San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings

Kings put Gagne on IR


Two days after missing the third period in a 4-3 win over Phoenix, LA Kings LW Simon Gagne has officially been placed on injured reserve. Kings GM Dean Lombardi made the announcement this morning, saying Gagne’s on the shelf with an upper-body injury.

The organization is keeping mum on specifics, but LA Kings Insider Rich Hammond reports it’s “obvious” Gagne hurt himself by hitting his head after a hit near the boards. (TSN has video of the suspected incident, watch it here.)

Questions now abound for new head coach Darryl Sutter: Who replaces Gagne in the top-six? How will the Kings’ struggling offense react to losing its fifth-leading scorer? Gagne had been skating with Mike Richards and Trevor Lewis on a revamped second line, so the likely candidates to jump up are third- and fourth-line LWs Dustin Penner and Kyle Clifford.

That said, winger Justin Williams could get promoted from third-line duty as well — remember, he opened the season skating on the top unit with Gagne and Anze Kopitar.

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever

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Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…