Why didn’t Flyers respond to Talbot headshot?

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Last night, Islanders defenseman Steve Staios tagged Philly’s Max Talbot with a huge check, drawing the ire of both Talbot and Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette.

Today, CSN Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio is wondering why the Flyers didn’t respond.

Staios wasn’t penalized on the play and sources say he’ll receive no supplementary discipline from the league. In short, he appears to be getting off scot-free (Staios was reportedly grinning on the bench after the hit), not exactly what you’d expect from the rough-and-tumble Flyers.

Panaccio notes the non-response was alarming, but thinks is has to do with who wasn’t in the lineup (namely, enforcers Zac Rinaldo and Jody Shelley) rather than who was.

“Rinaldo is not a heavyweight like Shelley, but for all intents and purposes, he’s been the Flyers’ main enforcer this season with 11 fights, by default,” Panaccio explained. “Laviolette was not available on Friday to explain whether he was disappointed in the lack of response from his own team or whether he needs to play Rinaldo every game, regardless.”

Not having Rinaldo available is an explanation, though not a strong one. The Philly lineup featured enough capable fighters — Wayne Simmonds has scrapped five times this year, Scott Hartnell averages six bouts a season — and it’s not like Staios, an average-sized 38-year-old, is a gold-glover.

But Staios is pretty old-school, familiar with “the code” and probably would’ve taken on any comer in response to the hit. Of course, even if the Flyers on the ice at the time were Talbot, Sean Couturier, Matt Read, Braydon Coburn and Kimmo Timonen — though Staios did play three more shifts in the third period. (Correction: He didn’t play another shift.)

Brace yourselves, Senators – Penguins Game 7 goes to overtime

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It’s dangerous to assume much of anything in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators seem like they’re taking turns flipping the script.

After the Senators received the only two power-play opportunities through the first two periods, Phil Kessel drew a call on Dion Phaneuf. Justin Schultz almost immediately reminded us of part of the reason why his presence had been so sorely missed, scoring an authoritative 2-1 tally.

Here’s that goal:

There seemed to be a possibility that officiating would be a huge sticking point, as some didn’t like that call and Guy Boucher was incensed when a whistle was blown when Phil Kessel was hit in the ear with a puck. Penguins haters probably felt especially irritated since the Penguins scored while Zack Werenski was down (and bloodied) during a somewhat similar exchange earlier in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Some will bring that up, especially once we find out how this one will end, but Ryan Dzingel shifted the focus to how the Senators just won’t quit as he scored soon after that 2-1 goal to tie it 2-2, the second time Ottawa’s fought back (quickly) from a seemingly huge Penguins goal.

Watch that goal above, then hold your breath as this game goes to overtime.

You can watch Game 7 live on NBCSN. The game can also be viewed online and via the NBC Sports App. Here is the livestream link.

Video: Marc Methot’s impressive hip check on Evgeni Malkin

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So far, the Ottawa Senators are getting their way in Game 7, as their 1-1 contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins has been a grinding, sometimes stifling affair.

This sets the stage for a dramatic finish, as the two teams are locked up by that 1-1 score heading into the third period.

With a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line, everyone’s pushing hard, and sometimes that means delivering hard hits.

All things considered, you’d be hard-pressed to top Marc Methot‘s hip check on Evgeni Malkin from a degree-of-difficulty standpoint.

Hip checks are already endangered species in the NHL because it’s just so difficult to lineup in this speedier, more skillful game. But to do it in a tied Game 7, against a driven Malkin, in your own zone? That’s borderline audacious. Then again, Methot’s fighting through that gruesome finger injury (along with … maybe other things given playoff secrecy), so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised.

Check it out in GIF form, too:

Some Penguins fans are grumbling about that not being a penalty, and that’s a debate for the comments. Most of us can agree that it was an impressive feat either way.

You can watch Game 7 live on NBCSN. The game can also be viewed online and via the NBC Sports App. Here is the livestream link.

Calm, then storm: Penguins, Senators trade Game 7’s goals in 20 seconds

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Here’s hoping that you didn’t take a poorly-timed break in the second period.

For much of Game 7, the Ottawa Senators have been able to slow down the Pittsburgh Penguins, resulting in a contest that went scoreless for what sometimes felt like ages.

Chris Kunitz changed that, long after missing on a golden opportunity shortly after Mike Sullivan decided to put him on Sidney Crosby‘s line. Kunitz finished a nice rush play to make it 1-0 9:55 into the second. Check out that goal below.

Guy Boucher didn’t have to deploy “attack mode” very long, as Mark Stone stunningly tied it up 1-1 just 20 seconds later. That surprising tally can be seen in the clip above this post’s headline.

Who’s playing for Penguins, Senators in Game 7

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We finally know the lineups for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Pittsburgh’s tweaks are most interesting, which isn’t a huge surprise considering the consistent inconsistency bred by their injury issues.

The Penguins will get Conor Sheary and Justin Schultz back in the mix. Despite showing a lot of energy warming up, Patric Hornqvist isn’t good to go. Here are the full Penguins personnel notes; also realize that this is Matt Murray‘s birthday.

Ottawa places Chris Kelly back in, getting the nod over Tommy Wingels and Colin White. Kelly’s had some experience in these scenarios.

You can watch Game 7 live on NBCSN. The game can also be viewed online and via the NBC Sports App. Here is the livestream link.