Hiring a coach is the first big decision for general manager Ray Shero, who was hired by the Devils on May 4. The Devils and the Detroit Red Wings are the only NHL teams without a coach.
Housley, 51, has been with the Predators for two seasons. He coached the United States to the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship; among the players on the team was forward Blake Pietila, who signed an entry-level contract with the Devils on Wednesday. He also was an assistant coach for the U.S. at the World Championship in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
ANAHEIM --Joel Quenneville prefers to balance his scoring lines, but the Chicago Blackhawks coach will opt for more horsepower at the top with one game left to decide the Western Conference Final.
The Blackhawks will start with right wing Patrick Kane playing next to center Jonathan Toews on the first line in Game 7 against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).
"I know Game 5, later in the game, they had some shifts together and I thought they were dangerous, and I thought they were really good last game as well," Quenneville said Friday after practice. "We'll start them together and we'll work it out and see what happens."
"Obviously it feels awesome, being able to go to the Stanley Cup Finals," said Callahan, who was Rangers captain from 2011 until he was traded to the Lightning in 2014 for Lightning captain Martin St. Louis. "The effort we put forth tonight, the way we played, it's an exciting feeling, my first trip there."
NEW YORK -- Watching the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final was like watching the little brother in a reality TV series grow bigger by the game before hitting the growth spurt that sent him towering over big brother like Victor Hedman over Tyler Johnson.
The Lightning are going to the Stanley Cup Final because in the end they discovered the best way to beat big brother is to ignore his reputation, age, strength and experience, and simply just stuff your best game down his throat with confidence and bravado befitting a champion finding his way.
That's what the Lightning did Friday to win 2-0 in Game 7 at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers. They played as close to a perfect road hockey game as possible.
"You shine the light bright on our guys, and they'll just put on sunglasses and walk right through it," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "It's unreal how they respond."
BISHOP, LIGHTNING PUNCH TICKET TO STANLEY CUP FINAL
Ben Bishop made 22 saves in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2-0 win Friday at Madison Square Garden in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers, clinching their second all-time appearance in the Stanley Cup Final.
* The Lightning, who have won six of their past seven visits to the Garden (regular season and playoffs) dating to Jan. 14, 2014 (2-1 W), reached the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in their history. Tampa Bay’s previous appearance was in 2004, when they defeated the Calgary Flames in seven games to capture their first Stanley Cup.
Bishop made 22 saves for his second shutout of the series; he won Game 5 here Sunday (also 2-0). Bishop is 2-0 in Game 7 in his first Stanley Cup Playoffs, and has allowed two goals on 77 shots in three elimination games.
"He's probably our MVP," Lightning forward Brian Boyle said. "He's our backbone back there. He's won us games. He's gotten us to advance. … [Bishop] stood in there and has been phenomenal."
Coach Alain Vigneault confirmed the injury after New York's season-ending 2-0 loss.
Asked how long McDonagh's foot has been broken, Vigneault said, "A couple of games."
McDonagh did not practice Thursday, but the Rangers said the absence was a maintenance day.
McDonagh, who declined to talk about his injury after Game 7, took the warm-up and started the game on the bench. He went back to the dressing room and didn't play his first shift until 12:41 of the first period. He played two more shifts before intermission then took a regular shift through the final two periods.
We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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