NHL Notebook: Panthers, Stars advance to Conference Finals

Dallas Stars Colorado Avalanche
Photo credit:Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
It’s a great day for an NHL Notebook.
In this article, we’ll look at how the playoffs are shaping up, international hockey news, PWHL news, and the fallout from a Hurricanes’ elimination.

On Thursday night, the New York Rangers had a stunning four-goal period to overcome a 3-1 deficit to end the Carolina Hurricanes’ season (more on that later). And a night later, two more teams moved on, as the Dallas Stars defeated the Colorado Avalanche in double overtime to head to their second consecutive Western Conference Finals. The Florida Panthers scored a late goal in the third period to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Colorado jumped out to the lead early in the second period, as Mikko Rantanen scored his fourth postseason goal, a power play marker assisted by Jonathan Drouin and Cale Makar. It would end up being the last goal of the 2023-24 season for the 2022 Stanley Cup winners.
Early in the third, Jamie Benn scored his third goal of the postseason, assisted by Evgenii Dadonov and Tyler Seguin, tying it up at one. Nobody else could find the back of the net in regulation, or the first overtime frame before Matt Duchene scored the series-clinching goal against the team that drafted him. The Stars will await the winner of the Oilers and Canucks.
Out east, the Boston Bruins jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the first period from Pavel Zach, with Jake DeBrusk and Parker Wotherspoon getting the assists. This was followed by an Anton Lundell goal midway through the second period, assisted by Carter Verhaeghe, tying the game up at one.
It appeared the game would head to overtime, but Gustav Forsling scored with 1:33 left on the clock to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead, which was all they’d need to head to their second consecutive Eastern Conference Finals. They’ll face the New York Rangers, with the series kicking off in New York on Wednesday night.

Mike Sullivan will coach the United States at the 2025 4 Nations Cup and 2026 Olympics

USA Hockey announced Saturday morning that Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan will coach Team USA at the 2025 4 Nations Face-Off and the 2026 Olympics.
Sullivan’s head coaching career started in 2003-04, when he led the Boston Bruins to a 41-19-15-7 record for first in the Northeast division. After the 2004-05 lockout, he finished with a 29-37-16 record to finish fifth in the division.
Future Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli fired Sullivan in late 2006, and he spent nearly a decade bouncing around as an assistant before landing a gig with the Penguins midway through the 2015 season. The coaching change paid dividends, as the Penguins won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017.
With them, Sullivan has a 375-219-77 record in 671 games and a career record of 445-275-15-100 in 835 games.

First PWHL Finals set

It’s not a bold statement to say the PWHL rocks.
The first-ever Walter Cup finals are set, as Boston and Minnesota will battle for the cup. The first game will be on Sunday, May 19, with Boston hosting Minnesota at 3:00 PM MT. Boston will also host Game 2 at 5:00 PM MT on Tuesday. The series will shift to Minnesota on Friday, with that game being played at 5:00 PM MT as well.
If necessary, because the PWHL holds best-of-five series, Minnesota would host Game 4 on Sunday at 4:00 PM MT before the series would shift back to Boston for Game 5 at 5:00 PM MT on May 29, again.
It’s safe to say that the inaugural PWHL season has been a tremendous success.

Changes abound in Carolina

The Carolina Hurricanes have had quite a few successful seasons, winning eight playoff series and reaching two Eastern Conference Final twice since the 2018-19 season. However, one thing is missing from those six seasons — a Stanley Cup.
After falling down 3-0 in the series to the New York Rangers, it looked as if the Hurricanes had a chance to become just the tenth team to tie a series after being down 3-0, as they had a 3-1 lead heading into the third period of Game 6. However, the Rangers scored four goals in the third period, sending the Hurricanes packing in the second round.
The Hurricanes will certainly see some changes heading into the 2024-25 season, as they’ll have to sign a whole wack of players with just $28.13-million in projected cap space. Unrestricted free agents include Jake Guentzel, Jordan Martinook, Stefan Noesen, Tony DeAngelo, Jalen Chatfield, Brady Skjei, and Brett Pesce, who the Oilers should be all over. On top of that, Martin Necas, Jack Drury, and Seth Jarvis will all need to be signed as they are restricted free agents.
Of course, the team is still talented and won’t need to rebuild anytime soon, but it seems like it just can’t get it done in the playoffs.

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