Sidney Crosby passed Mario Lemieux in Pittsburgh’s record book and pushed the Philadelphia Flyers to the brink of elimination.
Flyers fans booed the goal – and the ones that stuck around for the end belted a familiar refrain: “Fire Hakstol! Fire Hakstol!”
Crosby scored his fifth goal of the series and became the Penguins‘ career postseason points leader in a 5-0 win over the Flyers on Wednesday night.
The Penguins lead the first-round playoff series 3-1 as its shifts to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Friday. Crosby and the Penguins followed a 7-0 Game 1 win and a 5-1 Game 3 victory with another dominant outing.
Matt Murray stopped 26 shots for his second shutout of the series and the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins are a win away from playing in the second round for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons.
Crosby scored in the second period for a 4-0 lead and topped the team owner and Hall of Famer in Lemieux for most playoff points with 173.
”A lot of his records aren’t going to be touched Marc-Andre Fleury Jersey ,” Crosby said. ”The fact I can be close to him and around that one, I guess I’ve been fortunate to play in a number of playoff games helps a lot.”
The Flyers were already on their second goalie by the time Crosby scored. The Penguins chased Brian Elliott early in the period after the maligned goalie allowed his 14th goal of the series. Michal Neuvirth relived Elliott and it didn’t matter. Neuvirth lost track of the puck behind the net and had his head turned to the right when Crosby found it and snapped it under the goalie’s left skate.
”I was in a good spot. The puck ended up right on my stick,” Crosby said.
The Flyers were confused. The Penguins were composed.
And it so it goes in Philly, the Flyers are a loss away from another empty season without the Stanley Cup.
”Somehow, we need to get our confidence back and go from there,” team captain Claude Giroux said.
Disgruntled Flyers fans chanted from the balcony to the concourse for the Flyers to fire third-year coach Dave Hakstol.
Both teams played without key cogs in their lineup: Sean Couturier (who had career highs with 31 goals and 76 points) was injured Tuesday at practice in a vicious collision with teammate Radko Gudas; the Pens played without top-line forward Patric Hornqvist because of an undisclosed injury.
Giroux, who scored 102 points during the season, has not scored a posteason goal since 2014.
”One game away for the season to be over,” Giroux said. ”You can expect this team to have some fight the next game.”
The Flyers pulled out all their good-luck charms.
The national champion Villanova Wildcats were in the house and star guard Phil Booth screamed ”Are you ready for some hockey?”
Flyers fans heard the usual stirring rendition of ”God Bless America,” live by Lauren Hart and on video by the late Kate Smith. The song has been a rallying anthem for the Flyers since Smith began singing it in the mid 1970s. Hart started the song, then looked up to the big screen and passed it off to Smith. They finished in a split-screen duet.
Once the pageantry settled down, the Penguins poured it on.
Crosby’s on-point pass on the power play led to Evgeni Malkin’s third goal of the playoff just 4:33 into the game. Phil Kessel scored his first of the postseason midway through the period. Kris Letang made it 3-0 in the second and that was all for Elliott.
Riley Sheahan made it 5-0 late in the third. Neuvirth stopped 11 of 13 shots in relief.
”We won in their building on the second game so that’s the attitude we’re going to take,” Neuvirth said.
Murray was solid again, and stoned Travis Konency on a breakaway out of the penalty box in the second that had the second-year center slam his stick on the ice in anger.
”They had their chances Alex Pietrangelo Jersey Kids , at times,” Murray said. ”But we got the job done.”
NOTES: Couturier was named a Selke Trophy finalist as the league’s best defensive forward. … 2018 Olympic hockey gold medalists Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando hosted a clinic and helped donate equipment on behalf of a volunteer effort at the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation. Snider was the Flyers founder and chairman until his death in 2016. … Crosby scored on all three goalies the Flyers have used in the series. … The Flyers are 2 for 17 on the power play in the series.
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) The Minnesota Vikings have secured yet another core player with a long-term contract, signing wide receiver Stefon Diggs to a five-year extension and moving the star of the ”Minneapolis Miracle” pass into the NFL’s top 10 highest-paid players at his position.
Diggs has yet to post a 1,000-yard or 100-catch season, but his ability was on full display when he turned a sideline catch into a 61-yard touchdown as time ran out to lift the Vikings to victory over New Orleans in last season’s playoffs. He formed a prolific tandem with Adam Thielen last year, helping Case Keenum stabilize the passing game after Sam Bradford was injured, and over his first three seasons has been one of the biggest steals of the 2015 draft.
”I love it here. I truly do, and I’m just happy I’ll be here for a while now,” Diggs said after practice Tuesday. ”That’s why I want to play for them for selecting me in the fifth round. It was a bumpy road that day, and I just remember getting a call, and they gave me a chance. They believed in me, and they won, and going forward they pushed me to be where I am now.”
Now the Vikings have a new quarterback in Kirk Cousins Authentic Gustav Nyquist Jersey , who was elated by the news that Diggs is under contract through 2023.
”What I most like is he loves football and loves to come and work, because as a quarterback it can be miserable if you’re out here with someone who is here to just get a paycheck and leave,” Cousins said. ”He wants to work.”
The Vikings offense was at the new practice facility on Monday night past 9 p.m. working on playbook installation.
”I’ve been a part of some locker rooms where by 9 o’clock, some of your guys are sleeping in the back row, not taking notes, not paying attention. They’re basically checked out, texting or whatever,” Cousins said. ”That’s not him. That’s not these guys.”
The new deal is valued at $72 million plus an additional $9 million in possible incentives, according to a person with knowledge of the contract who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the details. Diggs, who will play the final season of his rookie deal for the original base salary of slightly more than $1.9 million, received a $15 million signing bonus.
”He’s been a good person off the field. He’s been a good person on the field as far as that,” head coach Mike Zimmer said. ”When he messes up, he knows. One time I had him in my office, and I asked him … a question Authentic Derek Forbort Jersey Kids , and he said, `Now, coach, you know you knew the answer when you asked the question.’ He’s a smart guy.”
Since Cousins signed his fully guaranteed $84 million contract in March, the Vikings have signed linebacker Eric Kendricks, defensive end Danielle Hunter and now Diggs to multi-year deals. The Vikings now have Cousins, Diggs, Thielen, running back Dalvin Cook, left tackle Riley Reiff, right guard Mike Remmers and center Pat Elflein all under team control through at least the 2020 season. On defense, the same goes for Hunter, Kendricks, defensive end Everson Griffen Authentic Nick Bjugstad Jersey , defensive tackle Linval Joseph, cornerback Xavier Rhodes and safety Harrison Smith. That’s a lot of star power to squeeze under the salary cap, with linebacker Anthony Barr the only prominent player with an expiring contract this year.
”Continuity, to me, is very important, and it’s not a luxury we have in the NFL these days,” Cousins said. ”There is a lot of change year in and year out, so I’ve come to expect that and understand you can’t use that as an excuse.”
Diggs has come a long way since his father, Aron Diggs, died of heart failure in 2008. He told his son in his final months to make sure to look after his mother and two brothers, and for Diggs this new deal was the consummation of that directive.
”I’m happy that I can look at my mom and smile and tell her that everything is going to be OK,” Diggs said. ”I’m just very thankful for everybody involved.”
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