Truth & Rumors > NHL

Columbus crowd rooting for Pens?


07:44 AM ET 04.21 | Yes, technically, the Penguins have surrendered their home-ice advantage against Columbus by way of a split in Pittsburgh as the series shifts to Nationwide Arena. But just how much of an edge that will be for the Blue Jackets probably won't be clear until after the gates open, and it's possible to get a read on the loyalties of the crowd. Which, if regular-season precedent is any indication, could be pretty evenly split. Or maybe even slanted in the Penguins' favor. That's been the norm in recent seasons, especially on weekends, and there was a strong Penguins presence in the seats when they won all three games at Nationwide Arena in the regular season. "We've kind of laughed about it, playing road games at home," Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson said.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Jack Johnson, Icon Sports Jack Johnson, Icon Sports

Emery bumping Mason out of a job


07:44 AM ET 04.21 | At long last, the Flyers have ended their nine-game losing streak at Madison Square Garden, and they managed to tie their first-round series on Sunday. With Steve Mason out for Game 2, Ray Emery started again in net for the orange and black, the first time he started back-to-back games this season. Emery had 31 saves in picking up his first playoff win since he was with Anaheim in 2011. He yielded two goals on his first four shots faced, but blanked the Rangers on their next 29 shots on net. "It's his character," Flyers analyst Rick Tocchet said on Flyers PostGame Live on Sunday. ... If Mason is able to play Tuesday, who should start for the Flyers in Game 3? "It's Ray Emery," Tocchet said. "It's 2-0 for the Rangers. It looks like it's over and Ray Emery puts in a performance like that. You're going Emery."

CSN Philly

Steve Mason, Icon Sports Steve Mason, Icon Sports

The NHL's most compelling buyout candidate


07:43 AM ET 04.21 | 'Tis nearly the season -- buyout season, where owners open their wallets and admit some mistakes. The second and final window for the NHL clubs to use their amnesty buyouts will begin the later of June 15 or 48 hours after the 2014 Stanley Cup final concludes. The buyout window slams shut for good at 5 p.m. ET on June 30. ... Perhaps the most compelling buyout candidate of all is centre Brad Richards, who was rumoured to be on the chopping block in 2013 but turned his game around under new coach Alain Vigneault. The Rangers already used up one get-out-of-jail-free card on defenceman Wade Redden, who enjoyed a brief NHL encore with the Blues and Bruins in 2013 before retiring. The 33-year-old Richards' $6.67 million cap hit through 2019-20 is a strain in New York, even when he's playing well.

Brad Richards, Icon Sports Brad Richards, Icon Sports

Lighting coach left fuming


07:42 AM ET 04.21 | Already down in the series, 2-0, Ryan Callahan thought he had given the Lightning a lifeline by scoring late in the second period to hand Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead -- instead, the goal was waved off for goaltender interference. Lightning coach John Cooper was furious on the bench. "I was (angry) then, and I'm (angry) now," said Cooper. "It's tough to walk in that locker-room and look those guys in the eye when clearly that was our best game of the series." ... Despite disagreeing with the call on the ice, Cooper thought his team reacted well after the disallowed goal. "It's still a tie game," he said. "You have to turn the page. Stuff like that happens. There was plenty of time to come back in the game. Let's call a spade a spade: we only scored three goals ... I mean, two," added Cooper, facetiously. "And they got three."

Ryan Callahan, Icon Sports Ryan Callahan, Icon Sports

Avs' key cog nearing comeback


07:41 AM ET 04.21 | Up, 2-0, in their first-round series against Minnesota, the Avalanche didn't practice Sunday, but did catch a flight to the Twin Cities. Among the traveling party were forwards Matt Duchene and John Mitchell, neither of whom played in the first two games, and Avalanche coach Patrick Roy indicated Duchene "probably" would start skating on Monday. "That will be his first time on the ice, and we'll see how it goes," Roy said of Duchene, who suffered a medial collateral ligament injury March 29 against the San Jose Sharks and hasn't played since. Roy emphasized, "We're not going to push. We're going to be very smart about when he's going to come back. He's going to want to play soon, and it's going to be up to our doctors and (trainers) Matt (Sokolowski) and Scotty (Woodward) to determine if he's ready."

The Denver Post

Matt Duchene, Getty Images Matt Duchene, Getty Images

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