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What rust? Lightning ride early lead past Islanders in Game 1

Sports / Hockey /

The Lightning had six days to sit around between games. The Islanders only had one, and it was a travel day. Coach Jon Cooper said he was more concerned with rest than rust and the Lightning backed him up.

Brayden Point scored the game's first goal 74 seconds in Monday night. Then Victor Hedman and Ryan McDonagh added two more just 2:34 apart, ...Read more

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Sam Carchidi: Flyers take positive steps, but more are needed

Sports / Hockey /

My 85-year-old mother-in-law is only a casual hockey fan, but she gave a fairly succinct analysis of the Flyers' 4-0 loss Saturday night to the New York Islanders in a Game 7 that never felt like one.

"It seemed," she said on Sunday morning, "that the Islanders had more players on the ice than the Flyers."

Yes it did.

Credit the Islanders' ...Read more

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Why it's a good thing Vasilevskiy hasn't been spectacular for Lightning

Sports / Hockey /

Andrei Vasilevskiy stood in locker room A at Amalie Arena last April and used a word his teammates hadn't: the singular first-person pronoun, "I."

Just about everyone on the Lightning said some version of "we needed to be better" after they were swept by Columbus in the first round of the playoffs.

"I have to do better," Vasilevskiy said three...Read more

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Helene Elliott: How John Blue blazed a trail for Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko

Sports / Hockey /

LOS ANGELES - Before San Diego native Thatcher Demko was promoted from his backup job to become the Vancouver Canucks' starting goaltender last Tuesday, only one goalie born in California had ever played in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Demko, who began his ascent with the San Diego Junior Gulls and Junior Kings, earned many new fans by coolly ...Read more

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Flyers run out of magic as they fall to Islanders, 4-0, and their season ends in Game 7

Sports / Hockey /

A longer-than-usual season that started in Europe, featured vast improvement from last year and their first playoff-series victory since 2012 ended for the gallant Flyers on Saturday night.

It ended just like the last 44 seasons.

Without a Stanley Cup.

The Flyers dropped a 4-0 decision to the relentless New York Islanders at Toronto's ...Read more

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John Romano: Lightning had harsh lessons along the way to the conference final

Sports / Hockey /

There is no switch to be flipped, and no script to be followed.

A hockey team does not simply change its identity from dazzling one day, to gritty the next. The transformation is more organic and gradual, with plenty of small signposts along the way.

Like, for instance, the day the Lightning told Nikita Kucherov to sit his butt down.

It seems...Read more

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Flyers and Islanders will put it all on the line in Game 7

Sports / Hockey /

The Flyers were playing without their best all-around player, Sean Couturier, and at one point Thursday in this more-fascinating-by-the-minute series against the New York Islanders, they were getting outshot by a mind-boggling 50-20.

Somehow, they survived, outlasting the Islanders in double overtime, 5-4, to force a Game 7 Saturday night in ...Read more

Joe Starkey: Penguins' coaching moves raise some questions

Sports / Hockey /

PITTSBURGH - If "ugly" was the word to describe the Penguins' recent coaching purge, then maybe "nice" is the word for the reformation.

First of all, new/old assistant coach Todd Reirden is a nice man. Maybe too nice, if you heard him insist Wednesday that Jack Johnson is a "nice third-pairing D-man."

I'm all for nice. As the great Frank Burns...Read more

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Flyers force Game 7 as Ivan Provorov's goal results in a 5-4 double OT win over Islanders

Sports / Hockey /

Hold the Flyers' obituary.

The return of Oskar Lindblom, cancer survivor, was the inspiration.

The early goals by Kevin Hayes and James van Riemsdyk pointed them in the right direction.

The late-game heroics by Carter Hart, Scott Laughton and Ivan Provorov finished the improbable rally.

Put it all together, and it produced another victory ...Read more

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Flyers stay alive, outlast Islanders, 4-3, on Scott Laughton's overtime goal

Sports / Hockey /

Flyers coach Alain Vigneault challenged Claude Giroux and James van Riemsdyk on Tuesday afternoon, saying it was "their turn to put the big-boy pants on."

The struggling veteran forwards responded.

