Get your game notes: Wild at Avalanche

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Tonight on CNBC, it’s the Colorado Avalanche hosting the Minnesota Wild starting at 9 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• The Wild and Avalanche are meeting for the second time in a Game 7 at Pepsi Center in Denver. In 2003, Minnesota’s Andrew Brunette scored at 3:25 of overtime in Game 7 of the 2003 Western Conference Quarterfinals to end the playing career of Avs goaltender Patrick Roy. As a player, Roy was 7-2 at home in Game 7s (including 4-2 for Colorado), and 0-5 on the road (0-3 for Colorado).

• The home team has won all seven games in a playoff series nine times in NHL history, most recently in the 2013 Western Conference Semifinals, won by Los Angeles over San Jose. The last time that the home team won the first six games of a series and lost in Game 7 was also last season, in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, when the N.Y. Rangers blanked Washington 5-0 in the series decider.

• The NHL’s two leading scorers this postseason, Minnesota’s Zach Parise (3-7–10) and Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon (2-8–10), have feasted on their opponents on home ice this series. That is something that bodes well for the Avs’ rookie, who will play Game 7 at home, where he’s scored all 10 of his points.

• MacKinnon, who in Game 5 became the highest-scoring teenager playing in his first playoff series (18 years, 237 days), is tied with Maurice “Rocket” Richard for the most points at home in his first-ever playoff series. The Hockey Hall of Famer registered 10 points in three games at the Montreal Forum for the Canadiens in the 1944 NHL Semifinals. Elias Sports Bureau

• Parise set two Wild playoff records in Game 6, becoming the first Minnesota player to register four points (two goals, two assists) in a playoff game, and the fastest to score a goal (49 seconds into the first period). Since arriving in Minnesota before the 2013 season, Parise has registered a point in 13 of 15 games versus Colorado (regular season and playoffs), and multiple points in five of those 15.

• The Minnesota-Colorado series has featured four one-goal games, including three games settled in overtime. In their last 15 postseason meetings, the Wild and Avs have contested 12 one-goal games. (Seven were won by Minnesota.) Two other times, in Games 2 and 6 of this series, the teams were separated by one goal late, until empty-net goals widened the final margin.

• Four times this series, Avs coach Patrick Roy has pulled goalie Semyon Varlamov (3-3 record, 2.45 GAA, .923 save%) with more than two minutes to go in the third period and down by a goal. The Avs tied the game with the extra attacker in their two comeback attempts at home, and won both in overtime.

• Avalanche center Paul Stastny scored a shorthanded goal in Game 6 for his fourth goal of the playoffs, tied for the NHL lead with Jamie Benn (DAL), Wayne Simmonds (PHI), Justin Williams (LAK) and Vladimir Tarasenko (STL). Stastny became only the 15th player in Stanley Cup playoff history to score goals at even strength, on the power play, shorthanded, and in overtime in one series. He joined his father, Peter, who did it for the Quebec Nordiques versus the Hartford Whalers in 1987. Elias Sports Bureau

Leafs’ Marleau becomes 18th NHL player to reach 1,500-game milestone

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Patrick Marleau’s three-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs will end two months before his 41st birthday, a summer when many believe his NHL career will come to an end.

But as he celebrated game No. 1,500 Wednesday night against the Detroit Red Wings, the veteran forward was talking about reaching another kind of milestone.

“I’m going to keep going as long as I can,” he said Wednesday morning via Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. “I don’t know if my wife’s ready to have me at home full-time yet. If I feel good and still think I can contribute then I’ll keep it going.”

Marleau is the 18th player in NHL history to reach the 1,500 game mark. Should he stay healthy and play the entire 82-game slate or close to that, he’ll enter the 2018-19 season 11th all-time in that category. Gordie Howe holds the record with 1,767 games played.

Health has helped the 38-year-old Marleau reach the mark in his 20th NHL season. He hasn’t missed a regular game since the 2008-09 season and hasn’t played fewer than 74 games in a full season in his entire career.

Marleau has gone from being the youngest player in the league to the sixth-oldest in the span of 20 years and considering his history of good health, better fitness regiments of players and treatment by training staffs, challenging Howe may not be a crazy idea.

Of course, that is unless Jaromir Jagr sticks around. If that happens then Marleau would likely have to settle for No. 2.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks at Blues

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This week’s edition of NBCSN’s Rivalry Night will feature a central division clash between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues.

It’s still early days, but the two sides are battling atop the Central, with the Blackhawks powered by great starts from a number of players including Brandon Saad and Ryan Hartman. The Blues, meanwhile, are looking to halt a two-game skid after winning their first four games of the season. The game also features the return of NHL on NBC analyst Ed Olczyk to the booth.

You can check out tonight’s game on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET) or online via the live stream.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

Blues get Alexander Steen back against Blackhawks

Return to the booth is Eddie Olczyk’s ‘best medicine’

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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Former NHL agent Stacey McAlpine charged in fraud case

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Former NHL agent Stacey McAlpine has been charged with fraud in a case involving former Ottawa Senators players Dany Heatley and Chris Phillips.

Winnipeg police said Wednesday that the 54-year-old McAlpine bilked Heatley and Phillips out of $12 million between January 2004 and June 2011. McAlpine is charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000, two counts of theft over $5,000 and laundering proceeds of crime.

Heatley and Phillips sued McAlpine and McAlpine’s parents, claiming money was being invested in unapproved real estate deals, including an Ottawa condominium. CTV Calgary has reported that Heatley was awarded more than $6 million by an Alberta court.

Rask hurt in Bruins practice; Spooner out 4-6 weeks

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Well, the good news regarding injuries and the Boston Bruins didn’t last very long.

Earlier this week, PHT noted that forwards Patrice Bergeron and David Backes are expected to return in the near future, possibly as soon as Thursday. That’s great, but Wednesday turned out to be lousy thanks to one injury scare and one sure-thing that’s a negative.

The biggest concern is that of Tuukka Rask, and it’s something that might not clear up for a while. Rask was helped off the ice during practice today after being “bowled over” by young forward Anders Bjork.

The Bruins might dodge a bullet there, which would be huge if their backup work in anyway resembles the woes of 2016-17.

While we don’t know the severity of Rask’s issues just yet, there’s flat-out bad news for Ryan Spooner.

The Bruins estimate Spooner’s window of recovery at four-to-six weeks for a (cringe) “right groin adductor tear,” which he suffered on Oct. 15. Adam McQuaid suffered an injury in that same contest, so that could go down as a costly date for a Bruins team that has been fairly described as top-heavy.

Spooner, 25, was off to a slow start so far this season. He didn’t score a goal and managed one assist in five games, averaging 13:17 TOI per game. Even during that time, he was deployed in a very protected way, so the B’s can’t really claim that this is more than a body blow.

Even so, the Bruins might sport a patchwork lineup if Bergeron and/or Backes can’t play on Thursday. They’ll likely chalk it up as a win if Rask avoids anything significant, though.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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