Crosby shines, Halak pulled in Penguins' 6-3 win

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Crosby6.jpgIt was all about quality over quantity tonight in Pittsburgh, as
Sidney Crosby and the Penguins made quick work of the Montreal
Canadiens en route to a big 6-3 win. After Jaroslav Halak put together a magical three game run to
take out the first-place Capitals, he looked entirely human and a bit
out of sorts tonight as the Penguins took a 1-0 series lead.

What the Washington Capitals could never do
against the Habs, the Penguins were able to do in dominating fashion;
after killing 32 of 33 penalties against the Capitals the Habs gave up
four power play goals to the Penguins, including three straight with
the man advantage after the Canadiens were able to take an early 1-0
lead.

Sidney Crosby, while not putting up tremendous numbers, had
another lunchpail game as he made big hits, played great defensively
and did all the little things needed to keep the puck alive on several
occasions. It was his brilliant cross-crease pass that put the dagger
into the hearts of the Canadiens tonight, as he fed Alex Goligoski for
an easy tap-in goal that gave the Penguins a 5-3 win.

Tonight
though, even with Crosby’s inspired play, the story will once again be
centered around Jaroslav Halak. Two days ago it was based on Halak’s
tremendous play against the Capitals and tonight it will once again be
about his inconsistency. Halak allowed five goals on 20 shots and did
nothing that resembled the confident and motivated goaltender that ended
the Capitals’ season. While Washington used a blitzkrieg approach to
their offense, peppering the net with shot after shot, the Penguins took
a more patient approach. Pittsburgh would use just the slightest of
hesitations in their puck movement to throw off the defense and penalty
killing of the Canadiens.

He appeared to be fatigued and just not mentally into the game,
and was barely able to make much of an effort on the fifth goal by the
Penguins. He was eventually pulled, although I’m guessing the move was
more about giving him some rest than it was about benching him in favor
of Carey Price.

While some surprises are always expected, I’m
guessing we’ll see Halak back in net once again for Game 2.

Colin White makes Senators playoff debut, Penguins lineup the same

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The Stanley Cup Playoffs often feel like a battle of attrition, which only makes the introduction of fresh faces that much more compelling.

Try this on for size: with their playoff lives on the line, the Ottawa Senators will see the playoff debut of 2015 first-rounder* Colin White against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. It’s also just his third game at the NHL level, overall.

After rolling with seven defensemen in Game 5, Guy Boucher is opting for a traditional alignment of 12 forwards and six defensemen.

White has that high-level pedigree and possibly fresh legs – even just relatively speaking – so it’s not out of the question for the 20-year-old center to make an impact.

Check out the full roster report here (note: Pittsburgh’s going with the same group as Game 5). Scott Wilson is good to go for the Penguins.

* – 21st overall.

Boucher on Senators’ resiliency: ‘We’ve always chosen to fight’

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It’s almost always intriguing to see how a team responds to a tough playoff loss, but that fascination spikes even more if said team fell by an especially lopsided score.

We’ve seen the Pittsburgh Penguins respond to some blowouts with big wins, but now the shoe is on the other foot; how will the Ottawa Senators rebound from the 7-0 shellacking they suffered in Game 5?

Well, if you ask Guy Boucher, they’ve developed a track record that shows they’re willing to fight with their backs against the wall.

Great stuff, right? It’s honestly too bad that Boucher’s defensive system isn’t always as entertaining as his quotes.

Speaking of how Game 5 feeds into tonight’s Game 6, the video above this post’s headline discusses how Ottawa’s goaltenders might be feeling heading into Tuesday.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE COVERAGE FOR GAME 6

WATCH LIVE: Pittsburgh Penguins at Ottawa Senators – Game 6

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Last night, the Nashville Predators demoralized the Ducks and advanced to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final. Will we learn their opponent tonight or on Thursday?

That’s up to how the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators perform in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Will Sidney Crosby and the Penguins follow that 7-0 rout with a close-out performance, or will Erik Karlsson and the Senators avenge that embarrassing loss to send this series to a decisive Game 7?

Find out on NBCSN at tonight. You can also watch the game online and via the NBC Sports App.

Here’s what you need to know:

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators (Pens lead 3-2)

Time: 8:00 p.m. ET

Network: NBCSN (Stream online here)

Check out the highlights from Pittsburgh’s 7-0 win in Game 5

Related:

Pens redefining defense by committee

Four things the Pens need to do to eliminate the Sens

Swedish League champ sees another sign in NHL

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It’s an offseason of change for SHL champion HV71.

In the days following the league title, HV71 saw No. 1 goalie Linus Soderstrom sign his ELC with the Isles and d-man Andreas Borgman — the league’s rookie of the year — ink with the Leafs.

Earlier today, HV71 winger Filip Sandberg signed a two-year deal with San Jose. Shortly after that, Columbus announced it inked Sandberg’s running mate up front, Kevin Stenlund, to a three-year, entry-level deal.

Stenlund, 20, was the Blue Jackets’ second-round pick (58th overall) at the 2015 draft. He’s coming off a good year, setting career highs in goals, assists, points and games played during the regular season, then adding 10 points in 16 playoff appearances.

And he might have a chance to build on that campaign.

Per the Dispatch, the Blue Jackets expect Stenlund to play next year in Sweden, rather than try to make the move overseas. It’s possible the Isles could make the same decision with Soderstrom — meaning it’s not all bad for HV71.