Rick DiPietro

DiPietro is “bright eyed, bushy tailed, and ready to rock and roll”

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Rick DiPietro played in a single professional contest in 2012 — and it was in the German second division.

Over the previous four seasons he’s played in all of 47 NHL contests due to a variety of injuries.

Still, he’s been healthy lately and practicing with Germany’s SC Riessersee.

“Physically… I feel great,” DiPietro said, according to the Sporting News.

“I’ve had such extensive surgeries, they say it takes a couple of years after that serious of surgery to actually feel back to yourself. I think a lot of the stuff was me rushing back too soon, or just having other stuff go wrong because you compensate for surgery that really hadn’t quite yet come back all the way.

“I’ve had some time off to get ready and get prepared, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Even if he stays healthy, it remains to be seen if he can still perform at the same level he was at when the New York Islanders signed him to a 15-year, $67.5 million contract. He’s struggled during the brief periods he’s been able to play over the last few years and Evgeni Nabokov is probably the better bet to start in the season opener.

All the same, DiPietro remains confident that he can get his career back on track.

“If I didn’t believe it, I wouldn’t be here,” DiPietro said. “Otherwise, it would be a waste. I’m confident with how my body feels now and my ability to be smarter. Older and smarter. I’m not stupid. You can’t have everything fixed by the doctors, which I’ve learned the hard way, and it’s a fact of life.

“I’m bright eyed, bushy tailed, and ready to rock and roll.”

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: