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Defending champ Golden Knights to face top-seeded Stars in playoffs after 4-1 loss to Ducks

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Defending champ Golden Knights to face top-seeded Stars in playoffs after 4-1 loss to Ducks
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Defending champ Golden Knights to face top-seeded Stars in playoffs after 4-1 loss to Ducks

2024-04-19 14:03 Last Updated At:14:10

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Frank Vatrano scored three goals and the Anaheim Ducks finished their season on a high note, defeating the playoff-bound Vegas Golden Knights 4-1 Thursday night.

Vegas' three-game winning streak ended and the loss knocked the Golden Knights out of third place in the Pacific Division and into the second Western Conference wild card when Los Angeles earned a point by getting to overtime against Chicago. The defending Stanley Cup champions will face top seed Dallas in the first round beginning Monday night, while the Kings play Edmonton.

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The Vegas Golden Knights celebrate a goal by Jack Eichel, center, against the Anaheim Ducks during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Frank Vatrano scored three goals and the Anaheim Ducks finished their season on a high note, defeating the playoff-bound Vegas Golden Knights 4-1 Thursday night.

Anaheim Ducks right wing Cutter Gauthier waits for play to resume during the third period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Anaheim Ducks right wing Cutter Gauthier waits for play to resume during the third period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Anaheim Ducks right wing Frank Vatrano (77) celebrates a goal against the Vegas Golden Knights with teammates Trevor Zegras (11) and Ryan Strome (16) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Anaheim Ducks right wing Frank Vatrano (77) celebrates a goal against the Vegas Golden Knights with teammates Trevor Zegras (11) and Ryan Strome (16) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Vegas Golden Knights center Tomas Hertl (48) dives for the puck next to Anaheim Ducks right wing Cutter Gauthier (61) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Vegas Golden Knights center Tomas Hertl (48) dives for the puck next to Anaheim Ducks right wing Cutter Gauthier (61) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore (27) and Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras (11) vie for the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore (27) and Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras (11) vie for the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Chicago Blackhawks center Frank Nazar (91) attempts to steal the puck from Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez (23) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, April 16, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Ian Maule)

Chicago Blackhawks center Frank Nazar (91) attempts to steal the puck from Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez (23) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, April 16, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Ian Maule)

Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras (11) skates with the puck between Vegas Golden Knights center Tomas Hertl (48), left wing Pavel Dorofeyev (16) and center Ivan Barbashev (49) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras (11) skates with the puck between Vegas Golden Knights center Tomas Hertl (48), left wing Pavel Dorofeyev (16) and center Ivan Barbashev (49) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Anaheim Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg (33) shoots the puck against the Vegas Golden Knights during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Anaheim Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg (33) shoots the puck against the Vegas Golden Knights during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

“Every team that's left standing is a good hockey team,” said Jack Eichel, who scored the lone Knights goal. “There's no easy path to winning. We understand every game's going to be a battle. I think we should be pretty excited. It's a great opportunity for our team.”

Vatrano’s goals gave him 37 for the season, a career high. It was his third hat trick this season and the sixth of his career.

Jackson LaCombe had a goal and an assist for the Ducks, who finished 27-50-5 for 59 points. Ryan Strome had two assists and Lukas Dostal made 29 saves.

Cutter Gauthier had an assist in his first career game. Just five days earlier, he was playing in the NCAA championship game at the Frozen Four for Boston College.

“It feels incredible,” Gauthier said of his primary assist on LaCombe's goal. “I heard Comber calling for it there and I passed it to him. I saw it trickle in there and just very excited, pure joy. It's something you dream of as a kid.”

Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg, who played his final NHL game after 12 seasons in the league, was congratulated by his teammates and then shook hands with Golden Knights players after the game. Eleven of his seasons came in Anaheim, where he ranks in the top 10 of several categories.

“I enjoyed my time here a lot, not just me but my family,” Silfverberg said. “It's been 11 amazing years. It's definitely a team I'll be rooting for and I'll follow them closely.”

Eichel's goal was his 31st, his most since scoring 36 in the 2019-20 season for Buffalo. Adin Hill made 19 stops.

William Karlsson's second-period assist for Vegas gave him 60 points this season, the second time he's reached the mark. He had 78 points in the 2017-18 season.

Karlsson remains the club's single-season goals leader at 43, with Jonathan Marchessault coming one short despite 13 shots against the Ducks, including seven on goal. Marchessault scored only one goal in his final seven games.

The Knights made a concerted effort to get Marchessault the record, sometimes feeding him the puck when there were better options. He had nine shots in the first period alone, four on goal to match the Ducks’ first-period total. Four other shots were blocked and one missed the net.

Anaheim didn’t take its first shot on goal until the 10-minute mark.

“We were asleep in the first 10, 12 minutes,” Ducks coach Greg Cronin said. “We didn’t have our legs. They weren’t moving their feet. They weren’t moving the puck. Vegas was. We were very fortunate we weren’t down 2-0 in the first 10 minutes.”

After a scoreless first period, Vatrano scored at 4:25 of the second and Eichel at 18:47. That was Vegas' ninth power-play goal this month, tying Calgary for most in the NHL.

LaCombe and Vatrano scored 29 seconds apart early in the third period to give Anaheim the lead for good. Vatrano's final goal came with 15 seconds left on an empty-netter with the Knights on a 6-on-4 power play.

Ducks defenseman William Lagesson skated in his 100th career game.

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL

The Vegas Golden Knights celebrate a goal by Jack Eichel, center, against the Anaheim Ducks during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

The Vegas Golden Knights celebrate a goal by Jack Eichel, center, against the Anaheim Ducks during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Anaheim Ducks right wing Cutter Gauthier waits for play to resume during the third period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Anaheim Ducks right wing Cutter Gauthier waits for play to resume during the third period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Anaheim Ducks right wing Frank Vatrano (77) celebrates a goal against the Vegas Golden Knights with teammates Trevor Zegras (11) and Ryan Strome (16) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Anaheim Ducks right wing Frank Vatrano (77) celebrates a goal against the Vegas Golden Knights with teammates Trevor Zegras (11) and Ryan Strome (16) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Vegas Golden Knights center Tomas Hertl (48) dives for the puck next to Anaheim Ducks right wing Cutter Gauthier (61) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Vegas Golden Knights center Tomas Hertl (48) dives for the puck next to Anaheim Ducks right wing Cutter Gauthier (61) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore (27) and Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras (11) vie for the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore (27) and Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras (11) vie for the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Chicago Blackhawks center Frank Nazar (91) attempts to steal the puck from Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez (23) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, April 16, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Ian Maule)

Chicago Blackhawks center Frank Nazar (91) attempts to steal the puck from Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez (23) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, April 16, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Ian Maule)

Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras (11) skates with the puck between Vegas Golden Knights center Tomas Hertl (48), left wing Pavel Dorofeyev (16) and center Ivan Barbashev (49) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras (11) skates with the puck between Vegas Golden Knights center Tomas Hertl (48), left wing Pavel Dorofeyev (16) and center Ivan Barbashev (49) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Anaheim Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg (33) shoots the puck against the Vegas Golden Knights during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Anaheim Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg (33) shoots the puck against the Vegas Golden Knights during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

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Climbing limits are being set on Mount Fuji to fight crowds and littering

2024-05-21 14:41 Last Updated At:14:50

TOKYO (AP) — Those who want to climb one of the most popular trails on Japan's iconic Mount Fuji will have to book a slot and pay a fee as crowds, littering and climbers who try to rush too fast to the summit cause safety and conservation concerns at the picturesque stratovolcano.

The new rules for the climbing season, starting July 1 to Sept. 10, apply for those hiking the Yoshida Trail on the Yamanashi side of the 3,776 meter- (nearly 12,300 feet-) high mountain that was designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 2013.

Only 4,000 climbers will be allowed to enter the trail per day for a hiking fee of 2,000 yen (about $18). Of those slots, 3,000 will be available for online booking and the remaining 1,000 can be booked in person on the day of the climb, Yamanashi prefecture said in a statement via the Foreign Press Center of Japan on Monday. Hikers also have an option of donating an additional 1,000 yen (about $9) for conservation.

Climbers can book their slots via the Mount Fuji Climbing website, which is jointly run by the Environment Ministry and the mountain's two home prefectures, Yamanashi and Shizuoka.

Mount Fuji is divided into 10 stations, and there are four “5th stations” halfway up the mountain from where the Yoshida, Fujinomiya, Subashiri, and Gotemba trails start to the top.

Under the new system, climbers must choose between a day hike or an overnight stay at the several available huts along the trail. The day of their climb, they are given a QR code to be scanned at the 5th station. Those who have not booked an overnight hut will be sent back down and not allowed to climb between 4 p.m. and 3 a.m., mainly to stop “bullet climbing,” or rushing to the summit without adequate rest, which authorities are worried puts lives at risk.

A symbol of Japan, the mountain called “Fujisan” used to be a place of pilgrimage. Today, it especially attracts hikers who climb to the summit to see the sunrise. But the tons of trash that's left behind, including plastic bottles, food and even clothes, have become a major concern.

In a statement, Yamanashi Gov. Kotaro Nagasaki thanked people for their understanding and cooperation in helping conserve Mount Fuji.

Shizuoka prefecture, southwest of Mount Fuji, where climbers can also access the mountain, has sought a voluntary 1,000-yen ($6.40) fee per climber since 2014 and is considering additional ways to balance tourism and environmental protection.

The number of Mount Fuji climbers during the season in 2023 totaled 221,322, according to the Environment Ministry. That is close to the pre-pandemic level and officials expect more visitors this year.

Just a few weeks ago, a town in Shizuoka began setting up a huge black screen on a sidewalk to block a view of Mount Fuji because tourists were crowding into the area to take photos with the mountain as a backdrop to a convenience store, a social media phenomenon known as “Mount Fuji Lawson” that has disrupted business, traffic and local life.

Overtourism has also become a growing issue at other popular tourist destinations such as Kyoto and Kamakura as foreign visitors have flocked to Japan in droves since the coronavirus pandemic restrictions were lifted, in part due to the weaker yen.

Last year, Japan had more than 25 million visitors, and the figures in 2024 are expected to surpass nearly 32 million, a record from 2019, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

Workers set up a huge black screen on a stretch of sidewalk at Fujikawaguchiko town, Yamanashi prefecture, central Japan Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Just a few weeks ago, the town began setting up a huge black screen to block a view of Mount Fuji because tourists were crowding into the area to take photos with the mountain as a backdrop to a convenience store, a social media phenomenon known as “Mount Fuji Lawson” that has disrupted business, traffic and local life. (Kyodo News via AP)

Workers set up a huge black screen on a stretch of sidewalk at Fujikawaguchiko town, Yamanashi prefecture, central Japan Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Just a few weeks ago, the town began setting up a huge black screen to block a view of Mount Fuji because tourists were crowding into the area to take photos with the mountain as a backdrop to a convenience store, a social media phenomenon known as “Mount Fuji Lawson” that has disrupted business, traffic and local life. (Kyodo News via AP)

FILE - The shadow of Mount Fuji is casted on clouds hanging below the summit, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, in Japan. Those who want to climb one of the most popular trails of the iconic Japanese Mount Fuji will now have to reserve ahead and pay a fee as the picturesque stratovolcano struggles with overtourism, littering and those who attempt rushed “bullet climbing,” putting lives at risk. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

FILE - The shadow of Mount Fuji is casted on clouds hanging below the summit, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, in Japan. Those who want to climb one of the most popular trails of the iconic Japanese Mount Fuji will now have to reserve ahead and pay a fee as the picturesque stratovolcano struggles with overtourism, littering and those who attempt rushed “bullet climbing,” putting lives at risk. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

FILE -A group of hikers climb to the top of Mount Fuji just before sunrise as clouds hang below the summit Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, in Japan. Those who want to climb one of the most popular trails of the iconic Japanese Mount Fuji will now have to reserve ahead and pay a fee as the picturesque stratovolcano struggles with overtourism, littering and those who attempt rushed “bullet climbing,” putting lives at risk.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

FILE -A group of hikers climb to the top of Mount Fuji just before sunrise as clouds hang below the summit Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, in Japan. Those who want to climb one of the most popular trails of the iconic Japanese Mount Fuji will now have to reserve ahead and pay a fee as the picturesque stratovolcano struggles with overtourism, littering and those who attempt rushed “bullet climbing,” putting lives at risk.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2010 file photo, snow-covered Mount Fuji, Japan's highest peak at 3,776-meters tall (12,385 feet), is seen from an airplane window. Those who want to climb one of the most popular trails of the iconic Japanese Mount Fuji will now have to reserve ahead and pay a fee as the picturesque stratovolcano struggles with overtourism, littering and those who attempt rushed “bullet climbing,” putting lives at risk. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye, File)

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2010 file photo, snow-covered Mount Fuji, Japan's highest peak at 3,776-meters tall (12,385 feet), is seen from an airplane window. Those who want to climb one of the most popular trails of the iconic Japanese Mount Fuji will now have to reserve ahead and pay a fee as the picturesque stratovolcano struggles with overtourism, littering and those who attempt rushed “bullet climbing,” putting lives at risk. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye, File)

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