Get your game notes: Bruins at Penguins

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Pittsburgh and Boston meet tonight for the first time since the playoffs. The action can be seen live on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET.

Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

—- With a victory tonight, the Bruins (4-0-0 on the road) can match their best road start in club history, set by the 2010-11 squad that won its first five road games and later the Stanley Cup. The only other times a Bruins team began a season 4-0-0 on the road were in the 1929-30 and 1937-38 seasons.

—- The Penguins have led the NHL in goals per game the last two seasons (3.33 in 2011-12 and 3.38 in 2012-13), and have finished among the top-five in goals in four of the past five seasons. However, through 12 games this season, they rank only 10th (3.08).

—- Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask’s career regular-season statistics vs. Pittsburgh (1-4-0, 2.63 GAA, .903 save%) are far inferior to his marks vs. the other 28 NHL teams (71-44-16, 2.09 GAA, .928 save%). However, the two goals that he allowed in the four-game sweep of the Penguins in the 2013 Eastern Conference Final were the second-fewest given up in a best-of-seven playoff series. (Jean-Sebastien Giguere allowed one goal in the 2003 Western Conference Final vs. Minnesota.)

—- Since the beginning of the 2012-13 season, Penguins top-line forwards Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz have earned points on the same goal 41 times, the third most by any duo in the NHL.
42 – Henrik & Daniel Sedin (VAN)
42 – Steven Stamkos & Martin St. Louis (TBL)
41 – Crosby & Kunitz (PIT)

During that span, the Sedin twins have played together in 61 games, Stamkos and St. Louis 60, while Crosby and Kunitz in only 48. Source: Elias Sports Bureau

—- David Krejci has a seven-game point streak (two goals, eight assists=10 points), the second-longest active streak in the NHL (Henrik Sedin, VAN, nine games).

—- The Penguins snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 win in Carolina on Monday. It was the Pens’ first regular-season winless streak of more than two games since they lost six straight, Dec. 29, 2011-Jan. 11, 2012. It was also during that swoon in 2011-12 that the club last lost three in a row at home (the losing streak reached four games). A loss tonight in Pittsburgh would make it three in a row.

—- The Bruins have led the NHL in faceoff percentage the last two seasons (54.5% in 2011-12 and 56.4% in 2012-13), and have been among the top-five in the last four. However, through 10 games this season, they rank only 11th (52.0%). Despite the team’s slight downturn as a whole, Patrice Bergeron remains one of the league’s best (59.5%, 5th in NHL).

—- Ex-Penguins and current Bruins forward Jarome Iginla has seven points over his last four games. That is the most points that Iginla has put up in any four-game span since a nine-point surge from Mar. 6-13, 2012, his last full season in Calgary. Against New Jersey on Saturday, he registered three points (one goal, two assists) in a period (the first) for the first time since Dec. 13, 2007.

—- Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik assisted on all three Pittsburgh goals vs. Carolina, for his second-career three-point game. It was only the second time in franchise history that a Pens blueliner assisted on every goal in a game they won and scored at least

PHT Morning Skate: Zdeno Chara shot catches emergency goalie in a sensitive spot

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–Sean McIndoe looks at five players who became the unlikeliest first 50-goal scorers in their franchise’s history. McIndoe chose Rick MacLeish (Flyers), Rick Vaive (Maple Leafs), Vic Hadfield (Rangers), Guy Chouinard (Flames) and Mickey Redmond (Red Wings). (The Hockey News)

–A lot of people think hockey players are the toughest athletes, but Islanders forward Anders Lee is here to tell you that they aren’t tough at all. In his story for The Players’ Tribune, Lee writes about a tough, young friend, who is battling cancer. “In the seven years since he has been diagnosed, he has gone through multiple surgeries. He’s had countless radiation treatments. He’s gone through chemotherapy, immunotherapy and stem cell transplants. And he does it all with a smile on his face. So when I hear people refer to me as tough because I play hockey, I think of Fenov and kids like him.” (The Players’ Tribune)

–The Boston Bruins needed an emergency goalie for their practice yesterday, and they settled on Massachusetts state trooper Kevin Segee. Surely, it was the experience of a lifetime for him, but it didn’t come without pain. Segee was clearly shaken up after getting a Zdeno Chara in the…well, you know. (CSN New England)

–Blackhawks forwards Artemi Panarin, Patrick Kane and Tanner Kero each had multi-point games in Wednesday’s 5-1 thumping of the Pittsburgh Penguins. You can watch the highlights from the game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–What was the world like the last time the Detroit Red Wings missed the playoffs? Thanks to Sports Illustrated, we don’t have to wonder. In 1990, J.K. Rowling had just started writing the Harry Potter series, Donald Trump walked out of an interview with CNN because they were asking tough questions about his casino, the first known webpage was written and much, much more. (Sports Illustrated)

–Edmonton Oilers players and their significant others came together to make 400-500 bowls of homemade soup for charity. It’s pretty cool to see most of the team be involved in such a nice event, even though the onion chopping station gave some of the guys a hard time. (Edmonton Oilers on Twitter)

–Sportsnet has assembled the top hits of the week for your viewing pleasure. Hits from that Toronto, Columbus game made the video a couple of times:

Milbury, Jones: Tkachuk walked the walk; Kings’ response was embarrassing

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The Los Angeles Kings got revenge on Matthew Tkachuk and the Calgary Flames on the scoreboard on Wednesday. But was that 4-1 win enough?

Mike Milbury and Keith Jones provided a lengthy “overtime” segment on NBCSN that brought about some really fascinating takes on the situation between Tkachuk and the Flames versus Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings.

Watch the full video above, as it’s worth your time.

A few interesting lines if you’re (tsk tsk) skipping it:

Milbury: Believes that Doughty didn’t “do enough,” noting that star players sometimes have to stick up for themselves. On the other hand, Tkachuk showed that he can “walk the walk.”

He also gave the Kings a “C-, D+ if not worse” for their overall response. “Fight your own battles,” Milbury said of Doughty.

Jones disagreed to some extent, believing that Kings teammates won’t look at Doughty differently. But Jake Muzzin? He believes that Muzzin’s frequent defensive partner (at least over the years, maybe not this season) backing down from a fight was an embarrassment.

Spicy stuff.

For what it’s worth, Drew Doughty has one career fight (against Joe Thornton [!] in 2011-2) while Jake Muzzin’s lone bout came against Andrew Desjardins in 2012-13, according to Hockey Fights. Does that mean they shouldn’t have dropped the gloves on Wednesday? Milbury and Jones seem to believe that they should have answered the bell.

For more, check out a collection of the early violent moments and Tkachuk’s attempted shot at Doughty. The Kings win is summarized in greater detail here.

Measure of revenge: Kings delay clinching efforts for Flames, Blues

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Deep down, the Los Angeles Kings probably realize that their season will end on game 82. Still, they kept their slim playoff hopes alive on Wednesday night … and managed to spite a team they’re growing to hate.

OK, maybe the hate is almost totally focused upon Matthew Tkachuk, yet the disdain for that talented-but-tormenting rookie was palpable.

It didn’t feel like the Kings exacted physical revenge on Tkachuk, but beating his team 4-1 ranked as classic scoreboard vengeance. With that, the Calgary Flames (and by extension the St. Louis Blues) will need to wait to clinch a playoff berth.

Now, as much as tonight was about Tkachuk, the focus was also on a pugnacious player who once dazzled for the Flames: Jarome Iginla.

In what might be Iginla’s final visit to Calgary – at least as an active NHL player – he was one of the best players on the ice. His fitting curtain call included a “Gordie Howe hat trick” with a spirited fight, an assist and a goal.

Seriously, that fight with Deryk Engelland:

That goal included a bit of luck, but hey …

Iginla was named the first star of the contest, and cameras captured his big smile in enjoying a special night. For all the nastiness of that game, it was refreshing to see such a heartwarming moment.

For more on the violence, check out this post on the early stuff and this one on Tkachuk’s missed missile launch on Drew Doughty.

Kings and Canucks will square off in first NHL exhibition games in China

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It’s official: the NHL will hold preseason games in China before next season.

The league made the announcement on Wednesday night: the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks will play two exhibitions: one on Sept. 21 (Shanghai) and Sept. 23 (Beijing). How cool is that?

“It is a privilege and an honor for the L.A. Kings to represent the National Hockey League in China as part of these two games against the Vancouver Canucks,” Kings president Luc Robitaille said. “Growing the game of hockey is something we take great pride in and it is a big priority for our hockey club and AEG as a whole. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our players and our staff, and we are looking forward to the games taking place in two tremendous facilities in two remarkable cities.”

The press conference inspired some jokes tonight.

Some of the best bits came in roping in … Kobe Bryant and David Beckham?

Alrighty then.

Click here for more details.