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Gone in .1 second: Flyers barely miss overtime winner, fall to Sharks in shootout

San Jose 5, Philadelphia 4 (SO)

Sometimes hockey isn’t a game of inches, but rather of tenths of seconds.

That’s ultimately the amount of time it took to distinguish a Philadelphia Flyers overtime win from what ended up being tonight’s result, a San Jose Sharks shootout win. It looked like Mike Richards scored that game winner, but after review it was clear that the clock hit 0.0 just before the puck cleared the red line. It’s about as close as you can possibly get to scoring a goal without scoring.

This isn’t the first time that the Flyers faced overtime heartbreak this season, although at least this time around it wasn’t a controversial call. If you may remember, Philadelphia looked like they won an overtime game against the Calgary Flames only to have the goal waved off when Chris Pronger was penalized for violating “The Avery Rule.”

It’s not the only reason the Flyers will look at this game as a match they should have won, though. After a Ryan Clowe goal gave San Jose a 1-0 lead, Philadelphia rattled off four straight goals (by Claude Giroux, Ville Leino, Nikolai Zherdev and Scott Hartnell) to take a 4-1 lead.

But in the first time in Sharks franchise history, the team ended up winning a game despite being down three goals in the third period. Jason Demers, Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski scored to tie the game up. After that overtime period, Clowe and Couture scored shootout goals to help the Sharks earn an improbable win.

San Jose still has a ways to go, but they’ve won three of their last four games and are back in the thick of things in the wacky Western Conference at 32 points in 27 games played.

The Flyers have lost three shootouts in their last six games (2-1-3)  and now find themselves three points and three wins behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Atlantic Division lead with one game in hand.

Here is video of that almost-goal as part of the highlights package. Jump to around the 4:20 mark of this video to see just how close it really was.

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Video: Phil Kessel displays incredible hand-eye coordination on goal

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This has been a tough postseason for Phil Kessel haters.

The supposed “choker” is on a team that’s in the Eastern Conference Final, but Kessel obviously isn’t just in for the ride with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He scored his 18th point in 17 postseason games by scoring the 1-0 goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6.

(Watch that goal in the video above.)

It was a dramatic first period, with a Jonathan Drouin goal getting disallowed and Andrei Vasilevskiy making some huge saves on tough chances.

Can Pittsburgh protect this slim lead with 1-0 down one period? We’ll see, but either way, what a great postseason for Kessel.

Judge for yourself: Was Drouin’s would-be 1-0 goal offside?

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To start the seemingly pivotal stretch, Andrei Vasilevskiy made an outstanding save on Evgeni Malkin on what sure looked like a scary chance.

The play swiftly shifted from the Tampa Bay Lightning’s end to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ side of the ice, and it seemed like Jonathan Drouin scored a big 1-0 goal in Game 6.

As it turns out, the goal was disallowed thanks to an offside goal review.

Here are a few viewpoints on that moment in GIF form … you can get a fuller view via the video above.

The general feeling among those who don’t have a horse in the race is that it was the right call. (Lightning fans were, uh, not happy.)

Lightning coach believes Drouin ‘is going to be dominant in this league’

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 30:  Jonathan Drouin #27 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his goal against the New York Islanders  during the first period in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on April 30, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images)
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At some point, it will probably be kind of boring to hear members of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization praise Jonathan Drouin.

At least if Drouin re-signs with the Bolts after quite the affirming postseason and his ascension amid injuries.

These days? It’s still sort of entertaining.

In the latest case, Jon Cooper was asked to compare the development paths for Nikita Kucherov vs. Drouin. After empathizing with the pressure Drouin carries as a high-end pick (vs. Kucherov’s ability to come in under the radar), Cooper had some very positive things to say about No. 27.

” … So many people think, well, you’re just going to step in the league at 18 and be dominant,” Cooper said. “I truly believe Jonathan is going to be dominant in this league, but it’s hard to do at 18. He had to work through it, and that’s it.”

Drouin, now at 21, has 12 points in 15 playoff games.

In other Lightning news, it sounds like the team will roll with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, an alignment that has been working well lately and also came through at times during the 2015 postseason.

The Penguins, meanwhile, replace Beau Bennett with Conor Sheary.

WATCH LIVE: Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa Bay Lightning – Game 6

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 22:  Tyler Johnson #9 of the Tampa Bay Lightning collides with Phil Kessel #81 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on May 22, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Matt Kincaid/Getty Images)
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Tonight could be the final game of the Eastern Conference Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning. You can catch Game 6 via the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay (8:00 p.m. ET)

The television broadcast of Game 6 is on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here. The Bolts lead the series 3-2.

Here’s some relevant reading material to get you ready for tonight’s game:

Malkin guaranteed a Penguins win in Game 6

Lightning coach doesn’t seem flustered by Malkin’s guarantee

Kucherov continues to be clutch for the Bolts this postseason

Marc-Andre Fleury: ‘I should have been better’ in Game 5