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Eastern Conference

Capitals Look To End Penguins’ Elimination-Game Streak

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The Washington Capitals head into Monday night’s Game 6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins looking to end the Pens’ success in elimination games.

Washington leads the series 3-2 and can advance to the Eastern Conference final with a win, but the Penguins have had a knack for winning elimination games under coach Mike Sullivan.

The Capitals are 1-9 all time in postseason series against the Pens, who have served as a difficult hurdle for the Caps to clear in recent years.

“It’s not over yet,” Capitals winger Brett Connolly said. “They’re a good team. We know that. (Game 5) obviously a big win. We just need to find a way this year. We need to find a way to get that last win no matter what it takes.”

“I can tell you how I feel if there’s four wins,” Washington goaltender Braden Holtby said. “Where it’s at right now doesn’t matter at all. All that matters is the next game. That’s got to be our mindset if we want to have success and take a mature approach to it.”

“We’ve done it before,” Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin said.

“We know we’ve got it in this group. We’re going back home. We’ve been good at home all year. We win one game there, come back (to Washington) and play a Game 7. That’s nothing new to us, nothing we’re afraid of. We’ve just got to bring our best effort again in Game 6.”

“It comes down to character and the people we have in our dressing room,” he said.

“Everybody understands the situation,” Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby said. “It brings out everyone’s best. You don’t have anything to save it for, so you go out there with one focus, and that’s win a hockey game and get to a Game 7. That’s our mindset here.

“We have a lot of good things to build off. We just need to make sure we keep going, keep playing the same way.”

It should be a fun game on Monday night, but if the Caps can’t pull off the victory, is the series over before the puck drops for Game 7?

Carolina Hurricanes

Hurricanes Activate Goalie Scott Darling

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Carolina Hurricanes goalie Scott Darling has been officially activated from injured reserve Monday and then subsequently assigned to the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers on a conditioning stint,  Hurricanes’ general manager Don Waddell announced on Monday.

Darling will suit up on Wendesday for the Checkers as they take on the Utica Comets and it will mark Darling’s first appearance since suffering a lower-body injury during Carolina’s final preseason contest back on September 30th.

Darling is looking to bounce back following a rough 2017-2018 campaign.

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Seth Jones To Make Season Debut Against Arizona

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Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones will make his long-awaited season debut on Tuesday as the Blue Jackets take to the ice to face off with the Arizona Coyotes, Columbus head coach John Tortella announced on Monday.

Jones has been out since a preseason game back on September 25th which saw him suffer an MCL sprain that was initially to sideline him for four-to-six weeks of time.

The return of Jones will be a welcome sight for the Blue Jackets as Jones finished second in team scoring last season and led all Columbus defensemen with 57 points.

 

 

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Eastern Conference

Devils’ Jesper Bratt Out 2-3 Weeks

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New Jersey Devils forward Jesper Bratt will be out 2-3 weeks with a broken jaw.

Bratt, 20, was injured Thursday when he was hit in the face by a puck that was shot from the point and deflected off the crossbar.

“It was just a freak accident after practice; he was in the corner and there was a shot that went to the net and it hit the crossbar and inadvertently hit him,” Devils head coach John Hynes said (h/t NHL.com). “He has a fracture and no surgery is needed, so that’s good news. He should be able to continue his physical activity over the course of that time and he’ll be back ready to go when that time comes.”

“It stinks because he’s had a great training camp,” Devils forward Travis Zajac said. “He was playing better than how he started last year, but he’ll get a chance to come back even stronger. It’s one of those things as a young guy you just have to take in stride, not let it bother you, and just make sure you’re prepared to contribute when you do come back.”

“I met up with him right away after practice Thursday, and you feel so bad for him,” New Jersey forward Marcus Johansson stated. “This is once-in-a-lifetime thing to play an NHL game in Sweden and having family and friends here. He was playing really well, too, and working hard all summer.

“It’s not a fun situation and he’s not happy right now, but he’s a young kid and he has a lot of hockey ahead of him so you don’t want to risk anything by coming back too soon.”

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