Fleischmann says scoreless slump is ‘like nothing I’ve ever had before’

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Since joining the Florida Panthers in 2011, Tomas Fleischmann has been a pretty consistent scorer — he led the team with 61 points en route to the Southeast Division title in ’11-12 and led again last year, with 35 points in 48 games.

But this year? Fleischmann is in some kinda slump.

The Czech winger is scoreless in 10 and had just three goals and 12 points through 26 games — putting him fourth on the Panthers in scoring and tied for 7th in goals.

“It’s unbelievable, it’s like nothing I’ve ever had before,” Fleischmann told the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I’ve put good games together and felt great last game [a 5-1 loss to Pittsburgh].

“Nothing seems to click my way. It’s something guys go through. [Tomas Kopecky] had it before.

“I took it from him and now I have to fight through it, too.”

Kopecky went the first 16 games of the season without a point — yes, a point — before registering an assist against Ottawa on Nov. 9.

(So, as you can see, scoring slumps aren’t uncommon for the Panthers this season).

For Fleischmann, though, this pointless streak could have larger ramifications. He has two seasons remaining on his four-year, $18 million deal — a $4.5 million average annual cap hit — and has been rumored as one of Florida’s veterans available for trade.

But, as you can imagine, there isn’t a big market for $4.5 million scoring wingers that aren’t scoring. It could hamstring Tallon when it comes time to try and make a trade, which won’t be easy to begin with given Fleischmann has a modified no-trade clause.

Of course, the 29-year-old isn’t even looking that far ahead. He wants to sort out his scoring issues and help the Panthers.

“We had a coaching change this month, different lines, so getting used to everything, maybe that’s the reason,” he explained. “I’m trying to be the best player in the game and hopefully, things follow.”

Vatrano presence: Bruins edge Red Wings in overtime

Frank Vatrano David Krejci
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The Boston Bruins keep flipping the script.

In Wednesday’s case, it swerved to a “Cinderella” story, as little-known forward Frank Vatrano scored two of Boston’s three goals – including the overtime clincher – as the B’s beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 (OT).

Here’s his first goal of the night:

While this is his overtime game-winner:

It wasn’t a perfect night for the 21-year-old, yet it may have been a convincing one.

The Bruins continue to begin a month on a sour note before ending up with impressive sprees.

October: 0-3-0 start, finished month with four straight wins and victories in six of seven contests.

November: 0-3-0 start, losses in four of five; currently on a four-game winning strek with victories in five of six.

Boston faces a challenge in closing this month out against the Rangers on Friday, and it’s possible that this trend may continue, as they begin December with a three-game road trip through Western Canada.

More than anything else, the safest bet with the Bruins is for ups and downs.

Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win

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Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.

Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:

… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.

(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)

Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.

You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.

Fight video: Claude Giroux vs. Nick Leddy

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Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.

Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.

You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.

It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.

Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.

Update: The fight may have inspired the Islanders more than the Flyers, as they bested Philly 3-1 on Wednesday.

Carter Hutton gets flipped, stays in game

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Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.

Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:

Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.

If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.

Check out this incredible shot of that moment:

Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.