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Pens look to eliminate Flyers in Game 6

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

For the Pittsburgh Penguins' second crack at clinching a spot in the second round of the playoffs, they could get a key player back, but the status of another is less clear.

Feisty winger Patric Hornqvist, a stalwart on the power play and a fount of upbeat energy, could return Sunday for Game 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center after missing the past two games because of an unspecified injury. He practiced Saturday with no contact restrictions.

"Got bumped around a bit," he said, adding that he hopes to play.

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Avs hope to force Game 7 vs. Predators

The Colorado Avalanche players were supposed to be cleaning out their lockers this weekend, talking about their return to the playoffs and speaking optimistically of next season.

At least that was the assumption when their first-round series with the Predators, the NHL's top seed, shifted to Nashville for Game 5 on Friday.

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Leafs, Jackets go home in must-win mode

A year after Mike Babcock told arena staffers in Washington he'd see them a few days later for Game 7, John Tortorella claimed his Blue Jackets would be back after winning Game 6 back in Columbus.

Now the trick is doing what Babcock's Toronto Maple Leafs couldn't last year: stave off elimination from the Capitals.

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Fleury believed early on Vegas would win

LAS VEGAS (AP) Marc-Andre Fleury never believed the expansion Vegas Golden Knights were a team built just for the future, and that losing would be acceptable because it was the inaugural season.

On Sept. 13, the three-time Stanley Cup goaltender said: "It's not something I accept. Every guy here wants to win. We know where we're at, we won't accept losing. We're looking at winning some games."

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Sharks G Jones continues playoff success

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) For years, the San Jose Sharks seemed to have all the ingredients necessary to win a Stanley Cup. With the possible exception of a goaltender who could steal a game when the rest of the team wasn't in top form.

Martin Jones has been just that kind of goalie since coming to San Jose three years ago. He helped the Sharks make it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016; was their best player in a first-round loss to Edmonton a year ago; and played at an elite level once again during a first-round sweep against Anaheim this month.

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Top-seeded Lightning oust Devils in 5

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Lightning understand what it takes to be successful in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

"You need your best players to be the best players, and they rose to the occasion," coach Jon Cooper said Saturday after the top seed in the Eastern Conference beat the New Jersey Devils 3-1, ending their first-round series in five games.

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Jets win first-ever playoff series

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Minnesota Wild forward Eric Staal got right to the point.

"It couldn't have gone any worse at the start for us, and it couldn't have gone any better for them," Staal said. "They got the momentum and ran with it, especially early."

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Fourth line helped Sharks sweep Ducks

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Eric Fehr and Marcus Sorensen spent most of the season toiling in the AHL, just waiting for their chance.

That opportunity has arrived in the playoffs for San Jose and those two fourth-line forwards are a major reason why the Sharks swept Anaheim to advance to a second-round series against Vegas.

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Wild sent to another early playoff exit

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) No team in the ultra-competitive Western Conference has made the playoffs more times in a row than the Minnesota Wild, with six straight appearances to share the current streak lead with the Anaheim Ducks.

That regular season consistency has only led, however, to April dissatisfaction. Ousted in five games by Winnipeg in their first-round series, the Wild were sent again to an early exit from the Stanley Cup tournament. They were shut out by the Jets in the last two contests and finished with a scoreless streak of 141:47.

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Hurricanes' Peters resigns after 4 years

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Bill Peters has not been able to lead the Carolina Hurricanes back to the NHL playoffs and after coming up short following his fourth season with the club, announced Friday that he is resigning.

"I feel like this is a good time to move on," Peters said in a statement issued by the team, "and I am looking forward to my next challenge."

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