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Playoff Buzz: Penguins, Senators get ready for Game 7

Pittsburgh hoping injured players return Thursday; Ottawa needs big effort from goalie Craig Anderson

NHL.com @NHL

Welcome to the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoff Buzz, your daily look at the stories impacting the 2016-17 postseason. Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators is Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports). NHL.com writers covering the playoffs will be checking in throughout the day to give you latest news. Here is the playoff news for Wednesday:

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playoffs

Penguins confident they can win another Game 7

Hope past experience will help them eliminate Senators, reach Stanley Cup Final for second straight year

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / NHL.com Staff Writer

OTTAWA -- Even now, almost exactly a year later, Bryan Rust has trouble explaining it.

The Pittsburgh Penguins right wing had three Stanley Cup Playoff goals before Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning last season, and one of them came in Game 6 of that series. Then Rust scored both goals in a 2-1 win that sent the Penguins to the Stanley Cup Final, where they won the championship. 

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NHL Insider

Belief fuels Senators' confidence entering Game 7

Ottawa feels it has personnel, strategy to defeat Penguins

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

OTTAWA -- Clarke MacArthur wondered if he was the only one who still believed the Ottawa Senators could get to the Stanley Cup Final after losing 7-0 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Then he had a conversation with defenseman Dion Phaneuf during a ride home after their flight touched down in Ottawa late Sunday, hours after getting, as several Senators players have since said, slapped in the face by the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena.

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playoffs

Ryan Johansen of Predators calls injury 'absolutely incredible'

Nashville forward describes aftermath that led to emergency surgery during Western Conference Final

by Mike Battaglino / NHL.com Staff Writer

Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen on Wednesday detailed the path from a hit during the Western Conference Final to emergency surgery on his left leg that will keep him out of the Stanley Cup Final.

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playoffs

Predators optimistic Mike Fisher will play in Game 1 of Final

Nashville center missed last two games against Anaheim in conference final with undisclosed injury

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Predators are optimistic center Mike Fisher will be in the lineup for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday, general manager David Poile said.

"I think there's a real good chance of that," Poile said Wednesday. "I'm pretty sure you'll see him on the ice [at practice Thursday], so let's just give that a couple of days. But I'm optimistic that he will be available."

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Short Shifts

P.K. Subban gives ESPN's Jeremy Schaap interview, fashion lesson

Predators defenseman will be featured on upcoming episode of 'E:60'

NHL.com @NHL

Fans hoping for a glimpse inside P.K. Subban's colorful closet will get their chance on Sunday.

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playoffs

Sidney Crosby ultimate X-factor for Penguins in Game 7 vs. Senators

Pittsburgh captain has history of elevating performance when stakes are highest

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

OTTAWA -- The Pittsburgh Penguins have plenty of reasons to be confident heading into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Ottawa Senators in Pittsburgh on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

But one stands above all the matchups, coaching decisions and other intangibles: Sidney Crosby.

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playoffs

Craig Anderson, Senators focused on defeating Penguins to reach Cup Final

Ottawa goaltender says, 'When you get to be a guy my age, you run out of next years'

by Chris Stevenson / NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- One win away from playing in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time, Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson doesn't want to waste what could be the last best opportunity of his 14-season NHL career.

The Senators will play the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) with the winner advancing to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Nashville Predators on Monday.

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NHL Insider

Peter Laviolette of Predators has admirer in exclusive club

Scotty Bowman, one of three other coaches to take more than two teams to Final, appreciates his ability to change styles

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

The list of three has grown by one in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette the newest member to join an exclusive club.

By getting the Predators to the Stanley Cup Final, Laviolette has joined, in order, Dick Irvin, Scotty Bowman and Mike Keenan as a coach who has guided three teams -- four, in Bowman's case -- to the postseason's championship round.

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news

Panthers hope to hire coach before NHL Draft: report

GM Dale Tallon narrowing down 'six or seven guys' to try to fill opening by June 23

NHL.com @NHL

The Florida Panthers hope to hire a coach in time for the 2017 NHL Draft, general manager Dale Tallon told NBC Miami on Wednesday.

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Short Shifts

Auston Matthews gets in on Mitchell Marner meme

Maple Leafs forwards have fun with photo editing, candid airport snap

NHL.com @NHL

Mitchell Marner's boyish looks have turned him into a meme.

