Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times,
Flu. Blood clots. Freak leg injuries. Team trainer Tommy Mulligan is working so hard he might get a few Conn Smythe votes.
One star returns, another goes down. Defenseman Anton Stralman was back, playing for the first time since fracturing his leg on March 25. But Callahan was out, joining goalie Ben Bishop and captain Steven Stamkos on the sideline.
Yet the Lightning forged ahead. Another obstacle. Another hurdle. Another ready-made and completely valid excuse if it wanted.
Think about that for a second. Its best goalie, its best goal scorer and its best and grittiest two-way player all out of the lineup.
But no bellyaching from the boys in blue and white with the Lighting bolt on the chest. Instead, it rolled up its sleeves and went back to work with whoever wasn't sick or hurt.
Eventually, however, all of it catches up to you. Some nights, the obstacles are just too much. Some nights, the hurdles are just too high.
Monday was that night. A golden opportunity to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. A golden opportunity lost.
It took overtime, but the Lightning lost. Pens star Sidney Crosby scored the winner 40 seconds into overtime. Now the Lightning comes home tied at 1-1. Not bad, but oh what could have been.
from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
The voice was familiar - loud enough to overcome the nervous buzz of 18,534 nail-biting souls, but not startling.
Bryan Rust hopped over the boards and jetted across the blue line with a perfectly placed Brian Dumoulin pass when he heard it.
“I didn’t think ‘Rusty’ saw me,” Sidney Crosby said. “I just kind of let him know I was there.”
No thought required. It was the easiest, if not the biggest, assist of Rust’s career.
The puck slid to Crosby on the freshly shaved overtime ice smoother than a new stick of deodorant.
“When one of the best players in the world is wide open,” Rust explained, “you definitely look for him.”
Crosby dropped to one knee to put the maximum amount of muscle on the disc, which was still bouncing after it dropped from the shelf behind Andrei Vasilevskiy. Neither Vasilevskiy, nor a frozen Victor Hedman had a prayer to stop it.
In a highlight-reel lens, it was a vintage Crosby image.
Watch the goal below...
It will take you a little less than three minutes to watch the highlights of the Pens 3-2 OT win over the Lightning.
Penguins win 3-2, on to Tampa for game 3 on Wednesday.
Tampa Bay @ Pittsburgh 8:00 PM ET NBCSN, CBC & TVAS
Penguins certainly do not want to head to Tampa for game 3 down 2-0. Expect a Pittsburgh win tonight.
Feel free to discuss the game as it plays out.
Let's see, Tony Kornheiser wanted Ryan Callahan suspended for at least a game, then Michael Wilbon compares Kris Letang to Bill Laimbeer, saying Letang has "history".
I think ESPN has an hourly quota on NBA mentions.
STAMFORD, Conn. – May 16, 2016 – NBCSN’s Game 1 presentations of the Western Conference Final last night and the Eastern Conference Final on Friday night, featuring the San Jose Sharks vs. St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, delivered the second- and third-best Conference Final Game 1 overnight ratings ever on NBCSN, according to the Nielsen Company. NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Conference Finals continues tonight at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, with Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final between the Lightning and Penguins.
“There’s still a chance that I can play in this series and there’s still a chance that I may not be able to play in the rest of the playoffs, that’s honestly the truth. It’s tough for me to feel so physically close, but like I said before, whether it’s Game 3 or 4 or 5 (he plays) or coming to the reality that it’s not in the best interest of my long-term health to play in the playoffs, those are the questions that we’re getting closer and closer to getting answered every day.
“We’re doing our due diligence with regards to making sure we’re seeing the right medical personnel and opinions that we can and going forward from there.”
-Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Chris Johnston of Sportsnet has more.
from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Penguins centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are two of the most celebrated, accomplished and well-compensated hockey players on the planet.
When either slips into an extended goal-scoring slump, people notice.
Especially if they do it at the same time.
And during the Stanley Cup playoffs....
But while those two are the most prominent Penguins forwards who have had trouble scoring lately, they hardly are the only ones.
The offensive depth and balance that contributed so much to the Penguins’ success in the stretch drive and early part of these playoffs — no fewer than 10 forwards scored at least one goal in Round 1 against the New York Rangers — has, to some extent, disappeared up in recent weeks.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The Tampa Bay Lightning captain skated in a normal practice sweater at Consol Energy Center on Sunday afternoon and said afterwards that he had started experimenting with a medication that he could continue to take while playing.
While he’s not expected to suit up for Game 2 against Pittsburgh on Monday night, these appear to be positive steps toward an eventual return.
Stamkos had surgery for a blood clot near his right collarbone area on April 4 and has remained on blood thinners ever since. It had originally been thought he need to be completely clear of those in order to play, but the Lightning are working on another solution.
“There’s different ways around it when it comes to that,” Stamkos told Sportsnet and the Toronto Sun on Sunday. “There’s different options that we’ve explored. There’s injectable blood-thinning medication that I’m on right now.
“There have been guys that have played in this league who are on it.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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