San Francisco Chronicle
Rangers fire president, GM, then fight and lose
The New York Rangers abruptly fired President John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton on Wednesday with three games left in the season, a shocking move in the aftermath of the latest controversy for the organization.
Associate GM Chris Drury was named president and GM.
“We want to thank JD and Jeff for their contributions to the organization,” owner James Dolan said in a statement. “They are both great hockey professionals who worked hard for the Rangers. However, in order for the team to succeed in the manner our fans deserve, there needs to be a change in leadership.”
The stunning news — both men had assembled one of the best young rosters in the NHL
— came less than 24 hours after the team ripped the league for fining but not suspending Washington’s Tom Wilson for his role in a scrum Monday night that injured New York winger Artemi Panarin. A team statement called the decision a dereliction of duty and that George Parros was “unfit” to remain in his job as head of player safety.
It was not immediately clear if the frontoffice shakeup had any connection to the criticism of the league. But the incident obviously had an effect on the Rangers’ game against the Capitals on Wednesday night, which was the first in NHL history to feature six fights in the first five minutes.
The host Rangers lost 42 as Washington’s T.J. Oshie, whose father died this week, scored a hat trick.
Golden Knights 3, Wild 2: Alex Pietrangelo scored at 1:53 of overtime to help visiting Vegas — first place in the West — pull five points ahead of third-place Minnesota. Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves and took over sole possession of the No. 3 spot on the NHL’s career wins list with No. 490.
Lightning 6, Stars 2: Defenseman Erik Cernak had a goal and two assists as host Tampa Bay beat Dallas. The defending champion has won six of the seven meetings this season between the 2020 Stanley Cup finalists.
Kings 4, Coyotes 2: Anze Kopitar had an assist to reach 1,000 career points, Gabriel Vilardi scored twice and visiting Los Angeles stayed alive for a playoff spot and eliminated Arizona.
Blue Jackets 4, Predators 2: Mikhail Grigorenko scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and host Columbus prevented Nashville from clinching a playoff spot.
Ducks 3, Blues 2: Haydn Fleury scored the shootout winner after also connecting in regulation in Anaheim’s victory at St. Louis, keeping the Blues from clinching a playoff spot.
Jets 4, Flames 0: Adam Lowry and Blake Wheeler each scored twice and visiting Winnipeg snapped a sevengame losing streak and clinched a playoff spot.
Senators 5, Canadiens 1: Erik Brannstrom had three assists for his first career multi-point game and host Ottawa stalled Montreal’s playoff charge.