Panthers survive Maple Leafs’ rally to win in OT, Golden Knights take series lead over Oilers

The 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs started the weekend with a pair of entertaining Game 5s, as the Panthers completed their gentleman’s sweep of the Maple Leafs on the road, and the Golden Knights secured a 3-2 series lead against the Oilers at home.

Florida punched its ticket to the Eastern Conference Final with a 3-2 overtime win over the Maple Leafs in Game 5. Toronto came back from a two-goal deficit to force overtime, but Florida put an end to the rally with Nick Cousins scoring on a wrist shot at 15:32 of the extra period. The Panthers will play the Hurricanes next round with a Stanley Cup Final berth on the line.

The Golden Knights grabbed a 3-2 series lead over the Oilers with a 4-3 win at Las Vegas. Edmonton got off to a 2-1 lead over Vegas in the first period, but the Golden Knights exploded for three goals in the second period to gain a lead they would never relinquish. The series will shift to Edmonton for Game 6 that is slated for Sunday.

Here’s a look at all the scores for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Panthers survive Leafs’ late push to win series, advance to ECF
The Panthers are headed to their first Eastern Conference Final since 1996 after eliminating the Maple Leafs in five games. Florida finished off Toronto on the road, winning Game 5 in overtime by a score of 3-2 after surviving a late push from the Leafs.

Florida raced to a two-goal lead in the first period, but was held scoreless for the rest of regulation as Toronto tied the game late in the third period. However, Nick Cousins stopped the Leafs’ rally dead in its tracks by scoring the overtime game-winner on a wrist shot with less than five minutes to go in the extra period.

Aaron Ekblad opened the game’s scoring a mere 3:31 into the first period, capitalizing on an early power play. With less than four minutes left in the opening frame, Ekblad added his second point of the contest by assisting on a Carter Verhaeghe goal that made it 2-0 Florida.

2-0 CATS!

— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) May 12, 2023
Toronto cut Florida’s deficit back to one at 7:50 of the second period, when Morgan Rielly fired a wrist shot past Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. The Maple Leafs then tied the game at 15:33 of the third period with William Nylander scoring his second goal in as many games, but the comeback effort ultimately proved to be futile in overtime.

The Panthers will now meet the Hurricanes, who dispatched the Devils in five games last round.

Golden Knights ride hot second period to series lead over Oilers
The Golden Knights used a second-period surge to beat the Oilers 4-3 and go up 3-2 in their second-round playoff series. Down 2-1 after the first period, Vegas outscored Edmonton 3-0 in the second with Mark Stone, Reilly Smith and Nicolas Hague tallying a goal apiece. Connor McDavid brought the Oilers to within one after scoring a goal at 2:40 of the third period, but the Knights held their lead until the final buzzer.

Stoney started the comeback 🙌

— z – Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) May 13, 2023
Jack Eichel, who assisted on Stone and Hague’s goals, scored Vegas’ first goal of the game at 3:52 of the first period.

This series has shifted like a pendulum, as Vegas’ win means that neither team has collected back-to-back victories this series. However, this was the first game decided by less than two goals.

Edmonton’s Darnell Nurse and Vegas’ Alex Pietrangelo both missed Game 5 after receiving one-game suspensions for incidents that took place in Game 4. Both are expected to return for Game 6.

With Vegas leading 3-2, the series shifts to Edmonton — where the Oilers have gone 3-2 this postseason — for Game 6 on Sunday. A Golden Knights’ win would send them to their first Western Conference Final since 2021.

Coyotes’ plan to build new arena gets rejected by Tempe voters, leaves team with uncertain future in Arizona

The Coyotes’ future in Arizona remains unclear. The team’s hopes to build a new arena in Tempe fell through on Tuesday night when the plan was rejected by voters. As a result, the franchise’s chances of staying in Arizona “will be evaluated by our owners and the National Hockey League” over the next couple of weeks.

The new arena was set to be included as part of a new $2.1 billion entertainment district in Tempe, with at least $1.9 billion of the project slated to be privately funded. But voters had to vote in favor of Propositions 301, 302 and 303 on a special election ballot that was mailed out in April and included in-person voting on Tuesday.

If passed, it would’ve meant that voters accepted that both the funds be spent and the land be used for the new entertainment district. Unofficial results from Tuesday night showed between 56% and 57% of voting “no” on the three propositions, according to CBS’ local Arizona affiliate

“We are very disappointed Tempe voters did not approve Propositions 301, 302, and 303,” the Coyotes said in a statement. “As Tempe Mayor Corey Woods said, it was the best sports deal in Arizona history. The Coyotes wish to thank everyone who supported our efforts and voted yes.”

League commissioner Gary Bettman added that he was “terribly disappointed by the results of the public referenda regarding the Coyotes’ arena project in Tempe” in a statement.

Specifically, the Coyotes wanted to build a new 16,000-seat arena and entertainment district at the west end of Tempe Town Lake. The plot of land the arena would’ve sat on is nearly 46 acres and located two miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. In November 2022, the Tempe City Council unanimously approved the plans.

The Coyotes lost their home in Glendale — at what was then called Gila River Arena but now goes by Desert Diamond Arena — at the end of the 2021-22 NHL season. They had called that arena home for 18 years. The franchise then relocated to the 5,000-seat Mullett Arena on the campus of Arizona State University, sharing the arena with the school’s men’s hockey team.

The Coyotes are scheduled to call Mullett Arena home for the next two seasons with an option for a fourth year. The 2022-23 season marked the first for the Coyotes at Mullett Arena.

The franchise originally began playing in Phoenix after relocating from Winnipeg in 1996. With the Tempe plan rejected, the Coyotes’ days in Arizona may be numbered.

 Picks, predictions for each conference final series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Stanley Cup Playoffs have thinned the field of teams battling for a championship down to just four. After some earlier rounds of insanity, it’s time to shift our focus towards the conference finals.

Two No. 1 seeds still remain in the Vegas Golden Knights and Hurricanes. Will we see more upsets in this round?

Our experts weigh in with their picks for the Eastern and Western Conference Final:

(1) Golden Knights vs. (2) Stars
Chris Bengel: I’ve really liked what I’ve seen from this Stars team in these playoffs. Sure, they had a few hiccups when facing the Kraken in the second round, but Dallas rose to the occasion when they needed to. There’s one major difference when it comes to the Golden Knights and Stars: goaltending. Jake Oettinger has showcased his ability as an elite netminder when the lights are the brightest. According to Money Puck, he leads all postseason goaltenders with a .957 save percentage when facing unblocked shots.

On top of that, the Stars have a very dangerous offense, which includes the postseason’s second leading scorer Roope Hintz. I’m banking on Oettinger to shine and the Stars to do enough to take this series.
Pick — Stars beat Golden Knights 4-3

Austin Nivison: The Golden Knights have a five-on-five goal differential of plus-15. That is the best of any team in the postseason by several country miles. But according to their expected goal numbers on Natural Stat Trick, that differential should really be closer to plus-1. Vegas has the talent to outperform its underlying numbers, but by that much? Call me skeptical.

On the other hand, the Stars have gotten worse results than their performance would suggest. Dallas ranks first in five-on-five expected goal share (55.5%), but its actual goal differential in those situations is just plus-1.Jack Eichel has certainly been a bright spot this postseason, and Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy may have found something by putting him on a line with Ivan Barbashev and Jonathan Marchessault. However, the Stars do seem like the more talented team coming into the series.

Roope Hintz has emerged as a superstar with 19 points in 13 games, and Joe Pavelski is playing like he is 28 — not 38. Jason Robertson has only found the back of the net twice, and if he can get going, that makes Dallas even more dangerous. The only thing giving me pause about picking the Stars is that Jake Oettinger has been somewhat shaky this postseason, and Adin Hill came out of nowhere to provide elite goaltending for the Golden Knights. I’m betting those trends won’t continue, and the Stars reach the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in four years.
Pick — Stars beat Golden Knights 4-2

(1) Hurricanes vs. (WC2) Panthers
Bengel: No one expected this matchup –especially the Panthers going this far. But I’m going to focus on the Hurricanes. The deck was stacked against Carolina, already being without star forwards Max Pacioretty and Andrei Svechnikov entering the postseason. On top of that, winger Teuvo Teravainen suffered a hand injury that sidelined him for the Devils series, but it looks like he should return at some point in this series. Some may say that the Panthers have the advantage, especially considering how Sergei Bobrovsky has played in net. However, Frederik Andersen has been strong throughout the postseason with a 1.80 goals-against-average and allowed two goals or fewer in four of the five games against the Devils.

With Teravainen likely returning and the Hurricanes offense clicking on all cylinders, I’m taking Carolina to represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Final.
Pick — Hurricanes beat Panthers 4-2

Nivison: Carolina is here on the strength of its team defense, goaltending and balance on offense. Jordan Martinook, Jesper Fast, and Seth Jarvis have stepped up to aid Sebastian Aho in the goal-scoring deprtment. Jaccob Slavin and Brent Burns have formed the best defensive pair in the postseason, earning a 59.9% expected goals share and a plus-10 goal differential at five-on-five, per Natural Stat Trick. Expect them to see a lot of Matthew Tkachuk, who willed Florida into the postseason and beyond.

