league history to record 20 points in fewer than nine games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, according to NHL Public Relations.

"He's taking his game to another level and that's hard to do already. He's pushing his own limits. That's what special players do," said Oilers forward Zach Hyman. "He's leading our team in every aspect. Last game, he had the most hits on our team. He's doing it all. He's a huge reason why we're here."

McDavid now has 42 points in 30 career playoff games. The Oilers reached Game 7 of the second round in 2017 but failed to win a series in their next two postseason appearances.

The Oilers and Flames will meet in Game 3 on Sunday in Edmonton.

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https://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/2361829
3 Battle of Alberta trends to track as the series heads to Edmonton tied

3 Battle of Alberta trends to track as the series heads to Edmonton tied

22/05/2022, USA, Hockey-Ice, NHL (ice-hockey), Article # 30721341

The Edmonton Oilers beat the Calgary Flames 5-3 on the road Friday to even up their second-round playoff series. Here are three storylines to monitor as the Battle of Alberta shifts north to Rogers Place.

Offense is rampant

Icon Sportswire / Getty Images

Calgary and Edmonton fans waited 31 years between playoff editions of the Battle of Alberta. They're still waiting for either side to defend effectively. Across Friday's contest and the Flames' 9-6 Game 1 win, the rivals combined to score 23 goals - within striking distance of the 29 that Calgary and the Dallas Stars managed in seven contests.

The Flames' readiness to exploit defensive breakdowns explains why the Oilers crumbled in Game 1. Most of their goals came courtesy of Edmonton's combination of ill-timed pinches, risky passes, sloppy clearances, halfhearted battling, and neglectful coverage of shooters in the slot. Calgary scored twice in Game 2 after Edmonton sticks broke and again when Duncan Keith and Evan Bouchard blew a defensive-zone assignment.

Connor McDavid inflicted the bulk of Calgary's problems himself. He undressed Jacob Markstrom with a pair of slick dekes. Teammates have scored when McDavid's drawn three defenders in the Flames' end, forced a turnover in transition, driven the crease to leave behind a juicy rebound, and swiveled behind the net to feed a pinching defenseman. The Oilers captain is up to six points in two games and leads the playoffs with 20.

Neither netminder has played to his potential yet. Mike Smith made 37 saves in Game 2 but let in multiple goals within six minutes of puck drop again. Markstrom's save percentage - .810 at five-on-five, .838 overall - is dismal. Zach Hyman and Leon Draisaitl exposed his glove hand in Game 1, as Keith did off McDavid's setup Friday.

Questions abound ahead of Game 3. Which goalie will rediscover his sparkling Round 1 form first? Can the Oilers maintain the composure they showed in Friday's third period - the Flames' first scoreless frame of the series? Or will the shootouts continue at both ends, opening space for McDavid to continue tormenting Calgary blue-liners?

Scoring is dispersed

Gerry Thomas / NHL / Getty Images

That last question could be asked about Hyman, too. He created three goals for himself by firing off the rush, whirling with the puck along the boards until that opened room to shoot, and breaking loose shorthanded to convert a breakaway. When Draisaitl joins McDavid on the top line, Hyman can ease their offensive burden with his resourcefulness and speed.

That's key because Edmonton's offense is prone to imbalance. Five Oilers scored in Game 1, but only six recorded points. Moreover, those five scorers - Hyman, McDavid, Draisaitl, Bouchard, and Kailer Yamamoto - accounted for 11 of the team's 14 scoring chances at five-on-five, according to Natural Stat Trick. While few Oilers moved the needle, 12 of Calgary's skaters got a point, and 15 managed a five-on-five scoring chance.

The Flames were at their balanced best in Game 1. They outscored the Oilers 4-1 and outchanced them 16-5 when the Johnny Gaudreau or Mikael Backlund lines skated at five-on-five. The top trios handled the heavy lifting, but fourth-line winger Brett Ritchie and numerous defensemen - Rasmus Andersson, Michael Stone, Noah Hanifin, and Erik Gudbranson - combined to add four goals and three primary assists in the series.

Edmonton's defense is activating offensively, too. Bouchard has glided into the slot to unleash his great shot, while Keith worked a give-and-go in Game 2 that allowed McDavid to dangle Markstrom. It's not solely the McDavid show, though it's astounding he's now notched multiple points in eight of nine playoff games.

Both teams were robbed of a goal during netfront scrambles Friday when the officials lost sight of loose pucks and blew the whistle. Adding to the chaos, scrums resulted in five sets of coincidental minors being called. Close-matched rivalry series heat up fast, then ebb and flow as squads take turns dictating the action. We're seeing that it's a boon to have various guys who can drive play.

Power-play edge is there for the taking

Derek Leung / Getty Images

Edmonton's power play slumped late in the first round and the series opener against the Flames. The group that menaced the Los Angeles Kings early in that matchup went 0-for-2 between Games 6 and 7. Calgary killed the Oilers' four opportunities in Game 1, negating an edge they want - and maybe expect - to assert.

The Oilers got on the board once on six tries in Game 2, meaning this remains the one phase in which Markstrom has shone - his save percentage against their power play is .929. Still, Calgary's giving them too many spins - Stone and Blake Coleman took four penalty minutes apiece Friday - and Markstrom's really had to exert himself. He faced nine high-danger chances while down a man in Game 2 and benefited from McDavid, Draisaitl, and Hyman whiffing on prime looks.

On the flip side, Calgary's power play is 4-for-32 (12.5%) in the playoffs but 2-for-8 in this matchup, which shows how much of a wall Jake Oettinger was for Dallas in Round 1.

Matthew Tkachuk struck against the Oilers in Game 1 by batting the puck at chest height. Tyler Toffoli's goal Friday came off nice passes from Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm. So long as control of the series is up for grabs, someone could tilt the scales on the man advantage, and the Flames' top unit has shown signs of life.

Nick Faris is a features writer at theScore.

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