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St. Louis trades captain Eric Brewer to Tampa Bay for third round pick and prospect

The trades keep rolling through and after Atlanta decided to improve themselves making a deal with Boston, it only makes sense that Tampa Bay reacted accordingly on their own. The Lightning acquired St. Louis Blues captain Eric Brewer in exchange for a third round pick and the rights to 2010 draft pick Brock Beukeboom.

Tampa Bay was in the hunt for a new defenseman as they’ve been rolling with four solid and consistent guys in Brett Clark, Pavel Kubina, Mattias Ohlund, and Victor Hedman. With a cycle of names from the third pairing that included Mike Lundin, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Randy Jones, and Matt Smaby getting another defenseman that could provide steadier and better play was almost necessary for the Lightning.

With Brewer they add a guy who is a leader on and off the ice, as evidenced by his captaincy in St. Louis, and a stern defensive presence with a touch of offense. This season through 54 games, Brewer has eight goals and six assists and getting him out of St. Louis will help them out immensely. The Blues were sad to part ways with him as GM Doug Armstrong made clear.

“Eric has been tremendous to the St. Louis Blues organization and the St. Louis community,” said Armstrong.  “He and his wife Rebecca are first class people and we wish them nothing but the very best.”

For St. Louis, if Jaroslav Halak’s hand injury wasn’t enough of a warning sign that their playoff hopes were in trouble, dealing their captain away to a contender should just about do it for the Blues and their fans as far as getting excited the rest of the way goes. With the team in last place in the Central Division and 13th in the conference, cleaning house like this should essentially put the Blues out of the race the rest of the way. Acquiring a pick and a prospect from Tampa Bay for Brewer was about as well as they were going to do as Brewer is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

For Tampa Bay, it’s clear that Steve Yzerman is committed at pushing for the Stanley Cup finals now. What began this season as a chance to rebuild the organization has morphed into something much bigger and with the pieces in place now and with Philadelphia and Boston having already made their moves to get better, the time was now for the Lightning to act.

Penguins push Capitals to brink of elimination with OT win

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The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.

Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.

With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.

It was a thrilling, sometimes nasty contest, from Sidney Crosby shaking off an Alex Ovechkin slash, to Evgeni Malkin delivering a hit some thought was over the line and plenty of typical playoff skirmishes.

Ultimately, Matt Murray played another strong game and Patric Hornqvist scored the overtime-winner to put the Capitals in a tough spot.

The Penguins lost their previous eight playoff overtime games, so maybe it was just a matter of time before such a game went their way?

Then again, the history between the two teams is a little different:

If the Capitals want to advance beyond the second round for the first time in the Ovechkin era, they’ll need to accomplish quite the feat against arguably the hottest team in the NHL.

Sidney Crosby looks hurt (and furious) after Alex Ovechkin slash

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Sidney Crosby is known to get fiery, but even for his feisty standards, he was furious during the third period of Game 4.

An Alex Ovechkin slash caught Crosby on the hand, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins star shaking his mitt and pleading for a call.

After that, Crosby left to get his hand looked at … but not before flipping out and destroying his stick.

You can watch it happen in the GIF and the videos above.

Crosby was able to return not that long after that moment, although we can only speculate regarding how his overall game will be affected if his hand isn’t 100 percent.

Dirty or not? Evgeni Malkin’s hit on Daniel Winnik

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Tensions seem to rise with every passing game in the playoffs, particularly in a series with bad blood like the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.

Kris Letang was suspended for his hit in Game 3, and some wonder if Evgeni Malkin should suffer a similar fate for his check on Daniel Winnik on Wednesday.

Winnik left the contest and has not yet returned during the third period.

Take a look at the hit in the video above and decide for yourself.

Blues aim to raise money for victims of Fort McMurray fires

An evacuee puts gas in his car on his way out of Fort McMurray, Alberta, as a wildfire burns in the background Wednesday, May 4, 2016. The raging wildfire emptied Canada's main oil sands city, destroying entire neighborhoods of Fort McMurray, where officials warned Wednesday that all efforts to suppress the fire have failed.  (Jason Franson /The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
AP
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Fires devastated the Canadian city of Fort McMurray, and the St. Louis Blues are doing their part to help those who were affected.

Here’s what the team is doing to raise money during Game 4 against the Dallas Stars:

Proceeds raised through the team’s 50/50 raffle and the Blues for Kids silent auction will benefit families who have been misplaced by the fires.

Blues forward Scottie Upshall shared his thoughts with the Associated Press regarding several family members being among those evacuated from the area.

“It’s been a great city, a city that’s survived for many years through some tough times and for me, growing up there doesn’t seem too long ago,” Upshall said. “Places that probably aren’t standing anymore will be really, really tough to take. But as long as everyone’s OK, that’s the main thing.”

Other people from around the hockey world weighed in on the scary scene, including Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, who told the Ottawa Citizen that “it hurts a lot.”

People shared some scary sights from the evacuation.