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Marty Turco as “The Gambler”? Hawks goalie makes bet with fan during game

Chicago backup goalie Marty Turco is known to be a pretty personable and likable guy. Last night in Montreal, he was caught being just that having some fun with the fans seated next to the Chicago bench in Montreal.

Montreal’s Team 990 AM show Game Points with Matthew Ross (audio) received a call about an apparent bet that went down between Turco and a fan seated next to the Blackhawks bench. As things go in this instance, things went immediately abuzz about this. After all, the Maple Leafs got in trouble earlier this year for exchanging cash for the “money on the board” matter that went on in San Jose earlier this season for coach Ron Wilson, so anything like this is going to catch your attention. The arrangement of the bet was explained on Ross’ show and it’s pretty fun.

A fan named “Robert” called into Montreal radio station Team 990 on the “Game Points with Matthew Ross” show and said he bet Turco $5 that the Hawks wouldn’t score after Michael Cammalleri had given the Canadiens a 1-0 lead in the second period. After Patrick Kane tied it a short time later, the fan gave Turco a $5 Canadian bill with the words “Habs Rule” written on it.

As the game continued, the bet apparently increased that the Canadiens would win the game. After P.K. Subban won it for Montreal in overtime, Turco allegedly handed over some bills, including the original with the word “Habs” crossed off and “Turco” added so it read “Turco Rules.”

It would seem rather unbelievable that this would actually go down, but Moe Khan from Ross’ program shared a photo from Twitter user Jeremy Lang then tweeted a photo of the alleged money exchange courtesy of Shawn Greenstone (yeah, it’s a bit convoluted) and instantly turned Turco into the fan’s best friend for having some fun mid-game. You can see the photo right at the top of our story here.

Of course, as things go in matters like this the league will look into the whole deal, but given that the money was only traded back and forth from the fan to Turco and back to the fan, there’s no actual harm being done. Besides, with Turco’s place firmly on the bench and not having any affect on the outcome of the game at all this is just fantastic fun.

Say what you will about Turco the player, but he’s been nothing but aces since playing in Chicago. He was brought in to be the starter at the beginning of the year, stepped back in the wake of Corey Crawford’s breakout season, and he’s been a great figure in public relations around Chicago going out of his way to help with team events and PR. You can’t ask for anything better from a veteran player. Now let’s just hope the NHL doesn’t get too worked up about this “bet” and instead chooses to point to this as a reason why NHL players are some of the best pro athletes in the world when it comes to dealing with the fans.

(Thanks to @MoeKhan19 and @Lang_2727 for the great photo)

Sharks scratch Flames’ big lead, Calgary wins anyway

Calgary Flames' Mikael Backlund (11) chases down the puck against San Jose Sharks' Tomas Hertl (48) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
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If you turned off Thursday’s Calgary Flames – San Jose Sharks game early, you’ll probably be stunned to see that Calgary won 6-5 via a shootout.

For instance:

  • A Sharks fan may have bitterly called it a night when Calgary went up 4-1.
  • Conversely, a Flames devotee might have retired after San Jose took a 5-4 lead, possibly with a broken remote.

The Flames only trailed for about two minutes before scoring the last “real” goal of the game, eventually taking their third straight win thanks to a shootout triumph.

It’s been a strange ride for Calgary, with its most recent win happening after Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Lance Bouma were punished with a healthy scratch. As strange as this game was, the “charity point” can leave both teams looking through a lot of film, yet with something gained as well.

Ultimately, the message may very well be: don’t sleep on these teams.

(In less positive news, Karri Ramo is injured, and it doesn’t look good.

Jonas Hiller closing out the game on a hot streak could be pretty important if Ramo’s out for some time.)

By winning fifth straight, Caps extend Wild’s slump to seven losses

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ST. PAUL, Minn. — Alex Ovechkin scored three times in the second period for his 14th career hat trick, and the Washington Capitals beat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Thursday night.

Ovechkin, who leads the league with 34 goals, has 13 in his past 13 games. Nicklas Backstrom had three assists and Jason Chimera added an empty-netter for Washington, which improved to a league-best 20-5-2 on the road.

Braden Holtby made 33 saves for the Capitals, who won their fifth consecutive game and became the first team to reach 40 victories this season.

Charlie Coyle, Ryan Suter and Mikael Granlund scored for the Wild, but Minnesota lost for the 12th time in its past 13 games (1-10-2). Devan Dubnyk made 29 saves for the Wild, who have lost seven in a row at home (0-4-3).

Ovechkin’s third goal, which deflected off both the post and the back of Dubnyk into the net, was upheld following a coach’s challenge. Wild coach Mike Yeo challenged that the puck had left the zone for offsides, but the call stood after a review showed that Backstrom stopped the puck before it crossed the blue line.

The goal gave Ovechkin his first hat trick since he scored four goals against Tampa Bay on Dec. 10, 2013.

It wasn’t the only fortunate bounce for Ovechkin on the night, and the five-time 50-goal scorer capitalized on each opportunity.

A shot from T.J. Oshie deflected off of Minnesota forward Zach Parise across the ice right to Ovechkin in the left faceoff circle and Ovechkin quickly snapped off a shot to beat Dubnyk, who couldn’t get across the crease to get into position. Three minutes later, Ovechkin scored on the power play when a point shot bounced off the end boards right to Ovechkin in front of the net.

The tally provided some relief for the Capitals’ surprisingly ineffective power play. Washington had one power play in its previous six games, an empty-netter for the only goal in its previous 20 power-play chances. The Capitals were 1 of 5 on the power play on Thursday.

Coyle scored for the fifth time in eight games in the second, but second periods have doomed the Wild during their slump. Minnesota has been outscored 13-3 in the period in five straight losses.

Suter scored his sixth goal of the season on the power play in the third as Minnesota went 1 of 5 with the man advantage.

NOTES: Washington C Evgeny Kuznetsov left in the third period after he was hit in the face by the stick of Mikael Granlund off a faceoff. … Backstrom has 20 points in his last 17 games. … Minnesota D Jared Spurgeon missed his second straight game with an unspecified deep bruise. Spurgeon has returned to practice, but was held out again. … Holtby is 27-1-3 in his last 31 games with two shutouts, a 2.10 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick helps him make more history

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

(He also passed Jean Beliveau for 39th all-time in goals with his 509th, as NHL.com notes.)

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Update: Minnesota managed three goals, but it wasn’t enough, as Washington got the edge 4-3.