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Thornton has torn ACL, future unclear

San Jose Sharks' Joe Thornton watches play during the first period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, April 2, 2017, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Before Joe Thornton heads into an uncertain offseason where he could be a free agent and leave San Jose after nearly 12 years, he had more pressing business.

Thornton underwent surgery on a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee Monday to repair an injury that sidelined him less than two weeks before he returned to play the final four games of a first-round series loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

"I've been in this business a long time," general manager Doug Wilson said. "You see a player play with that type of injury tells you all you need to know about him."

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Blackhawks fire assistant after sweep

CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Blackhawks have fired assistant coach Mike Kitchen.

Kitchen joined coach Joel Quenneville's staff in July 2010. He helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2013 and 2015.

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No Shattenkirk is no problem for Blues

Knowing Kevin Shattenkirk wasn't in their long-term plans, the St. Louis Blues traded the talented defenseman and braced for the immediate blow to their playoff hopes.

That never happened. The Blues actually got better without him.

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NHL second round offering much intrigue

It is the playoff format everyone loves to hate, but say this for the NHL's divisional setup: It is serving up a tasty feast of rivalries in the second round.

For the second consecutive year, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins will face Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals after they hadn't met in the playoffs since 2009. Washington and Pittsburgh were the league's top two teams in the regular season and are the two top Stanley Cup contenders left playing in the final eight. They get under way on Thursday instead of in early June.

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Sens find inspiration in several players

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) Shortly after Ottawa's first-round playoff win over Boston, Senators captain Erik Karlsson revealed he had been playing with two hairline fractures in his left heel.

Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion called it another example, along with Clarke MacArthur's return and Craig Anderson's resilience, of the inspiration the Senators are finding in their locker room as they prepare to open a second-round series against the New York Rangers.

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Wild again dealing with playoff failure

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Five straight appearances in the playoffs for the Minnesota Wild have produced just two series victories and a high volume of frustration.

This year, a five-game loss in the first round to St. Louis marked the maddening peak of these spring letdowns.

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Canadiens seek best fit for Galchenyuk

BROSSARD, Quebec (AP) The Montreal Canadiens haven't given up on hope that Alex Galchenyuk will one day be their top-line center.

But heading into the NHL offseason, he remains on the left wing.

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Blue Jackets may look to add offense

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Despite an early exit from the playoffs, Columbus Blue Jackets executives like the team's development and defensive depth.

However they won't rule out a trade this summer that would bring another standout goal-scorer to town.

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Caps oust Leafs on Johansson's 2nd in OT

TORONTO (AP) Marcus Johansson came through to help the Washington Capitals get another big overtime win in a series that had five go games go beyond regulation.

Now they get to rest up for the defending champions.

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Senators advance on MacArthur's OT goal

BOSTON (AP) Clarke MacArthur spent almost two full seasons recovering from a concussion, wondering if he would ever be able to return to the Senators.

"There's nothing like living in the NHL and living in these playoffs," he said after scoring a power-play goal 6:30 into overtime to help Ottawa beat Boston 3-2 in Game 6 on Sunday and advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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