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Stastny leads Avs to 5-4 OT win over Wild

Stastny scores OT winner after tying game late in regulation as Avs beat Wild 5-4 in opener
Pat Graham, The Associated Press

DENVER - Patrick Roy showed as much boldness behind the bench as he once did as a Hall of Fame goaltender.

The first-year Colorado coach made some daring moves late in the game — like pulling his goaltender with 3:01 remaining — and yet the ploy worked out.

It's been that kind of season for Roy and his youthful squad.

Sharks beat Kings 6-3 in Game 1

Healthy Hertl, Torres help spark Sharks to 6-3 win over Kings in playoff opener
Josh Dubow, The Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif. - The San Jose Sharks spent seven games struggling to get the puck past Jonathan Quick in a playoff loss a year ago.

Quick struggled to stop anything in the opener of the rematch.

Tomas Hertl and Raffi Torres both scored in their first game together as teammates and the Sharks jumped on top of Quick and the rival Los Angeles Kings with a 6-3 victory in their playoff opener Thursday night.

Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in 3 OTs

Steen gets winner at 26 seconds of third OT, Blues knock off Blackhawks 4-3
R.B. Fallstrom, The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Blues went the distance, and then some, to get the jump on the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Alexander Steen scored at 26 seconds of the third overtime to cap the longest playoff game in franchise history and give the Blues a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Thursday night.

Rangers score 3 in 3rd, top Flyers in opener 4-1

Rangers score 3 goals in 3rd period, 2 on power play, to beat Flyers 4-1 in series opener
Ira Podell, The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Carl Hagelin's contribution to the New York Rangers' playoff-opening win was etched all over his busted-up mouth.

Some efforts don't directly show up on the score sheet.

Hagelin took a high stick from Philadelphia's Jason Akeson with 7:35 left, and had his mouth cut open. That gave the Rangers a four-minute power play, and they made the most of it.

Power briefly goes out ahead of Sharks-Kings game

Power briefly goes out at SAP Center ahead of Sharks-Kings opener in Stanley Cup playoffs
The Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Power went out briefly at the SAP Center less than an hour before the scheduled start of Thursday night's playoff opener between the San Jose Sharks and the Los Angeles Kings.

A few thousand fans were in the arena when it went dark for a few seconds before emergency lights turned on.

About five minutes later, the lights came back on. Players later took the ice for warmups although there was none of the usual music over the loudspeaker.

Anaheim Ducks hold off Stars 4-3 in series opener

Anaheim Ducks jump to 4-goal lead, hold off Dallas Stars 4-3 in playoff series opener
Greg Beacham, The Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Ryan Getzlaf spent the final seconds of the Anaheim Ducks' playoff opener in the dressing room with a large ice bag pressed to a nasty cut on his left cheek.

Playoff success usually requires a little discomfort, and the Ducks got a good taste of both in their opener.

Getzlaf had a goal and an assist, Frederik Andersen made 32 saves to win his NHL playoff debut, and the Ducks held on for a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.

Penguins nip Blue Jackets 4-3 in series opener

Penguins rally after slow start, slip past Blue Jackets 4-3 in series opener
Will Graves, The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Columbus coach Todd Richards insists his upstart team isn't in the playoffs "just to go to school."

Maybe, but the Pittsburgh Penguins provided a pretty valuable lesson in perseverance during a 4-3 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday night.

Panthers jump Sabres to win NHL draft lottery

Florida Panthers jump ahead of last-place Buffalo Sabres to win NHL draft lottery
John Wawrow, The Associated Press

NHL draft lottery losers last year, the Florida Panthers had their number come up this year.

In the meantime, chalk up yet another loss for the Buffalo Sabres.

The Panthers bucked the odds Tuesday by jumping up a spot and earned the right to the top pick in June. Florida, which finished 29th in the league, vaulted ahead of the last-place Sabres, who had the best odds of winning the lottery held in Toronto.

GM says coach change 'wake-up call' for Predators

Barry Trotz, NHL's longest tenured coach, out after 15 seasons as Predators make 1st change
Teresa M. Walker, The Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - General manager David Poile hopes he sent the strongest message possible by making the first coaching change in Nashville's history: missing the playoffs is not acceptable for the Predators.

Spezza lifts Senators to SO win over Penguins

Spezza scores in SO, Senators beat playoff-bound Penguins 3-2
Dan Scifo, The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Pittsburgh Penguins are ready for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Ottawa Senators aren't headed to the post-season, but captain Jason Spezza wanted to make sure his team finished the season strong.

Spezza scored in the shootout to help the Senators beat the Penguins 3-2 on Sunday night and stretch their season-ending winning streak to five games.

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