Roberto Luongo, Cory Schneider

Schneider to start Thursday as Luongo takes a seat

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Cory Schneider (2-2-0, .897 SV%) will be back in Vancouver’s goal tomorrow in Minnesota for the first time since a 4-1 loss at San Jose on Jan. 27.

Roberto Luongo — the goalie Schneider was supposed to replace this season as the Canucks’ number one — has started the past four games, going 3-0-1 while surrendering just five goals.

All the while, Luongo has continued to be the subject of trade rumors, making his string of consecutive starts the major topic of conversation around the team.

On Monday — the same day Luongo was named the NHL’s third star of the weekSchneider’s agent urged a resolution to the team’s goaltending issue.

Schneider’s season got off to a rough start when the 26-year-old was pulled in the Canucks’ first game after allowing five goals on 14 shots. He’s had a couple of strong performances since then, including a shutout over the Ducks on Jan. 25. But Luongo, 33, has been the better of the two.

“These are very unique circumstances,” Canucks GM Mike Gillis said Tuesday on Vancouver radio. “(Cory) knows our level of commitment to him. He knows how much we believe in him. And I know when he gets in the nets next, he’s not going to want to give it up. Just like Roberto.

“I don’t think it’s an issue at all inside our dressing room or with our team. We are completely conscious of ice time and how players are utilized and Cory is no different. But we have to win hockey games. We don’t have the luxury of. . . people’s feelings, as opposed to wins. We don’t have that luxury.”

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: