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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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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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Kings promote Stevens to head coach

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Kings have promoted associated head coach John Stevens to become their next head coach.

Kings spokesman Mike Altieri said the team will introduce Stevens at a news conference Monday.

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Preds-Blues, Oilers-Ducks open Wednesday

NEW YORK (AP) The NHL postseason is down to eight teams with the St. Louis Blues hosting the Nashville Predators and the Anaheim Ducks hosting the Edmonton Oilers to start the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs Wednesday night.

After the two Western Conference series get going, the Ottawa Senators host the New York Rangers and the Washington Capitals host the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night. Washington versus Pittsburgh is a showdown of the top two teams in the league during the regular season.

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Ducks D Fowler practices, nearing return

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Cam Fowler has returned to practice with the Anaheim Ducks, and the All-Star defenseman could be on target for a quick return to the Stanley Cup contenders' lineup.

Nearly three weeks after injuring his knee, Fowler skated with his teammates at Honda Center on Sunday when they returned from a three-day break after sweeping Calgary out of the first round of the postseason.

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Penguins F Kunitz returns to practice

PITTSBURGH (AP) Pittsburgh Penguins forward Chris Kunitz returned to practice on Sunday, giving the defending Stanley Cup champions hope the veteran forward can contribute at some point during the team's postseason run.

Kunitz wore a non-contact jersey during the workout. The 37-year-old hasn't played since being diagnosed with a "longer term" lower-body injury following a victory over the New York Rangers on March 31. The Penguins have been off since eliminating Columbus from the playoffs in five games last Thursday.

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