Author: Ryan Dadoun

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game Two

Keith Yandle misses yet another practice

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Keith Yandle didn’t join the Rangers for their practice on Tuesday and hasn’t taken part in a morning skate with the team since Game 2 of the Rangers’ first round series against Pittsburgh. He absorbed a hard hit from Blake Comeau in that contest.

The reason given for his absences was described as an illness at one point, but on Monday overall body soreness was cited as the cause. And today?

“Sniffles,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault told the Bergen Record.

He’s expected to be on the ice Wednesday and even if he doesn’t skate, it’s worth emphasizing that he hasn’t missed a single playoff game. Yandle had two assists and a plus-two rating while averaging 18:24 minutes per contest in the first round.

If he has been playing through something significant, then the Rangers’ quick work of Pittsburgh likely helped matters. This is the Rangers’ fourth straight day off and their breather will continue tomorrow.

Hammond hasn’t had any contract talks with Sens

Andrew Hammond
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With the Ottawa Senators’ unexpected playoff run now in the past, Andrew Hammond is waiting to see what’s next for him. The 27-year-old posted an incredible 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage in 24 games to lead the team into the postseason. Once they got there though, Hammond struggled somewhat and was replaced by Craig Anderson.

Now Hammond is set to become an unrestricted free agent and hasn’t entered into contract talks with Ottawa yet.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Hammond told the Ottawa Citizen. “I love Ottawa. I love everything about Ottawa: The fans, the organization and everything. It’s still early. No one knows what’s going to happen here. I’d obviously love to stay.”

It’s a challenging situation for the Senators. The first and most obvious roadblock to re-signing Hammond is the presence of Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner, who have three and two years left on their respective contracts. Even if Ottawa was both inclined and able to trade one of the two veteran goaltenders, finding fair value for Hammond would still be tricky.

Hammond couldn’t have done much better in his regular season run, but before that he looked like he might spend his career as a journeyman goaltender. After all, he also had a 3.51 GAA and .898 save percentage in 25 AHL contests in 2014-15. So the question is, how much faith does Ottawa want to put in the idea that Hammond can come close to replicating his recent NHL success.

At the same time, Hammond might make that part easier for Ottawa. He thinks he can perform at the NHL level, but he also isn’t assuming he’ll end up with a guaranteed roster spot in 2015-16. That might be an indication of his willingness to settle for a two-way deal.

Video: Ovechkin goes through handshake line, Caps celebrate in locker room

Jaroslav Halak, Alex Ovechkin
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The Capitals endured a tough series against the New York Islanders, but when Washington ended it on Monday with a 2-1 victory in Game 7, the two teams assembled to shake hands. Many of the Islanders expressed their support of Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin going forward, as you can see below:

After the game, the Capitals went to celebrate their victory, although they remained very much aware of the task still ahead of them:

They’re getting ready for their fifth series against the New York Rangers in just seven years. Over that span, each team has claimed two series. For Washington though, this is a much bigger test as the team has never advanced past the second round in the Ovechkin era. With Barry Trotz behind the bench, the Capitals are hoping that this year will be different.

Niklas Kronwall suspended for Game 7 vs. Tampa Bay

Kronwall hit
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The NHL has decided to suspend Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall for Game 7 of the first round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Department of Player Safety took exception to Kronwall’s hit on Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov, which the league felt was suspension worthy based on the level of forced used and “the significant head contact that resulted from Kronwall launching into it.”

The Department feels that a legal hit can include some “unavoidable head contact,” but Kronwall elevated “unacceptably.” In particular, the league noted that Kronwall was airborne at the time of contact.

This is a big blow for the Red Wings as he’s their top defenseman and had been logging a team-high 23:35 minutes per contest. Kronwall, who has not been suspended before, previously stated that he felt the hit was “clean.”

“My only comment is I disagree with the decision,” Red Wings GM Ken Holland said in response to the suspension, per ESPN’s Katie Strang.

Kucherov temporarily left the game, but was able to return before its conclusion.

“He made a hit. I’m not going to cry now,” Kucherov said afterwards. “It’s a part of the game. That’s why we play here.”

You can watch the Department of Player Safety’s explanation below:

NBC Sports Live Extra now available on Roku, Apple TV

NBC Sports logo
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With Game 7 of the Detroit Red Wings’ series against the Tampa Bay Lightning scheduled for Wednesday night and Round 2 set to start on Thursday, there will now be new ways to stream NBC Sports Live Extra.

NBC Sports Digital announced that you can now use Roku players or Roku TV as well as Apple TV to access the Live Extra content, which includes NHL playoff games. It is also used for streaming events like the Olympics, the PGA TOUR, and Sunday Night Football.

People were already able to access livestreams using mobile devices, desktops, and tablets, but this connects it to television viewers as well.

As far as NHL games go, PHT makes a point of providing links to those contests when they happen (keep an eye out for articles that contain the headline “WATCH LIVE”), but you can also get the NBC Sports Live Extra app or go to NBCSports.com/liveextra.