Colorado, Dallas seek new coaches
Senators defeat Boston, claim seventh seed in East NHL ASSOCIATED PRESS
Colorado Avalanche coach Joe Sacco was fired on Sunday after the team missed the playoffs for the third straight season.
The Avs never got on track in the lockout-shortened season and finished last in the Western Conference.
Sacco was in his fourth season in charge of Colorado and wound up with a 130-134-30 mark. He had one year left on his contract.
"The organization believes a change of leadership behind the bench is needed going forward," general manager Greg Sherman said in a release. "Joe has worked for this franchise for eight seasons and he is a dedicated and hard-working coach. We appreciate all he has done and wish him the best in the future."
The Avs will soon begin their search for a replacement.
Sacco spent two seasons in charge of the organization's American Hockey League affiliate squad, the Lake Erie Monsters, before taking over the Avs in 2009 after the firing of Tony Granato.
A former NHL player, Sacco preached a fast-paced style and it served the youthful Avalanche well in his first season as the team earned a postseason spot. He was even a finalist for the NHL's coach of the year.
But Colorado couldn't duplicate that success.
Moments after a 3-1 loss to Minnesota on Saturday to close out the regular season, Sacco was asked about his future, saying, "We're certainly headed in the right direction."
His team was committed to his up-tempo philosophy. Matt Duchene recently said that Sacco's message was still getting across.
"We've all played the system he's put in place to the best of our ability. We've all worked at it," said Duchene, who finished tied with P.A. Parenteau for the team scoring lead with 43 points. "We're all still buying in and working."
Sacco will be back on the bench later this week when he leads the U.S. squad at the world championships. He will even take several Avalanche players with him, including Paul Stastny and Erik Johnson.
Nieuwendyk fired: The Dallas Stars fired General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk on Sunday after four seasons, two coaches and no playoff appearances.
The dismissal came the day after Dallas completed a 22-22-4 season. The Stars missed the playoffs for the fifth season in a row.
Owner Tom Gaglardi said in a statement that Nieuwendyk represented the Stars "extremely well" and "helped put pieces in place that will once again turn this team into a contender." He added, however, the team must go "in a different direction with our intentions set on returning to the elite" of the NHL.
The team is to announce its new GM today. While the Stars have not said who it is, Gaglardi is "confident we have found the right general manager to return us to the pathway of success."
The team has refused to comment on reports that Jim Nill, Detroit's longtime assistant GM, will get the job.
The future of coach Glen Gulutzan wasn't addressed by the team in its statement. Dallas holds an option for a third season for Gulutzan, who is 64-57-9 in his two seasons after ending the lockout-shortened season with a 3-0 home loss to Detroit. The Stars dropped their last five games and won only once in their last seven after a five-game winning streak.
When asked about his job after Saturday night's game, Gulutzan said that wasn't under his control. He did praise Nieuwendyk.
"All I can say is that Joe's been tremendous for me. I think he's done a hell of a job," Gulutzan said. "You can see with our farm team and the young guys that we have here."
When hired by Nieuwendyk two years ago to replace the fired Marc Crawford, the 41-year-old Gulutzan had never coached in the NHL. Gulutzan had been a successful minor league coach.
Crawford was hired following Dave Tippett's firing in 2009, after the Stars missed the playoffs a year after making it to the Western Conference finals. Tippett later that year replaced Wayne Gretzky as coach in Phoenix and led the Coyotes to the playoffs. He was honored as the league's top coach.
Senators 4, Bruins 2: Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored the tiebreaking goal with 3:34 to play and Ottawa won the NHL's rescheduled regular-season finale.
The victory gave the Senators the seventh seed for the Eastern Conference playoffs and a matchup with Montreal and dropped the New York Islanders into eighth and a first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Bruins, who could have won the Northeast Division and earned a No. 2 seed with a win, finish fourth; they will play Toronto in the first round.
The game was originally scheduled for April 15, the day of the Boston Marathon bombings. It was the only NHL game on Sunday, with the rest of the league wrapping up the regular season by Saturday.
Draft lottery: The NHL holds its draft lottery tonight, and the Florida Panthers have the best odds of winning.
The draw will determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the league's amateur draft June 30. All 14 NHL teams that missed the playoffs have a shot at the No. 1 selection.
Florida finished with the fewest points in the NHL this season. It has a 25 percent chance of winning the draw, followed by Colorado at 19 percent and Tampa Bay at 14 percent.
In previous years, the lottery-winning team could move up no more than four slots in the draft order. This year, the winning draw will draft first overall. The remaining 13 teams are slotted in reverse order of their regular-season point totals.
NOTE: Two points for a win, one point for overtime loss.
x-clinched playoff spot; y-clinched division; z-clinched conference
N.Y. Rangers 4 New Jersey 0
Detroit 3 Dallas 0
Columbus 3 Nashville 1
Florida 5 Tampa Bay 3
Washington 3 Boston 2 (OT)
Philadelphia 2 Ottawa 1
Montreal 4 Toronto 1
Minnesota 3 Colorado 1
Pittsburgh 8 Carolina 3
St. Louis 3 Chicago 1
Phoenix 5 Anaheim 3
Edmonton 7 Vancouver 2
Los Angeles 3 San Jose 2
Ottawa 4 Boston 2
End Regular Season
Senators 4, Bruins 2
First Period--1, Ottawa, Condra 4 (Pageau, Conacher), 16:59.
Second Period--2, Ottawa, Cowen 1 (Turris, Gonchar), 10:33. 3, Boston, Peverley 6 (Redden, Seidenberg), 19:56 (pp).
Third Period--4, Boston, Seidenberg 4 (Lucic, Daugavins), :14. 5, Ottawa, Pageau 2 (Methot, Karlsson), 16:26. 6, Ottawa, Turris 12 (Karlsson, Alfredsson), 19:23 (en).
Shots on Goal--Ottawa 9-9-4--22. Boston 13-16-7--36.
Power-play opportunities--Ottawa 0 of 2; Boston 1 of 2.
Goalies--Ottawa, Lehner 5-3-4 (36 shots-34 saves). Boston, Rask 19-10-5 (21-18).
Referees--Chris Rooney, Steve Kozari. Linesmen--Tim Nowak, Derek Amell.