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    A 36-goal scorer is moving closer to home and couldn’t be happier about it.No Jeff Petry Jersey Kids , the other one.James van Riemsdyk signed a $35 million, five-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, the second-richest deal signed by an NHL unrestricted free agent when the market opened and John Tavares left the Islanders for his hometown team in Toronto.It’s the kind of long-term, big-money contract general manager Ron Hextall has been unwilling to hand out to free agents, though van Riemsdyk became an exception.”The term we could live with,” Hextall said. ”We can manage our way around the salary cap. We’ve looked up, down and all around at different projections for the next few years and we felt comfortable with the term and the player.”Van Riemsdyk will count $7 million against the salary cap through 2022-23, which is currently third on the Flyers behind captain Claude Giroux at $8.275 million and winger Jakub Voracek at $8.25 million. Taken by Philadelphia second overall behind Patrick Kane in the 2007 draft, van Riemsdyk played with Giroux and Voracek during his first stint and talked to them before picking the Flyers over other interested teams.The 29-year-old wasn’t likely to return to Toronto even before the Maple Leafs won the Tavares sweepstakes. But the Middletown, New Jersey, native also grew up rooting for the New York Rangers and picked the Flyers in large part because of familiarity .”There were a couple different teams in the mix,” van Riemsdyk said. ”I’m happy to be coming to Philadelphia, and I think it’s going to be a great fit.”Van Riemsdyk set a career high with 36 goals last season, a year after putting up a career-high 62 points. The 6-foot-3, 217-pound winger who was traded to the Maple Leafs in 2012 isn’t a fundamentally different player now but gained confidence and experience from a bigger role in Toronto the past six seasons.”I think my whole game has definitely expanded,” van Riemsdyk said. ”Style-wise, I think I’m still very similar. I think I’m still a cerebral type of player who can skate well and have good offensive instincts and can make the smart plays in all three zones.”He has to be for the Flyers to make this type of commitment. This is by far Hextall’s biggest free agent signing and Philadelphia’s richest since giving goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov $41.88 million on a nine-year deal in 2011.Bryzgalov is retired and still collecting $1.6 million a year from the Flyers through 2026-27. As Bryzgalov was tweeting from Russia’s World Cup game against Spain, the Flyers were introducing van Riemsdyk Jonathan Drouin Jersey , who they hope will be a far better use of money with an eye toward contending for the Stanley Cup in the coming years.”Our philosophy four years ago was to get our cap in order and gather young assets,” Hextall said. ”We’ve kind of been through that process now. It’s coming to fruition in terms of guys we have on our team and where we can add to strengthen our team, we want to do it.”— TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Lightning know the grind.Back in the Eastern Conference final for the third time in four years, the Atlantic Division winners led the NHL in scoring this season but have been even more impressive defensively through the first two rounds of the playoffs.”I think if people looked at our team in the regular season … we had the most goals scored in the league or close to it. So, we’re kind of looked at as that team, the high-flying Bolts that can score and defense isn’t really important to them,” coach Jon Cooper said.”To us, all along it has been (important). To win in the playoffs, you have to have that,” Cooper added. ”Probably the one thing that’s gone under the radar is how physical we’ve been in both series. I think that’s really helped the cause to where we were. It’s difficult in an 82-game season to bring that kind of intensity every single night. In the playoffs guys are more dialed in.”Sunday’s 3-1 victory closed out the team’s second-round matchup against the Boston Bruins in five games.Coming off a week’s rest, the Lightning allowed six goals in losing Game 1.Over the last three games of the series, including a pair of wins in Boston, Tampa Bay neutralized the Bruins’ high-scoring line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak while not allowing an even-strength goal.Much of the credit goes to the line of Brayden Point, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat, which rebounded from yielding 11 points to the Bergeron line in the series opener to move than hold their own against the Boston trio the rest of the way.”It’s a four-line effort. You have to have depth. You have to have it. It’s the way everybody bought into their rolls and contributed,” Cooper said.The Lightning’s depth also showed offensively Max Pacioretty Jersey , with 12 players combining to score 17 goals in the second round.Point, J.T. Miller and Anton Stralman scored in Sunday’s clincher against Boston.”For sure, you don’t expect to come in and beat a team like that in four straight games after dropping the first one. We expected a long series,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. ”I don’t think any team goes in thinking you are going to clean out a team in the second round in five, but it happened. When you play the right way, you get rewarded for it.”Tampa Bay is the eighth team since 1998 to reach a conference final three times in a four-year span.The Lightning defeated the New York Rangers in 2015, advancing to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to Chicago in six games. They lost the 2016 East final to the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games.”It’s good, but it will be gratifying if we win two more series,” forward Ryan Callahan said. ”We’ve been here before, so the shock and awe of really getting this far really isn’t there. We are happy with our first two series, but there is so much more work to do and we realize that.”The Lightning will face either Washington or defending champion Pittsburgh. The Capitals lead that semifinal series 3-2 heading into Game 6 on Monday night.”We’ll watch it for sure, but I think the most important thing at the end of the day is just getting our rest,” Point said, looking ahead. ”We’re going to be ready when our time comes, hopefully prepare well, and play some good games.”—

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