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Here’s what to watch for today

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Today is going to be fun. Halford and I are here in Philadelphia to cover the draft. We’ll be heading over to the rink in a couple of hours. In the meantime, a few thoughts…

— Still no official salary cap number. But if you’re a fan of a team like the Bruins, you should be cheering for one as high as possible. It already seems like Jarome Iginla will have to move on from Boston…

Is there any way they could keep Iginla? Well, Johnny Boychuk is a name that Boston reporters have been throwing around as a trade chip Peter Chiarelli could play to clear cap space, with picks or prospects coming back. But a move like that probably won’t happen today…

And if the cap number is lower than expected, the B’s might still have to trade a veteran like Boychuk, while also losing Iginla to free agency.

— If Ryan Kesler and Jason Spezza are traded today — and we’d be surprised if at least one wasn’t — the pressure will really build on the teams that miss out. Anaheim, Chicago, and NY Rangers are among the many clubs that would like to add a top center. And even with Patrik Berglund signing an extension in St. Louis, the Blues may still try to add a play-maker at the position. Paul Stastny, Mikhail Grabovski, Dave Bolland, Olli Jokinen, David Legwand, Brad Richards, and Mike Santorelli are still unsigned and pending unrestricted free agents. July 1 is only a few days away.

— Will there be a trade that takes everyone by surprise, like last year’s deal that sent Cory Schneider to New Jersey. Hopefully! On that note, the Detroit Red Wings are reportedly interested in Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers, who would fulfill their need for a right-shooting blue-liner, plus give them a former rookie of the year with, yes, a big contract, but also still a ton of potential. You have to think Mike Babcock would love a crack at coaching a talent like Myers, a 24-year-old that once looked like a future Norris Trophy winner, only to see his game and confidence degenerate in Buffalo.

— There’s also the actual draft today. (Just in case anyone forgot, what with all the trade talk.) While there may not be the “wow” factor with this year’s group of draftees, it’s still going to be produce a star or two. Don’t forget that players like Shea Weber and Patrice Bergeron weren’t selected until the second round. Pavel Datsyuk didn’t go until the sixth round. It’s after the top prospects are taken that a team’s scouting department can really differentiate itself. Chicago and Los Angeles are proof of that.

Enjoy the day, everyone.

Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss

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The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.

Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.

(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)

Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.

Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.

As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

As Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (37) looks on Los Angeles Kings' Milan Lucic waves to the crowd after a tribute to him was played on the screen during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.

Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

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The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

This GIF might just say it all, really:

Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

The Panthers ultimately won 7-4.

Fight video: Yes, a visor-breaking punch

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Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.

Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”

Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.

Want it in GIF form? OK then: