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Just When You Thought The Tampa Bay Lightning Were Done

from Tom Gulitti of NHL.com,

The Tampa Bay Lightning could have come up with a lengthy list of reasons to become discouraged in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.

First was the goal they gave up to Brian Dumoulin with less than a second remaining in the first period. Then came another goal they allowed to Chris Kunitz with 49.6 seconds remaining in the second.

Throw in the Ryan Callahan shot that somehow stayed out instead of tying the game with 3:52 remaining in regulation, and the Lightning easily could have thought that it wasn't their night.

But if they were the kind to give up easily, they never would have gotten this far. So they kept plugging away and eventually were rewarded in a 4-3 overtime victory at Consol Energy Center that moved them within one win of returning to the Stanley Cup Final.

"I'm not surprised," Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman said after Tyler Johnson's goal 53 seconds into sudden death gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series. "I know what kind of team we have in here, the kind of resiliency we have. We showed it again [Sunday], being down two goals against a great team. We never gave up. We gave up two goals late in periods and we still found a way to battle back."

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

All Rene Fasel

from Paul Lysenko of SovSport (roughly translated),

Just about the relationship between the leagues. Meeting with NHL, why?

- Just a courtesy visit. In the last 22 years we have a good relationship with the NHL. No problem! Of course, it's a completely different world - the North American League with a huge budget. Sports there - the entertainment industry.

We are a little different. But the NHL has performed in the last five Olympics. In June, we will hold two rounds of talks with the league and the union about the trip NHL players in Pyeongchang and Beijing.

And we in the Old World must have a strong hockey. If there is fragmentation - KHL, Finns and Swedes, Central Europe, themselves Czechs and Slovaks - nothing good will come. Only the strong can compete with North America.

- The IOC does not want to give $ 10 million to fly NHL players and pay their insurance. For NHL is - a stumbling block. It is because of such a small amount goes wrong such an ambitious project?

- A little? - Laughs Fasel.

- This is one of Ovechkin salary per year.

- Try to take away the money Ovechkin. Let's see what he will tell you! - Jokes Kukushkin.

- $ 10 million general - a lot of money for the IIHF. Our annual budget - $ 45 million - says Fasel. - In the Olympic season it increases to $ 70 million in a typical year, we spend $ 21 million to organize tournaments among men and women of different ages.. You also need to include the state of the IIHF, to pay various expenses, invest in the development of hockey.

Personally we can not put a third of the budget to pay this amount. Of course, we are slightly disappointed by the decision of the IOC, which was previously paid insurance and relocation of NHL players. But they have a reason, and we must accept them. And my goal - in the negotiations to resolve this issue.

more (translated)

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  Tags: rene+fasel

If The Pittsburgh Penguins Fail To Make The Stanley Cup Final

from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

What was Crosby's excuse? What will be the reason Crosby couldn't get the Penguins back to the Cup Final this time?

If the Penguins don't rally to play for the Cup for the first time since winning it in 2009, somebody somewhere — in Pittsburgh, and if not, certainly in his native Canada — is going to absolve Crosby of responsibility for the loss.

Somebody always does.

The argument will probably be that Crosby scored winning goals in Games 2 and 3 against the Lightning.

Great. Awesome.

Where was he in Game 5? And what in the name of Bobby Orr was Letang doing most of Sunday night?

With fellow defenseman Trevor Daley out because of a broken ankle, Letang needed to match his MVP-level that he was providing most of these playoffs. He fell far below that high bar.

Perhaps the best skating defenseman in the NHL spent a lot of time standing around. When Letang didn't, he was lunging aimlessly and leaving Fleury exposed.

more

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Now What Pittsburgh?

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

Now for the toughest decision of the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ season.

Do you stick with Marc-Andre Fleury or turn the crease back over to 21-year-old Matt Murray with everything on the line?

There is no easy answer, no obvious answer. The danger in giving Fleury his first start in more than seven weeks on Sunday was that he might deliver an uneven performance that left the Penguins one loss away from a summer of regret.

That’s where they find themselves now after blowing 2-0 and 3-2 leads before Tyler Johnson had a shot go off his pants and in for the overtime winner.

Fleury was far from the only reason Pittsburgh fell behind the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in this Eastern Conference Final, but he did acknowledge feeling rusty. He stopped just 21 of 25 shots on net.

