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PHT Morning Skate: “A mug’s game”

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

All of a sudden, the Washington Capitals have  a good conundrum going on in net as both Michal Neuvirth and Tomas Vokoun are playing well. (The Washington Times)

SI’s Michael Farber backs up how I’ve been feeling for years, although with a strange choice of words in that handing costly long-term contracts to goalies is “a mug’s game.” Pretty sure that doesn’t mean that they hold hot and cold drinks, but feel free to correct me there. (Sports Illustrated)

Earlier this week, The Contrarian Goaltender took a look at trends in how the Vezina Trophy winner has been chosen. (Brodeur is a Fraud)

The Islanders beat the Flyers in Philadelphia after 13 consecutive failed attempts. (CSNPhilly.com)

Martin Hanzal (pictured) had a successful return to the Phoenix Coyotes’ lineup on Thursday. (AZ Central)

Sure, it wasn’t good enough to secure the Coyotes the shootout win, but kudos to Mike Smith for stopping this ridiculous Pavel Datsyuk attempt:

If you want to equate the “Sutter Bowl” to a staring contest, then you could say that Brent avoided dozing off in a 2-1 shootout snoozer between Calgary and Los Angeles. (Calgary Herald)

The Bruins and Rangers are looking forward to a showdown between the Eastern Conference’s top two teams on Saturday. (NHL.com)

The Blackhawks are loving all the young energy from Jimmy Hayes and Andrew Shaw – they must have been really getting worn out by old men like Jonathan Toews before those rookies came along. (CSNChicago.com)

Let’s finish this off with this beauty of a backhand goal by Evgeni Malkin.

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

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NBCSN screen
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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.

Video: Beagle’s perfect shot dogs Murray for early Caps lead

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Matt Murray was just on another level in Game 3, giving the impression that the Washington Capitals would only beat him with perfect shots.

Jay Beagle got that memo … and maybe added a little element of surprise on top of that.

As you can see from the video above, Beagle beat Murray from an unexpected angle with a pretty resounding goal. It was one of those “Wait, did that just happen?”-type moments.

The Capitals saw their lead go away moments before this post was completed, so it’s now 1-1.