Flyers sign Petr Straka to three-year deal

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Flyers sign Petr Straka to three-year deal

After losing out at the last minute to Detroit on defensive prospect Danny DeKeyser in late March, the Flyers plucked an interesting forward Thursday night from the Czech Republic.

They signed 6-0, 194-pound right wing Petr Straka, an overage junior (20), who is playing for Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Straka signed a three-year entry level contract worth $2.775 million ($925,000 annual average value). He was an unsigned second-round draft pick from Columbus (2010).

“Our guys liked him in his draft year a couple years ago and had him in the second- or third-round mix,” said Chris Pryor, director of hockey operations for the Flyers. “Maybe he was a little bit inconsistent if you’re looking from afar.”

The inconsistency evaporated this season. Straka scored 82 points -- 41 goals, 41 assists and was plus-33 in 55 regular-season games -- 17th best in the league. He had just 18 goals with Rimouski the previous season.

Baie-Comeau is currently in the playoffs in which Straka is third in scoring with eight goals and 18 points in eight games played.

The Flyers’ Quebec-area scouts Simon Nolet and Todd Hearty had been following Straka, who was pursued by 12 clubs, according to his agent, Allan Walsh.

“We were fortunate enough to get him aboard,” Pryor said. “There was some hype and some teams on him. He’s a good, young player.

“The last couple of years he’s been a little inconsistent but you could say that about a lot of young guys. It looks like he’s figured it out.”

Straka will be eligible to play in the AHL next season, although you can expect he will get a look in training camp next fall for the Flyers, as well.

“We’re happy,” Pryor said. “We got [defenseman] Mark Alt earlier, another former second-round kid. We’re happy to add a couple young guys to our development.”

NHL Playoffs: Cam Talbot, Pat Maroon lead Oilers to 2-0 series lead over Ducks

NHL Playoffs: Cam Talbot, Pat Maroon lead Oilers to 2-0 series lead over Ducks

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Cam Talbot made 39 saves, Patrick Maroon scored a power-play goal and the Edmonton Oilers moved halfway to the Western Conference finals with a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 2 of their second-round series Friday night.

Andrej Sekera scored an early goal for the Oilers, who took the first two games on Pacific Division champion Anaheim's home ice. Talbot was the difference in Game 2, making all manner of impressive saves while Anaheim dominated the last 30 minutes.

Jakob Silfverberg scored and John Gibson stopped 21 shots for the Ducks, who had gone 18 games without a regulation defeat before this series. Anaheim has never recovered from an 0-2 series deficit, losing all seven series after digging that early hole.

Game 3 is Sunday in Edmonton (see full recap).

Tarasenko scores twice as Blues beat Predators
ST. LOUIS -- Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice, including the tiebreaking goal with 3:51 left to give the St. Louis Blues a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators in Game 2 on Friday night to tie the Western Conference semifinal series.

Jori Lehtera also scored for the Blues, and Jake Allen stopped 22 shots -- including 14 in the third period.

Ryan Ellis had a goal and an assist and James Neal also scored for the Predators, who had their franchise-high five-game postseason winning streak snapped. Pekka Rinne finished with 17 saves.

Game 3 is Sunday at Nashville, Tennessee.

Tarasenko's game-winner came on a lucky bounce. Jaden Schwartz led the rush and initially tried to pass it to Carl Gunnarsson, but the pass was off the mark and bounced off of Gunnarsson's foot right to Tarasenko's stick.

It was the first lead for St. Louis in 116:09 of the series (see full recap).

NHL Playoffs: Crosby, Bonino lead Penguins to Game 1 win over Caps

NHL Playoffs: Crosby, Bonino lead Penguins to Game 1 win over Caps

WASHINGTON -- Sidney Crosby scored two goals in 52 seconds, Nick Bonino had the winner in the third period and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series on Thursday night.

In a high-profile showdown of Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, Washington's captain also scored and Evgeny Kuznetsov had the goal that tied it in the third. But Marc-Andre Fleury made 15 of his 32 saves in the third period to help Pittsburgh to the win.

Crosby was a threat to score just about every time he touched the puck. He beat Braden Holtby with his first two shots of the second period.

Holtby stopped 18 of the 21 shots he faced but allowed Bonino's goal with 7:24 left.

Game 2 is Saturday night (see full recap).

Karlsson helps Senators edge Rangers 2-1 in Game 1
OTTAWA, Ontario -- Erik Karlsson scored on a bad-angle shot with 4:11 left in the third period, sending the Ottawa Senators to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers in the opener of their second-round playoff series on Thursday night.

The Senators captain beat fellow Swede Henrik Lundqvist from just above the goal line. The shot pinged off Rangers center Derek Stepan before going into the net.

It was Karlsson's first goal and seventh point of the playoffs. The 26-year-old defenseman, who has been playing with a foot injury, also logged more than 28 minutes in the win.

Game 2 is Saturday.

Ryan McDonagh scored for New York, and Lundqvist finished with 41 saves.

Craig Anderson stopped 33 shots and Ryan Dzingel scored for Ottawa, which eliminated Boston in six games in the first round (see full recap).