Ilya Bryzgalov

Does Philly need a better backup for Bryzgalov?

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Over at CSN Philadelphia, John Boruk takes a closer look at the Flyers’ goaltending situation behind Ilya Bryzgalov.

With this year’s backup, Sergei Bobrovsky, coming off a less-than-stellar campaign — and with no real guarantee he’ll be back next season — Boruk figures the Flyers will have to go shopping for a backup if/when “Bob” is dispatched to the AHL.

The Flyers need to find a reliable veteran backup on a one-year contract who can offset Bryzgalov, especially during those stints when he gets lost in that heavily wooded bear-infested wilderness that swallowed him up this past season.

It may not be one of the Flyers’ biggest, flashiest or more-expensive moves, but it could prove to be just as important come July 1. 

Boruk threw five names out: Tomas Vokoun, Johan Hedberg, Josh Harding, Scott Clemmensen and Chris Mason. All of them are unrestricted free agents with Harding (27) the youngest and Hedberg (39) the oldest.

One name overlooked is that of Martin Biron, the 34-year-old caddy to Henrik Lundqvist in New York that’s received high praise, most notably from CBC’s Elliotte Friedman:

If I’m Paul Holmgren, I’m doing what I can to get Martin Biron back in a Flyer uniform this summer. (Biron is a UFA.) You have to get Bryzgalov the best possible backup, a team-oriented veteran who will do whatever it takes to make your starter comfortable. This is your guy. The Verizon Center has a really tight visitor’s room. Biron would leave it during intermissions so Lundqvist had more room to spread out and relax. It’s a small thing, but a big thing and, for all of his friendliness, Biron understands the larger picture. Plus, he’d do a lot of talking, which would also ease Bryzgalov’s burden.

A real, real wildcard would be former Chicago goalie Cristobal Huet. He’s coming off an insanely good year in the Swiss league — posting a 1.99 GAA and .932 save percentage — and starred for Team France at the recently-completed World Hockey Championships.

Video: Phil Kessel displays incredible hand-eye coordination on goal

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This has been a tough postseason for Phil Kessel haters.

The supposed “choker” is on a team that’s in the Eastern Conference Final, but Kessel obviously isn’t just in for the ride with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He scored his 18th point in 17 postseason games by scoring the 1-0 goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6.

(Watch that goal in the video above.)

It was a dramatic first period, with a Jonathan Drouin goal getting disallowed and Andrei Vasilevskiy making some huge saves on tough chances.

Can Pittsburgh protect this slim lead with 1-0 down one period? We’ll see, but either way, what a great postseason for Kessel.

Judge for yourself: Was Drouin’s would-be 1-0 goal offside?

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To start the seemingly pivotal stretch, Andrei Vasilevskiy made an outstanding save on Evgeni Malkin on what sure looked like a scary chance.

The play swiftly shifted from the Tampa Bay Lightning’s end to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ side of the ice, and it seemed like Jonathan Drouin scored a big 1-0 goal in Game 6.

As it turns out, the goal was disallowed thanks to an offside goal review.

Here are a few viewpoints on that moment in GIF form … you can get a fuller view via the video above.

The general feeling among those who don’t have a horse in the race is that it was the right call. (Lightning fans were, uh, not happy.)

Lightning coach believes Drouin ‘is going to be dominant in this league’

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 30:  Jonathan Drouin #27 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his goal against the New York Islanders  during the first period in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on April 30, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images)
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At some point, it will probably be kind of boring to hear members of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization praise Jonathan Drouin.

At least if Drouin re-signs with the Bolts after quite the affirming postseason and his ascension amid injuries.

These days? It’s still sort of entertaining.

In the latest case, Jon Cooper was asked to compare the development paths for Nikita Kucherov vs. Drouin. After empathizing with the pressure Drouin carries as a high-end pick (vs. Kucherov’s ability to come in under the radar), Cooper had some very positive things to say about No. 27.

” … So many people think, well, you’re just going to step in the league at 18 and be dominant,” Cooper said. “I truly believe Jonathan is going to be dominant in this league, but it’s hard to do at 18. He had to work through it, and that’s it.”

Drouin, now at 21, has 12 points in 15 playoff games.

In other Lightning news, it sounds like the team will roll with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, an alignment that has been working well lately and also came through at times during the 2015 postseason.

The Penguins, meanwhile, replace Beau Bennett with Conor Sheary.

WATCH LIVE: Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa Bay Lightning – Game 6

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 22:  Tyler Johnson #9 of the Tampa Bay Lightning collides with Phil Kessel #81 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on May 22, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Matt Kincaid/Getty Images)
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Tonight could be the final game of the Eastern Conference Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning. You can catch Game 6 via the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay (8:00 p.m. ET)

The television broadcast of Game 6 is on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here. The Bolts lead the series 3-2.

Here’s some relevant reading material to get you ready for tonight’s game:

Malkin guaranteed a Penguins win in Game 6

Lightning coach doesn’t seem flustered by Malkin’s guarantee

Kucherov continues to be clutch for the Bolts this postseason

Marc-Andre Fleury: ‘I should have been better’ in Game 5