TAMPA, FL - APRIL 2: Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning battles for the puck against Jay Beagle #83 of the Washington Capitals during the second period at the St. Pete Times Forum on April 2, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Stamkos scores goals 57 and 58 as Lightning beat Capitals

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There’s still hope for the Buffalo Sabres. At the start of the day, the eighth place Washington Capitals had a two-point lead over them and control of the tiebreaker with three games remaining in each team’s schedule. However, the Capitals squandered a chance to put in a nail in the coffin in their 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay Monday night.

After a scoreless first period, Alexander Semin netted his 20th goal of the season to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead. However, Tampa Bay’s Teddy Purcell and Victor Hedman struck back with goals just 25 seconds apart late in the second frame.

With less than five minutes left in the contest, Jason Chimera backhand a rebound past Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson to tie the game. It looked like the match would be decided in overtime and the Washington Capitals would get at least one critical point. Then Steven Stamkos stepped up.

Stamkos scored his 57th goal of the season at 18:57 of the third period and then helped himself to an empty netter with seconds left on the clock.

With three games left in the Lightning’s schedule, it’s entirely possible for Stamkos to become the first 60-goal scorer since Alex Ovechkin in 2007-08.

The Buffalo Sabres now have a chance to tie the Washington Capitals in terms of points with a victory over Toronto on Tuesday, but that won’t be good enough as the Capitals control the tiebreaker. The two teams aren’t scheduled to play against each other in the final days of the regular season, so Buffalo needs more help if they are to make the playoffs. Meanwhile, Washington can still guarantee itself a playoff spot by winning both of its final two games.

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: