NHL notes for a Sunday night


The Buffalo Sabres’ task of winning Game 7 of their quarterfinal series against the Philadelphia Flyers got that much harder when they lost key veteran forward, Tim Connolly, to what appears to be a head injury. Connolly, who in the regular season scored 13 goals and 42 points, was shaken up late in the second period of Game 6 on Sunday when Flyers forward, Mike Richards, slammed him head first into the boards. Airing on the side of caution Connolly, who missed the entire 2003/04 season due to concussions, didn’t return to action,  in what was an eventual Flyers 5-4 overtime win. While the Sabres haven’t officially announced him as a scratch for Tuesday’s Game 7 the odds of Connolly playing aren’t very good. Along with Connolly the Sabres are also without two elite scorers, the 52 point scorer Jason Pominville, who hurt his knee in Game 6, and Derek Roy, who suffered a knee injury half way through the season.


Vancouver Canucks coach, Alain Vigneault, called it a gut feeling when he decided to start Cory Schneider in net for Game 6 of their quarterfinal series against the Chicago Blackhawks. Unfortunately Schneider, who looked sharp in stopping 17 of 20 shots, had to leave 2:31 into the third period, due to some leg cramping. He was replaced by Vezina Trophy nominee, Roberto Luongo, who was getting a game off after surrendering 10 goals on 40 shots in the past two games. After losing 4-3 in overtime it’s anyone’s guess  who will start Game 7 for Vancouver.


Less than 24 hours after being eliminated from the Stanley Cup play-offs the New York Rangers awarded coach, John Tortorella, with, what is rumoured to be, a three year contract extension. Tortorella, who has led the Rangers to the play-offs in two out of the past three seasons, hasn’t been able to get them past the opening round. This past spring New York, who finished eighth in the Eastern Conference with 93 points, lost in five games against the Washington Capitals. Over what has been an impressive coaching career Tortorella has registered a 333-298- 56 with 37 ties during his time with the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers. The highlight came in 2004, when Tortorella led the Lightning to their first, ever, Stanley Cup.


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