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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 9:59 pm 
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WASHINGTON (AP) Nashville Predators players stood around the locker room after beating the Washington Capitals 4-3 Authentic Erik Karlsson Jersey Kids , huddled around cellphones watching and rooting for more franchise history.Seconds after the Boston Bruins lost to the Florida Panthers in regulation on Thursday night, Mattias Ekholm yelled out, ”Yeah boys!” as teammates high-fived to celebrate the first Presidents’ Trophy in the team’s 19-year history.A year after the Predators made an improbable run to the Stanley Cup Final as the eighth seed in the Western Conference, they’ve clinched home ice throughout the playoffs as the top team in the NHL during the regular season.The road to the Cup now runs through Nashville.”It’s a pretty good night for us,” captain Roman Josi said. ”Obviously the big goal for every team is to win the Stanley Cup, but you can’t win the Stanley Cup right now. It was something we took a lot of pride in, and I think it’s a big accomplishment for us.”Josi, who scored a power-play goal in the clincher, said he and fellow Predators players looked at the rafters of other buildings this season and wanted to earn more than just the one ”Western Conference Champions 2016-17” banner that currently hangs in Bridgestone Arena.They accomplished that in Washington thanks to two goals from Craig Smith, a game-winner from Ryan Johansen and 29 saves from backup goaltender Juuse Saros, setting a franchise record with 52 wins in the process.”It’s always just been about home ice and trying to stay in our building, give ourselves the best chance to be successful in the playoffs,” coach Peter Laviolette said. ”With that Jean-Gabriel Pageau Jersey , those things happen. You end up winning a division, a conference and first place in the league.”David Poile, who has been general manager since the franchise’s inception, shook hands and congratulated each player as he walked out of the locker room.While Laviolette and his staff watched the end of the Bruins-Panthers game in the coaches’ office and players took it in on hockey operations manager Brandon Walker’s phone, Poile watched alone from the concourse on one of the prouder nights in Predators history.”We all have goals. That was part of it,” Poile said. ”It feels real good. When we get to a week from now and we start the playoffs, we’ll be moving on to something else, but I’m very proud of our franchise. This is the first time we’ve done it and it means a lot and I’m proud of everybody, all the effort that was put in all year.”It was almost poetic that the Predators won the Presidents’ Trophy by beating the Capitals, who won it the past two seasons and three times since 2010.Days after the five-year anniversary of his now-infamous trade from Washington to Nashville, star winger Filip Forsberg remarked: ”We’ve seen especially here (in Washington) that the trophy doesn’t mean that much going forward. But I think just the home ice is going to be huge.”The Metropolitan Division-champion Capitals, who have home ice through at least the first two rounds, got two goals from Evgeny Kuznetsov Mark Stone Jersey , Alex Ovechkin’s league-leading 47th of the season and 25 saves from Philipp Grubauer in the loss.Washington could still face New Jersey, Philadelphia, Columbus or back-to-back defending Cup-champion Pittsburgh in the first round.”I like the way we’re playing,” said coach Barry Trotz, who was in Nashville for that franchise’s first 15 seasons and has Washington in the playoffs for the fourth time in four years. ”We’re playing with lots of speed, we’re playing with lots of pace, and that was a good test.”The Predators know there are more tests upcoming, this time as the Cup favorite that won’t fly under the radar. But after going 9-2 at home on their run to the final a year ago, they assured themselves of more playoff hockey in Music City than on the road.”We learned what it was like to play at home in the playoffs,” defenseman Ryan Ellis said. ”To have the home ice is huge for our team.”NOTES: Smith’s two goals gave him a career-high 25. … Johansen scored the go-ahead goal with 5:27 left. … Kuznetsov has seven goals and 11 assists in his past 10 games. … Capitals F Alex Chiasson left the game with an illness. … Ovechkin was honored before the game for playing in 1,000 NHL regular-season games. In addition to the traditional silver stick and Tiffany crystal from the team and league, Ovechkin’s teammates got him and his wife a trip to Spain, presidential suite tickets to see FC Barcelona and a Lionel Messi jersey. … Rookie Eeli Tolvanen was a healthy scratch for the Predators after playing three games in a row.UP NEXTPredators: Return home after three-game road trip to face the Columbus Blue Jackets in each team’s season finale Saturday.Capitals: Host the New Jersey Devils on Saturday in a potential playoff preview.