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Anaheim, Nashville renew hostilities after Beauchemin-Fisher headshot

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Nasty scene last night in Nashville involving Anaheim Ducks D Francois Beauchemin and Nashville Predators C Mike Fisher. Midway through the first period, Beauchemin jumped into the neutral zone and delivered a lethal shot to an unsuspecting Fisher:

Nashville head coach Barry Trotz was rather blunt regarding the incident that marred Nashville’s 3-0 win. “I’ll leave that up to the league,” Trotz told The Tennessean about the legality of the hit. “I look at it and I think it’s pretty clear, but I’ll leave it up to the league.”

Beauchemin, who received two minutes for an illegal check to the head (and another two for roughing after getting jumped by Preds D Kevin Klein, who got four) was quick to defend his actions. “That’s just one of those fast plays that happens. Just a hit shoulder to shoulder,” he told the Orange County Register. “That’s what the league is looking at and I really had my arm tucked in. (No) elbow. Nothing. Maybe the point of the impact of his head on the ice hurt him more than anything else.”

Fisher left the ice immediately and didn’t return to the game. According to the Predators, he’s out with an upper-body injury.

The hit renewed the heated rivalry these two built up during last spring’s opening playoff series. Six minutes after Beauchemin hit Fisher and Klein jumped Beauchemin, George Parros and Brian McGrattan threw down in a spirited (and lengthy) fight:

Later in the third, Matt Beleskey and Blake Geoffrion also threw down. The teams ended up combining for 42 penalty minutes all told, confirming that this is one of the league’s more heated rivalries. You don’t normally think of Anaheim-Nashville as a grudge match, but there’s definitely some bad blood between them.

We won’t have to wait long for a rematch, either. On Nov. 9, the Ducks will host the Predators at the Honda Center in what should be a contentious affair.

PHT Morning Skate: Adam Henrique wants to make NHL 17 great again

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Martin Jones is a calming presence in the Sharks’ net. (Sports Illustrated)

–The Rangers should go after Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. (The Hockey News)

–Some people have pretty wild hockey tattoos. (BarDown)

–Watch the highlights of last night’s game between the Penguins and Capitals. (Top)

–A great piece on how Bruce Boudreau impacted the Ducks and Capitals. (Sportsnet)

–It should be an interesting off-season for the Anaheim Ducks. (Daily Breeze)

Adam Henrique is a funny guy. He took to Twitter to try and get himself on the cover of NHL 17:

Capitals accuse Letang of leaving his feet, hitting Johansson in head


Get this: the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins seem divided on the legality of Kris Letang‘s hit on Marcus Johansson.

(Take a moment to gather your thoughts amid this shocking revelation.)

You can watch the hit over and over in the video above. This post features some takes on that check, which the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly reviewing.

Generally speaking, the three things people discuss regarding the check is how late it might be, if Letang used his feet and if Johansson’s head was the principal point of contact.

Letang told his side of the story:

The Capitals disagree:

While Barry Trotz pleads the Fifth after his previous comments about Brooks Orpik‘s suspension:

No doubt about it, Letang’s status is the top story to follow in this series between Games 3 and 4. We’ll find out soon enough how it all shakes out.

Penguins ride Murray’s masterpiece to 2-1 series lead vs. Capitals


If Marc-Andre Fleury suiting up bothers Matt Murray, then the rookie goalie channeled those feelings into a masterful performance on Monday.

The Washington Capitals absolutely dominated Game 3, but Murray was even better, stopping 47 shots as the Penguins stole one 3-2 to take a 2-1 series lead.

(Capitals fans might see some parallels to Washington’s Game 5 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers; they fell 2-0 despite a 44-11 shots on goal edge thanks to Michal Neuvirth‘s heroics.)

Murray stopped chance after chance before Alex Ovechkin finally broke through for his first goal of this series. Justin Williams then brought the Penguins’ lead down to 3-2 to make for a hold-your-breath final minute.

A driven Ovechkin and strong overall play from the Capitals (despite this defeat) aren’t the only reasons why Game 4 might present some twists.

First things first: Kris Letang might get suspended for Game 4 (if not for more than one game) thanks to this controversial check on Marcus Johansson.

Beyond that, there could be some bumps and bruises from this contest.

Bryan Rust left during the first period and didn’t return to the game after blocking a shot. Brian Dumoulin seemed shaken up after an Alex Ovechkin hit in the third period. The Capitals might have a player or two to look at, as well.

In other words, the Penguins could really lack for quality defensemen with Letang possibly suspended and possible injury absences for Dumoulin and Olli Maatta.

This series is living up to the hype … and really building up the hate.

Yes, NHL is reportedly looking at Letang’s hit on Johansson


It remains to be seen if Kris Letang will get suspended for his hit on Marcus Johansson … and if he does, for how long.

(You can read initial reactions and some analysis about the specifics of the check vs. the one that got Brooks Orpik suspended here.)

There are a few things we do know already.

For one thing, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly looking into it.

Another factor that could help Letang avoid a suspension or limit the duration of supplemental discipline: Marcus Johansson returned during the second period.

In fact, Johansson delivered some hits on Letang.

There have been some nasty moments in Game 3, and more might be coming. The Penguins lead 2-0 with a few minutes remaining in the middle frame.