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Top Line: Lady Luck graces Rangers; Team Canada player comes out; more

Anton Stralman makes goal-saving play for New York Rangers in Stanley Cup FinalAnton Stralman was one of New York's heroes in the Rangers' Game 4 cliffhanger. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

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

• The Hockey Gods finally smiled on New York, granting the Rangers the puck luck they needed to stave off elimination in Game 4.

• Well, they smiled on everyone but Dan Girardi. What did that poor guy do to deserve the bad karma he's experienced in this series?

• After three frustrating games, Henrik Lundqvist finally made the saves that shifted momentum in New York's favor.

Anton Stralman's goal-saving play helped the Rangers hold off the Kings' assault.

You can't fault the closeout effort by the Los Angeles Kings last night. They dominated at both ends, but were rebuffed by Lundqvist's brilliant performance.

Tanner Pearson played the game of his life, but it wasn't quite enough to get the Kings over the hump. If the team hands out a Most Improved Player award, this kid has it in the bag.

Greatness.

• Steve Simmons says it was too soon for Henrik Lundqvist to see his first, and maybe last, trip to the Stanley Cup Final end without response.

• A word of caution: once you click this link you can't unsee what you have seen.

• Four-time Olympian Charline Labonte comes out and talks about the acceptance she felt as a gay woman with Team Canada and her experience in Sochi.

• I've written this same column before, but it bears repeating: Gary Bettman should never hand out the Stanley Cup again.

• I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that Martin St. Louis isn't much of a card player. If he actually thought this interview would help regain the sympathies of his former fanbase in Tampa, the he wildly misjudged the strength of his hand.

• New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello doesn't believe there's anything to the rumors that suggest Adam Larsson wants to play in Sweden next season. Guessing he hasn't looked too closely at the sparse ice time afforded the defenseman last season. The kid is withering on the vine with the Devils. A season (or two) back home might be best for him.

• Apparently, the life of an NHL Ice Girl isn't all glamour and applause. Whodathunkit?

• Surprising absolutely no one, Ottawa GM Bryan Murray confirmed on Wednesday that Senators captain Jason Spezza wants out. Bruce Garrioch dishes the details including some very hopeful thoughts on what the team would like in return for the veteran pivot.

• Here are five potential landing spots for Spezza. Nashville and Dallas seem the most likely destinations to me.

Thomas Vanek is one of three veterans who are reportedly not returning to Montreal next season.

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane both have a year remaining on their current deals, but Chicago GM Stan Bowman says their contractual situations will change in a matter of days.

• Seriously. The Nashville Predators will not trade Shea Weber.

• Both the NCAA and USA Hockey have endorsed a look-up line to promote player safety. Terrific idea, and one that should be implemented at all minor hockey rinks as soon as possible.
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