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Arizona on Sunday night
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FRISCO Tanner Pearson Jersey , Texas (AP) Ken Hitchcock wasn’t sure how long he would coach the Dallas Stars the second time around after 15 years away.Turned out to be one season.The coach who led Dallas to its only Stanley Cup championship retired Friday, ending a 22-year career as the third-winningest coach in NHL history. The 823 wins are behind only Scotty Bowman (1,244) and Joel Quenneville (884). He’s fourth in total games with 1,536.The 66-year-old Hitchcock will become a consultant for the Stars.”I have contemplated this since our last game and I came to the conclusion that now is the right time to step away and let the younger generation of coaches take over,” said Hitchcock, who last year signed a multiyear contract that included the stipulation of becoming a consultant when he was finished coaching.Hitchcock returned to Dallas after 14 seasons elsewhere, including stops in Philadelphia, Columbus and St. Louis. General manager Jim Nill hoped Hitchcock could get the Stars back to the playoffs, but a late-season slump kept them out for the second straight year and the eighth time in 10 seasons.”We were honored to have Ken as our head coach and it was fitting that he finished his coaching here,” Stars owner Tom Gaglardi said. ”He is a certain Hockey Hall of Fame coach and he left a lasting legacy wherever he went.”The Stars went to the Stanley Cup Final in consecutive seasons, beating Buffalo for the title in 1999 before losing to New Jersey in six games. Those are the only times Hitchcock or the Stars have made it to the final.Dallas also won five straight division titles under Hitchcock, who was fired from his first head-coaching job with the team sliding in January 2002. He coached the Flyers from 2002-06, followed by the Blue Jackets (2006-10) and the Blues (2011-17).St. Louis made the playoffs in each of Hitchcock’s five full seasons, reaching the Western Conference finals in 2016 after beating top seed Dallas in seven games in the second round. The Blues abruptly fired Hitchcock in February last year Jonny Brodzinski Jersey Womens , cutting short what was already going to be his last season with the Blues after their fifth loss in six games.”To each and every player that I coached, I wish I could do it all over again,” said Hitchcock, a Canadian whose record is 823-506 with 88 ties and 119 losses in overtime or a shootout. ”You guys were the main reason for the all the wins, and I enjoyed coaching each and every one of you.”Nill turned to Hitchcock when the Stars had 79 points, their second-fewest in a full season since moving Dallas in 1993-94, in the last of four seasons under Lindy Ruff.Led by high-scoring forwards Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin and one of the top-scoring defensemen in John Klingberg, the Stars were solidly positioned for the playoffs in March before an eight-game losing streak that started with six losses on the road.Still, Dallas improved significantly in a year, finishing with 92 points, just three out of the playoffs. And Nill said Hitchcock went out on his terms.”To have him instill what he put into our organization, to help build this foundation, it’s going to pay dividends for us down the road,” Nill said. ”He made a lot of these players a lot better.”Nill essentially described a wide-open coaching search that could take time depending on whether potential candidates are on teams still alive in the playoffs Womens Tyler Toffoli Jersey , including teams in the minor leagues.The sixth-year general manager has chosen veteran NHL head coaches both times with the Stars.”I want to be pretty open-minded about this,” Nill said. ”You’re seeing some successful young coaches come in. And there’s some successful coaches out there that have great resumes. I think there’s a big variable there.”Hitchcock’s playoff record is 86-82, and he also has an extensive background with Team Canada, which is where he forged a relationship with Nill. In Detroit, Nill was still an assistant GM when Hitchcock was a guest coach on Mike Babcock’s staff during training camp in 2010.”He poured his whole life into better understanding in-game concepts and strategy, inspiring players and enhancing teams,” Nill said. ”He leaves an indelible mark on the game, and his influence will be felt across the sport for years to come.”— VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Eric Staal is having the type of scoring surge where it seems the puck finds its way into the net whenever he shoots.The Minnesota center scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and the Wild surged past the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Friday night.Staal has 11 goals in his last nine games, giving him 37 for the season – just three behind Washington’s Alex Ovechkin for the league lead.”A lot of people say, `Look how lucky he is,”’ Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. ”But in the end, it’s not luck. The good players do that.”Zach Parise, Matt Cullen http://www.officialwild.com/authentic-ad...nyk-jersey , Marcus Foligno and Charlie Coyle -with an empty-netter – also scored for the Wild, who have won three straight and eight of their past 10. Minnesota leads Dallas by three points for third in the Central Division and trails Winnipeg by six points for second.Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves for Minnesota.The 41-year-old Cullen, the oldest active player in the NHL, had a goal and an assist – and has scored five of his 10 goals this season in the past 10 games. The Wild are currently headed for the playoffs, where the former Pittsburgh Penguins star has a chance to reach his third straight Stanley Cup final.”I get excited about what lies in front when the games get big and everything becomes more magnified and more important,” Cullen said. ”That’s why I still play. I do love this time of year.”Michael Del Zotto and Jussi Jokinen scored for the Canucks, who wrapped up a five-game homestand with a 1-2-2 record. Anders Nilsson finished with 31 saves.”It’s not hard to have a better effort than we had last game. That was terrible,” said Del Zotto, referring to a 2-1 loss to Arizona on Wednesday. ”We talked about it all year, we preach consistently and our effort and compete level has to be there every night.”The first-period scoring all happened in the first 1:42. Vancouver tallied 53 seconds in when Del Zotto’s hard wrist shot from the face-off circle slipped through Dubnyk’s pads, allowing the defenseman to collect his rebound and score on a wraparound.Parise was next, gaining control of a loose puck at the side of the Vancouver net and then deftly lifting it behind Nilsson’s shoulder to quiet the crowd.After Cullen missed on an easy goal with Nilsson out of position, Canucks forward Sam Gagner had a goal waved off for kicking.Nilsson robbed Cullen early in the second with a great glove save, but Cullen finally got his goal at 2:46 Eric Staal Jersey , when Tyler Ennis made a nice cross-ice pass to Cullen streaking through the slot.Jokinen scored in his second straight game to make it 2-2 in the second. A shot by Erik Gudbranson rebounded right to Jokinen for the easy putback.Mikael Granlund’s wrist shot from a hard angle appeared to have bounced off Troy Stecher’s skate and in to make it 3-2. Staal, who was tied up with Stecher in the crease, was credited with the goal.In the third, Dubnyk kicked out a pad to deny Jokinen in the slot, then had some luck when a puck trickled through his pads only to hit the post before defenseman Matt Dumba cleared it.After Coyle scored an empty-netter with 43 seconds left, Foligno banged in a rebound to put the game away.”It wasn’t good enough, but it was better,” Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin said. ”I thought that we wanted to be part of this game. Last game, I thought we stepped on the ice and thought it was going to be an easy game. Tonight, we battled.”NOTES: Defenseman Ben Hutton and forward Nikolay Goldobin were healthy scratches for Vancouver.UP NEXT:Wild: at Edmonton on Saturday night.Canucks: at Arizona on Sunday night.
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