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news

Justin Schultz, Patric Hornqvist could return for Penguins in Game 7

Coach Mike Sullivan says 'it's reasonable' that injured defenseman, forward might be available to face Senators

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / NHL.com Staff Writer

OTTAWA -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz and right wing Patric Hornqvist could return from injury to play in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Ottawa Senators at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Before the Penguins flew back to Pittsburgh on Wednesday, coach Mike Sullivan said "it's reasonable" to expect Schultz or Hornqvist might be available Thursday. Each player has an upper-body injury.

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Over The Boards

Mailbag: Offseason moves for Kevin Shattenkirk, T.J. Oshie, Dan Bylsma

NHL.com's Dan Rosen answers weekly questions

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

Here is the May 24 edition of Dan Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run every Wednesday through the course of the 2016-17 NHL season. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

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NHL Combine

Expansion Golden Knights set for first Scouting Combine

Vegas will get to see potential choices in 2017 NHL Draft

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

The expansion Vegas Golden Knights will take the next step in building their team when general manager George McPhee and director of amateur scouting Scott Luce attend the 2017 NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo from May 29-June 3.

The combine will give the League's first new team since the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild joined the NHL in 2000 the opportunity to determine which players might best fit its needs. The Golden Knights have the No. 6 pick in the first round, as determined by the NHL Draft Lottery, and have the third pick in Rounds 2-7.

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news

Craig Cunningham joins Coyotes as pro scout

26-year-old had to retire as player after pregame heart attack with Arizona's AHL team on Nov. 19

NHL.com @NHL

Craig Cunningham is eager to get started in his new role after signing a two-year contract as a professional scout with the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday.

"I'm very excited to begin the next chapter of my life with the Coyotes," Cunningham said. "I'm very grateful to [general manager] John Chayka, [coach] Dave Tippett, the Coyotes and [Tucson] organizations, and all of the great fans across Arizona for the incredible support I've received over the past year. I'm looking forward to helping the Coyotes, and I can't wait to get started in my new role."

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Short Shifts

#TBT: Viral sensation 'Buckle Up Baby' backed the Penguins

Young fan's reaction coincided perfectly with announcer's call, ignited internet

NHL.com @NHL

It's Game 7 in Pittsburgh, and you know what that means. It's time to buckle up, baby.

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news

Avalanche won't comment on seeking interview with Kyle Dubas: report

Maple Leafs assistant GM may have been granted permission to talk to Colorado

NHL.com @NHL

The Colorado Avalanche are not commenting on a report that they have been granted permission to interview Toronto Maple Leafs assistant general manager Kyle Dubas.

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news

Chris Lee reportedly hopes to join NHL team next season

36-year-old defenseman played for Canada at Worlds, leaving KHL after four seasons

NHL.com @NHL

Defenseman Chris Lee, who played for Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, is reportedly looking to play in the NHL next season.  

Lee, 36, was the only player on Canada who has never played in the NHL. He has played the past four seasons with Metallurg in the Kontinental Hockey League and last season set the KHL record for points by a defenseman.

"For some reason I keep getting better as I get older, and I have trouble explaining it," Lee told Sportsnet.

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NHL Centennial

Islanders dynasty began 37 years ago

Bobby Nystrom's goal at 7:11 of overtime in Game 6 against Flyers gave New York first of four consecutive Stanley Cup championships

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

It's a scene that still thrills New York Islanders fans: forward Bobby Nystrom's backhand chip of a pass from linemate John Tonelli sailing past Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Pete Peeters, giving the former NHL laughingstocks the first of what became four consecutive Stanley Cup championships.

At 7:11 of overtime 37 years ago Wednesday, on May 24, 1980, a sweltering Saturday afternoon, the Stanley Cup took up residence on Long Island.

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NHL Centennial

Mark Messier backed guarantee of Rangers victory with hat trick

Captain scored three goals in season-saving win against Devils on May 25, 1994

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

One day before Mark Messier scored his hat trick 23 years ago, three goals that pulled the New York Rangers off the mat and willed them to a win that for half the game looked like an impossibility, he spoke to a gathering of reporters at practice.

Messier had a message to send before Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New Jersey Devils on May 25, 1994. With the Rangers trailing 3-2 in the best-of-7 series, his intention was to show confidence in his teammates that they could go into New Jersey, win Game 6, avoid elimination, come back across the Hudson River and win Game 7 at Madison Square Garden two days later.

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NHL Centennial

Lanny McDonald relished closing NHL career with Stanley Cup

Helped Flames defeat Canadiens at Forum to win championship on May 25, 1989

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Lanny McDonald did not have to think for long when asked about his favorite playoff memory. He responded immediately with May 25, 1989, the date of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens.

