HigginsTanev

Canucks’ Higgins, Tanev out ‘indefinitely’ with lower-body injuries

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The day after getting one key contributor back from injury, Vancouver lost two more.

That was the word out of Canucks practice on Tuesday as head coach Alain Vigneault told reporters winger Chris Higgins and defenseman Chris Tanev would be out of the lineup for an indefinite length of time.

Vigneault wasn’t divulging much about the severity of either injury.

“Both [Higgins and Tanev] have lower-body injuries and will not join us on the road trip,” he explained.

Vigneault went on to add he hopes to have both back for the playoffs.

News of the losses have to be tough for the Canucks, who only just got back Ryan Kesler (he scored the game-winning goal in Monday’s 2-0 win over Phoenix).

They head out on a five-game trip that begins Wednesday in Calgary.

Higgins has been one of the club’s most consistent performers this season, tied for third in goals (10). He also recently inked a four-year, $10 million extension.

Tanev has shown steady improvement and turned into one of the team’s most responsible defensemen, averaging over 17 minutes per night.

In addition to keeping mum about severity, Vancouver wasn’t offering much as to how either player got hurt. It’s possible Tanev was injured on a Tim Jackman hit during Saturday’s 5-2 win over Calgary (he returned to finish the game, but didn’t play on Monday)

Higgins played over 18 minutes last night against the Coyotes, including a full compliment of shifts in the third period. He did miss some games earlier this year with a back issue.

Update: According to the Vancouver Sun’s Elliott Pap, Tanev was seen leaving Rogers Arena wearing a walking boot on his right foot.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)

Video: Dion Phaneuf’s assist is his first point with Senators

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Dion Phaneuf‘s first home game as a member of the Ottawa Senators is going more smoothly than his debut did on Wednesday.

Ottawa fell 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings last night, and they need another goal to tie up the Colorado Avalanche. Still, Phaneuf’s making a bigger impact on Thursday, collecting two assists … his first two points in a Sens’ sweater.

You can see his crowd-pleasing first helper above.

Here’s his second assist for good measure:

Update: The Avalanche held on, taking a 4-3 edge. Even so, Phaneuf’s getting a warm welcome in his new hockey city.