Nathan Horton, David Krejci, Johnny Boychuk

Boston’s top line looking tough to stop once again

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BOSTON, MA — Last season the Bruins’ top line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Nathan Horton saw more downs than ups. The line was broken up for a bit and later on, Horton was lost to a season-ending concussion.

This season, the trio has been reunited and it’s just like 2011 all over again as all three are clicking with each other. Last night, the trio combined to score their only goal in regulation in a 2-1 shootout win over the Devils. The good news for Bruins fans is that they’re all keeping a level head about things.

“We’ve been playing together for some time now,” Krejci said. “It feels good though. We’re winning, our line’s doing good. That’s what everyone expects from us. We don’t get too high on ourselves. We know that’s what we should do and if we didn’t do that, we didn’t do our job. So far I like what I see from those two guys and I’m trying to help them out as much as I can and they’re trying to help me out. So far, so good.”

Horton, meanwhile, kept his line’s and the team’s success in check.

“They’re great players,” Horton said. “It’s fun for me to play with them. They’re special, just like everyone else on the team. It’s fun to be a part of this and great guys make it a lot of fun.”

If anyone might be viewed as “excited” it’s coach Claude Julien. His enthusiasm about their play, however, stems from them having concerns heading into the season.

“This was a line that had a question mark on it,” Julien said. “One guy hadn’t played in a year [Horton] and the other guy didn’t play at all so far since the beginning of the year [Lucic] and David was the only one having played. Being one of our top lines… We want to be able to rely on those guys. We have and they’ve certainly given us exactly what we need right now.”

With the Bruins atop the Eastern Conference with 11 points and a 5-0-1 record, the more that top line keeps rolling, the more trouble they’ll bring their opponents.

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: