Illustration by Sam Ho
14mCraig Custance

Final Team North America roster projections

Team North America's World Cup roster is coming together after playoff surges from young stars like Matt Murray, Jonathan Drouin and Robby Fabbri, and impressive play at the world championships.

Brouwer goes baseball style for awesome goal (0:23)
Pavelski's wicked deflection scores game winner (0:21)
Paige: Pens should go back to Murray (1:17)

Murray-Fleury, DeBoer-Hitchcock, Joel Ward

Scott Burnside, Craig Custance and Pierre LeBrun cover the Penguins switching from Matt Murray to Marc-Andre Fleury in goal and the coaching battle in the Western Finals between Pete DeBoer and Ken Hitchcock. Plus, Sharks RW Joel Ward joins.

Melrose: Serious loss for Penguins (0:32)
Matt Kincaid/Getty Images
10hJoe McDonald

Penguins down but not out

The Penguins are on the brink of elimination but can take inspiration from last year's Lightning team, which found itself in similar straits -- and stormed back to reach the Stanley Cup finals.

Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images
10hScott Burnside

Cold Fleury, hot Lightning tip Game 5

The Pittsburgh Penguins were looking good heading into the third period with momentum and a one-goal lead. Then the roof caved in and changed the complexion of the Eastern Conference finals.

Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS/Getty Images
21hCraig Custance

Three keys to the Western Conference finals

How will the West be won? Craig Custance identifies the linchpins to success for the Blues and Sharks as Game 5 looms on Monday night.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
2dPierre LeBrun

Blues' bold changes spark Game 4 win

Coach Ken Hitchcock studied the video and devised a new game plan that revived the hard-charging St. Louis Blues and resulted in a huge Game 4 win over the San Jose Sharks to even the series 2-2.

Injury to Backes could devastate Blues (0:29)
Scott Rovak/Getty Images
34mCraig Custance

Joe Pavelski bolstering his Conn Smythe case

Two beauties on Monday night helped further establish Joe Pavelski as a front-runner for the Conn Smythe trophy. Plus, other Game 5 takeaways.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
2dScott Burnside

Callahan saves the Lightning's season

In a series in which the focus has been on speed and scoring, a good old-fashioned grinder in the Lightning's Ryan Callahan could very well have put up the best performance of all in Game 4.

Vasilevskiy not missing a beat for Lightning (1:24)
Penguins' great third period not enough for lousy 40 minutes (1:00)
Shawn Michaels: 'I've learned hockey in the past 72 hours' (1:56)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
4dESPN Stats & Information

Sharks blank the Blues yet again

Martin Jones is keeping the Blues guessing as the Sharks keep dominating defensively. We take a look at how they've done it.

Blues need goalie change for shock therapy (0:37)
Best Stanley Cup final matchup? (1:08)


John Buccigross @Buccigross

Robby Fabbri (STL): 15 points this postseason; 2nd-most by a Blues rookie in franchise history. Only Joe Mullen in 1982 had more with 18

John Buccigross @Buccigross

Sharks: 1 win away from 1st appearance in Stanley Cup Final. The Sharks have never been within one game of a Stanley Cup Final appearance

Logan Couture @Logancouture

Terrible news. The Hip is life for any Canadian. Especially inside of a hockey dressing room. Wheat Kings is an all time top 5 favorite.

Pierre LeBrun @Real_ESPNLeBrun

Blow at High Dough, Bobcaygeon, Nautical Disaster.... a cottage night doesn't go by at our place without the Hip helping the sun go down...

Pierre LeBrun @Real_ESPNLeBrun

My favourite Hip song is Grace, Too. But love them all, including Fireworks, Wheat Kings, New Orleans is Sinking, Ahead by a Century...

Linda Cohn @lindacohn

Only putting Matt Murray back in goal tonight in Game 6 will help ease mistake Mike Sullivan made by not starting him in Game 5. #Pens

Craig Custance @CraigCustance

Because of 89X out of Windsor, I just assumed every American kid grew up listing to The Hip, Sloan & Blue Rodeo. So glad for that exposure.

Brouwer baseball swings for great goal

Troy Brouwer offered up a candidate for goal of the playoffs, but the Sharks topped his Blues 6-3 in Game 5.


Craig Custance ESPN Senior Writer 

Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic on the Sharks shutting down Vladimir Tarasenko: "Take away his time and space. Our forwards have been doing a good job as well supporting us. Good back pressure does not allow them to have one-on-ones with our D."

Craig Custance ESPN Senior Writer 

Sharks coach Peter DeBoer on Joe Pavelski: "You think back to some of the best scorers ever. His ability to get his stick on pucks in the offensive zone, in front of the net, different angles, is as good as anybody I've ever seen."