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prospect

Ethan Bear focused on future with Oilers after rough Memorial Cup

Defenseman had no points in three losses with Seattle at tournament

by Dave Hogg / NHL.com Correspondent

WINDSOR, Ontario -- Defenseman Ethan Bear won't take many fond memories away from the 2017 Memorial Cup.

Bear helped Seattle win its first Western Hockey League championship and play in the Memorial Cup for first time, but he was held off the scoresheet in a 7-0 loss to Saint John at WFCU Centre on Tuesday.

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Conference Final

NHL LiveWire: Ducks at Predators, Game 6

Nashville coach Peter Laviolette, Anaheim assistant Paul MacLean mic'd up in Western Conference Final

NHL.com @NHL

NHL LiveWire: ANA vs. NSH, Gm6

Ducks, Preds mic'd up for raucous Game 6

Listen in as the Predators finish off the Ducks in Game 6 in Nashville to advance to the first Stanley Cup Final in franchise history

  • 02:23 •

Each day through the third round, NHL LiveWire will take fans inside the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Stanley Cup Final

Bridgestone Arena's star-studded stage awaits Stanley Cup Final

Predators superstar anthem singers help make Nashville's game atmosphere second to none

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Predators have become recognized for their game presentation at Bridgestone Arena throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They'll try to improve upon that in their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

The Predators have worked to make their in-game experience as entertaining and engaging as possible. The result has been an environment as unique as there is in sports, starting with celebrities singing the national anthem throughout the postseason.

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Stanley Cup Final

Stanley Cup Final will begin Monday, May 29

Nashville will open series at either Pittsburgh or Ottawa

NHL.com @NHL

The 2017 Stanley Cup Final will begin Monday, May 29, with Game 1 between the Nashville Predators and either the Pittsburgh Penguins or the Ottawa Senators.

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Conference Final

Coach's analysis: Penguins don't need to change approach for Game 7

Former NHL assistant Jim Corsi says attacking Senators down low could be best way to return to Stanley Cup Final

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

For additional insight into the Eastern Conference Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators, NHL.com has enlisted the help of Jim Corsi to break down the action. Corsi has been checking in throughout the series and dissecting the games from the Senators' perspective. He added to his responsibilities after Game 6 to talk about the Penguins' side of things too.

Corsi, 62, is the former goaltending coach for the Buffalo Sabres (2001-14) and St. Louis Blues (2014-17). He also played 26 NHL games with the Edmonton Oilers in the 1979-80 season.

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Press Release

Key statistics for Senators-Penguins Game 7

Ottawa is 0-5 since joining NHL in 1992; Pittsburgh is 9-7 overall, 3-7 at home

by NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL / NHL.com

NEW YORK -- The Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators will face off in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final Thursday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh (8 p.m., ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The winner of Thursday's showdown will advance to the Stanley Cup Final and have home-ice advantage against the Western Conference champion Nashville Predators.

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NHL Draft

Michael DiPietro proving stature isn't everything

Windsor goaltender compensates for lack of size with athleticism, stellar work ethic

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday, NHL.com will look ahead to the 2017 NHL Draft with an in-depth profile on one of its top prospects.

Windsor goaltender Michael DiPietro might well be the most athletically gifted player at his position for the 2017 NHL Draft.

He also might be among the hardest-working. That's because DiPietro, No. 4 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American goaltenders for the 2017 draft, understands he might have to do more than some other goaltenders because of his size.

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playoffs

Watch every overtime goal in Stanley Cup Playoffs

Corey Perry scores for Ducks in Game 4 of Western Final against Predators

NHL.com @NHL

Playoffs loaded with OT action

Watch the OT winners of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Watch every overtime goal scored in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, as 16 teams embark on their quest for The Cup

  • 04:32 •

Corey Perry scored 10:25 into overtime to give the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 win against the Nashville Predators in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.

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This Date in NHL History

May 25: Mark Messier guarantees win, delivers for Rangers

Plus: Canadiens win Stanley Cup for third straight season; Lanny McDonald ends career as champion with Flames

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

Memories: Game 6 Guarantee

Memories: Messier guarantees Game 6 victory

On May 25, 1994, New York Rangers center Mark Messier guarantees a victory in Game 6 against the New Jersey Devils

  • 01:59 •

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: May 25

1994: Mark Messier delivers on his guarantee that the New York Rangers will defeat the New Jersey Devils in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final, scoring three goals in a 4-2 victory at Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

"We will win tonight," Messier tells reporters with the Rangers down 3-2 in the best-of-7 series. His words are splashed on the front pages of newspapers all around the city.

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