“It wasn’t the best I’ve felt in a game, but still though I’ve been practising a lot,” he said. “I should have been better, especially on that first goal (by Alex Killorn). That was stupid. Tough to lose.”

continued

Watch the game highlights below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Short Notes

JOHNSON SCORES EARLY OT-WINNER AS LIGHTNING TAKE 3-2 SERIES LEAD
Nikita Kucherov (2-1—3) tied the game with 3:16 remaining in regulation and Tyler Johnson (1-1—2) scored just 53 seconds into overtime to help the Lightning win Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final and take a 3-2 series lead.



* Per Elias, Johnson scored the fastest overtime goal in Lightning playoff history, 12 seconds faster than Brad Richards (1:05) in Game 3 of the 2004 Eastern Conference Semifinal at MTL.

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Video- Coach’s Corner Tonight

via Sportsnet,

Don Cherry and Ron MacLean discuss all the hot topics from around the NHL and 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Some of the topics- Pens first goal tonight, stick in the way, teams looked great, then boom and a few more topics.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Open Post- Game 5 Eastern Conference Final Pittsburgh/Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay @ Pittsburgh 8:00 PM ET NBCSN, CBC & TVAS

Series tied 2-2 and Marc-Andre Fleury starts in goal for the Penguins tonight.

Trevor Daley is out for the Penguins with a broken ankle while Ben Bishop and Steven Stamkos remain out for the Lightning.

Feel free to discuss the game.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Lack Of Experience And Quality Hurting Team USA

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

The United States hasn't won the senior world championships tournament since 1933. The Americans have been more competitive in recent years, but that's because they have had passionate players perform at their best.

The Americans would be more competitive if they had more veterans saying '‘yes" to invitations to play. With the way the youngsters played in Moscow, if USA would have had one veteran defenseman, a scorer and one of its accomplished goalies, it could have competed for a gold medal.

Some players have legitimate reasons for not playing, especially those with expiring contracts or those with injuries. But too many decline because the world championships isn’t as important to them as the Olympics or World Cup.

Maybe it would help if USA Hockey asked members of American hockey’s greatest generation to recruit players.  Chris Chelios, Bill Guerin, Mike Modano and Brian Leetch, among others, all had overwhelming pride in wearing a USA jersey.

But maybe the best chance USA Hockey has of receiving a higher participation rate from veteran will come from the pride the next generation of Americans seem to have.

more

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  Tags: team+usa

Canada Wins Gold At the World Championship

from Andrew Podnicks of IIHF.com,

Canada has now defended its title from last year successfully, and in doing so replicated its win the last time the World Championship was held in Moscow in 2007 when the nation defeated Finland.

Matt Duchene added an empty-netter with 0.9 seconds remaining.

Cam Talbot was perfect in the Canadian goal, although he had to stop only 16 shots for the shutout victory.

With the win, two Canadians made history. Captain Corey Perry becomes the 27th member of the Triple Gold Club and McDavid becomes the youngest player in history to win the U18 gold, U20 gold, and World Championship gold.

It was a tactical and strategic game that lacked the end-to-end action both teams displayed throughout the tournament, but Canada was intent on doing the things it failed to do in the round robin when the Finns won in convincing 4-0 fashion. 

Canada controlled much of the first period and came away with the only goal, but just barely. The play started and ended with 19-year-old McDavid. He coiled in his own zone and then spun up ice at a terrific pace, dropping the puck to Matt Duchene just inside the blue line.

continued

Below, watch the game winning goal from McDavid...

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Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada, team+finland

Keys To The Pivotal Game 5 In The Eastern Conference Finals Between Pittsburgh And Tampa Bay

from Tom Gulitti of NHL.com,

Here are 5 keys for Game 5:

MURRAY TO FLEURY

Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury will make his first start since he sustained a concussion on March 31 against the Nashville Predators. He has been medically cleared since May 2 and has been dressing as rookie Matt Murray's backup, but his only game action was a seven-save outing in the third period of a 4-3 loss in Game 4 on Friday.

After resisting the temptation earlier in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, coach Mike Sullivan is turning to the 31-year-old Sorel, Quebec native at a pivotal juncture in the series. All eyes will be on Fleury to see if he has any rust from his long layoff....

REPLACING DALEY

The loss of Trevor Daley to a broken ankle is a significant one for the Penguins. The 32-year-old defenseman's puck-moving skill and skating ability are integral parts of the Penguins' transition game and he ranks second on the team in averaging 22:08 in ice time per game.

Olli Maatta is likely to get the call in Daley's place. A healthy scratch the past three games, Maatta, 21, needs to elevate his play after struggling in Game 1 of this series, and at times in the first two rounds against the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals.

"It doesn't matter what day it is, you have to be ready to play the next game," Maatta said. "You never know what's going to happen. You've just got to make sure you're ready."

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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