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Physical Stars take Game 1 of Cup finals

(AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) Dallas Stars players on the bench yelled at their teammates, "Hit 'em!" They did, over and over, the body checks and the shouts easily heard throughout an arena left empty because of the pandemic for this most unusual Stanley Cup Final.

The well-rested Stars came out and hammered the banged-up Tampa Bay Lightning, taking it to them for two periods and relying on goaltender Anton Khudobin to close the door in the third to win 4-1 Saturday night for a 1-0 lead. By the time the talented Lightning got rolling, it was too late.

"I don't even know if you need to take a shower after the first two periods," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "They came out, they were skating and I think we probably dipped our toes in the water a little bit and watched them skate around for a bit."

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Bettman: NHL may begin later than Dec. 1

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) Gary Bettman will take his first sigh of relief in months when he presents the Stanley Cup.

"Maybe I'll get a full night sleep," the NHL Commissioner said.

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Unlikely scorers leading way for Stars

Joel Hanley had never scored a goal in the NHL until Game 1 of the Stanley Cup for the Dallas Stars.

Just another unlikely scorer this postseason for the Stars, like rookie Joel Kiviranta.

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Wild won't re-sign captain Koivu

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Mikko Koivu's extraordinary career with the Minnesota Wild is over.

General manager Bill Guerin said Friday the team will not resign the 37-year-old Finn, whose contract is expiring.

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Penguins re-sign F McCann for 2 years

PITTSBURGH (AP) Jared McCann is sticking with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The team announced Friday it has re-signed the 24-year-old forward to a two-year contract that runs through the 2021-22 season. The deal carries an average annual value of $2.94 million.

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Coyotes tab Armstrong as team's next GM

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Coyotes have hired St. Louis assistant GM Bill Armstrong as their next general manager.

Armstrong arrives in the desert after spending the past two seasons as the Blues' assistant GM and director of amateur scouting. He replaces John Chayka, who resigned on the eve of Arizona's first postseason appearance in eight years.

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Sabres acquire Staal, Johannson to Wild

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Kevyn Adams didn't have to do too much homework on center Eric Staal in completing his first trade as Buffalo Sabres general manager.

A former NHL player, Adams had plenty of firsthand insight on the 17-year veteran going back to their days as teammates with the 2006 Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes.

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Blues hire Montgomery as assistant

Jim Montgomery is getting a second chance to coach in the NHL after being hired by the St. Louis Blues as an assistant coach less than a year since he was fired by the Dallas Stars for unprofessional conduct.

Montgomery was fired in December, 32 games into his second season as Stars coach, for what general manager Jim Nill said was behavior inconsistent with "core values and beliefs of the Dallas Stars and the National Hockey League." The 51-year-old on Wednesday said he has been sober for over nine months now.

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Kraken's AHL franchise delayed 1 year

SEATTLE (AP) The Seattle Kraken will split its players among several American Hockey League teams for its inaugural 2021-22 season with plans for their own AHL franchise in the Palm Springs area delayed by a year.

Oak View Group and the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation announced plans Wednesday to build a sports and entertainment arena in California's Coachella Valley that will be the future home of the Kraken's AHL franchise, but it will not open until the 2022-23 season.

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Wild extend D Brodin for 7 years, $42M

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) The Minnesota Wild signed defenseman Jonas Brodin to a seven-year, $42 million contract extension Tuesday, making another long-term commitment to a key piece of their blue line group.

Brodin's new deal will begin with the 2021-22 season and carry a $6 million annual cap charge through 2027-28.

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