In the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Los Angeles Kings were on the verge of getting swept by the San Jose Sharks. Just two seasons removed from winning the Cup, it looked like the Kings were about to crash and burn.
But five weeks later, the Kings find themselves four games away from another Stanley Cup. Last night, LA defeated defending champs the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime, 5-4, in a thrilling Game 7 to earn a trip to the Stanley Cup Final against the New York Rangers.
Three weeks ago, the New York Rangers were a game away from their season being over. But after digging themselves into a 3-1 hole against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the playoffs, the Rangers scrapped out a win to keep the series going. Then they won again. And again. And again. They kept winning, all the way through the Eastern Conference Final.
And last night, the Blueshirts moved moved within four wins of the Stanley Cup. New York defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 1-0, to win the East and clinch its first Final appearance since 1994.
"It's something you feel good (about), but you have to keep in the back of your mind that this isn't the ultimate goal," center Brad Richards said. "It's an amazing achievement to be able to play for the Cup."
The Los Angeles Kings won again last night, earning a 3-1 Western Conference Final lead on defending Stanley Cup champs the Chicago Blackhawks. The New York Rangers, who also hold a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Final, could eliminate the Montreal Canadiens tonight. We're oh-so-close to the Stanley Cup Final, so let's get pumped with one of the most iconic Cup moments in history — Bobby Orr's Cup-winning goal in the 1970 Final — recreated in OYO Sportstoys!
MINSK, Belarus (AP) Star forwards Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin scored eight minutes apart to lead Russia to a 5-2 victory over Finland in the final of the ice hockey world championship on Sunday for its second title in three years.
With Russian President Vladimir Putin looking on, Ovechkin tied the game at 2-2 in the second period with a backhand and Malkin wristed a shot high into the roof of the net on a power play for the go-ahead goal. Danis Zaripov also scored a goal and added two assists.
Viktor Tikhonov and Sergei Shirokov scored a goal each.
Putin watched the game sitting next to Belarus' authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko in the stands, as the Russian team gained a measure of redemption following a painful loss to Finland in the quarterfinals of the Sochi Olympics just three months ago. It was Russia's fifth gold since the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union.
There are two teams left standing in the East and they are… the Canadiens and Rangers? In a matchup that seemed unthinkable even a week ago, Montreal and New York will meet in the NHL's Eastern Conference Finals. And to get here, both teams had to topple the conference's giants.
We're nearing the homestretch of the 2013-14 NHL season, but EA Sports is already looking ahead to next year. The video game company has launched the cover vote to decide who will be the face of its next hockey title, NHL 15.
There are eight players in the running for NHL 15 cover boy: the Ottawa Senators' Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks centerman Logan Couture, St. Louis Blues star T.J. Oshie, Montreal Canadien P.K. Subban, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene, and Boston Bruin Patrice Bergeron.
Need a little help in the crease? Then unleash your inner Jedi (or Dark Lord of the Sith) with Bauer's new headgear. Yesterday the hockey equipment giant debuted five Star Wars-inspired goalie masks featuring some of the most popular characters in the series: Luke Skywalker, Yoda, Boba Fett, Clone Troopers, and, of course, Darth Vader.