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  • Penguins battle back from deficit to take series lead over Jackets

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports6 hrs ago

    Close, but no cigar for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

    Seeking the first-ever playoff win in franchise history, Columbus seemed to have the Pittsburgh Penguins on the ropes in Game 1 with a 3-1 lead, but Pittsburgh fought its way back with three unanswered goals to win 4-3, taking a 1-0 series lead in the process.

    Even in defeat, the Blue Jackets still made a little franchise history while also showing that they can compete with the established East power. Jack Johnson‘s 1-0 goal gave Columbus its first lead in a playoff game in franchise history .

    So there’s that.

    Overall, the Blue Jackets made a pretty convincing argument that they might make the Penguins sweat in this series, managing a 34-32 shot advantage while establishing a physical presence and a relentless, heavy forecheck.

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  • Canadiens take 1-0 series advantage over Lightning

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports7 hrs ago

    The Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning gave hockey fans plenty of what was expected (great work from Thomas Vanek and Steven Stamkos), yet the game was just as much about the unexpected. If the frequently wide-open pace wasn’t surprising enough, Dale Weise broke the star-scoring narrative by notching the 5-4 overtime game-winner to give Montreal a 1-0 series lead.

    Let’s take a look back at how the contest came down to Weise’s surprising game-winner.

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  • Flyers goalie Steve Mason out for Game 1 vs. Rangers

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports14 hrs ago

    In the back of his mind, Ray Emery knew there was a chance he would be in net for the playoffs.

    His suspicions were confirmed Wednesday, when Flyers coach Craig Berube announced that Emery would start Game 1 of the team's first-round series against the New York Rangers Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

    Steve Mason will not make the trip to New York. He remains day to day with an upper-body injury. Berube called the decision "precautionary."

    “He’s out,” Berube said. "He’s not 100 percent. I said if he weren’t 100 percent, he would not play."

    Mason was injured Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, didn't play in that game's third period and didn’t suit up for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Carolina Hurricanes. He practiced for just 15 minutes Tuesday, and wasn’t even present at Skate Zone for Wednesday's session.

    Berube said only that Mason "didn't feel good." There's no way to know yet whether Mason could return for Game 2 Sunday in New York, he said.

    “It’s part of the game sometimes," Berube said. "Things happen. We have other people. We’re a team. That doesn’t change."

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  • Report: Tampa Bay rules out Bishop for Game 1 vs. Habs

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports14 hrs ago

    No huge surprise, but now it’s starting to sound official — per CBC and the Toronto Sun, the Lightning have ruled out No. 1 goalie Ben Bishop for the opening game of their first-round series with Montreal.

    In Bishop’s place, Anders Lindback — the NHL’s reigning first star of the week — will get the nod.

    Despite Lindback’s solid play last week, the Bolts must still be concerned about going into the series without arguably their MVP this season. Bishop was the one constant throughout the campaign, providing solid netminding while Steve Stamkos was sidelined with a broken leg and following the tumultuous Martin St. Louis saga.

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  • Lighting-Canadiens Preview: Filppula, Palat expected to return for Game 1

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports14 hrs ago

    Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop won’t play in Game 1 against Montreal tonight (7:00 p.m. ET, CNBC), but the good news is that Valtteri Filppula (lower body) and Ondrej Palat (upper body) should be available, according to the team’s website.

    It will be Palat’s playoff debut after he scored 23 goals and 59 points in 81 games. Those rookie numbers would be impressive under any circumstances, but they’re particularly remarkable coming from a guy that was drafted with 208th overall pick less than three years ago. He’s projected to play on the top line with Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson.

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  • One thing to know: Freeman must seize opportunity with Giants

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports16 hrs ago

    Josh Freeman, who watched countless quarterbacks sign with teams while he wallowed in free agency, agreed to terms with the New York Giants Wednesday. Interestingly enough, Big Blue was the one team he played against during his brief stint with the Vikings in 2013. Mike Florio wonders whether Freeman will take this opportunity seriously and do well enough for some team to give him a chance to start again in a year or two.

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  • Premier League Preview: Man City host Sunderland, Everton face Palace

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports17 hrs ago

    On Wednesday two rearranged Premier League games take center stage as both have huge implications on the PL title race, the top four battle and the quest against relegation.

    Everything is on the line, and you can watch both games live online via NBC Sports Live Extra.

    WATCH LIVE ONLINE VIA NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA

    Our featured game comes from the Etihad Stadium, as Manchester City host relegation haunted Sunderland with both teams in desperate need of the win for very different reasons.

    Here’s a quick preview on both games.

    Everton vs. Crystal Palace - 2:45 p.m. ET, watch live online via NBC Sports Live Extra

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  • Youth football players should develop as kickers, not running backs

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports17 hrs ago

    With the dwindling amount of lucrative contracts being handed out for running backs and the constant fear of injury when in between the tackles, Mike Florio is among the school of thought that approves of athletes developing at other positions while participating in youth football.

    “If it’s between kicker and running back and I have a high level of skill at both positions,” says Florio. “It definitely makes more sense to develop as a kicker. If you can become a great kicker, you can make almost as much a veteran running back and you will play a lot longer.”

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  • 49ers should pick up Aldon Smith’s option

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports17 hrs ago

    With the deadline set at May 3 to decide whether or not to pick up Aldon Smith’s option for a fifth year, Mike Florio reports that Tim Kawakami from the San Jose Mercury News hears the team is “very unlikely” to extend the defensive end a deal.

    Mike Florio is on the opposite end of San Francisco’s thinking. “I still don’t understand why wouldn’t just pick it up,” Florio reasons. “They can hang it over his head, they can use it as a motivational tool, or they can cut him after season.”

    Regardless of how the league plans to take action, the 49ers have made it clear they plan on exploring their options regarding Smith’s future. And right now, those options entail Smith never trotting out for the 49ers again.

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  • SportsDash: Wyshynski tabs Sharks to hoist Stanley Cup

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports17 hrs ago

    Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) of Yahoo Sports joined Carolyn Manno (@carolynmanno) and Julie Donaldson (@jdonaldsonCSN) on SportsDash to give a quick preview of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which kick off tonight on NBCSN. The group also lists the major contenders to hoist the Cup and Wyshynski offers his prediction for who will be the eventual champ.

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