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Bruins updates on Marc Savard and Marco Sturm: Rehab on track

With the recent injury to Bruins center David Krejci, who’s out with a concussion, thoughts turned to the progress of other injured Bruins forwards Marc Savard and Marco Sturm. Savard has been out all season recovering from post-concussion syndrome while Sturm is coming back from knee surgery after getting injured in the playoffs. Jimmy Murphy from ESPN Boston gets the scoop on how they’re progressing from Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, and the news is especially good for Savard.

“He’s starting to feel like he’s in good shape,” Chiarelli said, when asked about Savard’s condition. “There hasn’t been any lingering side effects that we talked about earlier on in his rehab. He was in very good spirits. I wouldn’t say he’s champing at the bit yet, but we’re almost at that corner with the turnaround. To me — again, timetables are difficult — but to me he seemed in good shape, good spirits. I wouldn’t say he’s close, but he’s getting there.”

The Bruins, of course, are going to be more careful with Savard after he potentially hurt himself more by coming back during the playoffs last season. Savard had been out with a concussion he suffered at the hands of Penguins forward Matt Cooke but talked his way back into the lineup during the playoffs to try and help the Bruins go deeper into the postseason dance. Mission unaccomplished as the Bruins blew a 3-0 series lead to the Flyers and lost in seven games.

As for Sturm, Chiarelli reports that all is going well with Sturm and that he’s aiming for an early December return to the lineup. Sturm had knee surgery after suffering an injury during the playoffs and the six months of recovery needed to get back on the ice puts him on track to be back right on time.

Once Savard and Sturm are back in the lineup, the Bruins will have some serious salary cap questions to get resolved. With both players showing improvement, perhaps it’s time to put Peter Chiarelli on the clock to get a solution figured out there as he’ll have about another month to get things squared away. If I were Bruins forward Michael Ryder, I’d start getting nervous. Ryder and his $4 million cap hit is a prime candidate to be sent down to the AHL to get his contract off the books.

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record

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When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.

Price paid: Devils come back against Condon, Canadiens

Mike Condon, John Moore,
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If nothing else, the New Jersey Devils seem like they won’t be the sort of team a contender can essentially mark off as a “W” on their calendars.

The Montreal Canadiens may not be in a position to take opponents lightly with Carey Price on the shelf, but whatever the case may be, they saw their four-game winning streak end in frustrating fashion on Saturday.

After falling behind 2-0, the Devils scrapped their way back into it, eventually riding a John Moore overtime goal to a 3-2 OT win.

If Montreal needs an obvious bright side to look on considering this hiccup, Alex Galchenyuk‘s hot weekend may be a good thing to look at.

Tonight’s loss may smart a bit anyway, however.

Metro’s best? Capitals keep winning, pass Rangers for division lead

Jonathan Bernier; Matt Niskanen; Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau

If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:

“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”

The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.

Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:

With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.

Measuring stick stretch begins

Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.

This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.

It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.

In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.