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Columnist: There might be glimmer of hope for Pronger return

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Amidst the doom and gloom surrounding the Flyers today, CSN Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio thinks he might’ve found a silver lining: Chris Pronger might not definitely be done for the year.

Sure, the Flyers have said that Pronger’s season is over. And sure, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren admitted his captain’s career might be in jeopardy.

But when asked about Pronger potentially returning months down the road — assuming his post-concussion symptoms had cleared — Holmgren left the door open.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” he said. “I think right now, Chris is not an option. If he gets better somewhere over the next month, months, we’ll address that when we get there.”

Panaccio then went on to explain…

If you think about it, by announcing that Pronger is done for this year, including playoffs, the Flyers have removed “uncertainty” from the dressing room. He’s gone, he’s not coming back, the team moves forward.

This is in contrast to how the Penguins handled Sidney Crosby last season, never saying he was done, allowing their players to believe he might return. Crosby even practiced with the club during the playoffs.

Panaccio also noted Holmgren couldn’t explain why the Flyers ruled Pronger out for the playoffs, even though the postseason doesn’t begin until April.

“That’s a good question,” Holmgren said. “I don’t know. I guess just the way he’s felt since we believe what was the original injury, maybe years of playing in the NHL. I can’t answer that.”

Another intriguing development is the organization not naming a replacement captain. Holmgren said his veteran leadership group (including Daniel Briere and Kimmo Timonen) would fill the void, but some feel it’s another sign the door’s being left open for Pronger to return.

Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss

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The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.

Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.

(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)

Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.

Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.

As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

As Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (37) looks on Los Angeles Kings' Milan Lucic waves to the crowd after a tribute to him was played on the screen during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.

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?

The Panthers ultimately won 7-4.

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: