No arbitration tomorrow: Jannik Hansen signs three-year, $4.05M deal with Canucks

Well, so much for Jannik Hansen becoming the first NHL player to enter salary arbitration during this off-season. Nick Kypreos reports that the Vancouver Canucks reached a three-year agreement with the versatile forward. Update: Chris Johnston reports that the deal is worth $4.05 million overall, with Hansen being paid $1.6 million in 2011-12, $1.35 million in 12-13 and $1.1 million in 13-14. That works out to a $1.35 million cap hit, which is a nice bargain for such a useful player.

With their last pending free agent out of the way, this has been a solid summer for the Canucks. They managed to keep most of the core from their Stanley Cup runner-up together, aside from Christian Ehrhoff signing a pricey long-term deal with the Buffalo Sabres. Canucks fans probably hope to see what is left of their cap space devoted to a top six forward, but it’s possible that the team’s roster might be set. (At least for a little while.)

Hansen is a high-effort forward who was especially useful in defensive situations in 2010-11 (on average, 2:24 of his 14:42 minutes per game came on the penalty kill during the regular season). That being said, he provides at least a bit of pop on the offensive end, having scored a career-high 29 points last season. Hansen had a +13 rating in the regular season and a +7 mark in the playoffs, in which he scored a solid nine points in 25 postseason contests.

He might not be an elite player, but Hansen is one of those guys who plays some of those tougher minutes that opens up better opportunities for the Sedin twins and other scorers to succeed. If the money is reasonable like reports indicate, then this is another happy compromise to avoid arbitration.

Video: Senators make Penguins pay for penalties with 1-1 goal

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The Ottawa Senators have defied odds during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and they’ve done so with what’s often been an ice-cold power play.

They finally struck gold on the man advantage on Tuesday, and at a key moment. The Pittsburgh Penguins were dominating much of the game and pressing for an even bigger edge after Evgeni Malkin made it 1-0.

Maybe the Penguins got overzealous, or maybe officials … finally started making some calls. Either way, the Senators ended up with a 5-on-3 advantage for almost a minute-and-a-half. With that opportunity, Bobby Ryan scored a huge goal for Ottawa on a shot that was both oddly and perfectly placed.

Moments later, Kyle Turris narrowly missed a golden opportunity, so the contest remained tied 1-1.

Despite a late push by the Penguins to finish the second, Game 6 will enter the third period with a 1-1 score.

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Another big goal from Malkin; another confusing goalie interference review

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The Ottawa Senators are ready for a fight in Game 6, which seemingly means that the Pittsburgh Penguins must grind for space and chances. So far, the Penguins are willing to do just that.

Being that this is the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it also means that you need to shrug off setbacks … and the Penguins are doing well in that area, too.

After a 0-0 first period, it seemed like Trevor Daley scored a “greasy” 1-0 goal, but after a review, it was dismissed because of goalie interference. The crowd’s silent, confused response mirrored many on social media who genuinely don’t know what is or is not interference any longer.

The Penguins could have sulked after that near-goal. Instead, they just kept chipping away. Evgeni Malkin finally broke the ice – for real – with a gritty 1-0 tally. You can watch that ugly-pretty effort in the video above this post’s headline.

This marks Malkin’s seventh goal and 24th point of the postseason. No one else has reached 20 yet.

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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