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Pens Points: Onto the Conference Finals

The final four are set in the NHL

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New York Rangers v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Seven Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

New York won Game 7 last night (blah), ending Carolina’s season and sending the Hurricanes to the franchise’s first ever Game 7 home loss. [Canes Country]

Could the Washington Capitals be a potential landing spot for Evgeni Malkin? With Nicklas Backstrom likely to LTIR and a big opening at center coming into focus in DC, it’s perhaps not as big of a reach as it might seem for Geno to join the Pittsburgh to Washington path that so many have recently traveled (Brooks Orpik, Matt Niskanen, Justin Schultz, Conor Sheary, Daniel Sprong, Carl Hagelin).... [Russian Machine Never Breaks]

Jason Spezza announced retirement over the weekend, ending a “hall of very good” career that saw 995 points in 1,248 games. He will join Toronto’s front office for a post-playing career. [Pension Plan Puppets]

Colton Parayko hasn’t even started his eight-year contract extension (worth a $6.5 million cap hit) but some around the Blues are wondering if he might be better off as trade bait this summer. [St. Louis Game Time]

The 2022 NHL scouting combine will be up the road in Buffalo again. [Die by the Blade]

Edmonton’s insane forward depth and star talent will be a crucial matchup against Colorado. [Mile High Hockey]

The McMatchup of: Nathan MacKinnon vs. Connor McDavid is everything the NHL could dream of in the Western Conference Final. [Sportsnet]

No less than Paul Coffey, Scott Niedermayer, Mike Modano and Paul Kariya agree: McDavid is like nothing anyone has ever seen with his skating and puck-handling while skating ability. [The Athletic]

Brayden Point is progressing in his rehab and “could” return at some point in the playoffs, but after missing the whole second round, it doesn’t sound like he’s very close right now to coming back to the Tampa lineup. []

On the cusp of free agency, Johnny Gaudreau would like to return to Calgary. But with Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane as restricted free agents, will the math work? []

Our old friend Jim Rutherford added a couple of former NHL players to his staff and shifted the roles of Vancouver legends Henrik and Daniel Sedin to player development. []