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Caps seeking series lead vs. Hurricanes

(AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

The Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals return to D.C. for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference first-round series tied at 2-2. The Hurricanes scored wins in Games 3 and 4 at home, and the Capitals will try to get back on track when the series resumes Saturday night.

The Hurricanes have the momentum and did a solid job of taking Washington out of its game several times. Carolina's physical style of play and speed really hurt the Capitals at both ends of the ice on many occasions in both games.

The Hurricanes often made clearing the puck out of their own end a battle for Washington, and Carolina has the speed to match the Capitals. Washington has not been able to get into the Hurricanes' defensive zone and set up enough to cause trouble -- and sometimes the Capitals can't get out of their own end.

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Preds looking to bounce back vs. Stars

Coming off a lopsided defeat, the Nashville Predators are looking to regain the advantage when they host the Dallas Stars in a pivotal Game 5 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series on Saturday afternoon.

The Stars' 5-1 victory in Game 4 on Wednesday tied the series at two games apiece, reviving Dallas' chances of an upset of the Central Division champions.

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Jets hoping to stay alive in St. Louis

Road warriors or comeback kings?

When it comes to the St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets in their first-round Western Conference playoff series, both monikers can apply.

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Avs roll to knock out top-seeded Flames

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) After getting shut out in the series opener, the Colorado Avalanche clamped down defensively to shut down the Western Conference-leading Calgary Flames.

Now, the Avalanche are on to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in 11 years.

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Leafs hold off Bruins, lead series 3-2

BOSTON (AP) The Toronto Maple Leafs have grown accustomed to playoff disappointment in recent years.

However, after putting together possibly their best defensive effort of the season, their latest victory has them on the brink of getting out of the first round for the first time since 2004.

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Red Wings to name ex-captain Yzerman GM

DETROIT (AP) Steve Yzerman is getting another chance to return the Detroit Red Wings to glory.

The Hockey Hall of Famer did it as one the game's great leaders, helping Detroit end a 42-year championship drought with the first of three Stanley Cup celebrations of his playing tenure in Detroit.

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Flyers cover singer's status amid claims

PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Philadelphia Flyers are covering a statue of singer Kate Smith outside their arena, following the New York Yankees in cutting ties and looking into allegations of racism against the 1930s star with a popular recording of "God Bless America."

Flyers officials said Friday they also plan to remove Smith's "God Bless America" recording from their library. They say several other songs performed by Smith "contain offensive lyrics that do not reflect our values as an organization."

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Sharks start fast, Vegas' lead now 3-2

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Tomas Hertl provided the fast start and Martin Jones delivered the key saves that helped the San Jose Sharks flip the script in their playoff series against Vegas.

Hertl scored the first of his two goals just 76 seconds into the game, Jones delivered his biggest save to preserve the lead in the third period and the Sharks staved off elimination by beating the Golden Knights 5-2 in Game 5 of their first-round series Thursday night.

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Lightning GM not overreacting to sweep

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Tampa Bay general manager Julien BriseBois said Thursday he is not going to overreact to the Lightning's historically quick postseason exit and he still has confidence in coach Jon Cooper.

After tying the NHL record for wins during the regular season, the perennial Stanley Cup contender became the first team in the expansion era to be swept in the first round of the playoffs after leading the league in points. Three of the four games against Columbus were decided by at least two goals.

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Pens face crucial offseason after sweep

PITTSBURGH (AP) Jim Rutherford's question was rhetorical. The answer - whenever the Pittsburgh Penguins general manager arrives at - will determine how the franchise emerges from the rubble of a first-round playoff sweep at the hands of the New York Islanders.

"Are guys too content with where they're at in their careers because they've won a couple of Stanley Cups?" Rutherford wondered aloud Thursday as his team packed up for its longest offseason in 13 years.

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