Staal, Niederreiter lift Hurricanes past Predators 5-2
Jordan Staal scored twice and Nino Niederreiter beat Juuse Saros for the go-ahead goal early in the third period, helping the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators in the first game of the teams' first-round playoff series.
NHL revises virus protocols; Colorado is 5th team shut down
New York Rangers coach David Quinn of the New York Rangers stands behind the bench during the team's NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, in New York. (Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo via AP)The NHL revised its virus protocols in a bid to keep the shortened season on track, but not before a fifth team was idled by COVID-19 problems. Hours after the league announced changes visible in arenas and important behind the scenes, Colorado joined the growing list of U.S.-based teams shut down for virus concerns. Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog joined teammate Tyson Jost on the league's COVID-19 unavailable list Thursday. Bettman said fewer than half the players in protocol have been because of a confirmed positive test and many of those were asymptomatic.
Canes' season paused, while Caps play on without 4 regulars
For Peter Laviolette, his Washington Capitals will keep playing for the next week without four prominent players who broke the rules. There's no indication the Capitals are being shut down, though they will have to play the next four games without captain Alex Ovechkin, No. The NHL defers to local authorities, and the minimum four games for the Capitals players relates to the District of Columbia's quarantine regulations. The Hurricanes have so far had three games postponed because of their outbreak and won't play for at least a week. I think that’s really what we’re going to find out.”___AP Sports Writers Aaron Beard and Stephen Hawkins contributed.
Throwback 5-game series force players to 'embrace the grind'
In a unique situation like this, youre going from not playing to playing playoff-style hockey, so youve got to embrace the grind mentally, physically.This is a different kind of grind after four-plus months off the ice. Eddie Olczyk won and lost one best-of-five series early in his playing career with Chicago and remembers the nerves of being 18 and 19 years old in those moments. Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour understands that urgency despite being drafted two years after the NHL moved to all best-of-seven series. His Hurricanes face the Rangers, whose president, John Davidson, won the only two best-of-five series he played in with New York. In a short series, Quenneville said, anything can happen.___AP Hockey Writer John Wawrow contributed to this report.