Malkin's status for Game 6 uncertain

Penguins Vs. Flyers Live Stream: Watch NHL Playoffs Game 5 Online
Michal Neuvirth gets Game 5 start for Flyers; Couturier returns to lineup
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23 April, 2018

Now the Penguins will try to take a powerful 3-1 lead in Game 4 Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

There was no need for change in Pittsburgh, which has developed a killer instinct under coach Mike Sullivan it lacked at times earlier in the Crosby/Evgeni Malkin era.

Lemieux's joke carried with it a pair of messages.

"I don't know, we go on the road and play our game and play it hard", Claude Giroux said by way of an explanation. He slipped by his boss because the Penguins - thanks in no small part to their captain - keep finding a way to win in the postseason.

Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves for his second shutout of the series, and Mark Scheifele added a goal in the third to help the Jets finish off the Wild.

The Penguins lead the best of seven game series 3-2 and can eliminate the Philadelphia Flyers with a win.

Sullivan downplays his role in it, preferring to put the emphasis on his star-laden roster.

"I thought the second and third (periods) we were much better", Crosby said.

"I think it's ideal", Hagg said. And that's against a Philadelphia team which had been averaging 32.1 shots per game during the regular season.

Malkin, who did not practice Saturday, temporarily left Game 5 after colliding with Flyers forward Jori Lehtera at 16:25 of the first period, resulting in Lehtera falling on his left leg. Malkin returned for the start of the second period and played 20:22 in Pittsburgh's 4-2 loss, which cut its lead in the best-of-7 series to 3-2. The cross-state rivals have engaged in what amounts to an outlier of sorts in the typically taut playoffs.

With Josh Morrissey suspended for Friday's game, Niku would become the second Winnipeg defenceman to make his playoff debut in as many games after Tucker Poolman did so on Tuesday, registering three shots on goal and a blocked shot in 8:17 of ice time. The Flyers scored one goal for in the two games and allowed ten goals against.

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"It's been weird", Pittsburgh center Derick Brassard said.

The Penguins figure to get one key player - Patric Hornqvist - back in the lineup for Game 6 against the Flyers Sunday, but now it seems Evgeni Malkin's availability could be up in the air.

Couturier believes the Flyers have maintained belief in themselves and it shows.

Philadelphia got a boost from a returning player Friday.

"It's frustrating that we weren't able to close it out on home ice", winger Conor Sheary said. The challenge will be even greater because the Penguins always seem to bring their "A" game at the Wells Fargo Center.

Predators forward Ryan Hartman was scheduled to have a telephone hearing with the National Hockey League on Thursday after his shoulder met the head of the Avalanche's Carl Soderberg early in the third period of the Predators' 3-2 win on Wednesday night. They got a power play shortly after. Pittsburgh's Alex Kovalev gave the Penguins an early lead, but a third-period goal from John LeClair sent the game to extra time (a lot of extra time).

There's much work to be done before another one can be planned, but Pittsburgh is three periods away from getting at least as far as the last three teams trying for a threepeat - the 1998-99 Detroit Red Wings, the 1992-93 Penguins and the 1988-89 Edmonton Oilers. "But just like we have all series, I think we're going to put it behind us and focus on the next one".

During the playoffs, the Penguins have been very good on offense as they come in ranked 2nd in scoring at 4.00 gpg, while also ranking 11th in shots taken (31.2 spg) and 9th in power play conversions, converting on 20.8% of their chances.

It was his first goal in the playoffs since April 29th, 2014.

"We have to make sure we give ourselves a chance with the urgency", Crosby said.

"What he did, he was a warrior tonight and obviously our MVP", Gostisbehere said. We want to take it so bad and have this opportunity. Hopefully, I can bring something to the team, some energy.


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