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What's on your mind? What's Happening in the Fastpitch Softball World?
What's on your mind? What's Happening in the Fastpitch Softball World?
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WASHINGTON (AP) Facing elimination at home Brian Elliott Jersey , the Washington Capitals looked determined to hit everything that moved in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final.The goal was to finish checks on Tampa Bay Lightning players as much as possible, though at one point Devante Smith-Pelly decked Dan Girardi and took teammate Jay Beagle down with him.”I apologized to him,” Smith-Pelly said. ”I said sorry. He didn’t seem to care.”Sorry, not sorry.The Capitals made no apologies for taking the body and grinding out a physical 3-0 victory Monday night that tied the playoff series and set up a deciding Game 7. T.J. Oshie had a goal on the power play and into an empty net, Smith-Pelly scored a back-breaker and Braden Holtby stopped all 24 shots, but it was the bruising style that kept the Capitals alive and could still pay more dividends.”You’ve got to wear them down,” Smith-Pelly said. ”Every game, if guys are going to be playing 25, 30 minutes, it’s tough when you’re getting hit every single shift. We’ve been on the body all game and all series. If it shows up in Game 7 where guys are starting to get tired, then it was all worth it.”Game 7 is Wednesday night at Tampa Bay. The winner faces the Vegas Golden Knights, who are in the Stanley Cup Final in their first season.Alex Ovechkin, Tom Wilson and Brooks Orpik led the charge in the grueling Game 6 Womens Claude Giroux Jersey , throwing their bodies around all night like human wrecking balls. Orpik separated Cedric Paquette from the puck twice on one shift, Ovechkin leveled rookie Yanni Gourde and Wilson was his usual self, dishing out a handful of crushing body checks.The Capitals outhit the Lightning 39-19 and outshot them 34-24, bruising and battering them all over the ice.”It’s desperation, really,” Orpik said. ”You try to empty the tank as much as you can. That’s probably one area where we have an edge is the size and physical play.”That edge was noticeable in Game 6 when Washington fired up an already-raucous crowd well before Oshie’s power-play goal 15:12 into the second period. While Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was again on top of his game in stopping 31 of 33 shots, Orpik said the Capitals wanted to give back to fans for their energy and did so by laying out Lightning players.From Wilson’s big hit on Paquette on his first shift through the time Smith-Pelly scored with 9:58 left, the physical play took a toll on the Lightning, who didn’t have the energy left to muster a late comeback. Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos said simply the Capitals ”executed their game plan” and the Lightning didn’t respond.”They played with that desperate hockey and we should have matched it and we didn’t,” winger Ryan Callahan said. ”They played like their lives were on the line, and we played like we had another chance and that’s unfortunate, but we’ve got to change the script now in Game 7.”Tampa Bay had no answer for the physicality with a hit disparity coach Jon Cooper chalked up as, ”Somebody was engaged and somebody wasn’t.” The Lightning also couldn’t solve Holtby http://www.flyersshoponline.com/authent ... rov-jersey , who was at his best on a handful of deflection attempts to record his first shutout of these playoffs.”I was just trying to stay in the moment, focus on one puck at a time,” Holtby said. ”I try and stay the same level through the game.”The Lightning missed a chance to close out an opponent for the first time in these playoffs. They eliminated New Jersey and Boston in five games apiece but are now on the brink themselves.The Capitals improved to 10-2 in the Ovechkin/Nicklas Backstrom era when facing elimination any time before Game 7. They’re 3-7 in Game 7 over that time but will obviously take their chances after grinding their way back to 3-3 in the series.”I think it’s great that we’re close,” Oshie said. ”I think both teams for the most part figured out what works against the other team. It’s just a matter of who’s going to play longer, harder and do more of it.”NOTES: Washington improved to 4-5 at home in the playoffs. The Lightning dropped to 5-2 on the road. … An assist on Oshie’s first goal extended Capitals C Evgeny Kuznetsov’s point streak to nine games, tied with Backstrom in 2009 for the longest in franchise playoff history. … F Andre Burakovsky returned to the Capitals lineup after being a healthy scratch for Game 5, replacing Alex Chiasson.— On Saturday afternoon at the Prudential Center, the Florida Panthers conclude a weeklong residency in the Metro New York area with an off-Broadway matinee against the New Jersey Devils.The Panthers (2-3-3) arrived in New York on Monday, dropped a 5-2 decision to the Rangers on Tuesday, rallied for a 3-2 overtime victory over the Islanders on Wednesday and followed a day off Thursday filled with appearances at the NHL store and on NHL Network by several star players with a spirited practice on Friday.Next is a noon start against the Devils (4-2-1) on Saturday.Article continues below ...“Winning how we did (against the Islanders), tying the game in the third period and winning in overtime, gives us a lot of confidence going forward,” Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said after Friday’s practice. “We just need to bring the same energy we had last game to New Jersey.”Despite playing on consecutive nights Jakub Voracek Jersey Kids , the Panthers erased a two-goal deficit in the final period against the Islanders. Mike Hoffman capped the comeback with his fourth goal of the season for the overtime win.Barkov assisted on the game-winner and had two assists. He now has six points in the last five games.Teammate Evgenii Dadonov, who scored his fourth goal on Wednesday, carries a five-game point-scoring streak into Saturday’s matchup with New Jersey.“In hockey, you’re always looking for a spark, and I think we’re feeling inspired by that third-period comeback in Brooklyn,” Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad told the team’s website.While the Panthers seek their first consecutive wins of the season, as well as their first in regulation, the Devils hunt their first victory since Oct. 16.New Jersey started the season with four consecutive victories but remains winless since then with two regulation losses and, most recently, a 4-3 overtime loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday.Nico Hischier scored twice in the loss, Taylor Hall extended his point-scoring streak to six games and Kyle Palmieri notched his team-high 11th point. Yet the Devils let a one-goal slip away late in the third period Thursday before Nashville’s Kyle Turris scored the deciding goal in overtime.“I think we did a pretty good job of playing back to a type of game we need to play,” Devils captain Andy Greene said of the team’s effort on Thursday.Already missing injured forwards Jesper Bratt and Drew Stafford, goalie Cory Schneider and defensemen Steven Santini and Ben Lovejoy Youth Jordan Weal Jersey , the Devils practiced without center Marcus Johansson on Friday. He was absent because of an illness and is questionable to play against the Panthers.In addition, the Devils sent forward John Quenneville back to the minors on Friday and recalled rookie winger Joey Anderson from AHL Binghamton. Anderson had two goals and five points in eight minor league games this season.“There are some guys on our team right now who sometimes when they have the chance to shoot the puck from quality areas, they are bypassing the shots,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “For us, it has to be more pucks to the net, getting into the areas where you’re going to score goals. We need that from more of our forwards in the lineup.”After Saturday’s game, the Devils hit the road to play seven consecutive games away from the Prudential Center. So far, they played only once on the road, a 5-2 loss to the Flyers in Philadelphia last Saturday.The Panthers will leave New Jersey and head to Finland next week as part of the NHL Global Series. They will play two games against the Winnipeg Jets on Nov. 1-2.“I can’t believe it’s really going to happen,” said Barkov, a Finnish native. “I’m going back to Finland in a couple days. I can’t wait to see the atmosphere.”