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09-29-2018, 10:18 PM,
#1
ADDING HOFFMAN
On Sunday http://www.officialhockeyrangersshop.com...aal-jersey , the urinals in Wells Fargo Arena featured photos of Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby.

If the Flyers don’t find a way to stop Crosby and Company on Wednesday night, it will be their season on its way down the drain.

Pittsburgh took a 2-1 lead with Sunday’s 5-1 win meaning a victory in Game 4 sends them back home with a chance to clinch the series and take a step toward their third straight Stanley Cup.

Already in trouble, the Flyers got bad news during Tuesday’s practice when Radko Gudas and Sean Couturier collided. Couturier was helped off the ice and his status is in doubt for Wednesday night.

“You don’t like to see that. Coots is playing 20 minutes a night for us right now, is a big piece to our team,” Flyers captain Claude Giroux told the Courier Post.

Couturier is playing over 24 points per game and has a goal and two assists in the series.

The Flyers’ leading scorer, Giroux is also a big piece of the team. He totaled seven goals and 11 assists in the final 10 games of the regular season as the Flyers drove to a playoff spot, finishing with a career-high 34 goals and 102 points.

He has one assist through the first three games of this series and two goals in his last 16 postseason games.

Scoring more is only half the equation for the Flyers. Holding the Penguins to a more manageable number of goals is the other. The Penguins had seven power play chances in Game 3 and scored three goals.

“We took six minor penalties in a 30-minute span in the middle of this hockey game,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol told NHL.com. “You’re not going to win hockey games (that way).”

Making Crosby a ‘target’ off the ice on Sunday didn’t do anything to slow him down as he notched a goal and three assists.

“It’s not the first building that’s happened in,” Crosby told USA Today of the photo placement. “I don’t know if they stole that idea from somewhere else. But yeah, it’s not the first time that’s happened.”

Crosby has 30 points in 20 career playoff games against the Flyers, including 15 points in nine career playoff games in Philadelphia.

“I just think it’s an indication of how competitive he is,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan told USA Today. “I think he thrives in that environment. I think he has a comfort level in that environment. When the stakes are high, if we’re in an away building and they’re important games, Sid tends to play his best.”

Evgeny Malkin had a goal and an assist, and Matt Murray made 26 saves for Pittsburgh in Game 3. Murray is 9-1 in games after a Penguins loss in the playoffs.

Travis Sanheim scored for the Flyers http://www.officialpredators.com/authent...man-jersey , and Brian Elliott made 21 saves.

On the Pittsburgh side, it’s Phil Kessel who is struggling, with one assist in the first three games. Kessel is expected to again be on a line with Malkin and Carl Hagelin.

“You look at the last couple of games, he had one that just missed the short-side off his stick,” Crosby told nhl.com, “and then last game, he had one low on the far-side that was a really good look. When he gets looks in those scoring areas, he doesn’t miss many of them. So I like his chances.”

The Penguins will be without a heart-and-soul player in rugged winger Patric Hornqvist. The team announced on Tuesday he will miss the game because of an upper-body injury.

“Horny’s not an easy guy to replace,” Sullivan told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He’s a unique player for us, and he brings a lot. I think we’re just going to have to, by committee, pick up the pieces and make sure that the opportunities that are given to others that Horny normally fills, they’re going to get a great opportunity to help this team win a game.”

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Panthers have a point to make this season.

A point to make up, too.

Ordinarily Connor Brown Jersey , 96 points in the standings gets a team into the Stanley Cup playoffs. Since the league went to its current points format — where a tie after regulation guarantees both teams one point — 99 percent of clubs who fared that well got into the postseason. Last season’s Panthers fell into that other 1 percent, joining the 2014-15 Boston Bruins as the lone 96-point clubs to miss the playoffs.

So once again, the goal in Florida going into a new year is the same — change the narrative and make the playoffs, something that hasn’t happened in 15 of their last 17 seasons.

“It got a little frustrating hearing it all the time, but we were, we were one point out,” said Panthers center Vincent Trocheck, who led the club with 31 goals last season. “We were the second team in NHL history with 96 points to not make the playoffs. Sucks even more when you hear something like that. But there’s only so many teams in the NHL that make the playoffs and we were one team short.”

The Panthers figured things out a bit too late last season, their first under coach Bob Boughner.

Over the season’s final 35 games, Florida was one of two teams to post 25 victories — Winnipeg being the other. The problem was, over the first 47 games, Florida had the fifth-fewest wins in the league with only 19. In the end, it added up to the third-best regular-season record in franchise history, and nothing else.

“I do think we went from probably not a lot of structure to having a ton of structure,” said Panthers forward Derek MacKenzie Valtteri Filppula Jersey , the team’s captain last season. “That probably did take a little bit of time. This coaching staff is super-prepared, super-detailed and that was definitely a learning curve for a lot of the guys.”

Some other things to know about the Panthers’ season:

LEADERSHIP CHANGES

Aleksander Barkov, Florida’s leading scorer last season — and someone the Panthers believe is right up there with the very best players in the NHL — has taken over for MacKenzie as captain. Trocheck, Aaron Ekblad, Jonathan Huberdeau and Keith Yandle will assist Barkov as assistant captains, two of them for home games, the other two on the road.

GOALIE DEPTH

The Panthers go into this season with Roberto Luongo, who turns 40 in the final week of the regular season, as their No. 1 goalie. The plan is for him to share time again with James Reimer, and Boughner doesn’t plan on having either play both ends of back-to-backs. It would help if the Panthers let whoever is in net see fewer pucks — Florida allowed 2,838 shots on goal last season, third-most in the NHL behind the Islanders (2,918) and Rangers (2,898).

FOUR IS ENOUGH

Florida was 25-1-3 when scoring at least four goals last season. When held to three goals or less, the Panthers went 19-29-5. And as one might expect Vladimir Sobotka Jersey , the inverse held true on the defensive end — when allowing four or more goals, Florida went 6-23-3. When allowing three goals or less, Florida was 38-7-5.

HOME COOKING

Florida set a franchise record with 27 victories on home ice last season, despite routinely playing in a building that is far less than filled — though, to be fair, the Panthers’ attendance situation has gotten considerably better in recent years. “Even when the building isn’t that full, our fans get loud. You can hear it and feel it,” Luongo said.

ADDING HOFFMAN

The big offseason move by the Panthers was adding top-six forward Mike Hoffman, who general manager Dale Tallon called “a perfect fit for our team.” Hoffman averaged 26 goals over the last four seasons in Ottawa, which traded him to San Jose (the Sharks then flipped him to Florida) this summer after allegations of Hoffman’s fiancee being accused of cyberbullying former Senators star defenseman Erik Karlsson and his wife. Hoffman and his fiancee have denied those claims.

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