The Washington Post

Leafs acquire Blackhawks duo, keep up in arms race


General Manager Kyle Dubas made it clear that he was not reacting to trades by division rivals as he conducted the Toronto Maple Leafs’ latest move. But they certainly all go hand in hand in the competitiv­e Eastern Conference.

The Maple Leafs acquired forward Sam Lafferty and defenseman Jake Mccabe from the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday in the aftermath of the division rival Tampa Bay Lightning making another pre-deadline splash and not long after the Nhl-leading Boston Bruins added size and toughness to bulk up for the playoffs.

Toronto sent a conditiona­l 2025 first-round draft pick, a secondroun­der in 2026, prospect Pavel Gogolev and forward Joey Anderson to the Blackhawks for Lafferty, Mccabe and conditiona­l fifthround picks in 2024 and 2025. Chicago is retaining half of Mccabe’s salary.

Lafferty has 10 goals and 11 assists in 51 games this season. Mccabe has two goals and 18 assists in 55 games.

Dubas, in his fifth season as Toronto’s GM, said talks with Blackhawks counterpar­t Kyle Davidson predated trades by the Lightning and Bruins, but he wasn’t downplayin­g the value of keeping up, knowing how tough the first few playoff rounds will be.

“We have to focus on ourselves and worry about ourselves and know it’s going to be really tough,” Dubas told reporters in Seattle. “We’ve been through it before, and we know that these are elite, elite competitor­s.”

The Maple Leafs look to again be on a crash course to face the Lightning in the first round of the playoffs after losing to Tampa Bay in a seven-game series last year. The Lightning on Sunday paid a hefty price for forward Tanner Jeannot, sending young defenseman Cal Foote and five draft picks — including a first-rounder in 2025 — to the Nashville Predators.

The Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2020 and 2021 and went to the finals in 2022. This move could set Tampa Bay up for another deep run, no matter the cost.

“The reality at the trade deadline is you’re going to have to overpay,” Lightning General Manager Julien Brisebois said at a news conference in Tampa. “A lot had to go our way for us to accumulate such a critical mass of good players all at once. My job, my responsibi­lity as the custodian for this group, is to sometimes take risks to maximize our return for this era.”

RANGERS: Defenseman K’andre Miller will have a hearing with the NHL’S Department of Player Safety after spitting at the Los Angeles Kings’ Drew Doughty.

The league announced Monday that Miller would have a hearing for unsportsma­nlike conduct. It was not clear when the hearing would take place.

Miller posted a message on social media calling his actions “completely accidental.”

“I would never intend to do something like that on purpose,” he wrote. “It goes against everything I am as a person and player. I felt awful about it.”

The 23-year-old also thanked Doughty for giving him the opportunit­y to apologize after the game. Miller was given a match penalty and ejected late in the first period, and the Rangers played the rest of their 5-2 victory with just five defensemen.

Doughty said he was “shocked.” “Whether or not he meant to do it, I have no idea,” he said. “It’s a pretty big loogie on my face, so I was pretty [miffed].”

Bruins extend streak to seven

Pavel Zacha scored the tiebreakin­g goal late in the second period, and the league-leading Boston Bruins beat the host Edmonton Oilers, 3-2, for their seventh straight win.

Dmitry Orlov had two assists for his first points since the Bruins acquired him from the Washington Capitals last week.

The Oilers’ Connor Mcdavid scored twice to reach the 50-goal mark for the first time.

LLAVALANCH­E 3, GOLDEN KNIGHTS 0: In Denver, Mikko Rantanen scored twice, including 14 seconds into the game, and Alexandar Georgiev stopped 31 shots to help Colorado defeat Vegas for its sixth win in a row.

SENATORS 6, RED WINGS 2: Claude Giroux had the tiebreakin­g goal and three assists as Ottawa routed visiting Detroit.

LLCANUCKS 5, STARS 4 (OT): Andrei Kuzmenko scored 48 seconds into overtime to lift Vancouver past host Dallas.

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