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Pens win Game 7 in 2OT, to defend title

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

PITTSBURGH (AP) Chris Kunitz spent a portion of the spring nursing a lower-body injury and wondering if his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins was over. The veteran forward's contract is up this summer and he's been around long enough to know how these things go, particularly when you're 37.

"It's not fun thinking about the future," Kunitz said.

He found a pretty compelling way to put it off for at least four more games and push his team to the brink of history in the process.

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Fisher back at practice, status unclear

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Predators captain Mike Fisher said Thursday he feels a lot better and his goal is to be available during the Stanley Cup Final that begins next week.

Fisher skated for the first time with his teammates since being injured May 18 late in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals. He took a knee from Anaheim defenseman Josh Manson off the right side of his head and hasn't played since.

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Ducks' Lindholm, Vatanen out long-term

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Ryan Kesler and Kevin Bieksa both say the Anaheim Ducks' narrow defeat in the Western Conference finals this week was the toughest loss of their hockey careers.

That's a major statement for two veterans who lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final as teammates with the Vancouver Canucks just six years ago.

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Ex-Habs F Ott joins Blues as assistant

ST. LOUIS (AP) The St. Louis Blues have hired Steve Ott to be an assistant coach on Mike Yeo's staff.

General manager Doug Armstrong announced the move Thursday, a little over a month after Ott's final game as a player with the Montreal Canadiens. Ott had not even announced his retirement.

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Preds among many teams boosted by Swedes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Filip Forsberg is having quite the spring for the Nashville Predators, setting franchise records with his eight goals and 15 points. He's tied the team mark with at least a point in seven straight games.

Pontus Aberg scored the game-winning goal to put Nashville up 3-2 in the Western Conference finals, while defenseman Mattias Ekholm, has been smothering top lines all postseason. Viktor Arvidsson has 10 points, and his plus-13 rating ties him with Anaheim's Rickard Rakell for second-best this postseason - behind Forsberg (plus-17).

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Robinson won't return to Sharks in 17-18

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Larry Robinson will not be back with the San Jose Sharks next season.

A team spokesman confirmed Thursday that Robinson's contract expires in the summer and that he will not return. Robinson had been with the Sharks for the five seasons, first as an associate coach for two years and then as director of player development the past three.

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G Rinne in midst of historic playoff run

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Knocking the smile off Pekka Rinne's face right now is nearly impossible.

The longest-tenured player with the Nashville Predators, the 34-year-old goaltender finally will play in his first Stanley Cup Final in his ninth full NHL season.

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Predators reach first Stanley Cup Final

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Different players just keep stepping up for the Nashville Predators, and now their magical postseason run has an even bigger destination: the franchise's first trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

Colton Sissons scored his third goal with 6:00 left, and the Predators eliminated the Anaheim Ducks with a 6-3 win in Game 6 on Monday night in the Western Conference finals.

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Ducks again fail to reach playoff goals

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) For all their talent and tenacity, the Anaheim Ducks just can't reach their postseason goals. Whether it's luck, tactics or some ineffable winning mentality, the Ducks haven't acquired it yet.

One of the NHL's most consistent winners fell short of the Stanley Cup Final yet again Monday, outlasted by the Nashville Predators in the six-game Western Conference finals. The Ducks have won five consecutive Pacific Division titles during a remarkable run of consistent excellence, but they've also won only five ensuing playoff rounds and never played for the Cup in that half-decade stretch.

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Sydor rejoins Blues as assistant to Yeo

ST. LOUIS (AP) Darryl Sydor has returned to the St. Louis Blues as an assistant coach under mentor Mike Yeo.

Sydor agreed to a three-year deal Wednesday.

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