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Kings promote Stevens to head coach

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Kings have promoted associated head coach John Stevens to become their next head coach.

Kings spokesman Mike Altieri said the team will introduce Stevens at a news conference Monday.

Stevens replaces Darryl Sutter after serving as an assistant to two Kings head coaches over the past eight seasons, which included the franchise's only two Stanley Cup championship runs. Los Angeles has won just one playoff game in three years since its last title in 2014.


Ducks D Fowler practices, nearing return

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Cam Fowler is practicing with the Anaheim Ducks, and the All-Star defenseman could be on target for a quick return to the Stanley Cup contenders' lineup.

Fowler skated with his teammates Sunday when they returned from a three-day break after sweeping Calgary out of the first round of the postseason.


Penguins F Kunitz returns to practice

PITTSBURGH (AP) Pittsburgh Penguins forward Chris Kunitz returned to practice on Sunday, giving the defending Stanley Cup champions hope the veteran forward can contribute at some point during the team's postseason run.

Kunitz wore a non-contact jersey during the workout. The 37-year-old hasn't played since being diagnosed with a "longer term" lower-body injury following a victory over the New York Rangers on March 31. The Penguins have been off since eliminating Columbus from the playoffs in five games last Thursday.


Oilers win 1st playoff series since 2006

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) After a more than a decade-long playoff drought in Edmonton, the Oilers are in no hurry to leave the NHL's postseason party.

Leon Draisaitl and Anton Slepyshev scored on breakaways in the opening minutes of the second period and the Oilers advanced to the second round of the playoffs with a 3-1 victory in Game 6 over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.


Rangers beat Habs to reach East semis

NEW YORK (AP) With his team trailing after a lackluster effort in the first 20 minutes, Mats Zuccarello came through in the second period to help the New York Rangers get a big series-clinching win.

Zuccarello scored twice and the Rangers beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in Game 6 on Saturday night to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.


Blues oust Wild on Paajarvi's OT goal

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Minnesota had the upper hand on St. Louis for most of this series, controlling the play for periods at a time.

With goalie Jake Allen as their guide and coach Mike Yeo on their side, though, the Blues sure had the right formula for beating the Wild in the playoffs.


'Hawks GM; Quenneville OK, change on way

CHICAGO (AP) Coach Joel Quenneville will be back next season. Everything else is on the table for the Chicago Blackhawks.

General manager Stan Bowman is promising changes after Chicago was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the second straight year. The Blackhawks, who won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015, were swept by Nashville this time around, managing just three goals in 13 periods.


Rested Predators ready to take on Blues

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Nashville Predators finally get a new opponent in the postseason after their surprising sweep of the Western Conference's No. 1 seed.

Their reward?


Oilers' depth evident in series win

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Winning the Connor McDavid lottery two years ago was the key moment in the turnaround for an Edmonton Oilers team that had spent most of a decade at the bottom of the standings.

But after McDavid put together an NHL-leading 100-point season to lead Edmonton back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006, the Oilers showed they have a lot more than just the league's next great superstar.


Sharks' veteran stars face cloudy future

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) After going through the handshake line of an early playoff loss, an emotional Patrick Marleau stood by the San Jose bench and looked up at the crowd at the Shark Tank.

The end of another season in San Jose could be the end of an era after the Sharks were eliminated in Game 6 of the first round with a 3-1 loss to Edmonton on Saturday night.