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Pens Points: ECF Game 6

Pens face elimination in critical game 6. Let's try our forechecking best.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning one and all,

Pens are in Tampa taking on the Bolts in a crucial game 6. We'll get to see exactly what this team is made of in terms of how they will respond to two sizable letdowns that were games 4 and 5. [Penguins]

What is the mindset for Tampa heading into what could be a clincher for a return trip to Stanley Cup Finals? Could they be the team the Pens were in '08 and '09? Seems like everyone ignored them, but that's an excellent, balanced, well-coached team. [Trib]

The goalie situation is imperfect, because the boost Sullivan thought players might get from Fleury didn't really pan out in game 5. [Pens Inside Scoop]

Kris Letang is arguably the Pens most important player even without the loss of Trevor Daley. Letang was really great for a good while and then had two games that really underscore the conundrum that he is. He needs to play the smartest game of his life. [Trib]

In the absence of Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov has come up huge for the Lightning, with 19 points and 11 goals, behind only to Joe Pavelski. [NBC Sports]

*Short of the Pens winning it all, there is no team I'd rather see win the Cup that the San Jose Sharks, mostly for Joe T. I'm going to bookmark this and every time I think of all the hunger, poverty, illness and violence, I'll remember there is also Jumbo. [ESPN]

The Sharks do lead their series against the Blues 3-2 after Thornton and Pavelski led the way to a 6-3 win. [Sports Illustrated]

The Worlds are over, Canada is golden again, and top prospects Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine had themselves a very strong tournament, and it was Laine who was named tournament MVP and best forward. Winnipeg didn't lose draft lottery after all. [NHL]

Key game tonight. Even if the Pens don't win, I would consider this a pretty good run considering where this team was just 6 months ago. So let's play some hockey and see how it goes.