Nashville Predators v Dallas Stars

Stars keep pace in West Wild Card race with win over Predators

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The Dallas Stars emphatically maintained their place in the Western Conference playoff race.

The Stars moved three points back of the eighth-place Phoenix Coyotes by trouncing the Nashville Predators 7-3 on Friday. It was a total team effort for the Stars, as they got goals from seven different players. It was a forgettable night for Nashville’s goalie Pekka Rinne, who was kept in net for all seven goals, which came on 29 shots.

A loss could’ve been devastating to Dallas’ playoff hopes. It would’ve kept them five points back while wasting one of the games in hand. The Stars still have a game on Phoenix, and two on Vancouver, which came off an overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.

The Coyotes were not in action on Friday, but managed to come away with a shootout win over the New Jersey Devils the previous night, despite coughing up a two-goal lead.

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever


Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…