By amuir29
April 20, 2013

ryan-millerRyan Miller was pulled Friday night after some misadventures with the puck and four goals allowed. (Jerome Davis/Icon SMI)

By Allan Muir

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

• We've seen this before, haven't we? A proud goaltender, waving in mock appreciation as a home crowd serenades him with a Bronx cheer? Yeah, Ryan Miller seemed as tired of the First Niagara Center crowd as they were of him after a couple of brutal goals led to an 8-4 Rangers' win that ended Buffalo's playoff hopes. Very easy to see him demanding a trade after that display.

• "Yes sir, just like clockwork, you can count on Brad Richards to record a hat trick once every 896 games." That's the great lead from Larry Brooks, writing about the veteran's first career three-goal game in the rout of the Sabres.

• Like everyone else in Boston, the Penguins experienced an unusual day on Friday.

• It became apparent early on that as long as the manhunt for the bomber continued, the show could not go on in Boston. The postponement and rescheduling of Friday's game means the Bruins play their final six games in a span of just nine days.

• A struggling Milan Lucic could be benched for today's rescheduled matinee against the Penguins. That should please Bruins fans who are tired of watching him float through games.

• Mike Heika, who offers as entertaining a read as anybody out there these days, says the Stars were taught a valuable lesson in how to impose your will by the St. Louis Blues on Friday night. They probably would have preferred two points, but that lesson might pay greater dividends down the road.

• Miikka Kiprusoff said he will take his time with his retirement decision after winning what might have been his last home game in Calgary.

Nazem Kadri should be flattered by criticism of his recent play. Damien Cox writes that it highlights the increased expectations he's created.

• With the Sens trailing the Leafs by just a point in the standings, Kadri calls tonight's Battle of Ontario game the biggest of the year.

Matt Calvert's name might not register among casual fans, but in Columbus he's recognized as a critical part of the surging Blue Jackets. Columbus will be hard pressed to replace his speed and grit after the winger was sidelined by a broken finger.

• A win over Winnipeg on Saturday all but guarantees a playoff spot for the pesky Islanders.

• The Isles are on a 9-0-2 tear, but the Jets have authored their own five-game winning streak. They need to stretch it to six to keep their playoff hopes alive.

• What a difference a year has made for the Canadiens, who enter their final home game of the regular season with high postseason aspirations.

• Montreal writer Pat Hickey says Alex Ovechkin is is playing like an MVP candidate.

• Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter thinks Jonathan Toews is the second-best captain in hockey. You won't believe who he ranks first.

• The Avalanche were booed off the ice by a sparse crowd in Denver last night, and noted insomniac Adrian Dater doesn't blame them. He writes that the home side phoned it in, leading to Edmonton's 4-1 win.

• Here's a surprise: Goaltending tops the list of burning issues facing the Canucks ahead of the playoffs.

• If the Red Wings hope to regain their playoff footing, they need to start scoring. Rookie Damien Brunner knows he is one of the guys who has to step up.

• The Blackhawks scored twice on the power play as they extended their winning streak to seven games with a 5-4 OT victory over the Preds.

Erik Karlsson was on the ice with his Senators teammates on Friday, leading to the obvious question: Will he be back to play this season?

• Speaking of Karlsson, guess who's coming to town to play the Sens on Monday? No, really, guess!

Record Store Day 2013

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