Stars’ Ruff proud of bounce-back win: ‘I thought our leaders were our leaders’

After a deflating 6-1 loss in Game 3, the Dallas Stars bounced back in a big way Thursday night.

Thanks to a laser off the stick of forward Cody Eakin, Dallas took Game 4 over the St. Louis Blues in overtime, evening the series at 2-2.

Stars head coach Lindy Ruff was expecting a winning effort, and his best players delivered.

"I said, 'It's time for us to man up,' and I thought we did," Ruff told reporters postgame. "I thought our leaders were our leaders."

Indeed they were, as captain Jamie Benn had two assists, taking the lead on the playoff-points leaderboard with 14 through 10 games. Patrick Sharp, acquired by Dallas to help turn them into postseason contenders, also notched two points.

"We put it behind us," Benn told Amalie Benjamin of NHL.com. "You can't play perfect hockey all the time. I think it was just magnified a bit because it's the playoffs. The message was 'stay positive, get back at it.' We know we're a good team. We finished where we did because of the way we played throughout the year, and we believed in each other."

"I know it was ugly for a lot of the guys and the team in general for Game 3," Sharp said. "Credit to the team, we were able to put it behind us."

Eakin, who is centering the top line in the absence of Tyler Seguin, is happy to be headed home with the series tied.

"That's the nice thing about finishing first, we've got home-court advantage back," he said. "It's a race to two, and it's going to be a lot of fun."

Dallas hosts a pivotal Game 5 on Saturday afternoon.

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Rinne says he would’ve played all night as Predators soak up triple-OT win

There's nothing like overtime in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Ask the Nashville Predators.

The club won a triple-OT thriller in Game 4 late Thursday night - or early Friday morning, depending on your perspective - thanks to Mike Fisher's winner, tying their series with the San Jose Sharks in the process. And all of it, every minute, was worth it.

"If we would've won 5-1, it would've been nice," said Mattias Ekholm, according to The Tennessean's Adam Vingan. "But when you win it like this, it's obviously extra nice."

Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, who made 44 saves - 25 in the three overtimes - was ready to make another 44.

"I don't care how these wins come if we have to play all night," Rinne said, according to the Predators' website. "It's a 2-2 series right now, and you can't say enough about San Jose too. They have a great team, and they played a strong game, but like I said, it shows a lot of character when you pull out a win like this."

The Predators were down 2-0 in the series and left for dead. They're alive.

"You have to give credit to Rinne," Ekholm added. "He kept us in the game all OT and all game long. ... It's a huge win for us, and we'll enjoy it tonight, forget about it tomorrow. It's a new game Saturday."

Fisher credited the crowd in Music City.

"That was a great hockey game, and our fans had as much energy as anyone," he said. "Going out for that third (overtime) they were unbelievable, and we tried to feed off of that a little bit too."

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NHL Rumor Mill – May 6, 2016

Trade scenarios for the Oilers’, rebuilding the Bruins, the Penguins goalie status and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.  Trading the Oilers’ first-round draft pick.   EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson offers up some trade scenarios for the Edmonton Oilers. One is packaging center Leon Draisaitl and defenseman Oscar Klefbom with the pick to the Montreal Canadiens […]

Sharks’ DeBoer sounds off on officiating after Pavelski’s no-goal

A goaltender interference call stopped the San Jose Sharks from taking a 3-1 series lead.

During triple-overtime of Thursday's nights Game 4 versus the Nashville Predators, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski put forth a Herculean effort that appeared to win the game.

Related: Pavelski's extraordinary OT effort negated after contact with Rinne

However, referees determined Pavelski interfered with Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, negating the goal.

Understandably, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer wasn't thrilled with the call, as Nashville evened the series later in the frame.

"I don't understand. I guess if incidental contact is if you're getting cross-checked from behind while you're in the air and have the opportunity to stop. I guess that's what it is," DeBoer told reporters after the game. "That rule has been clear as mud to every coach in the league all year, so why should it be different now?"

Pavelski, who was held pointless for only the third time this postseason, is ready to move on from the call.

"I know I hit it in, so I'm waiting for it, and later they're saying they're going to look at goaltender interference, too," Pavelski said. "They just kind of covered it, you know? ... What are you going to do, it's kind of out of your hands."

Game 5 goes Saturday night in San Jose with the series knotted at 2.

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NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 6, 2016

Playoff game recaps, Adams Trophy nominees revealed and more in this morning’s collection of notable NHL headlines.  NHL Playoff Recaps and News NHL.COM/THE MERCURY NEWS:  Mike Fisher scored in the third overtime period of Game 4 to give the Nashville Predators a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks, tying their best-of-seven series at two […]

Watch: Predators tumble onto ice celebrating Fisher’s triple-OT winner

Mike Fisher's triple-overtime goal came just in time, because Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg's legs had simply had enough.

Watch the Nashville Predators pour off the bench - synchronously crashing to the ice - after Fisher lifted the club to its first ever overtime win on home ice in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the longest game in club history.

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Watch: Fisher ends longest game in Predators’ history with triple-OT winner

Mike Fisher's goal in the 112th minute of action in the wee hours Friday morning ensured that the longest game in Nashville Predators' history was a triumphant one.

After Martin Jones failed to corral a high shot from the point, Fisher dug the puck out and swept in his second goal of the game to lift the Predators to 4-3 triple-overtime win that evened their second-round series with the San Jose Sharks at two games apiece.

Related: Predators tumble onto ice celebrating Fisher's triple-OT winner

Fisher's line of Colin Wilson and James Neal accounted for each Nashville goal, but the most important contributor wearing gold was goaltender Pekka Rinne. He made 44 stops in the contest, including 21 in the sudden-death frames.

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Watch: Martin Jones denies Colin Wilson on triple-overtime breakaway

Suddenly-scorching Nashville Predators forward Colin Wilson had the longest game in franchise history on his stick in Friday morning's triple-overtime frame versus the San Jose Sharks.

But Martin Jones was up to the task and able to make his 40th stop - a sliding stick save on Wilson's backhand deke.

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Pavelski’s extraordinary OT effort negated after contact with Rinne

Joe Pavelski nearly authored one of the more remarkable overtime goals in Stanley Cup Playoffs history - but unfortunately his tireless effort included blasting through the opposing goaltender.

Watch as Pavelski reaches up to knock a loose puck into the crease as he crashes toward the net. And just before it crosses the goal line - with his person now sprawled on top Pekka Rinne - he muscles his stick from the pile and swats the puck over the line to ensure it enters legally.

The officiating team reviewed the play, but eventually deemed that he had interfered with Rinne despite clearly being helped into the Nashville Predators crease.

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