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Scratch this: Briere shines in return for Habs (but Sens win)

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Daniel Briere is pretty familiar with people giving up on him, so maybe it makes sense that he had one of his best games in years – and probably his greatest output as a member of the Montreal Canadiens – after suffering the embarrassment of being a healthy scratch.

The 36-year-old scored two goals and one assist in Montreal’s 4-3 OT loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. (The Sens are now on a season-high four-game winning streak, by the way.)

To give you an idea of how much of a breakthrough this might feel like for Briere, consider the fact that he only had 10 points in his previous 39 games with Montreal.

His healthy scratch prompted many to wonder if his days were numbered with Montreal, and while that could still be in the works – perhaps this would simply pump his trade value up? – this might also be the catalyst for a turnaround.

No doubt, Briere has shown that he can make big things happen when he gets hot. Not many players can claim more than a point-per-game in the playoffs (109 in 108) nor can many say that they’ve scored 30 points in a single postseason … especially in the last decade.

Does that mean the sprite-like veteran will turn things around after one strong performance? Not necessarily, but he’s beaten the odds before.

Matt Niskanen injured by Patrice Bergeron boarding hit

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Patrice Bergeron doesn’t have a reputation for dirty hits, but he drew the Washington Capitals’ ire for a hit on Matt Niskanen.

The Capitals consider Niskanen “probable” to return to Wednesday’s game against the Boston Bruins with what they’re calling an upper-body injury. Bergeron received a two-minute boarding penalty for the infraction.

(Check out video of the hit above.)

The Capitals’ Twitter acknowledged the brewing bad feelings.

Does Bergeron deserve supplemental discipline for that boarding hit?

Washington currently leads the game 3-2.

Ouch: NHL official helped off ice after puck to knee (Video)

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There are plenty of hazards on an NHL rink even if you’re not a player.

Barry Trotz ranks among the coaches who’ve been hit by pucks, though he’s one of the tiny sliver of humans who would shake off a puck to the forehead. It can be dangerous for officials, too, whether it means a wayward puck or wayward player.

The latest example comes in the form of linesman Steve Miller needing help off the ice after a puck hit him in the knee area. As you can see from the video, it looked like he was in serious pain.

Yikes:

Video: Tyler Bozak with some saucy moves on this goal

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It’s refreshing that hockey fans have, for the most part, moved on from debating Tyler Bozak‘s merits.

The general feeling is that the Toronto Maple Leafs use him in appropriate ways these days, so we can simply enjoy his work as a pretty spiffy hockey player.

Speaking of spiffy, check out the sweet moves he made against the Minnesota Wild for the goal above. Feels like you could dub over a Chris Berman “whoop” or two in there, right?

(If you’re into that kind of thing.)

Here’s that gaudy move in isolation and in GIF form:

WATCH LIVE: Bruins at Capitals – Wednesday Night Rivalry

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Even with two games in hand, some might be surprised to see the Washington Capitals tied with the Boston Bruins in standings points in early December.

That’s the case on Wednesday Night Rivalry, as a somewhat up-and-down Capitals team (which is glad to welcome T.J. Oshie back) hosts a Bruins squad that’s riding a three-game winning streak.

It should be an interesting matchup on NBCSN, which you can also watch online or via the NBC Sports App.

Click here for the livestream.