Matt Hunwick – Shane O’Brien
Matt Hunwick – Shane O’Brien
At 4:04 of the second period in the Hurricanes/Lightning game, video review upheld the referee's call that Carolina forward Eric Staal's centering pass deflected off Tampa defenseman Eric Brewer's skate but did not completely cross the Tampa goal line. No Goal Carolina.
The Oilers, who enter 12th in the Western Conference, need a victory to keep alive their flickering hopes for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A loss would mean missing the postseason for the seventh straight year.
Making matters more difficult is the fact they'll have to make their push without second-year center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who the team announced Sunday would miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury that likely will require surgery.
The Ducks, meanwhile, can clinch the Pacific Division title with a win and some help. A Ducks win, combined with a Dallas Stars regulation-time win against the Los Angeles Kings and a Columbus Blue Jackets defeat of the San Jose Sharks would win their first division title since 2007 -- the year the franchise won its only Stanley Cup.
Here are the lineups the Ducks (via the Orange County Register) and Oilers likely will go with Sunday:
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- For a team that barely squeaked into the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, the Los Angeles Kings weren't really breathing a big sigh of relief Sunday.
Los Angeles clinched a berth when the Detroit Red Wings lost Saturday night, but they have bigger fish to fry as it sits fourth in the Western Conference standings going into a game against the Dallas Stars on Sunday (9 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).
"It's always nice when that 'X' appears in front of your team's name," Anze Kopitar said. "But we have some other business to take care of. We're shooting for home ice. That's been the goal for the last two weeks, and we're going to stick to it."
The defending Cup champions know last season was a historical anomaly. They were the first eighth seed to win the Cup, having started all four postseason series in another city.
NEW YORK -- Last summer the New York Rangers' season ended against the New Jersey Devils in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. They now have an opportunity to gain a measure of revenge, as they can eliminate the Devils from postseason contention with a win Sunday at Madison Square Garden (3 p.m. ET, NBC).
They'll go about doing that by icing the same lineup that has scored 14 goals in the past two games, including a franchise-record five goals in a span of 2:58 Friday against the Buffalo Sabres.
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist allowed four goals on 28 shots in Buffalo, but he will be back in the crease Sunday for his eleventh straight start. Before the Rangers' 8-4 win Friday, Lundqvist had allowed two goals or fewer in 13 of his past 15 games.
Here is the projected lineup for the Rangers:
NEW YORK -- New Jersey Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov will be back in the lineup Sunday afternoon against the New York Rangers (3 p.m. ET, NBC) after serving his four-game suspension for elbowing Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand on April 10.
"We put a lineup in that we think will give us the best chance to win," DeBoer said. "That's all I can tell you."
Prior to a crucial game Sunday against the Anaheim Ducks, the Oilers reported Nugent-Hopkins will travel to Cleveland to have his shoulder examined, with surgery a likely possibility.
The Oilers need a win to keep their hopes for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs alive. They enter the game 12th in the Western Conference, seven points behind the eighth-place Columbus Blue Jackets with five games remaining.
Nugent-Hopkins, the first pick of the 2011 NHL Draft, had four goals and 20 assists in 40 games this season. He missed time earlier this season with an injury to his left shoulder, and missed 20 games last season with a shoulder injury.
Horton, third on the Bruins with 13 goals, was injured Saturday during a first-period fight with Jarome Iginla during the Bruins' 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Horton is day-to-day, according to coach Claude Julien.
Defenseman Adam McQuaid also will sit out against Florida. McQuaid left the game Saturday in the second period with a lower-body injury after a hit from Penguins forward Matt Cooke. McQuaid played the third period, but Julien said the blueliner also is day-to-day.
For the Hurricanes, after dropping a 5-3 decision to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, the morning was time off to rest. For the Lightning, the morning skate was optional and only a handful of players were on the ice.
The start also will mark Lindback's first game for new Lightning coach Jon Cooper, but Cooper played down the importance of that.
At 19:59 of the third period in the Flyers/Hurricanes game, video review determined that Philadelphia forward Matt Read used his right skate to kick the puck into the net. According to Rule 49.2 "A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who uses a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net." No Goal Philadelphia.
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He's, believe it or not, actually one of my favorite guys, and I've ended up trading him twice. I appreciate what he's done. He was one year away from being an unrestricted free agent, and I felt with this opportunity, that it was a chance that we were able to get somebody for him in Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening.