The Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks are two of the NHL's elite and, under other circumstances, their game Wednesday at PPG Paints Arena could be an occasion to match wits and skill in an old-fashioned showdown. Chicago (48-21-7) crashed in a 7-0 loss Saturday at Florida, then gave up a lead Monday and fell at Tampa Bay 5-4 in overtime. Pittsburgh (46-18-11) has lost three games in a row, the first two by shootout, and then a 6-2 loss at home Sunday against Philadelphia.
When Seth Jones entered the NHL, coach Barry Trotz saw a player not intimidated by pressure or expectations. The son of former NBA power forward Popeye Jones, already a No. 1 defenseman in his fourth season, is now about to face the biggest challenge of his career. In a couple of weeks, Jones and 19-year-old Columbus Blue Jackets defense partner Zach Werenski will go up against opponents' top players in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
TORONTO — Zach Hyman remembers the night Jeremy Roenick scored in overtime to silence the Air Canada Centre and end the Maple Leafs’ playoff season half a lifetime ago. He was a couple of weeks shy of his 12th birthday at the time. The last time the Leafs were a real playoff team after a real season of 82 games. “That was a stinger,” Hyman said of the Philadelphia overtime goal that took the Leafs out in 2004. “I was a huge Leafs fan. That playoff run was awesome. I got to experience that.” Now the Leafs appear on their way back to the playoffs after so many seasons of disappointment. They won Tuesday night after Hyman set up Auston Matthews for a rookie-record-breaking 35th goal and wound up