So did Scott Laughton, who scored in overtime to give the Flyers a pulsating 4-3 win over the New York Islanders and put their obituary on hold ...Read more

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The Lightning are heading to the Edmonton bubble. They just don't know when.

Sports / Hockey /

The Lightning have been in the Toronto bubble for more than five weeks - 38 days to be exact - and it's time for them to leave.

No, they have not been eliminated. The NHL planned to have two bubbles from the start of the postseason through the conference semifinals, then consolidate in Edmonton. The Lightning have secured their spot in the ...Read more

Penguins' Sidney Crosby undergoes wrist surgery

Sports / Hockey /

PITTSBURGH - Penguins captain Sidney Crosby underwent successful wrist surgery, the club announced on Tuesday.

The arthroscopic wrist debridement surgery, which was performed on Monday, is a procedure in which doctors use a camera to navigate through a small incision. Often it is used to remove debris and irritants in the joints to reduce pain ...Read more

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Lightning advance to Eastern Conference finals after double overtime win over Bruins

Sports / Hockey /

For the fourth time in six seasons, the Lightning will advance to the Eastern Conference finals after defeating the Bruins 3-2 in Game 5 on Monday night. Tampa Bay also is the first team to advance to the conference finals in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs.

The first period went scoreless after the Lightning couldn't convert on a four-minute ...Read more

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Lightning advance to Eastern Conference finals after double overtime win over Bruins

Sports / Hockey /

For the fourth time in six seasons, the Lightning will advance to the Eastern Conference finals after defeating the Bruins 3-2 in Game 5 on Monday night. Tampa Bay also is the first team to advance to the conference finals in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs.

The first period went scoreless after the Lightning couldn't convert on a four-minute ...Read more

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Brock Nelson's two goals help Isles put Flyers on brink of elimination

Sports / Hockey /

In his team's most important game of the season, Flyers coach Alain Vigneault rolled the dice Sunday night by giving backup goalie Brian Elliott his first start since Aug. 6.

The gamble, as it turned out, didn't have as much to do with the result as the Flyers' inability to produce goals.

Again.

Brock Nelson scored a pair of goals as the New ...Read more

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Ondrej Palat finds his scoring touch as Lightning beat Bruins in Game 4

Sports / Hockey /

Ondrej Palat has found his scoring touch.

It took the Lightning winger six games to score his first playoff goal. Since then, he has four in the last three games, including two in Saturday's Game 4 win over the Bruins.

Palat scored the first two goals of a 3-1 win, which put the Lightning in position to close out their Eastern Conference ...Read more

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NHL players take varied views on sitting out games for racial justice: 'To say what's right or wrong, it's hard to say'

Sports / Hockey /

CHICAGO - The Hockey Diversity Alliance called on the NHL to follow the example of other sports leagues and suspend its playoff games Thursday to protest the Kenosha, Wis., police shooting of Jacob Blake.

A few hours later, the NHL postponed two days of playoff games.

The NBA's Milwaukee Bucks initiated a wave of protests throughout sports ...Read more

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NHL postpones Stanley Cup playoff games for Thursday and Friday

Sports / Hockey /

The NHL postponed two Stanley Cup playoff games that were scheduled on Thursday and two others scheduled for Friday, a decision made after league officials drew wide criticism for their initial mild reaction to percolating social justice issues that have shaken up the sports world. Those issues, brought back to the forefront by the shooting of ...Read more

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NHL cancels Thursday playoff games after 'incredibly insulting' decision to play in wake of NBA strike

Sports / Hockey /

The NHL was the only American league that plowed ahead full speed on Wednesday after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play in the NBA playoffs. Belatedly, the league has decided to suspend play after the Hockey Diversity Alliance, a group of players, asked for it.

"It's incredibly insulting as a Black man in hockey the lack of action and ...Read more

Jeff Gordon: Blues have what it takes to rebound, take another run at Cup

Sports / Hockey /

Like 17 of the previous 18 Stanley Cup winners, the Blues failed to repeat as champions.

So they move on to their next challenge: reaffirming their winning culture so they can bid for another Cup while enough key core players remain.

History tells us that is difficult, especially in the NHL's salary cap era. The economic damage wrought by the ...Read more