Flyers force a Game 7 with 2-1 win

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After playing a mostly heartless Game 5, the Boston Bruins had yet another chance to right the ship and finish off the now reinvigorated Philadelphia Flyers in Game 6 in Philadelphia. What they’d do, instead, was be met by a fresh and very game Flyers goaltender in Michael Leighton. Leighton shut down the Bruins and lead the way for a Flyers 2-1 victory to force a Game 7 on Friday night.

Mike Richards got Philly on the board in the first and Daniel Briere scored on the power play in the second to give the Flyers a lead they would not relinquish on the back of incredibly play by Michael Leighton. Leighton made 30 saves and lost his shutout bid with a minute to play in the game thanks to an extra-attacker goal by Milan Lucic. Boston would continue to threaten late but was unable to tie the game. Tuukka Rask made 25 saves in the loss.

For Boston, it marks a major failure to close out a series and now they’re faced with an “anything goes” kind of situation in Game 7. Only two teams in the NHL have ever come back after being down 3-0 in a series to win it: The 1975 New York Islanders in the quarterfinals against Pittsburgh and the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs against the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Boston fans know all too well about the last team to come back from an 0-3 hole to win, the 2004 Red Sox did it in the American League Championship Series. If you’re looking for your potential cruel twists of fate, I don’t imagine you’ll have to look any further than that.

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    Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

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    The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

    But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

    In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

    (In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

    Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

    Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

    Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

    Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

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    There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

    “Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

    “Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”

    Report: Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season

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    Joe Vitale will not play again this season.

    The Arizona Coyotes have shut Vitale down for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign due to “concussion-related issues,” according to a report from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports on Wednesday.

    Vitale, a 30-year-old veteran center, appeared in only one game for the Coyotes this season. That was back on Oct. 17, when he suffered a concussion and broken orbital bone in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.

    Sens announce Frattin, acquired in Phaneuf deal, will stick with AHL Marlies

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    Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.

    But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.

    On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.

    Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.

    Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.