Tonight's games: Who's next?

Ugh, I guess we all better strap in for 24/7 dirty hit talk eh? It seems like you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting … someone who’s discussing another violent and/or illegal moment in hockey (don’t worry NHL, the college kids are doing it too!). Since we only have three games I’ll go in order of start time, but clearly Red Wings-Flames is the game of the night. Actually, scratch that, any game that doesn’t involve someone’s career possibly ending in a horrible hit wins that contest.

Boston Bruins (30-25-12, 72 pts) at New Jersey Devils (40-24-3, 83 pts) 7:00 PM ET

Maybe the Devils should try to picture a skating Penguin instead of that iconic spoked B logo on the Bruins’ sweaters tonight. New Jersey once again handles Pittsburgh last week, only to lose to the lowly Islanders in their next game. If the Bruins don’t start putting up points, Sunday’s upcoming Game of the Week could have huge eight seed implications.

Edmonton Oilers (21-40-7, 49 pts) at Columbus Blue Jackets (27-31-11, 65 pts) 7:00 PM ET

The gap between the West’s second-to-last team Columbus and the worst team Edmonton is too large to really say that this one decided who wins the brown medal. Still, it’s difficult to say that the future is any brighter for the Blue Jackets.

Detroit Red Wings (33-23-12, 78 pts) at Calgary Flames (34-25-9, 77 pts) 9:30 PM ET

Now, this is a big game. Detroit and Calgary are separated by only one point with the same amount of games played. Although the Flames trail the Red Wings, they have more wins (34 to Detroit’s 33) so even an overtime or shootout win would place Calgary in Detroit’s eight spot. Obviously there’s still plenty of games left in this season, but this is a huge game for both teams.

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    Ducks come to terms with Lindholm, so what happens now?

    ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 14:  Hampus Lindholm #47 of the Anaheim Ducks  at Honda Center on October 14, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    And now we wait for the other shoe to drop, because according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Anaheim Ducks have come to terms with defenseman Hampus Lindholm on a six-year contract extension with a cap hit of $5.25 million.

    It’s a win for the Ducks, who succeed in their quest to get Lindholm locked up with a lower cap hit than the Sabres got Rasmus Ristolainen ($5.4 million).

    But will the Ducks now have to make a trade? It’s been rumored for a while that Cam Fowler could be dealt once Lindholm’s deal got done. Anaheim may prefer to trade a veteran like Kevin Bieksa or Clayton Stoner, but Bieksa has a no-movement clause, and there may not be a market for those two anyway.

    The Ducks won’t get Lindholm back in the lineup right away, so there’s plenty of time for GM Bob Murray to make any moves that need to be made.

    Lindholm, 22, had 10 goals and 18 assists in 80 games last season, logging 22:00 of ice time per game.

    Pastrnak to have hearing for Girardi headshot


    Bruins forward David Pastrnak will have a hearing for his illegal check to the head of Rangers d-man Dan Girardi, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced.

    Pastrnak was whistled for a minor penalty on the play, which occurred in the second period of Boston’s 5-2 loss at MSG on Wednesday night. Girardi left the contest momentarily, but was able to return and finished with 16:15 TOI.

    “I don’t really know it makes contact with my face at first, but it is what it is, I’m kind of vulnerable,” Girardi said of the hit, per the New York Post. “He’s going to try to make a hit. He just hit me in the front of the face, so it wasn’t like it was the side-of-the-head hit or something.

    “As soon as I got up, I was fine.”

    Pastrnak, who did appear to leave his feet to make the hit, doesn’t have any history with the DoPS, and has never been subjected to supplemental discipline from the department.

    His hearing will take place on Friday.

    Former Isles goalie Kevin Poulin signs with KHL club

    GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 12:  Goaltender Kevin Poulin #60 of the New York Islanders in action during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena on December 12, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Islanders 6-3.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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    Kevin Poulin is leaving the pro hockey scene in North America to sign with the KHL’s Astana Barys.

    It’s a one-year deal, per Igor Eronko of Sports-Express.

    The former Islanders goalie spent last season with the Stockton Heat of the AHL, where he had a 14-11-3 record with a 2.86 goals-against-average and a .909 save percentage in 29 games.

    The 26-year-old last played in the NHL during the 2014-15 season. He made one appearance with the Isles that year.

    He had a few opportunities with the Islanders, but it was usually the result of players ahead of him on the depth chart getting injured.

    Poulin leaves the NHL with a career 18-25-3 record, a 3.07 goals-against-average and a .899 save percentage in 50 games.

    He’ll join former NHLers Vitaly Kolesnik and Henrik Karlsson in Astana Barys’ crease. Nigel Dawes, Brandon Bochenski, Martin St. Pierre, Cam Barker and Kevin Dallman are also on the roster.

    PHT Morning Skate: Hockey’s spookiest goalie masks

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    PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

    –Here are some of hockey’s all-time spookiest goalie masks. (Sports Illustrated)

    Beau Bennett‘s funny response to his name being left off the Stanley Cup. (BarDown)

    Alex Ovechkin made this young fan’s night by giving him one of his sticks. (Sportsnet)

    –Watch the highlights from last night’s game between the Rangers and Bruins. (Top)

    –Everybody remembers Grant Fuhr, Curtis Joseph, Jacques Plante, Tom Barrasso and Sean Burke, but these are the teams you don’t remember them playing for. (The Hockey News)

    –Bruins goalie Zane McIntyre honors his late grandmother on the back of his goalie mask. (The Score)

    –Former NHL goalie Niklas Svedberg made an incredible stick save in a KHL game: