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Blackhawks Daily: Devils Hire Sheldon Keefe; Panthers Win

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It finally happened. The New Jersey Devils made their coaching decision on Wednesday. They are going to hire former Toronto Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe.

Keefe was fired a few weeks ago after the Toronto Maple Leafs were eliminated in the first round by the Boston Bruins. It was a crazy game seven that went to overtime but the Maple Leafs were unable to get it done.

Sheldon Keefe was not the problem in Toronto. If anything, he got a lot out of their very flawed roster. He also helped youngsters like Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander produce at a high level.

His new job is to do the same for star players in New Jersey like Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, and Jesper Bratt. New Jersey also has a way brighter future on the defensive side of the puck so Keefe might be able to take this team even higher than he took the Leafs.

If Keefe and the Devils can get some good goaltending from someone in 2024-25, they will be a contending team again after their disappointing 2023-24 season.

The third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs got underway on Wednesday night. The Florida Panthers and New York Rangers began the Eastern Conference Finals at Madison Square Garden.

The matchup went scoreless for a while but Matthew Tkachuk opened things up for the Panthers late in the first period. There was no scoring in the second period but Florida opened the floodgates in the third.

Carter Verhaeghe scored the second goal of the game and Sam Bennett capped off a 3- 0 victory to seal a 1-0 series lead on the road. Sergei Bobrovsky had a 23-save shutout and is now three wins away from the Final. There is a lot of hockey left to be played.

On Thursday night, the Western Conference Finals is going to kick off between the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars. This is a series between two very different teams with similar expectations. A lot of star power is sure to light things up in this matchup.

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