Sens beat Pens in triple OT, Sharks shutout Avs

It was the game that wouldn’t end. It just went on and on my friend.

Good, now that I’ve got that in your head for the foreseeable future (you’re welcome, by the way) we can tell you that the game-winning goal in the Game 5 tilt between Ottawa and Pittsburgh was scored by someone that just about no one had in their overtime scoring pool.

Yes, that was defenseman Matt Carkner with the game-winning goal and yes, that was the world’s most infamous Penguin Matt Cooke who the shot deflected off of past Marc-Andre Fleury to give Ottawa the win in Game 5. For the Sens, they live to fight another day and they’ve got a little bit of mojo working their way after not backing down in the third period when Sidney Crosby scored to make it 3-2. Peter Regin came right back for the Senators and continued his stellar postseason play tying the game up at 3-3. Pascal Leclaire stopped 56 shots to earn the victory. The series heads back to Ottawa for Game 6 on Saturday night.

Meanwhile in San Jose, the youth lead the charge and Evgeni Nabokov kept the Colorado Avalanche at bay in a 5-0 shutout victory to give the Sharks a 3-2 series lead. Rookie Logan Couture scored twice and fellow rookie Dwight Helminen added another goal as the Sharks rolled over the Avs and chased the playoffs hottest netminder Craig Anderson in the process. Patrick Marleau scored his first goal of the playoffs and Joe Pavelski added his third of the playoffs in the rout.  Nabokov stopped 28 shots in the shutout. Game 6 will be Saturday night in Denver.

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    Auston Matthews keeps goal streak alive, gives Leafs 1-0 lead in third

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    These are the moments Toronto Maple Leafs fans were dreaming about when they drafted Auston Matthews. At least those bold enough to picture such great things, so soon in his career.

    Speaking of so soon … that’s not how you’d describe a 1-0 goal happening in the third period of a game in this Leafs – Washington Capitals series, but it took that long to break the ice in Game 6.

    It took a very lucky bounce for the puck to find its way to Matthews … but the finish was pure skill. With that, the remarkable rookie now has a goal in four straight games (with an assist thrown in for good measure).

    The lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Marcus Johansson scored to tie it 1-1.

    Things could get awfully nervous for Toronto as they try to force a decisive Game 7 in Washington, but that was a huge goal by Matthews either way.

    Clarke MacArthur, Craig Anderson made Sens win that much more emotional

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    It could have been over for Clarke MacArthur plenty of times during his turbulent NHL career. Scratch that, his turbulent hockey career.

    His team walked away from his salary arbitration award. MacArthur’s seen plenty of people give up on him. And then, when he finally found a home with the Ottawa Senators, concussion issues threatened to end his playing days.

    Yet, there he was on Sunday … drawing a penalty in overtime and then scoring on the ensuing power play to help the Senators advance beyond the Boston Bruins.

    He didn’t deny that he imagined very different possibilities during his darker moments.

    And, as uplifting as his story was – seriously, just watch this interview and try not to root for the guy – it wasn’t the only emotionally charged moment from Game 6.

    Nicholle Anderson was on hand to cheer on Craig Anderson in this one, and the two were able to embrace after the contest:

    As violent and intense as the playoffs can often be, MacArthur and Anderson reminded us of the gentler human side of it all.

    Erik Karlsson played through hairline fractures in foot to help Sens advance

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    Remember when many were keeping an eye on Erik Karlsson after he was seemingly cramping up after logging more than 40 minutes in an OT contest against the Boston Bruins?

    It’s possible he was also dealing with that sort of ailment, but he earned some “hockey tough” kudos on Sunday after word surfaced that the Ottawa Senators defenseman was dealing with hairline fractures in his left heel through the series.

    Sportsnet’s Jason York refers to the issue as “two small fractures” while ESPN’s Joe McDonald went into specifics, noting that Karlsson explains that the injury happened on March 28 (and was why he missed some games late in the season).

    There’s some optimism as the Senators ready for the New York Rangers, at least according to Karlsson.

    Hmm.

    Either way, that’s impressive stuff from the Senators defenseman, and the sort of information that usually only surfaces after a team has been eliminated. We’ll see if he’s hindered by such issues as the playoffs go along.

    Gaudreau, Granlund and Tarasenko: 2017 Lady Byng finalists

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    The NHL officially announced the nominees for the 2017 Lady Byng on Sunday, and they’re a star-studded bunch: Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Granlund and Vladimir Tarasenko.

    The PHWA determines “the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

    (Did Tarasenko help eliminate Granlund’s team in a gentlemanly fashion?)

    For more on the three finalists, click here.