MacKinnon records hat trick, Avs beat Blues 6-3 in Game 2
Nathan MacKinnon finished his first career playoff hat trick with an empty-net goal to help the Colorado Avalanche pull away late for a 6-3 win over St. Louis in Game 2 after the Blues avoided a pregame virus scare that nearly sidelined several players.
NHL offseason moves influenced by coronavirus' impact on cap
Zdeno Chara is no longer in Boston after the Bruins captain signed with Washington. And the Sabres made an even bigger splash in free agency by landing 2018 NHL MVP Taylor Hall in October. Hall, for example, signed a one-year, $8 million deal with Buffalo by realizing the free-agent market was going to be tight. Oilers general manager Ken Holland chalked it up to the new economic realities facing the NHL. “It’s salary-cap related, which is related to the pandemic, which has given us a hard, flat cap for the foreseeable future,” Holland said.
Opinion: After long overdue front office shakeup, Panthers fans should embrace changes made by new GM Bill Zito
SUNRISE, Fla. – I’ve been listening to you, Panthers fans. When new Panthers General Manager Bill Zito was active at the beginning of the month, there was more than enough love and excitement to go around. A handful of tough, skilled guys in their mid-to-late 20s on cheap, short-term deals? It makes sense that Zito wants to build his own team, and lets not twist that into something that’s about his ego. That’s why you make a change at the top, and why that person makes changes to those around him.
NHL teams making moves, not waiting for top free agents
The NHL is embarking on a free agent period like never before in hockey history. A handful of the top free agents are still available, but NHL teams aren't waiting for those big fish to sign to make other moves. Koivu signed for $1.5 million for next season, and they need to re-up top center Pierre-Luc Dubois and other restricted free agents. Teams have to move money, and in order to move money, they might have to move some really good players.”Some good free agents found new homes Saturday. The Buffalo Sabres signed center Cody Eakin to a $4.5 million, two-year contract, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal.
Islanders eliminate Panthers with 5-1 win in Game 4
TORONTO, ONT Anthony Beauvillier scored twice, and the New York Islanders beat the Florida Panthers 5-1 to clinch an NHL best-of-five preliminary round playoff series in four games on Friday. Brock Nelson and Mathew Barzal had a goal and assist each in a game the Islanders never trailed. The 10th-seeded Panthers wound up one-and-done for their fifth consecutive postseason appearance, and eliminated for the second straight time by the Islanders. New York needed six games to eliminate the Panthers in a best-of-seven first-round series in 2016. Florida hasnt won a playoff series since making its first postseason appearance in 1996, when the team reached the Stanley Cup Final only to be swept by Colorado.
Panthers avoid elimination, beat Islanders 3-2 in Game 3
The 10th-seeded Panthers trail the best-of-five series 2-1 with Game 4 at the NHL's Eastern Conference hub city of Toronto on Friday. Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Brock Nelson, with 1:27 remaining, scored for the Islanders, the East's seventh seed. The Panthers scored first for the second straight game, with Haulas power-play goal 4:02 into the second period. NOTES: The game was Panthers first as the home team since 4-1 win against Montreal at Florida on March 7. The Islanders made no lineup changes from Game 2, while Panthers D Mike Matheson was scratched after picking up four of the Panthers 10 minor penalties this series.
Eberle scores 2 in Islanders 4-2 win over Panthers
TORONTO, ONT Jordan Eberle scored twice, including the go-ahead goal, and the New York Islanders rallied to a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers and take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five NHL preliminary round playoff series on Tuesday. The Islanders particularly took advantage of the Panthers' undisciplined play by scoring twice on seven power-play chances. Weve got to play with some composure in those pivotal moments, said Panthers first-year coach and three-time Stanley Cup champion Joel Quenneville. Florida is making its first playoff appearance since 2016, when the Panthers were eliminated by the Islanders in six games. Set up in the left circle, Eberle patiently waited for defenseman Brady Keeper to go down and attempt to block the shot.
Mike Hoffman not thinking about free agency, focused on postseason with Panthers
Hoffman, who led the Panthers with 29 goals this season, is coming off two stellar years with Florida in which he racked up 129 points (65-64-129) in 151 games. When free agency opens sometime in mid-October, Hoffman is expected to be one of the most coveted scorers on the market, and that could place him out of Florida's price range. Depending on what Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon has planned for free agency, it could be difficult for Hoffman to find his way back to the Cats. Huberdeau was slid down to the second line, uniting Hoffman and center Erik Haula. "I think it's going to be great," Hoffman said of the line.
Consistency is key to Panthers success during second half of season
Looking at this Panthers group, however, it seems safe to say that their best hockey is still ahead of them. "We just need to play more consistent, play the same way every night," Panthers winger Frank Vatrano said. "There's games where we've played great and games where we've lagged for over twenty minutes, and it hurts us. Florida Panthers' Keith Yandle is seen during an NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. What that ultimately will mean, and where the Panthers will end up, is a script that has yet to be written.
Integral part of Panthers' power play, Mike Hoffman heads into season under the radar
Florida Panthers forward Mike Hoffman prepares for a face-off against the Montreal Canadiens at the BB&T Center on Dec. 28, 2018 in Sunrise, Florida. CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. - Florida Panthers left winger Mike Hoffman would be top line star on many NHL teams. Even on the Florida Panthers, a team at the bottom of the NHL popularity totem pole, there are several names that go up on the marquee ahead of Hoffman's. One thing Hoffman is excited for is the opportunity to play a full season alongside center Vincent Trocheck. "He's a great player, a great two-way center," Hoffman said.