Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
17hJoe McDonald

Leddy, Boychuk buoying Isles

Nick Leddy hoisted a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013. Johnny Boychuk won it with the Bruins in 2011. Now they're trying to accomplish hockey's ultimate goal again as Islanders teammates.

Faksa follows rebound to net game winner (0:33)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Sharks surge past Predators in series opener

San Jose came alive in the third period, scoring all five of its goals, to take Game 1 from Nashville. Joel Ward keyed the Sharks' rally with a go-ahead goal and one assist.

Sharks take the lead on Ward's breakaway goal (0:27)
Black cat roams the ice pregame (0:13)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
22hCraig Custance

What's next for Boudreau, Ducks?

Following the Anaheim Ducks' firing of Bruce Boudreau, Craig Custance explores who the Ducks will hire, and where Boudreau will land.

Barry on Ducks' firing: 'It's ridiculous' (1:13)
Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/AP

Which tortured fan base deserves a Stanley Cup?

For some fan bases, it has been decades since their team raised the Stanley Cup. Others are still waiting for their first Cup kiss. So who deserves a Stanley Cup victory the most?

Ethan Miller/Getty Images for MGM Resorts International
3hPierre LeBrun

NHL, NHLPA agree on expansion draft rules

In what could be a significant step toward adding a team, the league and its players union concluded 'extensive discussions' on expansion issues.

Oshie's winner in OT completes hat trick (0:26)
Capitals win without being the best team (0:47)
Scott Audette/Getty Images
23hJoe McDonald

Lightning defenseman Stralman 'not near ready'

Injury-riddled Tampa Bay won't get Anton Stralman or Steven Stamkos back anytime soon. But Matt Carle, J.T. Brown and Mike Blunden are day-to-day.

Game 1 promises amazing Capitals-Penguins series (2:37)
Beagle gets too close with Penguins' sticks (0:28)
Melrose: Predators need Rinne for any chance vs. Sharks (0:52)
John Russell/Getty Images
2dJohn Buccigross

Tune in, fans: Playoffs and music go together

John Buccigross combines his favorite art forms, hockey and music, into an appreciation of each playoff team. The Red Wings are in Emo mode, while the beat goes on for contenders like the Caps.

Sharp: Looking forward to playing St. Louis (1:50)

Second round, Boychuk, Stamkos, Pritchard

The ESPN.com NHL team share their thoughts on second-round playoff matchups, and what could become of the Ducks after another early exit. Plus, we hear from Islanders D Johnny Boychuk, Lightning C Steven Stamkos and "Keeper of the Cup" Phil Pritchard.

Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Celebrities who really love hockey

Don't you hate it when work gets in the way of watching the NHL playoffs? Same for these famous fans, who go to great lengths to follow their favorite teams -- all while doing their day jobs.

Conn Smythe Trophy prediction (1:10)
Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images
3dCraig Custance

Nine biggest surprises of the first round

The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs saw many surprising star turns (and vice versa). Craig Custance identifies the biggest as Round 2 begins.


Corey Pronman @coreypronman

Semi hoping the lottery balls come up New Jersey Boston Carolina. Under the current rules there's a better chance of that happening too.

Black cat roams the ice pregame

Fortunately for the Sharks, this didn't prove to be an ominous sign as they skated past the Predators 5-2 on their home ice.


Ward sneaks right past goalie for winner

Joel Ward gave the Sharks a lead for good when he deked out Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne in San Jose's 5-2 Game 1 win.


Faksa lifts Stars to Game 1 victory

Radek Faksa crashed the net and cleaned up the rebound for the winning goal with less than five minutes left in the third period.


Craig Custance ESPN Senior Writer 

Blues captain David Backes on loss to Stars: "It's just one of those things where we played seven really good games in a row. This was an off one."

Patrick Kane @88PKane

Thx #Blackhawks fans for your support over the last year. We may not have won the 🏆 but it's more motivation to get back on track next year!

Craig Custance ESPN Senior Writer 

Ken Hitchcock says the Blues need to find a much higher emotional level than they showed tonight vs. Stars.