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Dan’s Daily: Update on Ref, Flyers Stink, Penguins Ride Wave



Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby, Alex Nedeljkovic. Stanley Cup playoffs await

The Pittsburgh Penguins are riding the tide of finally playing well and feeling like they are playing well. The Penguins took it to the Tampa Bay Lightning and then had to steel their nerves to overcome a furious rally. PHN takes you inside the locker room, where Michael Bunting had some great quotes, the chalkboard, where Mike Sullivan dialed up a couple of twists, and even the stands, where Evgeni Malkin’s parents were overwhelmed by the emotion. Elsewhere in the Daily, the Philadelphia Flyers’ collapse is nearly complete, and the NHL updated the status of referee Steve Kozari.

The Penguins are not out of the woods in their playoff hunt yet.

I’d like to thank so many of you for checking out our Penguins’ YouTube page. I may have to devote more time and money to polishing it. About 5,000 people watched our videos yesterday, including more than 2,000 who watched my postgame wrap.

I’m not usually one to be excited by a trip to Toronto. I’ve only been there more than 100 times and lived there for weeks during the pandemic, but this trip has me a little bit excited. I’m staying at the most affordably priced but trustworthy hotel in the city. There are about a dozen rooms above a jazz club in the heart of downtown. I’ll have one for the next two nights. Cheap and fun? I’m in.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: It was a scary moment in the Penguins game. A player and ref collided, and the ref wasn’t moving. Let’s start with the story and NHL’s update with good news on referee Steve Kozari.

The game recap: It looked like it was in hand. It looked like it was lost. And then, it looked (and sounded) like a huge Penguins win.

The crowd at PPG Paints Arena was the best of the season. With 10 minutes to go, people weren’t filing to the exits, and the noise level was off the charts. Welcome back.

The Penguins report card: Mike Sullivan’s little twists. The Penguins surge. Collapse. And the goal celly you could hear over 18,000 people. The full Penguins grades.

You can go inside the room. Michael Bunting dropped a few pretty good quotes, “It’s exciting, eh?” Sidney Crosby is keeping the group on task. And Alex Nedeljkovic keeps winning. Here’s the raw video and story from inside the Penguins locker room.

More takeaways and fun from the win with Dave Molinari’s Penguins six-pack.

It was both a touching moment and completely identifiable. After the chants of “Geno” rained from the rafters following Evgeni Malkin’s second goal, the arena was rocking, and the cameras cut to Malkin’s father, Vladimir. Saturday, he had to wipe away the emotion, and it was yet another great moment with Malkin’s parents.

VIDEO: The Q&A has some pretty good questions, including if Bunting makes the Penguins better than Jake Guentzel. We got into it all in the Penguins postgame.

NHL News & National Hockey Now

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Last but not least, perhaps most importantly, you can believe it. The results from around Eastern Conference and updated Pittsburgh Penguins playoff standings.

Philly Hockey Now: Down go the Flyers. Down go the Flyers. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are fading fast. Five to go, and the Flyers keep losing. Penguins fans, you can wipe the tears from your eyes. Reality is setting in after the latest Flyers loss.

Ottawa Sun: Jacques Martin admits he’s confused by his Ottawa Senators. Up and down, and down and up. He could join the club of coaches wondering what’s up with their team, but he won’t have to because Martin is the interim coach. “Firm but fair,” Bruce Garrioch goes through what Ottawa needs for its next coach.

New Jersey Hockey Now: Five back with five to go. The New Jersey Devils are hanging in there, though their odds are long.