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US beats Czechs 3-0 to win bronze at ice hockey worlds


US beats Czechs 3-0 to win bronze at ice hockey worlds


PRAGUE (AP) -- The United States blanked the host Czech Republic 3-0 at the ice hockey world championship Sunday to claim a second bronze medal in three years.

Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck of the St. Johns IceCaps made 39 saves for the shutout.

"He's our best player," New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson said. "He's the reason why we're here, why we're able to win the medal. He shut the door numerous times."

The U.S. bounced back from a 4-0 loss to Russia in the semifinals on Saturday. Nick Bonino scored 7:25 into the game and Trevor Lewis got the second with 1:57 to go in the first.

After the U.S. killed a four-minute, one-man advantage, Charlie Coyle netted the third with 50 seconds left in the second to wrap up a decent tournament for the young American team. Bonino and Coyle also had an assist each.

"It was a great effort tonight. We were little bit of shaky at the start but once we settled things down we played pretty well," said Lewis, the Los Angeles Kings forward. "We're a young group, we battled hard all the way through. To come out with the medal is awesome."

The U.S. team won its group with six wins and one loss and knocked out Switzerland with a 3-1 victory in the quarterfinals.

The Czechs lost to Canada 2-0 in the semis.

"A tough game. One of those games for sure you want to forget soon," Czech veteran Jaromir Jagr said. "But that's sport. Sometimes you play well, sometimes you don't."

The final between Canada and Russia was set for later Sunday.

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Can Pittsburgh's past be a goalie rotation blueprint?


Can Pittsburgh's past be a goalie rotation blueprint?

It’s happened. The Caps no longer seem to have a No. 1 goalie anymore, they have a No. 1 and 1a.

That’s right, we have a goalie rotation in Washington.

“There's no sense riding one,” Barry Trotz said after practice on Monday. “[Braden Holtby] is coming back and looking better every game and [Philipp Grubauer] played pretty well for a long stretch so why not have both of them going?”

Grubauer got the start Sunday in Philadelphia and Holtby is slated to get the start Tuesday against the Dallas Stars. After that we will have to wait and see.


Trotz has no layout for which goalie he wants to start and when in the remaining ten games. He is not thinking about each goalie splitting five games or which one he wants to use more.

Nope. Trotz has just one thing on his mind. It is all about who starts the next game, that’s it.

“I think you just go with a guy that's hot at the time and your team feels comfortable with and go from there,” Trotz said.

So where does this leave the goaltending situation when it comes to the playoffs? A goalie rotation is all well and good in the regular season, but he has to have one starter for the postseason, right?

Not necessarily.


When Trotz was asked if he philosophically believed in having one starter for the playoffs, Trotz initially said he would not answer, but then said, “Why don't you ask Mike Sullivan what he thinks.”

Sullivan, of course, is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins who has led his team to a Stanley Cup in each of the past two seasons despite turning to both goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray in both seasons.

While Pittsburgh’s goalie rotation was largely based on injury, however, it still provides an example of how using both goalies can work in the playoffs and that seems to be the path the Caps are headed on at the moment.

Said Trotz, “You just have to go with your gut who you think is going to get the job done.”

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NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

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NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

We are down to the home stretch. Only 10 games remain in the Capitals' regular season. Those 10 games will ultimately decide if the Caps finish in first place in the Metropolitan Division and who they will play in the first round of the playoffs.

Washington currently sits in first place in the division, two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and four points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. Of those 10 remaining games, only three come against teams currently in playoff position. The most critical of these comes on April 1 when the Caps travel to Pittsburgh in a game that could ultimately decide the division.

The Caps still hold a narrow lead in the standings, but where do they stand in the rankings? See this week's updated NHL Power Rankings here.