Boston Bruins v Detroit Red Wings - Game Four

Bruins scratch out OT win, push Red Wings to brink

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The Boston Bruins fought back from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 in OT in Game 4 on Thursday, pushing the Detroit Red Wings to the brink of elimination with a 3-1 series score.

Niklas Kronwall and Pavel Datsyuk combined for one-goal, one-assist nights to give the Red Wings a lead that Boston was able to scrape away. Torey Krug’s power-play goal in the middle frame helped the Bruins enter the third period down a manageable 2-1. Carl Soderberg’s nice play set up a Milan Lucic tying goal that sent the game into overtime.

The Bruins pressed the Red Wings repeatedly in the overtime period, generating a 12-3 shot advantage in that time. It was a weird one that beat Jonas Gustavsson in a surprise start, as a Dougie Hamilton shot took a weird bounce and the goal was credited to Jarome Iginla (his first goal of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs).

Comic relief?

For those who don’t appreciate the pesky style of Brad Marchand, he had some tough luck on Thursday. At least one of the shots probably missed the net because of Jimmy Howard/bounces off of other players’ sticks, yet this montage will still be pretty sweet for Marchand haters:

The Bruins can probably laugh that off thanks to their eventual win, though.

Looking forward

Boston is now looking like a serious force in winning three straight games, including both contests at Joe Louis Arena. They have some serious incentive to finish this series off in Boston in Game 5, as the Montreal Canadiens are already awaiting their second-round opponent after sweeping the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Meanwhile, the Red Wings find themselves one game away from another first-round exit despite showing some fight on Thursday night. The bad news (they’ve been surprisingly mortal in “Hockeytown”) is softened a bit by the good: they’ve been formidable on the road this season. They took Game 1 in Boston and went 21-15-5 in away games during the regular season.

It won’t be easy, but the Red Wings have been doing things the hard way this season.

Fight video: Someone other than Evander Kane beats up Alex Petrovic

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Bummed out on this holiday? Look on the bright side: at least you’re not as sore as Florida Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic likely is right now.

Not long after suffering three defeats at the hands/fists of Evander Kane, Petrovic likely lost another bout to Nashville Predators tough guy Anthony Bitetto.

(Note: some might consider this more of a draw, for what it’s worth. You can watch that latest fight in the video above.)

Hey, at least Bitetto didn’t taunt Petrovic after their fight …

It was a rough night for the Panthers overall, as they suffered a gruesome injury or two and fell to the Predators by a score of 5-0.

Outdoor game rumors: Jets host Oilers, Red Wings at Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings face off during the first period of the Winter Classic outdoor NHL hockey game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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Love is in the air on Valentine’s Day, and so are rumors about hockey fans bundling up for outdoor games next season.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman went over two possible outdoor matchups coming for 2016-17 during Saturday’s Headlines segment.

A smart move for a potential game in Winnipeg: Imagine the Jets hosting a game in Winnipeg in February? Ilya Bryzgalov almost turned off his TV in protest.

Instead, Sportsnet’s John Shannon reports that the Jets are likely to host the Edmonton Oilers in October. That would be a smart logistical move, as long as it isn’t too hot.

(Also, playing it then would hopefully increase the odds of the mainstream sporting public seeing Connor McDavid in an outdoor game.)

Toronto’s turn: Friedman reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs are likely to host the Detroit Red Wings in the 2017 Winter Classic (or at least an outdoor game), almost certainly on New Year’s Day 2017.

The two teams combined for a great Winter Classic at Ann Arbor in 2014, so that could be a fun time.

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Keep in mind these are reports (and well-placed ones at that) rather than official announcements for the NHL. These things could always change.

Related: Could the Penguins host the Flyers outdoors next season, too?

Ducks likely to recall Khudobin after Gibson injury

Chicago Blackhawks' Richard Panik (14), of Slovakia, collides with Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson (36) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Chicago. Anaheim won 3-2 in overtime. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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“Costly victories” may have been one of the themes of Saturday night, as some teams paired impressive wins with worrisome injuries.

The good news is that, in each case, it appears that the early word is optimistic about those players (Tyler Seguin got stitched up in the Stars’ win, for example).

The Anaheim Ducks are reportedly readying to recall Anton Khudobin on Sunday after John Gibson suffered an upper-body injury during a collision with Chicago Blackhawks forward Richard Panik.

Again, so far the hope/expectation is that this might not be a major issue:

The pessimistic take would be to wonder “Uh oh, is the Ducks goalie carousel starting again?”

Frederik Andersen has seen some runs as Anaheim’s No. 1 guy, so maybe this issue is a reminder that the Ducks may be better off keeping both Gibson and Andersen around … at least while they can.

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

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For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.