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Loose Trotz guides Caps into Cup final

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) One of the lasting images from the Capitals' playoff run came the morning of Game 7 in the Eastern Conference final.

Usually Alex Ovechkin hustles around the rink in a hot lap prior to the morning skate. Only this time it was 55-year-old coach Barry Trotz, who answered the call from his players to do the lap.

"I was worried about the turns," Trotz said. "The rudders haven't been sharpened all year. ... I almost bit it at the end there trying to imitate Ovi."

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Oilers hire Gulutzan as assistant

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) Former Calgary Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan has joined the Edmonton Oilers as an assistant coach.

The Oilers hired Gulutzan, Trent Yawney and Manny Viveiros on Friday as assistants under head coach Todd McLellan.

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Vegas raising stakes for next expansion

SEATTLE (AP) From his office about 1,000 miles away from T-Mobile Arena, Tod Leiweke has watched the Stanley Cup playoffs with a growing appreciation for what is taking place in Las Vegas.

He was keeping an eye on the Golden Knights even before he became president of Seattle Hockey Partners LLC, the group looking to bring an expansion NHL franchise to the Pacific Northwest. Once he took charge of Seattle's efforts , Leiweke's interest intensified, just as Vegas began its run to the upcoming Stanley Cup Final.

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Sharks re-sign F Kane for 7 years, $49M

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Evander Kane knew San Jose was a good fit when Joe Thornton showed up for a late-night airport pickup following a trade deadline deal.

That comfort was only reinforced over the next 10 weeks on the ice and in the dressing room. It left Kane with an easy choice as he headed toward free agency.

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Ovechkin, Caps joyous but not satisfied

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Alex Ovechkin is thrilled, though hardly satisfied.

The Washington Capitals star is headed to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in his 13-year career, eager to put more distance between the Eastern Conference champions and a lingering perception of Ovechkin and the Caps as playoff underachievers.

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Vegas more than bright lights to Knights

LAS VEGAS (AP) Pierre-Edouard Bellemare didn't know what to do as he browsed in the grocery store. Fans were admiring the native Frenchman and center for the Vegas Golden Knights, but he had become star-struck himself.

"I'm pretty sure I saw Steffi Graf," Bellemare said. "I was on the phone with my mom, and I was like (gasps for air). I walked right behind her. I didn't say anything, too shy."

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Tampa just misses playing for Cup again

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Jon Cooper searched for adequate words to describe the feeling of coming within one victory of playing for the Stanley Cup.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have done it twice in the past three years. And it hurts.

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Quinn: Couldn't pass up Rangers' job

NEW YORK (AP) David Quinn had been contacted by other NHL teams in recent years, and chose to remain at Boston University. When the New York Rangers came calling, it was different.

As talks with general manager Jeff Gorton and assistant GM Chris Drury - both of whom he's known for many years - progressed, he knew it was time to make the move.

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Caps fans finally get Stanley Cup run

WASHINGTON (AP) Jimmy Patterson was a fresh-faced 22-year-old in the stands at the old Capital Centre in October 1974 when the expansion Washington Capitals won for the first time.

As he was leaving, an elderly man from Brooklyn told Patterson he'd always get to say he saw the Capitals' first win. The man smiled and added, "You can't lose 'em all."

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Avs bring back F Bourque on 1-year deal

DENVER (AP) The Colorado Avalanche have brought back forward Gabriel Bourque on a one-year deal.

Bourque played in 58 games for the Avalanche in 2017-18 as he tallied five goals and six assists. He scored twice during Colorado's first-round playoff loss to the Nashville Predators.

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