Stephane Robidas

Robidas skates, feels ‘better than expected’ six weeks after breaking leg

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Steve Stamkos isn’t the only NHLer staging a remarkable recovery from a broken leg.

Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas, six weeks removed from breaking his tibia and fibia, hit the ice this week — once on Monday, again today — and is already making progress.

“It’s pretty good. It’s better than I expected, to be honest,” Robidas said, per the Stars website. “A little bit of it is pain, a lot of it is mental. You’ve got to trust it. We just did a little skating, no stop and start, no pivoting. I went forward, laps where I did c-cuts and kind of pushed on one leg. Obviously the stride is not the same, but I try to keep it as close as possible.

“Monday I couldn’t do any crossover to one side, but by the end of today I was able to do some. Progress.”

Robidas, 36, had a rod placed in his right tibia with screws and his ankle and knee, and was given a 4-6 month recovery timetable. Within days of undergoing surgery, the veteran rearguard was already doing upper leg exercises and trying to development movement in his ankle.

What’s more, he wants to suit up again this year.

“I feel like I have more of a defined goal now, I have an idea of where I am going and what date and where maybe I can play,” he said. “To me that is positive. And just to have a goal, at least I am training for something and that I’ll be able to be back and playing this year.”

Here’s the play that broke Robidas’ leg (he was stretchered off the ice):

As mentioned above, Stamkos is also in the midst of a remarkable comeback from a busted leg of his own — on Monday, he joined Tampa Bay for its morning skate prior to a game against Columbus and said he’s “felt better each time,” he’s taken to the ice.

Stamkos suffered a broken right tibia on Nov. 12 against Boston, and is aiming to be back in the Lightning lineup before the Olympic break.

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.

Blues aim to raise money for victims of Fort McMurray fires

An evacuee puts gas in his car on his way out of Fort McMurray, Alberta, as a wildfire burns in the background Wednesday, May 4, 2016. The raging wildfire emptied Canada's main oil sands city, destroying entire neighborhoods of Fort McMurray, where officials warned Wednesday that all efforts to suppress the fire have failed.  (Jason Franson /The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
AP
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Fires devastated the Canadian city of Fort McMurray, and the St. Louis Blues are doing their part to help those who were affected.

Here’s what the team is doing to raise money during Game 4 against the Dallas Stars:

Proceeds raised through the team’s 50/50 raffle and the Blues for Kids silent auction will benefit families who have been misplaced by the fires.

Blues forward Scottie Upshall shared his thoughts with the Associated Press regarding several family members being among those evacuated from the area.

“It’s been a great city, a city that’s survived for many years through some tough times and for me, growing up there doesn’t seem too long ago,” Upshall said. “Places that probably aren’t standing anymore will be really, really tough to take. But as long as everyone’s OK, that’s the main thing.”

Other people from around the hockey world weighed in on the scary scene, including Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, who told the Ottawa Citizen that “it hurts a lot.”

People shared some scary sights from the evacuation.