Detroit Red Wings v Chicago Blackhawks

NBC Game of the Week – April 10: Blackhawks vs. Red Wings

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When the regular season wraps up on Sunday, April 10 one of the highlight games of the day will be NBC’s Game of the Week at 12:30 p.m. ET and it’ll be live from United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The defending champion Blackhawks will take on the Detroit Red Wings in an original six tilt that may be the game that decides whether or not the Blackhawks even make the playoffs to defend their title.

With how tight things are in the Western Conference, the Blackhawks may either be fighting for a chance to host a first round playoff series or fighting for a chance to be in the postseason at all. Having home ice on April 10 will be a major advantage for Chicago but dealing with the likely division winning Red Wings will be tough. Making things more interesting is the teams will have just faced off in Detroit the preceding Friday night.

Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Duncan Keith will go into battle with Corey Crawford against Detroit with Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and Nicklas Lidstrom with Jimmy Howard in goal. At least we’ll assume Howard will be in goal. If Detroit’s got nothing to play for in the conference or the division, it’s possible Howard gets the day off. Chicago, however, would seem very likely that they’ll have a lot to play for on the final day of the season, including their playoff lives.

As always, we’ll have NHL Extra for you during the game to hit us with your questions and get our analysis of what’s going on. Consider this game your major league warm-up for the playoffs. Yes, we can’t believe the season is almost over either. Don’t worry, there’ll be plenty more coverage from us come playoff time.

Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

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The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

This GIF might just say it all, really:

Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

Fight video: Yes, a visor-breaking punch

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Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.

Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”

Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.

Want it in GIF form? OK then:

Sending a message: Flames scratch Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma

Calgary Flames' Sean Monahan, left, celebrates his goal with teammate Johnny Gaudreau during the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes in an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Calgary, Alberta. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau figure to be a big part of the Calgary Flames’ forward group, both in the present and the future.

That said, it the very specific present, they’ll be watching Tuesday’s game from the press box.

After an unsatisfactory practice amid flailing playoff hopes, Flames head coach Bob Hartley made a big statement tonight, taking Monahan, Gaudreau and Lance Bouma out of the lineup as healthy scratches against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Wow.

It’s amusing timing, too, as the Maple Leafs will roll with a bit of a skeleton crew of their own after that splashy Dion Phaneuf trade.

Some background

Sportsnet’s Mark Spector was there for the practice, which was unusually short at 25 minutes.

“He wasn’t happy with the way we were practicing,” David Jones told Spector. “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.

“I think he was pretty pissed off about the way things were looking.”

Call it a combination of poor execution and maybe a tardy arrival … perhaps from a Super Bowl party or two?

Bruins pay warm tribute to Milan Lucic

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Milan Lucic may or may not spend a big chunk of his career with the Los Angeles Kings, but the Boston Bruins haven’t forgotten his contributions.

(Their fans haven’t, either.)

The Bruins shared a tribute video for Lucic, decked out in a loud, retro-style Kings sweater on Tuesday. The hulking winger seemed to appreciate the nod from his former team, and also acknowledged fans who watched him develop into one of the league’s most formidable power forwards.

(H/T to the Score by way of The Hockey Beat for the video.)