Stanley Cup Finals - Chicago Blackhawks v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Six

NHL Extra: Breaking down Flyers vs. Blackhawks

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Looking for the numbers breakdown for how these two teams stack up? Look no further as we’ve got you covered.

Team scoring

Philadelphia is tops in the NHL in scoring with 165 goals while Chicago is fifth in the league with 154. The Flyers are led by Daniel Briere and his 25 goals. Chicago, likewise, is led by Patrick Sharp and his 25 goals. Sharp also leads the Blackhawks in points with 45 while Mike Richards leads Philly in overall points with 45 as well.

Goaltending

Corey Crawford will get the start for Chicago and he’s taken hold of the starting job and for good reason. He’s sporting a microscopic 2.08 goals against average and a robust .923 save percentage while rocking a 16-8-2 record this season. Off-season signing Marty Turco was brought in expected to be the starter but Crawford’s play has forced the issue demanded he get the start.

Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start for Philadelphia and the 20 year-old rookie has been outstanding this year for Philadelphia. He’s holding a 19-6-3 record and sporting a .918 save percentage and a 2.49 goals against average. If Bobrovsky runs into trouble, Brian Boucher has been a more-than-capable backup/spot-starter this year. Boucher’s gone 11-6-2 with a .916 save percentage and 2.41 goals against average.

Special teams

If the Flyers run into penalty trouble, they’ll have their hands full with Chicago. Chicago has the league’s best power play scoring at 25.4% clip. The Flyers, meanwhile, are quite average with the man advantage scoring 16.8% of the time, good for 19th in the league. Killing penalties, however, is more Philly’s strength than it is Chicago’s. The Flyers kill 82.4% of the power plays they face, a mark that’s good for 13th in the NHL. Chicago has some penalty kill issues as they’re 27th out of 30 teams killing penalties at a 77.7% rate. Perhaps the Blackhawks would like to stay out of the box themselves.

Scratches

Philadelphia will be without forward James van Riemsdyk who is out day-to-day with a lower body injury. The feisty Dan Carcillo takes his place in the lineup.

Chicago is going without forward Ryan Johnson and defensemen Nick Boynton, and John Scott. Check that, Jack Skille is out, John Scott takes his spot.

Streaks and standings

The Flyers come into today’s game winners of eight out of their last ten games but coming off a tough loss to New Jersey yesterday afternoon. The Flyers are currently in first place in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference with 67 points. That point total ties them with Vancouver for the best record in the NHL.

Chicago comes in winners of two in a row and six out of their last eight. Their win over Detroit yesterday afternoon saw Tomas Kopecky score two goals. The Blackhawks have 56 points and sit in third place in the Central Division behind Detroit and Nashville. They’re seventh in the Western Conference just one point behind Phoenix for sixth and two points behind Anaheim and Nashville who are tied for fourth. Things are a bit tight in the West.

NHL Extra

If you’d like to ask James and I questions and get our thoughts on today’s game, you can join us for NHL Extra online and follow along with the action that way. To join us for NHL Extra click here. We’ll be kicking things off at 12:30 p.m.

Penguins ride Murray’s masterpiece to 2-1 series lead vs. Capitals

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (30) deflects a puck over the net during the first period of Game 3 against the Washington Capitals in an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semifinals in Pittsburgh, Monday, May 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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If Marc-Andre Fleury suiting up bothers Matt Murray, then the rookie goalie channeled those feelings into a masterful performance on Monday.

The Washington Capitals absolutely dominated Game 3, but Murray was even better, stopping 47 shots as the Penguins stole one 3-2 to take a 2-1 series lead.

(Capitals fans might see some parallels to Washington’s Game 5 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers; they fell 2-0 despite a 44-11 shots on goal edge thanks to Michal Neuvirth‘s heroics.)

Murray stopped chance after chance before Alex Ovechkin finally broke through for his first goal of this series. Justin Williams then brought the Penguins’ lead down to 3-2 to make for a hold-your-breath final minute.

A driven Ovechkin and strong overall play from the Capitals (despite this defeat) aren’t the only reasons why Game 4 might present some twists.

First things first: Kris Letang might get suspended for Game 4 (if not for more than one game) thanks to this controversial check on Marcus Johansson.

Beyond that, there could be some bumps and bruises from this contest.

Bryan Rust left during the first period and didn’t return to the game after blocking a shot. Brian Dumoulin seemed shaken up after an Alex Ovechkin hit in the third period. The Capitals might have a player or two to look at, as well.

In other words, the Penguins could really lack for quality defensemen with Letang possibly suspended and possible injury absences for Dumoulin and Olli Maatta.

This series is living up to the hype … and really building up the hate.

Yes, NHL is reportedly looking at Letang’s hit on Johansson

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It remains to be seen if Kris Letang will get suspended for his hit on Marcus Johansson … and if he does, for how long.

(You can read initial reactions and some analysis about the specifics of the check vs. the one that got Brooks Orpik suspended here.)

There are a few things we do know already.

For one thing, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly looking into it.

Another factor that could help Letang avoid a suspension or limit the duration of supplemental discipline: Marcus Johansson returned during the second period.

In fact, Johansson delivered some hits on Letang.

There have been some nasty moments in Game 3, and more might be coming. The Penguins lead 2-0 with a few minutes remaining in the middle frame.

Kris Letang may face suspension for hit on Marcus Johansson

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Update: Reports indicate that the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is indeed looking into the hit.

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As thrilling as this Pittsburgh Penguins – Washington Capitals series has been, it seems like every game presents another controversial hit.

Game 3’s most noteworthy entry (so far?) came when Kris Letang was whistled for interference on Marcus Johansson.

Penguins fans griped that Brooks Orpik didn’t get a major penalty for his hit on Olli Maatta … now Capitals fans likely feel the same about the check Letang delivered.

Watch it in the video above. Also, Stefanie “My Regular Face” has it in GIF form:

Things could get ugly in Game 3:

One factor in a suspension happening – or at least the duration of the suspension – would be what the point of contact was:

Also, lateness of the check:

The Penguins ended the first period up 2-0 against the Capitals, even though Washington played one of its best 20 minutes of the series. Expect more drama.

Fleury suits up (but won’t start) and other Caps – Pens Game 3 notes

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who has been out of action with concussion symptoms, participates in a practice session for the NHL hockey playoffs against the New York Rangers, Monday, April 11, 2016, at their practice facility in Cranberry, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
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The Brooks Orpik hit on Olli Maatta isn’t the only factor in lineup changes for Game 3 between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Maybe the most interesting change starts on the Penguins’ bench … where they likely hope that tweak will stay for at least one night.

Marc-Andre Fleury is apparently healthy enough to suit up for the Penguins, although it appears as though Matt Murray will start:

That’s a clear sign that “The Flower” is healthy enough to play, as Murray would be an injury or a coach’s pull away from giving up the net to Fleury. (One would assume.)

Murray has been fantastic for the most part since taking over for Jeff Zatkoff during this postseason, yet you know how the playoffs can be; people may clamor for Fleury after a loss even if it’s not really Murray’s fault.

Circling back to that Orpik hit, the dominoes seem to fall this way:

Penguins: Derrick Pouliot replaces injured Maatta.

Capitals: Dmitry Orlov in for suspended Orpik.

PHT will make note if there are any swerves.