Los Angeles Kings v Vancouver Canucks - Game One

$60 million cap? Here are 10 teams that could be in trouble

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The NHL has reportedly proposed a salary cap of $60 million for the 2013-14 season. If that’s where it ends up (down from the $70.2 million mark for 2012-13) and there are no amnesty buyouts, scalpels will need to be taken to a number of rosters.

Here are 10 teams that may need serious surgery (numbers via CapGeek.com):

Vancouver Canucks ($55.4 million, 13): They won’t have Roberto Luongo’s $5.3 million hit, but signing Alex Edler could be interesting. Keith Ballard and David Booth, two Mike Gillis acquisitions, stand out in the underachiever category.

Montreal Canadiens ($60.2 million, 16): And PK Subban still doesn’t have a contract. Habs fans don’t need to be told that Scott Gomez and Tomas Kaberle account for more than $11 million of cap space.

Philadelphia Flyers ($57.5 million, 16): Will get some relief if Chris Pronger remains on IR, but then they won’t have Pronger. Bit of a double-edged sword there.

Boston Bruins ($57.4 million, 16 players): Marc Savard will likely remain on LTIR, but Tuukka Rask is a pending RFA.

Tampa Bay Lightning ($57.4 million, 15): Vincent LeCavalier, signed through 2019-20 with a $7.7 million cap hit. Not getting any younger either. Turned 32 in April.

Pittsburgh Penguins ($52.6 million, 15): Fortunately Evgeni Malkin isn’t UFA until 2014-15.

San Jose Sharks ($54.3 million, 14): Patrick Marleau’s $6.9 million hit stands out. It’s not like there haven’t been trade rumors.

Chicago Blackhawks ($57.2 million, 17): If Corey Crawford doesn’t bounce back, upgrading the goaltending could be a challenge.

Minnesota Wild ($51.1 million, 16): Dany Heatley is signed through 2013-14 for a $7.5 million hit. Any takers?

Los Angeles Kings ($49.4 million, 13): Most of their key guys are locked up, though Rob Scuderi may have to move on.

We can’t help but think there will be some sort of amnesty provision put into place that will soften the transition, but it won’t alleviate the pain altogether.

Pens coach praises Murray: ‘He doesn’t get rattled’

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Hot take: the Pittsburgh Penguins probably won’t deal with a goalie controversy going into Game 7.

(Ugh, that’s a failed hot take … you can’t use “probably” in those things, right?)

Matt Murray was fantastic at times during Game 6, much like his counterpart in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s net in a 5-2 win. Granted, there were some tense moments during the Bolts’ late-game push:

Much has been made about experience, especially from those calling for Marc-Andre Fleury earlier in this series. It’s telling that the praise Murray draws sure sounds like what you’d expect from a “veteran.”

“He has a calming influence,” Sullivan said. “He doesn’t get rattled. If he lets a goal in, he just continues to compete. That’s usually an attribute that usually takes years to acquire that, and to have it at such a young age is impressive.”

Thanks in part to Murray’s efforts in Game 6, he’ll get a chance to prove his resolve in something new: a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final.

Once again, his teammates seem pretty confident in this elimination situation.

Lightning lament Game 6 effort, Cooper doesn’t blame disallowed goal

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The Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to sleepwalk through the first two periods of Game 6, and waking up in the final frame wasn’t enough to edge the Pittsburgh Penguins.

On the bright side, at least the Lightning aren’t in denial about that weak first 40 minutes.

It seemed like everyone on the team more or less admitted as much in unison.

Brian Boyle added that he felt like the Lightning tiptoed around this game. Jon Cooper often provides great quips, yet he was pretty matter-of-fact in this case.

Many will linger on this disallowed goal for Jonathan Drouin, which would have provided a 1-0 lead for Tampa Bay in the first period.

Let’s face it; that moment came pretty early in the game. To Tampa Bay’s credit, they’re not pinning the loss on that setback.

Now they must set their sights on competing throughout Game 7 … and maybe earning some bounces of their own in the process.

Read more about Game 6 here.

Penguins force Game 7 after holding off Lightning rally

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The Pittsburgh Penguins played with fire late in Game 6, but they also showed plenty of fire in beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2.

With that, this thrilling Eastern Conference Final will go the distance with Game 7 on Thursday.

There are at least a few “What if?” scenarios to consider, especially for the Lightning.

What if that offside goal counted?

Jonathan Drouin played some fantastic hockey on Tuesday, yet his most memorable moment came via something that ultimately “didn’t happen.” An offside call on a goal review kept a 1-0 lead from happening for Tampa Bay:

Instead, the Penguins poured it on during the first period and eventually went up 1-0. They then carried that momentum over through the second period, adding two more goals to go up 3-0 heading into the final frame.

What if Tampa Bay played more like they did in the third period?

The difference between the level of play in the first 40 minutes and the final frame were night-and-day.

Now, you can make a chicken-and-the-egg argument here. Did the Penguins take their feet off the gas with that lead? Maybe Jon Cooper finally unleashed the hounds when the Lightning were facing a big deficit?

Maybe it’s a combination of those factors; either way, the Bolts couldn’t come all the way back even after making it interesting. At one point the game was 3-2 before a Bryan Rust breakaway goal and an empty-netter put things out of reach.

Both Matt Murray and Andrei Vasilevskiy faced plenty of tough chances and came through more often than not. We’ll see if there are any goal controversy rumblings, but each netminder came through at times tonight.

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Now the series shifts back to Pittsburgh for Game 7 with a Stanley Cup Final on the line. Excited and/or nervous yet?

More: Great goals by Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel.

Sidney Crosby scores a superstar goal

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With the Pittsburgh Penguins’ season on the line in Game 6, plenty of eyes are on big guns Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Phil Kessel.

Those marquee names are really coming through so far as they’ve now built a 3-0 lead through two periods against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

You likely already saw Kessel’s display of high-end hand-eye coordination (if not, check it here). Kris Letang scored his first goal of the series to make it 2-0 on a very tricky, well-placed shot.

The highlight really might be Crosby’s tally, though. He left multiple Lightning players baffled and beat a very-much-game Andrei Vasilevskiy to beef that lead up 3-0.