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FRISCO Matt Bartkowski Jersey Womens , Texas (AP)how long he would coach the Dallas Stars the second time around after 15 years away.Turned out to be one season.The coach who led Dallas to its only Stanley Cup championship retired Friday, ending a 22-year career as the third-winningest coach in NHL history. The 823 wins are behind only Scotty Bowman (1,244) and Joel Quenneville (884). He’s fourth in total games with 1,536.The 66-year-old Hitchcock will become a consultant for the Stars.”I have contemplated this since our last game and I came to the conclusion that now is the right time to step away and let the younger generation of coaches take over,” said Hitchcock, who last year signed a multiyear contract that included the stipulation of becoming a consultant when he was finished coaching.Hitchcock returned to Dallas after 14 seasons elsewhere, including stops in Philadelphia, Columbus and St. Louis. General manager Jim Nill hoped Hitchcock could get the Stars back to the playoffs, but a late-season slump kept them out for the second straight year and the eighth time in 10 seasons.”We were honored to have Ken as our head coach and it was fitting that he finished his coaching here,” Stars owner Tom Gaglardi said. ”He is a certain Hockey Hall of Fame coach and he left a lasting legacy wherever he went.”The Stars went to the Stanley Cup Final in consecutive seasons, beating Buffalo for the title in 1999 before losing to New Jersey in six games. Those are the only times Hitchcock or the Stars have made it to the final.Dallas also won five straight division titles under Hitchcock, who was fired from his first head-coaching job with the team sliding in January 2002. He coached the Flyers from 2002-06, followed by the Blue Jackets (2006-10) and the Blues (2011-17).St. Louis made the playoffs in each of Hitchcock’s five full seasons, reaching the Western Conference finals in 2016 after beating top seed Dallas in seven games in the second round. The Blues abruptly fired Hitchcock in February last year, cutting short what was already going to be his last season with the Blues after their fifth loss in six games.”To each and every player that I coached, I wish I could do it all over again,” said Hitchcock Youth John Tavares Jersey , a Canadian whose record is 823-506 with 88 ties and 119 losses in overtime or a shootout. ”You guys were the main reason for the all the wins, and I enjoyed coaching each and every one of you.”Nill turned to Hitchcock when the Stars had 79 points, their second-fewest in a full season since moving Dallas in 1993-94, in the last of four seasons under Lindy Ruff.Led by high-scoring forwards Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin and one of the top-scoring defensemen in John Klingberg, the Stars were solidly positioned for the playoffs in March before an eight-game losing streak that started with six losses on the road.Still, Dallas improved significantly in a year, finishing with 92 points, just three out of the playoffs. And Nill said Hitchcock went out on his terms.”To have him instill what he put into our organization, to help build this foundation, it’s going to pay dividends for us down the road,” Nill said. ”He made a lot of these players a lot better.”Nill essentially described a wide-open coaching search that could take time depending on whether potential candidates are on teams still alive in the playoffs, including teams in the minor leagues.The sixth-year general manager has chosen veteran NHL head coaches both times with the Stars.”I want to be pretty open-minded about this,” Nill said. ”You’re seeing some successful young coaches come in. And there’s some successful coaches out there that have great resumes. I think there’s a big variable there.”Hitchcock’s playoff record is 86-82, and he also has an extensive background with Team Canada, which is where he forged a relationship with Nill. In Detroit, Nill was still an assistant GM when Hitchcock was a guest coach on Mike Babcock’s staff during training camp in 2010.”He poured his whole life into better understanding in-game concepts and strategy, inspiring players and enhancing teams Nazem Kadri Jersey ,” Nill said. ”He leaves an indelible mark on the game, and his influence will be felt across the sport for years to come.”