Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Tom Gilbert, Taylor Hall, Pekka Rinne, Ryan Suter

Oilers punch Predators in the mouth

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One game doesn’t erase the possibility that the Edmonton Oilers might be vulnerable to violence, but they absolutely pummeled the Nashville Predators tonight 6-2.

It’s kind of tough to beat up someone who’s blowing you out – at least it was in this case. The Oilers surged to a 3-0 lead that booted Pekka Rinne (and his soon-to-be ridiculous contract) out of Nashville’s net through the first period. The only fight occurred between Sam Gagner and Matt Halischuk of all players. Perhaps the most telling stat is that Edmonton fired out the gate with a 13-3 shot advantage in the first period, which allowed them to build up a sufficient lead once Nashville responded. (The Predators had an 18-7 advantage in the second.)

After reeling off two nice wins (one against Washington, one against Toronto) to start their four-game homestand, the Predators have dropped a game to two seemingly flawed teams in Columbus and Edmonton. It’s certainly not time to panic in Nashville, but this duo of losses cannot sit well with Barry Trotz.

Tom Renney should be a very happy coach tonight, though.

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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.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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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.

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.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)