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Pens Points: ECF Game 4

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Let's go for some more road winning while we're at it.

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning one and all,

Patric Hornqvist left game 3 after blocking a shot with his hand, and his status for game 4 remains uncertain, despite Mike Sullivan saying he didn't think it would be a serious thing. [PPG]

*Now that the baby Pens season is over, the Pens have recalled a group of players to be with the big club in the final stretch of the season. Great article as always from Seth Rorabaugh about the benefits of being a Black Ace. [Empty Netters]

Chris Kunitz can and does seem a little lost playing in various spots up and down the lineup. One spot where he definitely doesn't seem lost is on the left side of Sidney Crosby. [PPG]

Also, Carl Hagelin is better than sliced bread. What a player that guy is. One Ranger who always killed us and now he's with the good guys. [Trib]

Mike Sullivan was one of the guests on Hockey Today podcast with the ESPN hockey crew [audio]. [ESPN]

For more good audio, check out the Garage League podcast from our friends Lyle and Andy - always great Pens discussions. [SoundCloud]

Phil Kessel is remaking his image on hockey's biggest stage. Which would be a great story if his image needed repair to begin with. [Sportsnet]

***I was reminded of this amazing profile of him written while he was still in Toronto. Kudos to this reporter, who persevered for months in order to portray the real Phil Kessel. Nice guy, tries hard, loves the game and it ought to be enough, but for whatever reason it never was enough. Highly recommended. [Sportsnet]

Showtime Sports is set to air the first episode of All Access: Quest for the Stanley Cup tonight at 9 pm EST. Okay, great, we're all excited to watch that, but why would you air the premiere in the middle of the only NHL playoff game of the evening? This league, man. [NHL]

Tampa has struggled in this series without him, yet it doesn't look like Stamkos will come to the rescue.  It must be really tough for a player as great as him to sit tight and recover, but his health comes first, no doubt about that. [National Post]

Which team-building lessons can we learn from the final four teams still standing in these NHL playoffs? [Down Goes Brown]

The Sharks swept the ice with the Blues last night en route to a 3-0 win behind some great passing by Jumbo Joe, great shooting by Ninja Hertl, and a phenomenal overall game by Brent Burns and Paul Martin. [San Jose Mercury News]

Despite a mediocre showing in round-robin games, the US squad is through to the semifinals at the Worlds, propelled by a breakout game from Auston Mathews, who scored USA's lone regulation and shootout goals (both of which were special). [Sportsnet]

Canada trounced Sweden 6-0 to set up the semifinal matchup with the US. Aside from a terrible game they played against Finland, Canada has played really well in the tournament so far. [CBC]

A federal judge in Minnesota has denied the NHL's motion to dismiss the concussion lawsuit, so the case is going forward. [AP]

**A really excellent interview with the guy forging ahead with the lawsuit, the great Bernie Nicholls. [ESPN]

For the end, a very moving article from Scottie Upshall about the devastation and perseverance in his hometown of Fort McMurray. [The Players' Tribune]

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Time to vote for your preferred Crosby/Malkin winger configurations in the poll below. In the comments, let us know why you voted that way or if there was perhaps another combination not offered that you prefer.