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douhua2233 Oct 11

History is being made again in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

On the heels of the first back-to-back champions in two decades Oscar Klefbom Jersey , 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.

Tampa Bay is in the Eastern Conference final for the third time in four years, and Washington has made the playoffs 10 out of the past 11 seasons. Yet after one of Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh lifted the Cup every time since 2009, this crop of new blood is refreshing.

”They’re all good stories,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. ”The same old story sometimes can get old. Once in a while a new chapter is written, and it’ll be good. This year there will be a new chapter.”

The next chapter begins with the Capitals visiting the Lightning on Friday night, followed by the Golden Knights at Winnipeg on Saturday night. It’s a full turnover from the final four teams last year: Pittsburgh, Ottawa, Nashville and Anaheim.

The Jets became the fourth and final team to reach the third round when they beat the defending Western Conference-champion Predators on the road in Game 7 on Thursday night. Winnipeg is the final hope for Canada’s first Cup celebration since Montreal in 1993 and is in the conference final for the first time in franchise history.

”Having some diversity amongst the league is great, and I think it just shows the competitive balance throughout the league,” Jets captain Blake Wheeler said. ”Having good young players is a great place to start and you see that the teams that have good young players have gotten good fast. So I think it’s a good thing to have some fan bases have some extended postseason success. It just creates a better vibe.”

The Lightning are trying to create the vibe Hockey Bay hasn’t seen since winning the Cup in 2004. They fell short in a six-game loss to the Blackhawks in the 2015 final with this core, led by Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman.

Even after missing the playoffs last year when Stamkos was out long term with a knee injury, Tampa Bay has plenty of recent playoff experience from recent runs and the additions of ex-Rangers players Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi and J.T. Miller.

”We’ve been here in this situation before,” Stamkos said. ”There’s no panic or nervousness. We’re excited.”

Vegas hasn’t been in any situation before, building off the best inaugural season in NHL history by beating Los Angeles and San Jose to reach the West final. Among the four good stories remaining, none is as remarkable as the Golden Knights, who pieced together players from around the league to get further than anyone expected.

”I haven’t been around a team like this,” general manager George McPhee said. ”This feels like more of a team than any team I’ve ever been with at the NHL level.”

McPhee’s former team in Washington has the same feeling. The Capitals aren’t as deep or talented as in years past, but they’re in the East final for the first time since 1998, when McPhee was in his first season as their GM.

”I’ve had some teams that have been very, very talented and they weren’t necessarily the best teams,” said Trotz http://www.panthersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-rashaan-gaulden-jersey , who is in the third round for the first time in 19 years as an NHL head coach. ”I think the belief in the group, or the chemistry in the group, is the intangible and this group has a good chemistry about it.”

What excites Jets coach Paul Maurice most about the fresh teams in the conference finals is the hope it keeps alive in the remaining cities. And each one can legitimately believe its team has a chance to win it all.

”That’s the great part about competition,” Maurice said. ”So that’s what’s the most exciting thing is you don’t know, right? There’s not a five-time Stanley Cup champion that’s just ran the first two series 4-0. It’s up for grabs. It’s right there.”

AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker in Nashville, Tennessee, contributed.

The first round of the NFL draft ended with a few players still left in the green room at AT&T Stadium, including an All-American

Heading into the second round of the draft Iowa All-America cornerback Josh Jackson, Texas offensive lineman Connor Williams and LSU running Derrius Guice remain available. All three are safe bets to be selected some time Friday, when rounds two and three are completed. It probably won't take too long.

The NFL also invited UCF's Shaquem Griffin to the draft. It was no surprise the linebacker who lost his left hand to amputation as a child did not go in round one. He is one of the draft's biggest wild cards after putting on a show at the combine. It would not be shocking if a team called Griffin on Day 2.

Six more intriguing players likely to come off the board Friday:

Mason Rudolph, QB, 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, Oklahoma State

There was some talk that Rudolph could slip into the first round and make it a record tying six quarterbacks taken. Instead, he'll look to become the first selected on Day 2. He could be a nice value. Rudolph is a big guy, with a good arm who throws a nice deep ball. The Giants own the second pick of the second round. Maybe he's the guy they can groom to take over for Eli Manning. Denver at 40 could be a possibility along with Miami (42) and New England (43).

Will Hernandez, OG, 6-2, 345, UTEP

Six offensive linemen were taken in the first round, including two centers that could play guard and a tackle that could slide inside. Nobody bit on Hernandez, a powerful run blocker with quick feet. With Cleveland and the Bears among the first to pick in the second round, Hernandez should not have to wait too long to be picked. He might be the best offensive lineman left, though Iowa center James Daniels could be in that discussion, too.

Harold Landry, OLB/DE, 6-3, 252 Youth Pernell McPhee Jersey , Boston College

Landry was one of the best pass rushers in the country as a junior, but his senior year was wrecked by injuries. He might have to learn a more traditional linebacker's role in the NFL after mostly playing as a defensive end at BC. But he is the best edge rusher left so he probably won't have wait long into second round. The Colts at 36 and 37 could use a boost to the pass rush, but will he fit their new 4-3 defense? The Giants need pass rushers, too. A similar player to watch for is LSU's Arden Key, who was being talked about as a possible top-10 pick before he had a poor and injury plagued 2017 season.

Ronald Jones II, RB, 5-11, 200, Southern California

The darting, slashing runner who always seems to fall forward. Jones is similar to Guice in style but not quite as big and strong. Georgia's Nick Chubb is also still available after three running backs (Saquon Barkley, Rashaad Penny and Sony Michel) went in the first round. Jones, Guice and Chubb could all be up for consideration for Cleveland (picks 33 and 35) and Tampa Bay (38) early in the second round. All should be off the gone by the end of round two and provide good value.

Maurice Hurst, DT, 6-2, 282, Michigan

Hurst is an undersized tackle with some health concerns, but he was probably the most productive interior defensive lineman in the country last season. Scheme fit will likely be key, but defenses that need tackles who attack gaps and look to be disruptive in the backfield could find a day two steal in Hurst.

Christian Kirk, WR, 5-10, 200, Texas A&M

Only two receivers were selected in the first round (Calvin Ridley and DJ Moore). Next up could be Kirk, who also brings with him some serious skills as a kick and punt returner. He returned seven punts and kicks for touchdowns at A&M. His size might relegate him to slot receiver. If a team is looking for a bigger target, SMU's Courtland Sutton, who is 6-5, is also left.

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