Derek Stepan gave some words of advice to his Arizona Coyotes teammates not used to the bright lights of playoff hockey. The time of year is different than usual, but the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs haven't lost any of their luster or penchant for surprises. After a qualifying round full of upsets, overtime heroics and comebacks, the traditional first round that starts Tuesday with 16 teams left is primed to feature even more entertainment and unpredictability.
Rookie Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored twice, and the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 on Saturday night to clinch the Eastern Conference's top seed through the playoffs. The Lightning not only dropped the game in completing preliminary round-robin play with a 2-1 record, Tampa Bay's star defenseman Victor Hedman did not return after appearing to twist his right ankle while going down untouched midway through the first period. Coach Jon Cooper didn't have an update on Hedman's status or how much time he might miss, though acknowledged his potential loss would create a notable hole in the Lightning's lineup.
Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi, at just 20 years old, were two of Montreal's best players in its stunning upset of Pittsburgh.