National Hockey League roundup: Maple Leafs in playoffs for first time since '13

Leaf Brian Boyle chases down Colin Miller of the Bruins when the teams met in March. They might see each other again in the playoffs

Head coach Mike Babcock advised his group to embrace the nerves and enjoy the moment. "It's nice we still control our own fate and we did a good job all year to set ourselves up like this".

"If I'm really honest, maybe not", said Komarov. We can't let panic come into our game.

You knew it wasn't going to be easy, right? The Leafs, however, never did have the consistent energy that Babcock thought he would see, and Columbus reeled off three goals by the end of the second, getting the victor from Cam Atkinson while shorthanded.

Connor Brown scored the game-winner on a deflection at 17:12 after former Penguin Kasperi Kapanen picked up his first National Hockey League goal at 14:30 courtesy of a no-look pass from Matt Hunwick.

"We'll see [Saturday], I think it's close to playing", Malkin said after taking limited contact in the Penguins' optional practice at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto. "We were relaxed and loose for the most part today and it translated into us making plays and creating offense". Setting up the goal, William Nylander set a new team rookie record with his 26th power-play point of the year. Everyone gets to take a deep breath but there is lots of work to do.

Great Scott, now I'm feeling old. "It was just important for me to get that low coverage". Who the Maple Leafs will play is still up in the air, as a point on Sunday will net us a Battle of Ontario in the first round.

Pittsburgh (50-20-11) had already clinched home-ice advantage for their first-round playoff series against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"If you want to dip your toe into the water, you are going to find out it's boiling", Babcock said. We have to show them who the better team is night in and out.

Eastern Conference Odds: Cavaliers favored entering the playoffs 4/13/17
Pacers match, experts find it hard to get an accurate representation of what the defending champs will look like in the playoffs. The second choice to win the West is the second-seeded San Antonio Spurs (61-21), who could meet Houston in the second round.

On a mid-October night in Ottawa, Matthews became the first player picked first overall at the National Hockey League draft to score two goals in his first period.

Sidney Crosby scored his 44th goal of the season, strengthening his hold on the Rocket Richard Trophy, but he was robbed by Curtis McElhinney from the right post in the final period.

Point added his second of the night with 5:49 left in the third to seal the win for Tampa. "But I still thought we put ourselves in a good position to win the game".

In this space, you were going to read that, in taking their season series with the Maple Leafs by a 3-1-0 count, the Senators were led by Erik Karlsson (one goal, six assists), Mark Stone (one goal, six assists) and Kyle Turris (three goals, three assists). It was the third multi-goal game of the season for van Riemsdyk, who last scored two against Boston on February 4. Van Riemsdyk's wrap-around attempt was a couple inches from sneaking past Fleury.

Toronto had a 9-4 edge in shots on goal in the first period. He couldn't stop Bournival in the opening minutes of the third though, with the fourth liner tapping in Andrej Sustr's shot from behind the goal for a 3-1 lead. It was Bozak's 18th goal of the season.

Andersen's status for the start of those playoffs comes into question if he can't go against the Jackets and his potential absence would be crippling to the Leafs.

The Penguins recalled goaltender Tristan Jarry and forward Kevin Porter on Saturday ahead of their game in Toronto. Zaitsev returned briefly before missing the rest of the game with an upper-body injury. Forwards Nick Bonino, Bryan Rust and Patric Hornqvist got the night off.

Frederik Andersen couldn't finish the Maple Leafs playoff-clinching win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, but there was hope from his head coach that he could still start the final game of the regular season.



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