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NHL: Nathan Walker, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins

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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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NHL

Stanley Cup 2018: Vegas Golden Knights are greatest story in sport

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THE Vegas Golden Knights have moved within sight of making National Hockey League history, completing a 4-1 series victory over the Winnipeg Jets to become the first expansion team in 50 years to reach the Stanley Cup Finals in their debut season.

A deflected goal in the second period from Ryan Reaves clinched a 2-1 victory for the Knights, who were written off as 500/1 no-hopers before the start of season but who could now become the first expansion team ever to win the Stanley Cup at the first attempt.

Barely a year ago the team’s roster had not been assembled, and the franchise compiled their squad from players who had mostly been overlooked or discarded by other franchises.

The hodgepodge nature of the team has led to players from the franchise cheerfully referring to themselves as the “Golden Misfits”, but they have hardly put a foot wrong through their debut campaign, which began just a week after a mass hooting on the Las Vegas Strip that left 58 people dead.



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NHL Playoffs: Nathan Walker, Washington Capitals

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WOW, what a splash Nathan Walker made in his first ever NHL Stanley Cup playoff game.

Inserted in the fourth line for a decisive game six in Pittsburgh, the Aussie stormed down the end boards, torching two Pens D-men before sliding a perfect pass to lineman Alex Chiasson.

Chiasson, a man who Walker had been fighting for a spot in the line-up all season.

He buried his one-timer past Matt Murray, and the fourth line had broken the tie for the Capitals.

Walker’s first assist for the Caps, his most effective play in a Caps jersey.

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NHL warns Brad Marchand to stop licking opponents

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THE NHL has told Brad Marchand to stop licking opponents or the Boston Bruins forward will face punishment.

Senior vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell spoke to Marchand and Bruins general manager Don Sweeney on Saturday about Marchand’s actions against Tampa Bay a night earlier.

Marchand licked Lightning forward Ryan Callahan on the face during Game 4 of their second-round series after appearing to do the same to Toronto’s Leo Komarov earlier in the playoffs.

The league says Marchand has been put on notice that his actions are unacceptable and that similar behaviour in the future will be dealt with through supplemental discipline. He could be fined or suspended by the NHL if he continues to lick players.

“All I’m going to say is there is absolutely no place in our game for that,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “I don’t get it, I don’t understand it. How would you feel if I walked over to you right now and gave you one big lick? Right from the chin all the way up. There’s just no place in the game for that.”



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