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Torres on Phoenix: ‘It’s too bad this team doesn’t have an owner’

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Raffi Torres’ time with the Coyotes wasn’t long, but it certainly was eventful — probably why he looks back on it with fondness and regret.

Torres faced his former club for the first time on Monday as his new team, the San Jose Sharks, beat the Coyotes 4-0.

Afterward, Torres discussed his time in the desert.

“Phoenix was great,” he told the Arizona Republic. “Obviously it was a big disappointment for me when I got suspended last year. I feel like I could have been a big part of the run, although those guys did a great job. That was the toughest part for me.

“It was tough to bounce back from that, and it took me a long time. But overall just great guys and great training staff from the organization. It’s too bad this team doesn’t have an owner.”

All told, Torres appeared in 107 regular season and three playoff games for the Coyotes, totals that would’ve been higher if not for his 21-game suspension for hitting Chicago’s Marian Hossa during last postseason.

One wonders what might’ve been if not for the incident.

With Torres’ two-year, $3.5 million deal expiring this summer, a decision was made to flip the 31-year-old for a third-round pick, despite the fact he was having a productive season with 5G-7A-12PTS in 28 games and the ‘Yotes were in the thick of a playoff chase.

Torres said the club “didn’t want to talk contract,” and added “they’ve got some things over there that they’ve got to deal with.”

Considering the moves Phoenix made at the deadline — flipping pending UFAs Torres, Steve Sullivan (38 years old) and Matthew Lombardi (31) for picks — it could be argued the ‘Yotes hampered their playoff hopes to ensure they got something for players that might’ve walked away for nothing after the season ended.

But in the end, Torres said there were no hard feelings about being dealt.

“It’s a big-business effort from [Phoenix GM] Don [Maloney],” Torres explained. “It is what it is.”

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