Boudreau Anaheim AP

Weekend Watch: Five games you need to see

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This is the Weekend Watch. It’s a guide of what to watch this weekend.

Tonight: Philadelphia at Anaheim, 10pm ET

Check out these tweets from Eric Stephens of the OC Register:

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The term “culture change” gets thrown around a lot, but it might actually mean something in Anaheim. For as good a coach as Carlyle is, he was regarded as a guy that — because of his gruff personality and grumpy demeanor — wore players down. Don’t get me wrong, Boudreau will probably wear out the Ducks in a similar manner. But for now, weeeeee! No meetings!

Saturday: Toronto at Boston, 7pm ET

The Bruins didn’t lose a game in regulation last month. The last time they did that was January 1969, when Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge, Johnny Bucyk and Bobby Orr were wearing the black and gold. Needless to say, the Bruins are on some kind of roll right now. They demand your attention. And if you don’t give it, Milan Lucic will run you over. (Joking.) (I think.)

It’s also worth mentioning that the Bruins were 3-7-0 on Oct. 31, dead last in the Northeast Division and Eastern Conference. On Dec. 1 the Bruins were 15-7-1, first in the Northeast and second in the conference.

Saturday: New York Rangers at Tampa Bay, 7pm ET

The Torts Bowl! Well, sorta. This won’t be the first time John Tortorella returns to the city where he won a Stanley Cup, but it will be the first time he goes back coaching ex-Lightning star Brad Richards, the 2004 Conn Smythe winner.

Gotta think Torts had this one circled on the calendar. In addition to the “return to T-Bay” angle, his Rangers lost all four games against the Lightning last year.

Saturday: Chicago at St. Louis, 8pm ET

One of the best divisional rivalries in hockey, dating all the way back to the old Norris Divison (see: St. Patrick’s Day Massacre, Mar. 1991 — yeah, you have to watch the whole thing.)

This particular game will hold extra meaning for the Blues, however. It marks the return of LW David Perron, who has missed the last 97 games with a concussion.

“What we talked about last July is that our best free agent signing this year would be getting a healthy David Perron,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong said. “We’ve waiting a little bit into the season, but his talent and his skill set is not easily replaceable in the lineup.”

Sunday: Calgary at Vancouver, 9pm ET

Expect this to be asked in advance of every Canucks game for the foreseeable future: Luongo or Schneider?

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

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For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

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The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.