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AT the same time as Ben Simmons and Joe Ingles have been making headlines in the NBA playoffs, another Aussie is creating waves in a possible championship run in the US.

Nathan Walker became the first Australian to play in the NHL when his debuted for the Washington Capitals earlier in the season.

Now the 24-year-old has added a new chapter to his breakthrough season, helping eliminate the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions, Pittsburgh Penguins, from the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The left winger didn’t waste any time making his presence felt in his first playoff game, providing the assist on the game’s opening goal.

Walker showed his speed to win the puck ahead of two Penguins defenders, rounded the net and Alex Chiasson one-timed his perfect pass past goaltender Matt Murray.

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Seinfeld star David Puddy steals the show at NHL match

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There goes the Devils’ modest winning streak.

Bryan Rust scored a tiebreaking goal midway through the second period and the Penguins continued their playoff push and avoided the embarrassment of being swept by the lowly Devils with a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night at Prudential Center in Newark, despite the fact the character David Puddy of “Seinfeld” fame was in attendance.

“Puddy”, played by US actor Patrick Warburton, was made famous in an episode of the iconic sitcom where painted his face in Devils colours in an episode and shouted: “We’re the Devils.”

Over 20 years on, the joke hasn’t died down.

Warburton dropped the puck before the game in a ceremonial opening to the night, but the real moment that sent mouths running was the TV star’s slip-up on the ice as he exited the rink.



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Artemi Panarin ‘s**t his pants’, says Columbus Blue Jackets coach

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Too much information, coach. TMI.

We doubt Gordon Bombay ever had the urge to go into great detail when talking about the bowel movements of the Mighty Ducks but John Tortorella decided to go where nobody really wanted him to today.

The coach of NHL side the Columbus Blue Jackets was in no mood for mincing his words when quizzed about why star forward Artemi Panarin wasn’t suiting up for the clash against the Montreal Canadiens.

Panarin has been the subject of intense trade speculation in recent days as he wants to explore free agency this coming winter. The Blue Jackets need to decide whether they use him as trade bait to lure another player to the franchise before the February 25 deadline, or hold onto him for a run towards the playoffs knowing full well he’s a huge chance of leaving at season’s end.

His absence from the ice against the Canadiens fuelled speculation there’d been a development in his personal situation but Tortorella was adamant there was nothing sinister about the move.

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NHL expansion, Seattle NHL team, 32nd franchise, NHL realignment, SuperSonics

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Seattle is getting a National Hockey League team. It will just have to wait a little bit longer to drop the puck.

The NHL Board of Governors unanimously approved adding Seattle as the league’s 32nd franchise on Tuesday, with play set to begin in 2021 instead of 2020 to allow enough time for arena renovations.

The as-yet unnamed franchise will be the Emerald City’s first major winter sports team since the NBA’s SuperSonics left town in 2008.

“Today is a day for celebration in a great city that adores and avidly supports its sports teams and for our 101-year-old sports league,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said.

“Expanding to Seattle makes the National Hockey League more balanced, even more whole and even more vibrant. A team in Seattle evens the number of teams in our two conferences, brings our geographic footprint into greater equilibrium and creates instant new rivalries out west, particularly between Seattle and Vancouver.”

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