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Sep 14 2018, 5:33 am - by panxing18

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Sidney Crosby tormented the Flyers just as he has from the start of his NHL career. Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin were clutch when needed in pivotal games. And Matt Murray? Oh Jason Spriggs Jersey , just two shutouts and the type of outings that show more zeros on the board are possible in the second round – and maybe, beyond.

But with the game on the line and facing a Game 7 on home ice where they already lost twice, the Pittsburgh Penguins turned to a blossoming postseason star to lead the way.

Jake Guentzel was just the player to bail out the Pens.

He scored the tying and go-ahead goals in Game 6, then scored two more – all four in succession – to put the game away and lift the Penguins to an 8-5 Game 6 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.

The Flyers are headed home, as usual, with a Stanley Cup drought that dates to 1975.

The Penguins are nestled in a familiar spot, in the second round for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons.

But a bigger prize looms for the Penguins – a third straight Stanley Cup. The Penguins have won nine straight playoff series, which ties a franchise record and are the most in the NHL since the Detroit Red Wings also won nine from 1997 to 1999.

The New York Islanders are the last team to win 10 straight, in fact, they won 19 consecutive postseason series (1980 to 1984) that included four Stanley Cup championships.

Now comes the hard part.

Pittsburgh has reached the same round as the last three teams going for a threepeat (1989 Oilers, 1993 Penguins, 1999 Red Wings) – and all three lost in the second round.

The Penguins say, bring it on.

”Things are never going to always go your way, especially in the playoffs Josh Robinson Jersey ,” Murray said. ”We got the job done. This time of year, it doesn’t matter how, it just matters that you get the win.”

Crosby had a hat trick in Game 1 and matched a postseason-high with four points in a Game 3 win in the Philadelphia arena where fans stuck his photo on the inside of urinals.

He shook it off – as if he was ever bothered by the activity – and scored six goals and had 13 points in the series.

”Sid loves to compete. When he goes to hostile environments, he’s at his best,” coach Mike Sullivan said. ”He’s a high-stakes player. He has `it’. `It’ is what helps you perform in those big moments. It’s hard to explain `it’. You know `it’ when you see it. Sid is one of those guys.”

Crosby has been the dominant and reliable Penguin over the course of a career that includes three Stanley Cups. But this season brought new challenges to the franchise.

The Penguins have crafted a new identity after the departures of Chris Kunitz, Marc-Andre Fleury, Nick Bonino, Trevor Daley and Matt Cullen, all vital pieces of Pittsburgh’s 2016 and 2017 titles.

”I think we have a bunch of capable guys that can play for us here. It’s kind of the next man up and the guys did a great job,” Guentzel said.

Sure, four goals is a bit ridiculous, but Guentzel will need to be a key contributor again especially if Malkin isn’t ready to go.

Malkin, who scored three goals in five games, sat out Game 6 with a leg injury. He missed the final four minutes of the first period in Game 5 after Philadelphia’s Jori Lehtera fell on it when the two got tangled in the corner. Malkin returned to start the second period. But he was hurt to the point where he sat out Game 6 Jahleel Addae Jersey , and all it takes is one nagging injury to slow down the road toward completing the Stanley Cup trilogy.

If he plays or not, there are still enough playoff-tested Penguins to keep them rolling.

”We’ve been through a number of these elimination games over the last couple of years so it’s not a surprise to any of us,” Sullivan said. ”My hope moving forward is we can learn from those experiences and hopefully we have better success.”

PHOENIX — Crack the door, and these days the Arizona Diamondbacks will blow right through.

Three times in their last four games, Arizona has made an opponent pay and pay and pay for a blunder here or a miscue there.

The Diamondbacks did it again Tuesday, when they took advantage of three throwing errors in a six-run first inning for the impetus needed for a 13-8 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Chase Field. The game was not decided until Jon Jay’s three-run homer in the seventh inning, but the decisive first inning helped them build an 8-0 lead.

“Those are some of the characteristics of a good team, that when they sniff a little blood, they are going to go out there and execute,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “When you get second chances in this game, you have to take advantage. Our guys are ready for that.

“We talk about them (opponents) being in their most vulnerable state when they are making mistakes, and we have to be ready. It’s not a good feeling when you are on the (other) side of it and it is not going well. But when you are executing and fighting back a little bit, it is very gratifying.”

Arizona right-hander Zack Greinke, who has lost only one of his last 25 starts at Chase Field Duke Dawson Jersey , will oppose Pirates right-hander Jameson Taillon in the final game of the series Wednesday.

The Pirates have lost eight straight series, and a failure to execute has hurt in the first two games of this series. They blew a 5-0 lead entering the seventh inning in a 9-5 loss Monday, when the Diamondbacks combined timely hitting and extra benefits, including hit batter, an infield error, two wild pitches and a balk.

First baseman Josh Bell and second baseman Josh Harrison had throwing errors and pitcher Trevor Williams made an errant pickoff throw in the first inning Tuesday around two singles and Ketel Marte’s two-out, two-run triple. Five of the six runs were unearned.

“We didn’t handle the ball like we needed to handle the ball,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “We weren’t able to execute defensively the way we needed to execute defensively. We’ve got work to do. We are not playing at the level we are capable of playing.”

Arizona scored six runs in the eighth inning of a 12-7 victory at Colorado on Saturday, capitalizing on a double-error by reliever Bryan Shaw early in the inning. Only one of those six runs was earned.

“That’s what you have to do,” said Jay, who had his first three hits in his fifth game with the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. “When you have chances, you have to make the most out of the opportunities. We’ve been able to do that the last couple of days, and we just have to keep it going.

“I think that’s the mentality they have here. I saw that last year playing on the other side. That’s just the mentality you have to have.”

The Diamondbacks have scored 51 runs in their five-game winning streak, with heavy contributions from Paul Goldschmidt and Marte. Goldschmidt is hitting .477 with five homers and 12 RBIs in the last 11 games Roger Craig Jersey , with six multi-hit games. Marte is hitting .389 with 11 extra-base hits and 11 RBIs in the last 11. He hit his NL-leading seventh triple Tuesday.

Greinke (5-4, 3.53 ERA) has won his last two decisions and is 3-2 with a 2.96 ERA and a .229 opponents’ batting average since beating the Dodgers at Chase Field on April 30. He is undefeated at home this season, going 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in seven starts while continuing the success he had at home last year. Greinke was 13-1 with a 2.87 ERA in 18 home starts in 2017.

Greinke took a no-hitter into the eighth inning of a 2-1 victory over Pittsburgh at Chase Field last season, losing it when Gregory Polanco led off with a homer down the right-field line. Greinke struck out 11 and walked one in that game, his lone start against the Pirates last season. He is 7-3 with a 4.59 ERA in 11 career starts against the Pirates, about half of those games coming when he was with Milwaukee in 2011-12.

Taillon (3-5, 4.08) has been effective for the most part, but a few rocky outings this season caused his ERA to jump over 4.00. He has given up three runs or fewer in 10 of his 13 starts, but has given up five, seven and six in the other three.

After winning his first two decisions and giving up two earned runs in his first 20 2/3 innings, Taillon is 1-5 with a 5.36 ERA. He has not faced the Diamondbacks in his three seasons.

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