SPORTS

5 NHL stories, including Panthers can't bury Devils

04/25/2012 12:55 EDT | Updated 06/24/2012 05:12 EDT

The 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs celebrated their two-week anniversary on Tuesday with another Game 7 set up in the East, while the Canucks' GM defended his team and the Masterton finalists were named. A bustling Day 14, indeed.

1. The New Jersey Devils extended their season by at least one more game after Travis Zajac gave them a Game 6 overtime victory over the Florida Panthers with this nifty little goal. The series shifts to Sunrise, Fla., former home of the plastic rats, on Thursday where the Devils aim to keep calm, and carry on.

2. Canucks GM Mike Gillis defended his decisions, his head coach and the character of his hockey team in his season-ending address.

3. The number of Canadian teams that can take home the Stanley Cup this year may be dwindling, but one thing is for sure: a member of a Canadian franchise will win the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded to the player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."

4. It certainly is the wild West. Two Original Six franchises (Detroit, Chicago) were sent packing by teams with much shorter roots in NHL lore — Nashville and Phoenix. Both the Predators and Coyotes had been targeted by ownership overtures that would have moved them from their current, non-traditional hockey market base to somewhere more lucrative (read: Canada). So do these playoff victories also count as wins for Gary Bettman?

5. The disputed late goal in Game 6 between the Senators and Rangers on Monday had New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist stick-swingingly mad and sounding off to reporters in the locker room. Mike Milbury said Lundqvist had every right to be ticked off. But really, who was more frustrated, Lundqvist or Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson?

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