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Capitals try to take 3-1 lead on Rangers

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(AP) -- The most troubling aspect of this series for coach Barry Trotz has been the Washington Capitals' inability to dictate play in the first 20 minutes.

His club fended off the New York Rangers' initial surge in games 1 and 3, though, and now looks to take a commanding lead in the series with help from a better start Wednesday night at home.

The Rangers have outshot the Capitals a combined 38-18 in the first period while putting early pressure on Washington goaltender Braden Holtby. New York scored twice in the first in its 3-2 victory in Game 2, but was blanked by Holtby in the other two.

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Lightning back home up 2-0 on Canadiens

(AP) -- Having home-ice advantage in last year's first-round series with the Montreal Canadiens did nothing to help the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tampa Bay has turned the tables on Montreal in this postseason.

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Blackhawks top Wild 1-0 to take 3-0 lead

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) The original prognosis for Patrick Kane's surgically repaired collarbone dictated his return for some point during the Western Conference finals, if the Chicago Blackhawks were to advance that far.

The superstar right wing came back in almost half that time and his reintegration with the Blackhawks has been as quick as one of his vintage rushes along the perimeter to set up a display of his deft touch for scoring.

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Flames tie it late, beat Ducks in OT

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Mikael Backlund didn't need to see the biggest goal of his NHL career go in.

The crowd and the rest of the Calgary Flames told him he'd scored the winner.

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Habs' Prust apologizes to ref, fined $5K

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust has been fined $5,000 by the NHL for comments he made to referee Brad Watson following Game 2.

Prust, who was fined Tuesday, also apologized to Watson.

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Adams: Vigneault, Hartley, Laviolette

NEW YORK (AP) The New York Rangers' Alain Vigneault, Calgary's Bob Hartley and Nashville's Peter Laviolette are the finalists for the Jack Adams Award as NHL's coach of the year.

Mmbers of the NHL Broadcasters' Association submitted ballots at the end of the regular season, with the top three designated as finalists Wednesday. The winner will be announced June 24 at the NHL awards ceremony in Las Vegas.

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Ennis scores winner in 3rd for Canada

PRAGUE (AP) Canada rallied to maintain a perfect record at the ice hockey world championship by beating Sweden 6-4 on Wednesday for its fourth straight victory.

In other matches, defending champion Russia bounced back from a loss to the United States with a 5-2 victory over Denmark and Latvia and Norway ended their three-game losing streaks by edging Switzerland 2-1 and Slovakia 3-2 respectively.

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Predators sign G Mazanec to 2-way deal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Nashville Predators have signed goalie Marek Mazanec to a one-year, two-way contract.

Mazanec's contract will be worth $575,000 when he's in the NHL and $100,000 when he's in the American Hockey League. The Predators announced the signing Wednesday.

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Bettman to testify in concussion lawsuit

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman can be deposed to give testimony in a concussion lawsuit, a U.S. District Court ruled Tuesday.

Former players suing the NHL over concussion-related problems have accused the league of blocking access to Bettman for testimony in the case. The court told the plaintiffs they could depose Bettman as early as July.

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Lamoriello steps down, names Shero GM

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) After a 28-year run, Lou Lamoriello is stepping down as the New Jersey Devils general manager and handing the job to Ray Shero.

The 72-year-old Lamoriello announced the change Monday, noting that he will remain as president of hockey operations.

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