Paul Stastny

Stastny’s agent says ‘nothing imminent’ on new deal with Avs

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One of the big potential free agent prizes of the summer doesn’t appear close to re-upping with his current club.

Paul Stastny, the U.S. Olympian that scored 60 points in 71 games for Colorado this season, has “nothing imminent” regarding a new deal with the Avs, agent Matt Keator told the Denver Post.

“I talked to Keator, and he said nothing is ‘imminent’ yet on this signing,” the Post’s Adrian Dater explained on his Hockey Talk podcast. “I think the Avalanche are interested in re-signing him, but I think it’s really touchy right now.”

Stastny, 28, just wrapped the last of a five-year, $33 million deal that carried a $6.6 million cap hit. He’s spent his entire seven-year career in Colorado and has been a pretty productive player — 458 points in 538 games, including a career-high 79 points during the 2009-10 campaign — and has twice represented the U.S. at the Olympics, including the silver medal-winning side at the ’10 Games in Vancouver.

On most teams, Stastny’s a top two center — but the Avs have an abundance of young talent able to play the middle, most notably in Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly and Nathan MacKinnon. The latter two have been moved to the wing on a number of occasion to balance things out (the Avs also have a pretty solid 3rd-line center in John Mitchell) but could easily make the move back to the middle, especially if Colorado wants to target some wingers in free agency — rather than spend big on Stastny.

And big is the key word there. Stastny’s made quite a bit or money on his last deal and has done enough to at least warrant a similar payday this summer, and there are a number of teams looking to upgrade their offensive abilities at center. The St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks have been rumored to want depth down the middle, and a team like Nashville — which looks to be more offensively-inclined under new head coach Peter Laviolette — could certainly use a playmaking center.

Video: Penguins coach takes issue with late, high Orpik hit on Maatta

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have spoken out against a late, high hit that Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik threw on Olli Maatta early in the first period of an eventful Game 2 on Saturday.

Maatta left and didn’t return. He played only 31 seconds, and the Penguins were reduced to five defensemen for a large portion of the game. Orpik was given a minor penalty on the play, but the league’s Department of Player Safety may see it differently.

The hit occurred well after Maatta had gotten rid of the puck. He struggled on his way to the dressing room for further evaluation.

Based on multiple reports, Orpik wasn’t made available to the media following the game, which went to the Penguins as they earned the split on the road.

But the Penguins have taken issue with the hit.

“I thought it was a late hit,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, as per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I thought it was a target to his head. I think it’s the type of hit everyone in hockey is trying to remove from the game.”

Game on: Penguins even series with rival Capitals

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The Pittsburgh Penguins will head back home with a split of their second-round series with the rival Washington Capitals.

Former Capitals forward Eric Fehr came back to burn his hold team, as he scored with under five minutes remaining in regulation to help lift the Penguins over Washington with a 2-1 victory in an eventful Game 2 on Saturday. Evgeni Malkin threw the puck toward the net and Fehr was able to re-direct it by Braden Holtby.

Oh, this was an eventful game, indeed.

It started early in the first period with Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik catching Penguins blue liner Olli Maatta with a late and high hit that warranted — at least for now — only a minor penalty for interference. Maatta, clearly in distress following the hit, didn’t play another shift and saw only 31 seconds of ice time in total, as Pittsburgh was reduced to five defensemen for the remainder of the game.

It continued in the third period. Kris Letang was furious after getting called for a trip on Justin Williams, and even more ticked off when the Capitals tied the game on the ensuing power play.

For two periods, the Capitals couldn’t get much going. Only four of their players had registered a shot on goal through 40 minutes, while the Penguins held the edge in that department and held the lead.

Washington came out with more jump in the third period, testing rookie netminder Matt Murray with 14 shots in the final 20 minutes. But the Penguins got the late goal to break the deadlock.

Video: Penguins’ Letang was furious after Capitals tie up Game 2 with power play goal

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Kris Letang watched from the penalty box as the Washington Capitals tied up Game 2 with a power play goal in the third period. The Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman was called for tripping after he appeared to muscle Justin Williams off the puck as he entered the zone.

Letang let his disagreement with the call be known at the time, and was furious after the Capitals capitalized on a goal from Marcus Johansson.

The Capitals started the period down a goal and being outshot 28-10 by the Penguins, who need a win to even the series.

Also, it seems this is worth mentioning:

Video: Hagelin goes top shelf to give Penguins the lead in Game 2

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In their quest to even the series, the Pittsburgh Penguins had done a nice job through two periods of suffocating the Washington Capitals, while gaining the lead on a beautiful goal.

Carl Hagelin took advantage of a vast amount of space that opened up in front of the Washington net, finishing off a nice pass from Nick Bonino, burying his shot just under the cross bar on the glove side of Braden Holtby.

Through two periods, the Penguins were outshooting Washington 28-10. Only four Capitals players — Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanen — had registered shots on goal.