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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?

Eastern Conference

Lightning Shopping Slater Koekkoek

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The Tampa Bay Lightning are shopping defenseman, and former first round pick, Slater Koekkoek, according to SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Tampa Bay is now motivated to trade away their once prized prospect, who is currently playing with the Syracuse Crunch on a conditioning stint.

Koekkoek is waiver eligible and will become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in the summer of 2019.

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky Will Not Dress Due To Team Incident

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that veteran goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will not dress for tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators due to what is being described as an “incident”.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen stated the following:

“There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture. An incident occurred in which Sergei failed to meet those expectations and values, so we made the decision that he would not be with the team for tonight’s game. This is an internal matter and we will have no further comment at this time.”

In corresponding moves, the Blue Jackets has recalled Jean-Francois Berube, and placed both Brandon Dubinsky and Markus Hannikainen on injured reserve.

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Eastern Conference

Leafs’ Frederik Andersen Targeting Saturday Return

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Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltender Frederik Andersen said that he is eyeing the team’s upcoming game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday to make his return to the ice.

Andersen was placed on injured reserve on January 3rd, retroactive to December 23rd, and hasn’t played since December 22nd.

Despite his goal of a Saturday return, Maple Leafs’ head coach Mike Babcock is looking towards Monday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche as the best time for his return.

Babcock pours a little cold water on Andersen’s reveal, saying it might be Monday vs. Colorado. Hmmm…— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) January 9, 2019

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