In goal, Sergei Bobrovsky put on a show against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round. With Frederik Andersen playing well in net for Carolina, I don’t think there is a huge goaltending edge either way. I do think defense will decide this series, and while Brady Skjei and Brett Pesce have struggled for the Canes, they might be the deeper team on the blue line. Marc Staal has played big minutes for the Panthers, and he has not handled it well. Staal has been getting caved in to the tune of a paltry 43.8% five-on-five expected goals share. Against a strong possession team like Carolina, that could mean bad news for Florida. This will be a close series, but the Hurricanes’ strong defensive structure gets it done.

‘KC coyotes has a nice ring to it!’

After Tempe voters rejected the Arizona Coyotes’ plan to build a new arena and entertainment district in the city, the franchise’s future in the city and state is extremely murky. No relocation plans have been formally announced (yet), but that hasn’t stopped people on social media from speculating where the franchise could potentially move if they leave Arizona.

NFL superstar Patrick Mahomes has offered the NHL a solution. He think Kansas City should be the next home for the Coyotes. On Wednesday, Mahomes called on the NHL to move the Coyotes to K.C. The league wouldn’t even have to change the name, according to the QB:

KC coyotes has a nice ring to it! @NHL what y’all think? @tmobilecenter

— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) May 17, 2023
If the NHL is going to relocate the Coyotes, it could do a lot worse than Kansas City. The geographic location could create a natural rivalry with the Dallas Stars, and sports teams in the city have done quite a bit of winning in the last decade.

The Royals and Chiefs have combined for three championships in the last eight years. Maybe some of that would rub off on a Coyotes franchise in desperate need of a winner.

This would not be the first time the NHL attempted to bring a team to Kansas City. The Kansas City Scouts were founded in 1974, but the franchise spent just two years there before moving to Denver, becoming the Colorado Rockies. Eventually, the Rockies relocated to New Jersey and became the Devils.

 Starting lineup prediction, bench rotation, depth outlook for 2023-24

Last season Kansas went 28-8 and earned a No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament before a crushing 72-71 second-round loss to Arkansas brought the Jayhawks season to an abrupt end. Since then, KU lost leading scorers Jalen Wilson and Gradey Dick to the NBA Draft and a bevy of others to the transfer portal. In fact, only four scholarship players are back.

But amid all the attrition, one personnel move stood out above the rest for Kansas, both literally and figuratively. When KU landed a commitment from 7-foot-2 Michigan transfer Hunter Dickinson on May 4, it signaled to the Big 12 and the nation that the Jayhawks aren’t going anywhere. Dickinson ranked as the No. 1 offseason transfer in the CBS Sports Transfer Rankings. He will combine with veteran returners Dajuan Harris, Kevin McCullar and K.J. Adams to give coach Bill Self an excellent nucleus.

But there are some depth concerns for the Jayhawks following the June departures of freshmen signees Marcus Adams Jr. and Chris Johnson. Without those two, the team was down to just 10 scholarship players before the late signing of freshman small forward Johnny Furphy on Aug. 3.

The Jayhawks put their revamped roster on display during a three-game exhibition tour through Puerto Rico this month, giving us a glimpse into how things are shaping up for Self’s 21st season on the job. As offseason player movement cycle slows to a trickle, it’s time to start breaking down the rosters of the sport’s top programs. For this installment, we’re taking a look at the Jayhawks and trying to decipher what their lineup could look like when the season begins.

Projected starting lineup

  1. Dajuan Harris Jr.
    6-2 | 170 | R-Jr.

Harris is a trusted, veteran point guard who averaged 8.9 points, 6.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game last season on the way to earning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. While it’s possible his scoring average could tick up this season, it’s more likely that he continues to serve as a gritty distributor and defensive menace who occasionally looks to score. Now in his fifth season with the program, Harris has fended off critics and plenty of challengers at his position to cement himself as a vital figure in this era of Kansas basketball.

  1. Elmarko Jackson
    6-3 | 195 | Fr.

Jackson steadily rose through the prospect rankings to finish the 2023 recruiting cycle ranked No. 19 overall, according to 247Sports. The McDonald’s All-American is regarded as a fast and physical guard who is still developing skill after picking up organized basketball late in his youth. When Jackson signed, Self said, “we feel he will be an immediate impact player for us and potentially one of the best guards we’ve had in our program.” While the other four starters remained constant during the Puerto Rico exhibition tour, Jackson was one of three Jayhawks who got a shot as the starting shooting guard. He averaged 10.6 points on 52.1% shooting and will be in a battle with Morris and Timberlake for the fifth starting slot.

  1. Kevin McCullar Jr.
    6-7 | 212 | R-Sr.

Getting McCullar back after he tested the NBA Draft waters marked a huge win for KU. A two-time Naismith Defensive Player of the Year semifinalist, McCullar rated as the Jayhawks’ best defender by a significant margin last season, per He is only a career 29.8% 3-point shooter but does everything else well. As a fifth-year Big 12 player with 112 college appearances, McCullar will be a tone-setter for Kansas.

