Kings re-up with Lombardi, Sutter and Robitaille

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Three key figures from LA’s first-ever Stanley Cup are sticking around for the long haul.

On Friday, the Kings announced multi-year extensions for President/GM Dean Lombardi, President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille and head coach Darryl Sutter.

“We are ecstatic that we have kept our leadership team in place both on the hockey side with Dean and Darryl and on the business side with Luc and remain in a position to continue competing for the Stanley Cup for many more years,” Kings Governor Tim Leiweke said in a statement. “They have all done a fantastic job in their respective areas and they have put together outstanding leadership teams.

“They collectively are a huge reason our franchise is enjoying the success we are enjoying. Now the challenge is to stay on top of that mountain.”

News of the Lombardi and Sutter extensions came earlier in the week when Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times reported both signing. Lombardi’s deal is believed to be a four-year extension that runs through 2016-17 while the length of Sutter’s agreement is unknown (though Elliott reported it’s a “long-term agreement.”)

Robitaille’s extension is well-deserved given the Kings’ steadily-increasing public visibility and attendance numbers.

Here’s more, from the Kings website:

Robitaille continues to help impact the Kings business operations department, especially in the areas of sponsorship sales and renewal, fan and customer relations, game entertainment, media relations and broadcasting. He has been a driving force behind unique events including LA Kings Hockey Fest and the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at STAPLES Center.

Since 2007-08 and under Robitaille’s leadership, the Kings have increased their number of sellouts at STAPLES Center each season. Last season the Kings sold out a STAPLES Center-record 37 (of 39 games as the club had two “home” game in Europe) contests and they enter this season expecting to sellout every game. Last year the Kings enjoyed an average attendance of 18,119 – best in club history, while also enjoying record revenues on the whole.

With these moves, the Kings have essentially retained all the key components from their Stanley Cup championship for a good while — Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Drew Doughty and Jonathan Quick are all signed through to the end of 2016.

Penguins – Senators Game 7 goes to double overtime, try to breathe

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Try to breathe. Maybe meditate during this overtime intermission, if you need it.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators didn’t just need overtime to decide who would win Game 7 and advance to the Stanley Cup Final. It turns out that, despite an angry Penguins crowd, that they’ll need double OT.

There were plenty of big chances during that span of “free hockey.” You could probably argue that Phil Kessel was the most frustrated player during that frame; he was unable to score but generated some golden opportunities.

One really looked like it might have beaten Craig Anderson:

Wow. This one likely stings more for Kessel, as he had a ton of time and space but missed the net.

Kessel wasn’t the only player to get chances. There were a ton in this first overtime as both teams took thrilling swipes at victory. Still, number 81 provided some of the most memorable moments.

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.