Semyon Varlamov, Daniel Winnik

Ducks edge Avs in high-scoring game 6-4

The Anaheim Ducks are facing some serious pressure from the San Jose Sharks when it comes to the Pacific Division lead, but they moved back into that top spot with a 6-4 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night.

They also ended a four-game losing streak while Teemu Selanne stopped a six-game pointless drought as they won a wild contest.

Colorado’s newly re-signed John Mitchell scored the only goal of the opening frame while the final one went without a tally, but it was the second period that really raised eyebrows, as the two teams combined for nine goals. The Ducks tied it up and then went behind again 2-1 only to rattle off four straight goals before the Avs generated two goals in about 30 seconds to make it 5-4. Mathieu Perreault ended that nine-goal barrage with an insurance goal at the 19:11 mark of the period.

It’s probably easiest just to look at it in terms of the box score via


Video highlights will be added if a package of those nine goals is made available. Check with PHT’s upcoming West playoff update for other seeding implications from this game.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.