NHL-STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS NEWS

SportsPulse: The Vegas Golden Knights were never supposed to be here in the first place, but now their shot at a title is becoming more realistic than ever. Our NHL insider Kevin Allen on how this team has done the unthinkable. USA TODAY Sports

(Photo: The Associated Press)

Winning the Stanley Cup seemed the perfect next step for the Nashville Predators after fighting all season for home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. By AP

We never quite know where that Pekka Rinne roulette ball is going to land. The Predators No. 1 goaltender and 2018 Vezina Trophy candidate has seen his fair share of ups in recent postseason endeavours. And with a trip to the Western Conference Final on the line in Game 7 against Winnipeg, it was the, well, not-so-good version of Rinne who showed up. By Kyle Cantlon

(Photo: Tom Szczerbowski, USA TODAY Sports)

The Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday promoted Kyle Dubas, who at 32 becomes one of the NHL’s youngest general managers. Dubas joined the team as assistant general manager in 2014. He is an advocate of analytics and succeeds Lou Lamoriello, 75. By AP

(Photo: The Associated Press)

History is being made again in the Stanley Cup playoffs. On the heels of the first back-to-back champions in two decades, the NHL will get a new champion in the salary-cap era that began in 2005. Among the Lightning, Capitals, Jets and Golden Knights, only Tampa Bay has won the Stanley Cup, making this the first time the final four teams have combined for one title or fewer. By AP

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