— NEW YORK (AP) Minnesota knows it needs to play better on the road to strengthen its push for a playoff spot. The Wild also want to do a better job of holding third-period leads than they have lately.They accomplished both Monday against the New York Islanders.Matt Cullen and Tyler Ennis scored in Minnesota’s three-goal second period, and the Wild beat the Islanders 5-3. Jason Zucker added two goals, Joel Eriksson Ek also scored, and Devan Dubnyk stopped 32 shots as Minnesota improved to 4-1-2 in its past seven games.Article continues below ...The Wild just lost three of five on their homestand, including twice when they gave up the tying goal in the third period before falling after regulation.”Having the lead in the second and keeping it is really good for us,” Zucker said.The win snapped Minnesota’s brief two-game skid (0-1-1) and got its three-game, five-day trip to New York off on a winning note. The Wild, who have lost seven of their past 11 on the road, play back-to-back against New Jersey and the Rangers later in the week.”Our record isn’t the way we want on the road this year, so we’ve been trying to focus on that,” Zucker said. ”It’s a big win for us.”Minnesota, which is fifth in the Central Division but holds the second wild card in the Western Conference, pulled one point behind Dallas and St. Louis.Ross Johnston, Anders Lee and Tanner Fritz scored for the Islanders. Jaroslav Halak finished with 27 stops.New York began the day tied with idle Carolina with 64 points, but held the second wild-card spot in the East due to more regulation/overtime wins. However, the Hurricanes now hold the tiebreaker due to a game in hand on the Islanders.Zucker beat Halak on the blocker side with a one-timer for his second of the game and 25th of the season with 3:22 remaining to push the Wild’s lead to 5-3.New York outshot Minnesota 17-9 in the third Authentic Mitchell Marner Jersey , including skating with a 6-on-4 advantage over the final 1:23 with Halak pulled on a power play but couldn’t get anything past Dubnyk.”We played a good game, we played hard,” Islanders coach Doug Weight said. ”But not good enough.”Trailing 2-1 near the midpoint of the second period, the Wild went ahead with three goals in a 4:12 span.Cullen tied it as he skated in on a breakaway and beat Halak into the top right corner for his sixth at 9:54. Zucker gave the Wild their second lead of the game with a one-timer with 7:43 remaining. Ennis made it 4-2 with his eighth with 5:54 left.Fritz pulled the Islanders within one with his first NHL goal with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the middle period.Lee had given New York a 2-1 lead at 1:57 of the second as he tipped Thomas Hickey’s shot from the left slot out of the air and down past Dubnyk. It was Lee’s 30th of the season, tying him with John Tavares for the team lead and making him the sixth 30-goal scorer in the NHL this season.It was the same way Zucker scored against Anaheim in the Wild’s shootout loss on Saturday.”It’s a nice play, a difficult tip for that guy to make and that’s why you put pucks to the net,” Dubnyk said. ”You saw it last game for us.”The Wild got on the scoreboard first as Charlie Coyle’s rebound attempt of his own shot deflected off Eriksson Ek’s skate and in 7:02 into the game. It was Eriksson Ek’s second goal of the season, and first since opening night.”That’s hockey,” Eriksson Ek said. ”That’s how it is, sometimes it bounces your way.”The Islanders tied it with 45 seconds left in the first as Johnston deflected Johnny Boychuk’s slap shot from the right point past Dubnyk. It was Johnson’s third goal in 10 games with New York after having three in 38 games with Bridgeport of the AHL.NOTES: Zucker has 10 goals and three assists in his past 16 games. … Ennis had his third multipoint game of the season, and first since he had two assists against Florida on Jan. 2. … The Wild swept the seasons series, also winning 6-4 at home on Oct. 26. … Eriksson Ek’s goal ended the Islanders’ shutout streak at 140:15, going back to the third period of a 4-1 loss to Columbus last Tuesday night. New York had back-to-back shutouts against the Rangers on Thursday and at Carolina on Friday. … Islanders placed G Thomas Greiss on IR, retroactive to Friday, and called up G Christopher Gibson from Bridgeport of the AHL to be Halak’s backup. … Halak has appeared in 23 of the Islanders’ past 27 games, including 22 starts. He is 9-11-3 in that stretch.UP NEXTWild: At New Jersey on Thursday night.Islanders: At Toronto on Thursday night to open a stretch of three straight road games.—Follow Vin Cherwoo at www.twitter.com/VinCherwooAP—
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