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Pens Points: USA vs. Russia at the Worlds Today

Your daily source of Pittsburgh Penguins and NHL news and notes.

Good morning one and all,

After a couple days spent recovering from strep throat (which happens annually when you live with a bunch of carrier monkeys aka children), here is what's new in the world of hockey.

Johnstown, PA has won the inaugural title of Kraft Hockeyville USA. The Penguins will open the preseason there and host the Tampa Bay Lightning on September 29. []

Several Trib writers who cover the Penguins held the end-of-season roundtable discussion. Here it is (audio). [Sportstalk 501]

Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals are staying loose and confident going into game 3 against the Rangers. Frankly, the Rangers are lucky they are in a tie series so far. Ovechkin and Kuznetsov have both been lights out so far. [Washington Post]

In case you missed it, here is a really nice article about the unlikely friendship: Brooks Orpik has taken the Russian newcomer Evgeny Kuznetsov under his wing remembering how important Gonchar was for Malkin when he first came over. So far Kuzya is making the most of this postseason. [Washington Post]

Over in Montreal, the Habs find themselves on the ropes after the Lightning top scorers woke up and trail the series 0-2. Watch Steven Stamkos literally make a casserole out of Carey Price. More of this, please. [The Score]

Brandon Prust was not happy after the game and started a verbal war with the refs. He'll get fined for sure, though NHL refs do stink. []

The Blackhawks took a commanding 2-0 series lead by beating the Wild 4-1. Patrick Kane now has 101 points in 101 career playoff games. Still not as good as Sid but getting closer by the year. [Second City Hockey]

The Ducks are yet to lose in these playoffs, and the overmatched Calgary Flames are the latest fodder for their cannons. [ESPN]

Over in the Czech Republic, Sid has found the Latvians and the Germans to be much easier competition than the New York Rangers. He scored a nice shorthanded goal in the second game. [IIHF]

Canadians are super-excited about their next matchup, against the ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr and his Czech squad. Even Crosby admits he often catches himself just watching Jagr do his thing on the ice in silent amazement. [Edmonton Sun]

After sitting out Russia's first game, Evgeni Malkin dressed for their matchup with Slovenia and skated 14:12 minutes in a 5-3 win. [The Hockey Writers]

Team USA has brought all the youngsters and so far, so good. In the third game we play Russia at 10:15 am EDT today (live on NBCSN). [USA Hockey]

American Dan Sexton, who stars for KHL's Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, is arguably the key player in today's match-up against Russia. [IIHF]

Go USA (but little voice says go Geno too!)