PHT Morning Skate: Backstrom, Carlson expected to play; 5 reasons why Sharks got bounced

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at

• The Capitals have an opportunity to eliminate the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight and it sounds like Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson will be available for Game 6. (NBC Sports Washington)

• Flyers prospect Samuel Morin won’t be as good as Chris Pronger was, but he’ll bring some nastiness and physicality to Philadelphia’s blue line. (

• Leafs head coach Mike Babcock will go meet franchise center Auston Matthews in Arizona this offseason. There have been rumblings about their relationship not being the best. (Toronto Sun)

• The Penguins defense has had an up-and-down series against the Capitals. They’ll need to be a lot better in Game 6 if they’re going to force Game 7. (Pittsburgh Tribune)

• Red Wings prospect Givani Smith made headlines after he flipped the bird to his opponent’s bench during the OHL playoffs, but there’s a lot more to the story. Smith has had to deal with a lot of racist remarks. (The Record)

• We’ve all seen how wild the fan base in Winnipeg has been, especially in the playoffs. Will the Ottawa Senators’ fan base ever be able to match that passion? (Ottawa Citizen)

• As much as winning the lottery will help them on the ice, getting Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin won’t be enough to change the losing culture in the Sabres locker room. (Buffalo News)

• The Edmonton Oilers need to find a way to upgrade their roster this offseason. A trade with the Carolina Hurricanes could make sense for both sides. Here are five players the Oilers could target in the Hurricanes roster. (Oilers Nation)

• Karl Subban sat down for a Q&A with to talk about what it’s like to have two sons competing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and how he keeps up with both. (

• There’s a few reasons why the San Jose Sharks were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs this weekend. There’s no denying that the lack of production from their top line was a major issue. (

• Speaking of the Sharks, Evander Kane admitted that he played through a separated shoulder and an MCL injury. (The Score)

• Up top, check out the highlights from last night’s game between the Sharks and Golden Knights.

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.