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Goalie nods: Backups galore as Olympic ‘tenders sit

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All the latest from the blue paint…

B’s rest Rask, Sabres rest Miller

Boston will give Chad Johnson the start in Buffalo tonight and sit Tuukka Rask, who is fresh off a bronze medal-winning performance for Finland at the Winter Olympics.

Technically speaking, this will mean back-to-back starts for Johnson — he played in Boston’s final game before the Olympic break as well, stopping 26 of 28 shots in a win over the Senators. The former Phoenix goalie has been quite good lately, posting a 1.83 GAA and .937 save percentagte in his last five starts.

The Sabres, meanwhile, are starting Jhonas Enroth after Ryan Miller played in Tuesday’s win over Carolina. Both Miller and Enroth participated in the Olympics — for the U.S. and Sweden, respectively — but Enroth didn’t get a game in Sochi, serving as Henrik Lunqvist’s backup for the entire tournament.

Elsewhere…

Kings at Avalanche: Another “rest the starters” scenario, as L.A. looks like it’ll go with Martin Jones (giving Team USA goalie Jonathan Quick a breather) while Colorado will go with J.S. Giguere (a night off for Russia’s Semyon Varlamov.)

Red Wings at Canadiens: Jimmy Howard, who was in Sochi as a member of Team USA but didn’t play, will get the nod for Detroit. Carey Price, who backstopped Canada to gold, re-aggravated an injury suffered at the Winter Gaems and will miss tonight’s contest. Peter Budaj starts in his place.

Blues at Canucks: Jaroslav Halak, who went into the Olympics as Slovakia’s No. 1 but was benched halfway through the tournament, will go for St. Louis. Roberto Luongo, who backed up Carey Price for Team Canada, will get a rest tonight as Vancouver gives Eddie Lack the start.

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.