I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.
Brooks Orpik is returning for Game 6, and so is the guy he injured.
The Pittsburgh Penguins confirmed the anticipated on Tuesday, as it appears that Olli Maatta will take Justin Schultz‘s place in the lineup as Pittsburgh hopes to close out the Washington Capitals.
Of course, the biggest question is: how close to 100 percent will Maatta be? Right now, the guess is “close enough.”
It’s been a bumpy season for the 21-year-old, but the bottom line is that he’s a key member of the Penguins blueline. We’ll see how he fares in this important contest.
The Stanley Cup playoffs continue on Tuesday night with one game on the schedule. We’re almost at the point where we’ll find out if the second round will get a third Game 7.
You can watch tonight’s action on the NBC Sports Group’s television or digital platforms.
Washington at Pittsburgh (8:00 p.m. ET)
The television broadcast of Game 6 will be on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here. The Penguins lead the series 3-2.
Here’s some relevant reading material to get you ready for the game:
—Trotz: Never any doubt Capitals would respond in must-win Game 5
—Alex Ovechkin delivers great eight performance in Game 5
—Matt Murray will be between the pipes in Game 6
Arizona Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett appears to be right; Shane Doan would rather not retire.
Instead, Doan told NHL.com that he intends to play in 2016-17. Interestingly, he seems to strongly prefer playing for the Coyotes in 2016-17, yet he sounds willing to explore other options if needed.
“There’s still some things that we have to get over, but at the same time I think I’m capable of doing it,” Doan said. “Whether or not it all works out is another thing but I’m capable of doing it; just talking with my family and seeing if it was something that was doable as a group, it was. So from there we’ll try to figure out the details of it. It if all works out it’d be great.”
It will likely come down to what the Coyotes’ 26-year-old GM John Chayka thinks.
While Chayka’s stats-leanings might leave some wondering about Doan’s place, the Coyotes need to worry about other numbers … like attendance and hitting the salary cap floor.
Chayka’s largely been given a clean slate to work with, and he might decide that Doan remains a good fit, at least in the short-term.
For what it’s worth, Doan gave the young executive a glowing review.
So far, the Tampa Bay Lightning are putting themselves in a prime position to close the New York Islanders out in Game 5.
The Isles still have a period and change to try to tie things up, but as of this writing, the Lightning hold a 3-0 lead.
Two of those goals came from elite defenseman Victor Hedman, while Brian Boyle continues to come up big (as you can see from his impressive 2-0 goal above).
Here’s the opening tally by Hedman:
Can the Islanders lift their level of play or will those early goals be enough for Tampa Bay? You can find out on NBC.
Dallas Stars fans holding out hope for Tyler Seguin to return to action with the team’s season on the line look to be out of luck.
Perhaps there’s an incredibly unlikely chance that there could be a last-minute change, although the fact that Seguin isn’t even traveling with the Stars to St. Louis for Game 6 seems to seal the deal.
The good news, however, is that there seems like there’s at least an outside chance that Patrick Eaves might return against the Blues for Monday’s contest.
He’s definitely traveling, at least:
Previous Seguin updates didn’t provide a ton of hope earlier in this series, and it sounds like he’s quite a ways from returning.
Then again, if the Stars can push this to a Game 7, who knows? He hasn’t been officially ruled out, if nothing else.