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Home Ice

Top Line: Groundhog series for the Blues; Garbutt spears Perry; more links

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIpxDE8SLYU

By Allan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:

Jonathan Toews in alone from the red line in overtime. You can guess what happened next.

• If you're a St. Louis fan harboring a creeping suspicion you've seen this series before, you're not crazy. Check out this shocking comparison to their first-round meeting with the Kings last spring. All that's missing for the Blues at this point is an altercation with Ned Ryerson.

Steve Mason's getting all the love, but Jake Voracek and Jason Akeson were equally key to Philly's series-tying 2-1 win over the Rangers.

• Why are the Rangers struggling to put the Flyers away? This might be the problem.

Ryan Garbutt called his spearing penalty "careless." Bruce Boudreau called it "deliberate."

What do you think?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZudINWmekEQ

Colorado's coach took one for his young team at a press conference on Friday that was vintage Patrick Roy.

• David Shoalts notes that Paul Martin leads the playoff scoring race. That's nice for Paul Martin, but it says just about all you need to know about the rest of the Penguins.

• What do the Pens make of their coach's criticism of their willingness to compete?

• Rory Boylen makes the case for Tuukka Rask to claim the Vezina.

• Matt Kalman says Carl Soderberg is basically Rob Gronkowski on skates. That's good, right?

Patrice Bergeron was a talented young musician ... until his piano teacher asked him to give up hockey.

• The Wings need more out of everyone if they're going to stave off elimination today, but all eyes are on one particular player who is in the midst of another silent spring.

• A trio of Finnish centers, led by the electric Mikael Granlund, is setting the pace for the Wild this spring.

• Maybe the Avs shouldn't expect 18-year-old Nathan MacKinnon to be a superstar just yet, but they need him to be something more than the non-factor he was in Minnesota if they hope to turn this series around.

• Kerry Fraser says the physical drain of officiating in overtime is nothing compared to the mental challenge.

• Kyle Woodlief says love is fickle when it comes to evaluating the top prospects for this summer's NHL draft.

• The Hurricanes missed the playoffs for the fifth straight season, but the team's broadcasters are becoming postseason vets.

• The longest-serving billet in OHL history is being prosecuted for alleged sex crimes against two boys.

• Gary Bettman slammed the brakes on talk of NHL expansion to Seattle ... at least until a new arena is built. Disappointing, but smart. Nothing would kill the buzz faster than a lousy environment, and the currently standing Key Arena would make for a lousy home to NHL hockey. The league is in no rush, so better to sit back and let the battle for a new building play out.

Tweet of the day.

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