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Sharks Make NHL Playoffs Second Round; Lightning Force Game 7

The San Jose Sharks advanced to the second round of the National Hockey League playoffs and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Pittsburgh Penguins to force a decisive Game 7 in their first-round series.

The Sharks beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 last night in Los Angeles on an overtime goal by captain Joe Thornton. The second seed in the Western Conference, San Jose won the best-of-seven series four games to two.

“This is just the start, we have a lot of work to do,” Thornton said in a televised interview.

The Lightning defeated the Penguins 4-2 as Steve Downie and Ryan Malone scored third-period goals to snap a 2-2 tie at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.

Pittsburgh, the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, will host the fifth-seeded Lightning in Game 7 tomorrow.

The NHL’s postseason has two decisive seventh games scheduled for tonight.

The Vancouver Canucks, the top seed in the West, host the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks have won three straight games after trailing 3-0 in the series.

The Philadelphia Flyers, the No. 2 team in the East, host the Buffalo Sabres in tonight’s other Game 7. The Boston Bruins are in Montreal looking to close out the Canadiens with a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference series.

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