— UNIONDALE Youth Matt Duchene Jersey , N.Y. (AP) — With the Philadelphia Flyers playing without Jakub Voracek, Brian Elliott made sure they didn’t miss the injured star forward.Elliott stopped 29 shots and the Flyers beat New York 4-1 Sunday, helping knock the Islanders out of first place in the Metropolitan Division.Travis Konecny, Travis Sanheim, Scott Laughton and Sean Couturier each scored and Claude Giroux had two assists for Philadelphia. The Flyers are 4-0-1 in their last five games to move within five points of the final wild card in the Eastern Conference.“I thought our guys did a lot of good stuff,” Philadelphia coach Scott Gordon said. “I thought overall, real strong jump defensively. When it looked like they were going to get an open shot we had guys who were already at the net front. I talked about, last week, about defending from the inside to the outside. We did a real good job of that.”Elliott lost his shutout bid when Adam Pelech scored with 4:45 left. He had 13 saves in the second period as the Islanders pressed to get back in the game, and got his ninth win of the season and third in his last four starts.“We needed him to come through with a couple big saves,” Konecny said. “That’s a lot of offensive power coming out of there. He did a great job and kudos to our D group to stick with it tonight, and not give them much.”The Flyers were forced to play with 11 forwards and seven defensemen with Voracek out of the lineup with a lower-body injury. The Czech forward been a game-time decision, but was ruled out of the game after undergoing an MRI Mike Condon Jersey , Gordon said.Philadelphia’s Nolan Patrick then left the game early in the first period with an upper-body injury and did not return. Patrick took a shot by Cal Clutterbuck off his head and left the ice with the help of a team trainer.Robin Lehner made 10 saves in 23:18 of work before Islanders coach Barry Trotz pulled him the the second period. Thomas Greiss made 12 saves in relief.New York, which has lost three of its last four games, began the day tied with Washington atop the Metropolitan with 81 points. The Capitals beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in a shootout at Madison Square Garden earlier Sunday to surge ahead.“We have our backs against the wall a bit here,” Islanders captain Anders Lee said. “We’ve had a tough stretch and we just have to find a way to stick together, have each other’s backs and continue to move forward. This is a bad time to lose hockey games, but we have no choice but to rally.”The Flyers jumped to 1-0 lead 8:21 into the game. Konecny was able to drive by Islanders defender Scott Mayfield and put the puck past Lehner for his 21st of the season. Radko Gudas picked up his 100th career NHL point with an assist on the play,Philadelphia extended the lead to two goals when Sanheim was able to put a loose puck past Lehner with 5:01 left int ye first. Sanheim’s initial shot was stopped by the goalie, but the rebound sat in the slot and he was able to gain control of the puck and score.Laughton gave the Flyers a 3-0 lead 3:18 in the second when he scored off his own rebound. Couturier’s 27th goal of the year made it 4-0 with 4:46 left in the middle period.Clutterbuck suffered an upper-body injury of his own later in the game and missed the third period. Trotz did not have an update on Clutterbuck after the game.NOTES: Voracek had nine points (three goals, six assists) in his last four games. … Islanders F Matt Martin missed his second consecutive game with an upper-body injury. Martin is listed as day-to-day. … Gordon faced the Islanders as an NHL head coach for the first time since New York fired him on Nov. 15, 2010. Gordon coached the Islanders for two-plus seasons and had a 64-94-23 record during that time. … The Islanders scratched F Tom Kuhnhackl, D Thomas Hickey, D Luca Sbisa and D Dennis Seidenberg. . The Flyers scratched D Samuel Morin.UP NEXTIslanders: Host Ottawa on Tuesday night.Flyers: Host Washington on Wednesday night.


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