n Hynes told reporters afterward. “It’s always one of those

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:12 am    Post subject: n Hynes told reporters afterward. “It’s always one of those Reply with quote

PITTSBURGH (AP) Mike Sullivan knew the Stanley Cup hangover was coming. Even if the Pittsburgh Penguins coach danced around the phrase whenever the subject came up during the opening three months of the season as the two-time defending champions alternated between sizzling and sleepy.”The first part of the year was a bit of a struggle Jason Zucker Jersey ,” Sullivan said. ”It wasn’t anything we didn’t anticipate as a coaching staff going into it.”Sullivan didn’t panic – to be fair, he never really does – and instead offered a reminder to his team that nothing was inevitable.Maybe not. It just sort of feels that way in Pittsburgh when Sidney Crosby and the Penguins are involved.The proof came on Saturday night, when a pair of third-period goals by the NHL’s best power play pushed Pittsburgh to a 5-2 victory over Montreal to clinch a franchise-record 12th straight postseason berth.”If you don’t make it to the playoffs you can’t win the Stanley Cup,” said forward Patric Hornqvist, who picked up the 200th goal of his career in the first period. ”That’s the first step in this room, to make the playoffs. Now we have to make sure we try to get better every single time we come to the rink. We know what it’s all about in the playoffs. Hopefully we’ll have a really fun run.”Something that’s become a rite of spring since Sullivan took over in December 2015. The Penguins became the first club in nearly 20 years to win back-to-back Cups last June and considering their play since New Year’s Day, they look like a very legitimate threat to give the NHL its first three-peat since the New York Islanders won four straight from 1980-83.Pittsburgh is now 26-10-3 in 2018, a surge that’s pulled the Penguins within three points of first-place Washington in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals visit PPG Paints Arena on Sunday night.”By no means are we satisfied Joel Eriksson Ek Jersey ,” Sullivan said. ”We know there’s another level to our team and that’s what we’re striving for.”Phil Kessel, Riley Sheahan, Conor Sheary and Carl Hagelin scored for Pittsburgh, which dominated the largely listless Canadiens to improve to 17-1-1 in their last 19 games at homes. Matt Murray finished with 24 saves for the Penguins, who swept their season series with Montreal for only the second time in franchise history.”We will use these last couple games to try to find some little things so we are ready to go for when the playoffs start,” Murray said.Jeff Petry and Jonathan Drouin scored for the Canadiens, who lost for the fifth time in seven games. Antti Niemi made 28 stops but Montreal couldn’t handle the NHL’s top-ranked power play. The Penguins went 3 for 5 with the man advantage, including Kessel and Sheahan scoring less than two minutes apart in the third period to blow open a one-goal game.”At the end of the day Authentic Marcus Johansson Jersey , our penalty kill gives up three goals and if we’re not going to do the job right, we’re not going to pay the price,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said.Niemi actually began the season as the Penguins’ top backup after Marc-Andre Fleury was traded to Las Vegas and Murray became fully entrenched at the top spot. The plan lasted all of a month. Niemi found himself on waivers in late October after going 0-3 with a 7.50 goals against average, all of the losses coming on the road.While Niemi has rediscovered his game in Montreal, perhaps it’s fitting the Penguins reached the postseason with their former teammate – however briefly it lasted – in the opposing net. Niemi’s awful numbers in Pittsburgh weren’t entirely his fault. The play in front of him at times was lethargic.The team Niemi faced on Saturday still has some issues in its own end, but the Penguins also have the kind of firepower few can match. Pittsburgh scored three goals in a 4:55-span in the first to erase a one-goal deficit. Kessel and Sheahan beat Niemi 1:49 apart in the third and the countdown to a potential three-peat was officially on.”Obviously you want to go into the playoffs with a lot of swagger and a lot of confidence,” Hagelin said. ”Hopefully we can string a few more together.”NOTES: Penguins F Derick Brassard missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury. … Kessel left in the third period with an undisclosed injury and did not return. … The Penguins are now 9-7-2 on the first night of back-to-backs this season. … Pittsburgh C Sidney Crosby’s five-game goal streak ended, though he did have one assist. … The Penguins’ 12-year playoff run is a franchise record. The team reached the postseason 11 straight times from 1990-2001.UP NEXTCanadiens: Host New Jersey on Sunday. The teams have split their first two games Michael Hutchinson Jersey Womens , each winning on home ice.Penguins: will try to take the season series from Washington on Sunday night. Pittsburgh won two of the first three meetings.— NEWARK, N.J. — The New Jersey Devils got a boost from an unexpected source during the first game of a back-to-back set Thursday night. On Friday, the Ottawa Senators will hope the return of a familiar face can generate momentum as they begin their own stretch of two games in as many nights.Center Matt Duchene is expected to play for the first time in more than two weeks Friday night, when the Senators visit the Devils at Prudential Center.The Senators haven’t played since Monday, when they edged the visiting Nashville Predators 4-3 in overtime. The Devils lost Thursday night, when they fell to the host Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1.Article continues below ...Duchene has missed the last seven games due to a groin injury he suffered against the Montreal Canadiens on Dec. 4. The Senators (15-16-4) went 3-3-1 without Duchene, who has cemented himself as one of Ottawa’s top offensive threats since he was acquired from the Colorado Avalanche on Nov. 5, 2017. Duchene ranked fourth on the team in points (49) last season despite his late arrival and is third this year (34 points) even after missing most of this month.“It’s gigantic for us http://www.officialdevils.com/authentic-adidas-miles-wood-jersey ,” Senators head coach Guy Boucher told reporters following practice Thursday. “We know he’s a big part of this team — one of the pillars, for sure. He’s a point-per-game player. If you count all the games that there’s a one-goal difference, that’s a lot of games.”A lack of success in one-goal games has undone the Devils (11-15-7), who are last in the 16-team Eastern Conference. With Thursday’s loss, New Jersey has now lost 10 of its 13 one-goal games (3-3-7).Despite the loss, the Devils got some unexpected help from a rookie goaltender. MacKenzie Blackwood made his first NHL start in that game and was saddled with the tough-luck loss after stopping 36 shots. Alas, one of the two shots that got past Blackwood was a second-period penalty shot by Cam Atkinson that ended up as the game-winning goal.Although Blackwood did not get the win, his surprisingly good performance may pay dividends.“The fact that he can come in and play the way he did is big for our team Nico Hischier Jersey ,” Devils head coach John Hynes told reporters afterward. “It’s always one of those things where it’s (important to make) a first impression. And tonight was a great first impression. I think he earned the trust of his teammates and that’s important for a goalie.”Number one goalie Keith Kinkaid will likely return to net for the Devils Friday, when he’ll be opposed by Senators starter Craig Anderson.Kinkaid last played Tuesday, when he took the loss after allowing five goals on 21 shots before being pulled following the second period of the Devils’ 7-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Anderson earned the win Sunday, when he recorded 31 saves against the Predators.Kinkaid is 2-2-0 in five career appearances against the Senators. Anderson is 11-3-2 in 16 games against the Devils.
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