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Versus set to premiere daily hockey show ‘NHL Overtime’ starting November 15

If you ask many hockey fans, the league’s late-night TV programming hasn’t been the same since the demise of NHL 2 Night, ESPN’s old highlight show that featured John Buccigross and Barry Melrose.

While On the Fly makes me think of the old NFL Primetime show because it goes above-and-beyond other programs by featuring more than just the big goals and biggest hits, it has some pluses and minuses. The NHL Network show is great in that it provides in-game peeks at live games and shows some of the big saves and other moments that usually fall through the cracks during other sports wrap-up shows. That being said, NHL Network reaches a niche audience of consumers who not only have cable but a package with a “premium” suite of channels, so it’s accurate to say that On the Fly hasn’t fully filled the shoes of NHL 2 Night.

Well, for those of you hoping for a nationally televised (at least on cable) wrap-up show, it sounds like Versus is about to premiere a show just like that.

Now that the hit-or-miss general sports show The Daily Line was canceled, there is room for the network to begin a new hockey show called NHL Overtime. Here is more about the program from Michael McCarthy of USA Today.

The one-hour show will premiere Nov. 15 and include game highlights, postgame player interviews, features and discussion. It will also delve into intercollegiate and international hockey.

NHL Overtime will take over the Monday-Thursday, 11 p.m. ET time slot previously occupied by TheDaily Line where Sterger served as co-host.

No word on who will serve as the show’s hosts just yet. It’s a minor bummer that it won’t air everyday of the week – Saturday nights tend to be the most hockey-saturated evenings, after all – but that’s a minor quibble when you consider the fact that it will provide an hourly summary of the night’s events.

Hockey fans have been calling for this for years. Hopefully it will be a quality program that covers the league with in-depth highlights (and maybe a little humor?). We’ll provide more details and maybe a review or two as time goes on.

Statement in Blackhawks’ blowout of Stars? Coach Q says they’re even

Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov (15) scores a goal against Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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Worry (if you’re pulling for the Stars) or gloat (if you’re a Blackhawks fan) all you want, but the bottom line is that the Central Division’s No.1 spot is clearly in Chicago’s control after Saturday night.

The Blackhawks earned a decisive 5-1 win against the Dallas Stars, giving them a five-point standings lead over Dallas for the Central Division lead.

You may feel like that’s more of the same, but consider this: things would look a lot closer if Dallas won or gained points, as they hold three games in hand on the ‘Hawks.

At least one Blackhawks player admits this game means a little more than your average W.

Indeed, while Antti Niemi was pulled from the game and Kari Lehtonen faced his own struggles in Dallas’ net, Corey Crawford ranked as one of the big reasons why the score was so lopsided.

(Artem Anisimov had a big say in that, too.)

As a wise coach with 1,000+ games of experience would do, Joel Quenneville didn’t go overboard in assessing the victory.

Was this a statement game? Who knows, but a certain statement is that the Blackhawks now have a five-point standings lead.

Brad Marchand wins it … on a penalty shot … in overtime

Boston Bruins' Brad Marchand celebrates after scoring on a penalty shot during the overtime period of the Boston Bruins 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres in an NHL hockey game in Boston Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.

Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.

Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:

That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.

Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.

Crosby kills the Cats: Penguins end Panthers’ winning streak

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) collides with Florida Panthers' Connor Brickley (86) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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For quite some time, it looked like the Florida Panthers would keep the Pittsburgh Penguins under wraps.

Florida nursed a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 margin almost halfway through the third period, looking to win its sixth consecutive game. That looked great … and then Sidney Crosby + Kris Letang happened.

Let’s put it this way: this GIF of Crosby being frustrated is amusing, yet it doesn’t exactly tell the story of Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win for the Penguins:

Instead, Crosby grabbed his 900th point assisting on a Letang goal, and finished the night with 902 by collecting the game-tying goal and grabbing a helper on Letang’s overtime game-winner.

Crosby crossing that barrier is indeed special, even if it prompts “What if?” questions about No. 87’s health.

The resurgence of Crosby and Letang already played a big role in the Penguins going from disjointed and frustrating to sneaky and scary, so it  shouldn’t be that surprising to see them play so well. Doing so in such brisk order is a little bewildering, however.

Video: Mika Zibanejad’s check to Tyler Bozak’s head

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Saturday’s been unkind to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and not just on the scoreboard (where it’s 3-0 early on against the Ottawa Senators).

The Maple Leafs lost Tyler Bozak to an apparent upper-body injury thanks to a questionable hit by Sens forward Mika Zibanejad.

You can judge that check (which drew a minor penalty for illegal check to the head) in the video above. Again, Bozak will not return to tonight’s game.

It’s unclear if Bozak will miss time beyond this contest.

Update: It didn’t get much better going forward; the Senators beat the Maple Leafs 6-1.