Paille Thornton Campbell

Julien to decide Friday who will replace Campbell on ‘Merlot Line’

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Claude Julien knows Gregory Campbell is done for the remainder of the playoffs after breaking his leg in Game 3.

What the Bruins coach isn’t sure of is who’ll replace Campbell on the club’s valuable fourth line.

“We’ve got lots of options,” Julien told reporters on Thursday. “We’ll look at it closer today and make a decision tomorrow.”

Campbell, along with Dan Paille and Shawn Thornton, is part of Boston’s “Merlot Line,” so named because of the wine-colored jerseys they wear at practice.

(It also keeps people from referring to them as the “fourth line,” which nobody likes.)

The trio has been together for a while and is known for stepping up come playoff time. They’ve combined for 16 points in 15 games this postseason and were huge in the second-round victory over the Rangers.

While Campbell will be missed, there’s no shortage of viable replacements.

Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com reports that Carl Soderberg, Kaspars Daugavins and Jay Pandolfo are all in the mix, and that AHL call-ups Jordan Caron, Chris Bourque and Carter Camper could get a look as well depending on what Julien wants to do.

Speaking of what Julien wants to do, he said his goal is to ensure the Bruins can still roll four lines.

“We’ve just got to make sure we get something out of all of our lines right now,” he explained. “I think that’s the most important thing for us, and that’s where decisions are going to have to be made and how do we make it work so that we continue to have four lines.”

PHT Morning Skate: Shane Doan takes a (friendly) shot at the Miracle on Ice

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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.

Shane Doan took a friendly jab at the the movie “Miracle” and the Miracle on Ice. (BarDown)

–The best of the worst Upper Deck hockey cards from 2015-16. (Puck Junk)

–Here’s a list of the top 50 players in WHL history. (WHL)

–Watch the highlights of last night’s game between the Penguins and Capitals. (Top)

–A sad story about how Chris Phillips feels helpless as his hometown of Fort McMurray burns. (CBC)

–“You want to get back into things right away (but) I think these last four or five months have been good for me.” Former Penguins coach Mike Johnston is ready to coach again. (Local XPress)

–Blues forward Jori Lehtera is in a pretty random commercial:

Penguins push Capitals to brink of elimination with OT win

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The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.

Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.

With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.

It was a thrilling, sometimes nasty contest, from Sidney Crosby shaking off an Alex Ovechkin slash, to Evgeni Malkin delivering a hit some thought was over the line and plenty of typical playoff skirmishes.

Ultimately, Matt Murray played another strong game and Patric Hornqvist scored the overtime-winner to put the Capitals in a tough spot.

The Penguins lost their previous eight playoff overtime games, so maybe it was just a matter of time before such a game went their way?

Then again, the history between the two teams is a little different:

If the Capitals want to advance beyond the second round for the first time in the Ovechkin era, they’ll need to accomplish quite the feat against arguably the hottest team in the NHL.

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

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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.