Wild’s Pominville returns to practice (Updated)

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Minnesota might be getting its big trade deadline acquisition back in time for the playoffs.

Jason Pominville returned to Wild practice on Monday, his first time back since suffering a head injury on a Dustin Brown elbow last Tuesday.

The former Buffalo captain — traded to Minny on Apr. 3 — missed the final two games of the regular season with what appeared to be a head injury, though the Wild wouldn’t classify the ailment as a concussion.

Pominville was skating with his usual linemates, Kyle Brodziak and Pierre-Marc Bouchard, at Monday’s practice. Prior to getting hurt, the 30-year-old had 4G-5A-9PTS in 10 games with Minnesota, averaging 17:31 TOI per game.

The Wild open their playoff campaign against the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Blackhawks in Chicago on Tuesday (8p.m. ET, NBCSN).

UPDATE:

Sounds like Pominville’s likely to play in Game 1, according to head coach Mike Yeo.

“[Pominville] looked good in practice today,” Yeo told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “He’s a big part of our team in a lot of areas.

“The offensive threat that he is, smart player, plays in all situations for us, and as much as anything else, the experience that he has in the playoffs and his leadership, obviously he’s a big part of our team.”

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

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.)