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NHL Playoffs

Did Penguins’ Mike Sullivan outsmart himself?

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The Pittsburgh Penguins trailed the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0 entering the third period of Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Finals series on Friday. Rookie goaltender Matt Murray was experiencing a rarity in his young career: allowing more than three goals. In his 12 regular season starts, of which the Penguins won nine, he never allowed more than three. He won nine of his first 12 playoff starts, allowing four goals only once; against the President’s Trophy-winning Washington Capitals. When…

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Penguins look to retool for Game 5

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The best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning is now a best of three. With the series tied at two games each, the pivotal Game 5 is in Pittsburgh on Sunday. The way Friday night’s game ended, with the Lightning surviving the third period to prevail, 4-3, some significant questions emerged for Sunday’s game. Pittsburgh has three important questions that will officially be answered by the time the puck drops, but preliminary answers have…

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Lightning awaits conference finals opponent

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The Tampa Bay Lightning has secured their place in the Eastern Conference Finals of the National Hockey League Playoffs. Sunday’s 4-0 blanking of the New York Islanders sent Coach Jon Cooper and his staff into preparation mode for the next round. Coaches and players are frequently asked “who would you rather play in the next round?” The choices are the Washington Capitals or the Pittsburgh Penguins. This question is normally answered with the politically correct “it doesn’t matter; either team…

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Lightning beats Islanders again for 3-1 lead in playoff series

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The Tampa Bay Lightning is one game away from returning to the NHL’s Conference Finals. The Lightning won its second consecutive overtime victory in Brooklyn, beating the New York Islanders 2-1 in overtime. The Bolts lead 3-1 and can close the series out on Sunday at Amalie Arena. Once again, Tampa Bay started slowly, being outplayed in the first period and outshot. They fell behind 1-0 on a goal by Kyle Okposo. That lead held until the third period, when…

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Ex-Bolt (not him) trips them up in opener

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In the end, it was a familiar face who did in the Tampa Bay Lightning. No, not that one. With all the attention on Marty St. Louis, it was Dominic Moore, a New York Rangers forward who played the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons with the Bolts, who knocked in the winning goal when the puck bounded off his shin pad with only 2:25 to play in the third period of Saturday’s opener of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals. Moore, who…

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The Lightning gathers itself, ousts Montreal in Game Six

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TAMPA There were questions. There were doubts. For crying out loud, there was Carey Price. It seems as if the world was ganging up on the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team that had lost two in a row and had the highlights of its season forgotten. The Montreal Canadiens had captured the momentum of their NHL playoff series against the Bolts, and although Tampa Bay had a 3-2 lead, that seemed like a mere technicality to those who preferred to…

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