Friday Caterwaul: Panthers Open Forum
Against the NHL's Southeast Division, winger Kris Versteeg ranked first among Florida Panthers with 11 goals in 21 games on the year, accounting for a click under half of the 23 total he scored in 2011-12. Who within the division topped him? Steven Stamkos (20G/24GP, led the league), Teddy Purcell (14G/23GP), both of Tampa Bay, and Winnipeg's Evander Kane (13G/20GP). And BTW...his surgery went fine.
- (6) New Jersey over (5) Philadelphia, 4-3 (OT): evidently Ilya Kovalchuk's health should no longer be in question as he provided the helper on Alex Ponikarovsky's gamewinner at 17:21 of overtime; Kovy finished the night with 1G/2A, plus-two. Devils lead series 2-1.
- (8) Los Angeles over (2) St. Louis, 4-2: the LA juggernaut continues to roll, now one victory from Western Conference final; Kings are 7-1 in postseason play. Jonathan Quick: 1.62/.948 in eight games./
Tonight's NHL Playoff Action
- (3) Phoenix at (4) Nashville, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN): six players have 3 points between the clubs in series so far; Coyotes lead 2-1./
Around the Den
- An enormous victory for the Rampage in Oklahoma City to open their second-round series against the Barons, as San Antonio overcame not one but two 2-goal deficits before pouting on the offense in the second period to seal a 6-4 Game One win. Jon Matsumoto and Bracken Kearns each had 2 points while Jacob Markstrom made 26 saves. Newcomer Quinton Howden finished with 3 shots and an even +/- in his pro debut. Game Two is Saturday.
- The 2012 IIHF Hockey World Championship tournament is officially underway from Sweden and Finland, with the United States and Germany (guess who's wearing the "C") already securing wins over France and Italy, respectively, while Tomas Kopecky and Slovakia were downed by Canada, 3-2. Complete results here.
- Registration is now open for the 12th Annual Goldie's Gang Golf Classic on May 18 from Coral Springs Country Club. From Steve himself on Twitter yesterday: "Ed Jovanovski did! He'll be there"
- Happy birthday to center John Madden, who turns 39 today. Is he done?/