  1. K.J. Adams Jr.
    6-7 | 235 | So.

Adams earned the Big 12’s Most Improved Player award in 2023. The springy forward was often asked to punch above his weight in the front court as the Jayhawks regularly deployed small-ball lineups. Adams may need to expand his offensive repertoire a bit this season to allow Dickinson the space needed to operate in the paint. His 2 of 3 shooting performance from 3-point range in Puerto Rico was an encouraging sign.

  1. Hunter Dickinson
    7-2 | 260 | Sr.

The prized transfer of the college basketball offseason chose the Jayhawks over his pick of other top programs after three standout seasons at Michigan. Dickinson is an automatic Big 12 Player of the Year candidate and brings the heft to KU’s front court that was missing last season as Self shied away from playing young bigs Ernest Udeh and Zuby Ejiofor. Both transferred to other schools following Dickinson’s commitment as it’s clear he should log 30+ minutes per game at center for the Jayhawks.

Arterio Morris
6-4 | 195 | So.
Morris played his freshman season at Texas after finishing the 2022 recruiting cycle as a five-star prospect in the 247Sports rankings. He logged just 11.7 minutes per game for the Longhorns but showed some flashes of his potential by reaching double figures in six games. A domestic violence allegation against Morris lingered throughout his freshman season and has cast a pall over the beginning of his college career. Now he’ll get a fresh start with the Jayhawks and compete for the starting shooting guard spot. He averaged 13.5 points on 55% shooting in two games, which included one start, during the team’s exhibition tour.

Nicolas Timberlake
6-4 | 195 | Graduate senior
Timberlake shot better than 40% from 3-point range his last two years at at Towson and evolved into an All-CAA performer. The veteran marksman will be asked to provide some punch from the perimeter amid the departures of Gradey Dick and Jalen Wilson, who combined for 61% of Kansas’ made 3-pointers last season. He hit 6 of 15 attempts from beyond the arc (40%) during the August exhibition tour while starting one of KU’s three games.

Parker Braun
6-10 | 235 | Graduate senior
The older brother of former Kansas standout and current Denver Nuggets wing Christian Braun is joining the Jayhawks as an experienced forward. Braun started 65 games the past two seasons for an upper-echelon WCC program at Santa Clara and has power conference experience after beginning his career at Missouri. He connected on 67.9% of his shots inside the arc last season while averaging 7.7 points and 5.8 rebounds. Braun logged 12.6 minutes per game during the exhibition tour.

Jamari McDowell
6-4 | 180 | Fr.
McDowell was four-star prospect rating who ranked No. 84 in the 2023 class. The Manvel, Texas native is a versatile backcourt option for the Jayhawks with a shot to crack the rotation early. “At 6’4″, he’s got great size for his skillset and is a guy that I kind of see like as an Ochai (Agbaji) that you can throw lobs to and he’s a terrific three-point shooter,” Self said.

Zach Clemence
6-11 | 230 | So.
Clemence showed promise as a four-star freshman in the 2021-22 season but failed to carve out an increased role last season. He initially planned on transferring to UC Santa Barbara before changing course and returning to KU. While announcing his return, Self suggested a redshirt year would be ideal for Clemence.

Johnny Furphy
6-8 | 202 | Fr.
Furphy reclassified late in the recruiting cycle and signed with the Jayhawks on Aug. 3 as an intriguing prospect out of the Center of Excellence in Australia. “He is one of the most gifted, skilled young kids in the 2023 class and certainly as gifted and skilled as any player remaining that we could recruit,” Self said.

How to watch USA vs. Germany, live stream, TV channel, 2023 FIBA World Cup dates

Team USA basketball is one week away from starting the FIBA World Cup and appears to be on track to improve upon 2019’s seventh-place finish. Anthony Edwards, who paced all players with 21 points in an exhibition win over Greece in Abu Dhabi on Friday, is just one of the up-and-coming stars on the roster. Mikal Bridges, Jaren Jackson Jr., Cameron Johnson, and Austin Reaves also reached double figures in points en route to the 108-86 victory. The Americans are now 4-0 in exhibition games ahead of Sunday’s final tune-up against Germany.

Chemistry is improving ahead of the team’s trip to the Philippines for the World Cup and an undefeated 5-0 run could work wonders for the group’s confidence before its first real game against New Zealand on Aug. 26. Germany could be the toughest test yet, though. Dennis Schroder, Franz Wagner, Moritz Wagner, and Daniel Theis won’t make it easy in a contest loaded with NBA talent.

Here’s everything you need to know about Team USA’s upcoming schedule.