Montreal Coach Claude Julien was experiencing chest pains Wednesday and was taken by ambulance to a Toronto hospital. He is not expected to be back behind the bench for the rest of the team’s first-round series against Philadelphia. Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP

Montreal Canadiens Coach Claude Julien experienced chest pains Wednesday night, was taken by ambulance to a Toronto hospital and is expected to be out the remainder of his team’s first-round playoff series.

General Manager Marc Bergevin explained Julien’s absence from practice Thursday and confirmed the situation is not COVID-19 related. Julien, 60, remained in the hospital Thursday afternoon while more tests were being conducted to determine the cause of his condition.

“I think he’s in good hands at the hospital here, and everything should be fine and we hope for the best.,” Bergevin said. “A little shock and concern, but after talking to Dr. (David) Mulder, there is some good news early this afternoon. … Hopefully he could be ready shortly and go back home.”

Associate coach Kirk Muller will assume Julien’s duties for the remainder of Montreal’s series against the Philadelphia Flyers. Bergevin and captain Shea Weber expressed confidence in Muller and the rest of the coaching staff to handle the hockey side of this in Julien’s absence.

“The other coaches, they know what our system is,” Weber said. “They’ve put all this plan in place, as well, and they’re going to do a good job leading us that way. … We’ve still got to compete the same way we’ve been going and accomplish the same things we’re trying to do.”

Flyers Coach Alain Vigneault is a longtime friend of Julien and looked shaken about 20 minutes after he heard the news.

“A lot of things go through your mind, and especially I’ve known Claude since I’ve been 20 and we’ve been through different things without a doubt in our relationship,” Vigneault said. “Right now, I want to get this press conference done to go see if I can’t reach out to (Bergevin) and find out the latest development.”

The Canadiens won their qualifying round series to make it to the round of 16. They trail the Flyers 1-0 in the first round, with Game 2 set for Friday night.

HURRICANES: Rod Brind’Amour wasn’t going to risk another $25,000 fine from the NHL.

The Carolina Hurricanes coach provided a short, four-word answer on Thursday when asked if he had anything more to add a day after being fined for calling the league “a joke” in criticizing an officials’ ruling on a goal challenge.

“Fortunately, nope. Moving on,” Brind’Amour said, during a Zoom conference call from his team’s Toronto hotel hours before the Hurricanes played Game 2 of their first-round series against the Boston Bruins.

Brind’Amour caused a stir a day earlier following a 4-3 double-overtime loss, after which the NHL fined him for his comments, and issued him a conditional $25,000 fine for any similar comments he might make over the next calendar year.


BLUE JACKETS 3, LIGHTNING 1: Two days after making an NHL-record 85 saves in a five-overtime loss, Joonas Korpisalo stopped 36 more shots to help Columbus beat Tampa Bay to even the series at a game apiece, in Toronto.

Ryan Murray and Oliver Bjorkstrand scored in the first period for Columbus, both goals set up by Pierre-Luc Dubois. Alexander Wennberg added another in the third.

GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4, BLACKHAWKS 3: Reilly Smith scored 7:13 into overtime, Robin Lehner made 22 saves and Vegas beat Chicago to take a 2-0 lead in the first-round series in Edmonton.

Vegas took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Paul Stastny and Tomas Nosek.

Chicago got goals from rookies Kirby Dach and Dominik Kubalik in the second. Mark Stone restored the lead for Vegas with 2:40 left in the period, then Dylan Strome got it right back for the Blackhawks 13.6 seconds before intermission.


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