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Sochi Snubs: Giroux, St. Louis and Thornton top list of Canadian Olympic omissions

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Let the debates begin.

Following Tuesday’s announcement of the Canadian Olympic roster, focus shifted to who didn’t make the team — and it was an intense focus to say the least.

A trio of captains — Philly’s Claude Giroux, Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis and San Jose’s Joe Thornton — were all left off Team Canada, as were defensemen Brent Seabrook and Dan Boyle, gold medalists at the 2010 games in Vancouver.

Giroux’s omission completes a fall from grace in the eyes of Hockey Canada. Prior to his rough start, Giroux was thought to be a heavy favorite for a spot on the team, and was invited to this summer’s orientation camp (that he bailed on, which reportedly didn’t go over well.)

St. Louis’ omission will sting, as the veteran was looking to again represent his country on the Olympic stage. The 38-year-old played in ’06 and was named an alternate for the Vancouver games four years ago, but never got a chance to suit up.

Thornton, the NHL’s fifth-leading scorer (48 points), had represented his country at the ’06 and ’10 Olympics but was thought to be on the outside looking in this time around, largely due to Canada’s depth at center.

Other noteworthy snubs include:

— From the ’10 team: Mike Richards, Eric Staal.

— Former 40-goal scorer James Neal.

— Sharks forward Logan Couture, who is injured (hand) and will undergo surgery on Wednesday.

— Tyler Seguin, the fifth-leading Canadian goalscorer (21).

— Edmonton’s Taylor Hall, who has 41 points through 38 games this year.

— Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang, a Norris finalist last season.

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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NBCSN screen
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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.