Mike del Zotto practices with a visor because of nose surgery

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mikedelzottonose.jpgNose surgeries are a cosmetic procedure in Hollywood, but in hockey, a broken nose is an ugly badge of honor. Just take a look at the often-rearranged snout of Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas.

He had a lousy plus/minus (-20) in his rookie season, Mike del Zotto had an impressive offensive season on the New York Rangers blue line, producing nine goals and 28 assists for 37 points. The young defenseman underwent surgery on his nose from an injury he underestimated all the way back in January, according to Ranger Rants.

Del Zotto was wearing a full, clear, plastic visor as a precaution after having nose surgery last week to correct a cartilage problem. In January, Del Zotto recalls lining a player up for a hit along the boards in front of the Rangers’ bench at Madison Square Garden, missing the check but hitting the opponent’s foot and going face-first into the dasher. Del Zotto didn’t think it was broken at the time, though it hurt. It wasn’t until he returned to New York and saw the Rangers’ training staff was the decision made to send him for a CT scan, after which surgery was recommended. The issue is that the cartilage in his nose was pushed to the right. The procedure re-aligned his cartilage properly and also shaved it down a bit.

He probably won’t miss any time, but here’s hoping he eschews the visor for a Rip Hamilton-style schnoz mask. Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

Vatrano presence: Bruins edge Red Wings in overtime

Frank Vatrano David Krejci

The Boston Bruins keep flipping the script.

In Wednesday’s case, it swerved to a “Cinderella” story, as little-known forward Frank Vatrano scored two of Boston’s three goals – including the overtime clincher – as the B’s beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 (OT).

Here’s his first goal of the night:

While this is his overtime game-winner:

It wasn’t a perfect night for the 21-year-old, yet it may have been a convincing one.

The Bruins continue to begin a month on a sour note before ending up with impressive sprees.

October: 0-3-0 start, finished month with four straight wins and victories in six of seven contests.

November: 0-3-0 start, losses in four of five; currently on a four-game winning strek with victories in five of six.

Boston faces a challenge in closing this month out against the Rangers on Friday, and it’s possible that this trend may continue, as they begin December with a three-game road trip through Western Canada.

More than anything else, the safest bet with the Bruins is for ups and downs.

Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win

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Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.

Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:

… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.

(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)

Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.

You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.

Fight video: Claude Giroux vs. Nick Leddy

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Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.

Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.

You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.

It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.

Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.

Update: The fight may have inspired the Islanders more than the Flyers, as they bested Philly 3-1 on Wednesday.

Carter Hutton gets flipped, stays in game

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Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.

Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:

Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.

If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.

Check out this incredible shot of that moment:

Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.