John Gibson

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The Buzzer: Brawls, Larkin’s hockey genius

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Player of the Night: Artem Anisimov

As you can read about here, Artem Anisimov enjoyed the best night of a hectic game between the Blackhawks and Rangers, generating the first hat trick of his career. That contest presented some twists and turns, with Chicago ultimately coming out on top 6-3.

Anisimov and Alex DeBrincat have been providing a big chunk of the Blackhawks’ offense lately, and its been much needed. Even while taking a lull of three games without a point in mind, the 29-year-old has eight goals and one assist in his past nine contests.

Highlights of the Night: On a Larkin

That wild line brawl between the Flames and Red Wings didn’t just take some spotlight from Detroit’s 8-2 win; it also might have distracted people from an impressive night via Dylan Larkin, a player who clearly seems to be back on track for a Red Wings team that could be feistier than many expected.

The top highlight features Larkin’s remarkable sense of timing and hockey geometry. (Was he good at geometry at school? If so, I’m jealous.)

The second reminded me of some early moments in Sidney Crosby‘s career, as Larkin used his skating ability and smarts to turn on the jets, only to make a sudden stop, assess the situation, and create a splendid play.

Some nights, Larkin is skylarking like vintage XTC. If you’re interested in violence, the real highlight of the game really was that brawl, though. If so, head here.

(Note: Johnny Gaudreau is on a hot streak of his own, albeit without the W-related results he wanted tonight.)

Caveats of the Night: The Ducks deserve a heap of credit for sticking with it, even as injuries seem to keep mounting. Or at least, might continue to mount.

Wildly underrated defenseman Hampus Lindholm is now dealing with a lower-body injury, while Corey Perry seemingly bounced back from this:

I say seemingly because, sometimes a player will return to a game in the heat of the moment. Then, when they wake up in the morning and/or have a doctor look at an injury, they realize something’s wrong and miss time. Kris Letang scored a game-winner injured, Paul Kariya famously bounced back from the Scott Stevens hit he can’t even remember, and so on. So we’ll see.

For a Ducks team that is besieged by injuries, so this is troubling.

The Ducks keep scrapping and, in this case, winning, though.

Factoid of the Night: The Mike Green resurgence: still pretty delightful.

Not enough is being made about John Gibson‘s continued climb up the goalie ranks. Where would Anaheim be without him (spoiler: probably the cellar):

Scores and more

Red Wings 8, Flames 2

Blackhawks 6, Rangers 3

Ducks 4, Bruins 2

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.

Paul Kariya and Scott Stevens, reunited (The Buzzer)

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Player of the Night: Miles Wood

The 22-year-old generated a hat trick and an assist (we need a term for this … maybe “Help Trick?”), giving the Devils a needed edge in a zany 7-5 win against the Blackhawks. You can read more about his strong night here.

Since Wood got the post treatment, it feels fair to spotlight some other players while we’re at it.

In that same game, Nico Hischier was excellent in his own right, generating a goal and two assists. Maybe the top pick of the 2017 NHL Draft hasn’t been as bombastic as others at times – Clayton Keller continues to spellbind in Arizona, seemingly like a mirage in the desert – but Hischier has 14 points in 17 games.

If he had more goals (three so far), we’d have to nickname him “The Swiss Can’t-Miss.”

Two goalies deserve a quick mention, too. John Gibson continues to hold things together for the ridiculously injured Ducks. He lost, but Gibson made 35 saves; in a way, this highlight feels like the story of his night.

Braden Holtby was excellent, too, making 29 saves as the Capitals managed a 2-1 shootout win against the Oilers.

Highlight of the Night: Paul Kariya, Scott Stevens reunited.

How cool is this? OK, and how awkward is this?

Quite a moment. Maybe they’ll be best buds some day.

Or at least they might make amends?

If that bends the rules of “highlight” too much for you (Sheesh, you get into such semantic arguments that you must be … a person on the Internet), then Wood’s hat trick should suffice.

Factoid of the Night: Introduce yourself, 2017-18 Lightning:

That’s one of several interesting marks set by this red-hot team to begin the season.

Scores and more

Devils 7, Blackhawks 5

Capitals 2, Oilers 1 (SO)

Lightning 2, Ducks 1

Sharks 2, Kings 1

No one was safe in Kings’ wild comeback against Ducks

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Every now and then, a game just sort of leaves you bleary eyed and confused, like you just watched an intense movie with an insane twist ending.

In the case of the Los Angeles Kings’ 4-3 OT win against the Anaheim Ducks, even M. Night Shyamalan would agree that these teams threw out an almost incomprehensible wave of swerves.

Mere hours after learning that captain Ryan Getzlaf will miss two months thanks to the unlucky bounce of a puck, the Ducks showed serious heart in taking on the red-hot Kings. They built leads of 2-0 and 3-1, but the Kings were just relentless in coming back.

This game seemed to have a bit of everything.

There was controversy in goal reviews, from a negated tally thanks to John Gibson‘s masked being knocked off to a clearer instance where a would-be Kings goal was ruled offside. Los Angeles just would not be denied, with shockingly rejuvenated forward Dustin Brown shaking off those near-goals in OT, ultimately setting up Nick Shore for the game-winner.

The game featured heaping portions of violence, with this medley being an appetizer that’s the size of a buffet:

(Click here for more of the violence … but somehow not all, because this game was bursting at the seams with bad blood.)

Ryan Miller was forced into duty as Gibson left the ice either because he was hurt, due to concussion protocols, or both. Here’s a GIF of Gibson getting his lid lifted:

Gibson isn’t the only injury situation to watch, as a low hit left Anze Kopitar shaken. The red-hot Kings star did manage to return to the game despite that event taking place in the third period, yet it’s still a situation to watch. We’ve seen players return from painful moments with the adrenaline firing, only to miss serious time once that passion levels out.

As the announce team mentioned, both teams will deploy ice packs thanks to this game (or extra ones, maybe one should say). The Ducks will also need to monitor Ondrej Kase because of this hit that got Kurtis MacDermid ejected, as another example:

Phew. Here’s a good rule of thumb for a wild game: if Jonathan Quick going after Corey Perry is a spicy subplot rather than the driving narrative, you’ve witnessed something zany.

All things considered, both teams deserved a standings point in this one. Tonight’s game is one of those rare moments in which the “loser point” feels more like an acknowledgment that no one should go home totally empty-handed.

Granted, the Ducks probably aren’t happy about squandering a lead to the hated Kings on the same day that they got bad injury news about Getzlaf, but they probably would admit that they worked hard in this one.

Now both teams’ medical staffs will need to work overtime, too.

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.

The Buzzer: McDavid leads Oilers; Rinne celebrates birthday with win

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Player of the Night: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers captain registered an assist in all three periods helping Edmonton to a 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. After starting the night tied for 30th in NHL scoring, he now sits tied for fifth. According to the NHL, McDavid has now recorded at least three points in a game 17 times since the 2015-16 season.

Highlight of the Night:

Taylor Hall came this close to scoring an own goal in his return to Edmonton:

MISC:

• During their Hockey Fights Cancer night, the Oilers invited Brian Boyle to take part in the ceremonial puck drop before their game:

• The Oilers won 44 of 66 face-offs.

Adam Larsson‘s stat line: 1 assist, 3 SOG, 13 hits, 6 blocked shots, 23:07 TOI.

• Before he almost scored in his own net, Hall tallied his first goal against his old team:

• Five different Nashville Predators scored as they held off the Anaheim Ducks during a 5-3 victory. Pekka Rinne made 35 stops and assisted on P.K. Subban‘s empty netter to help celebrate his 35th birthday.

Scott Hartnell, who scored Nashville’s opening goal, suited up for the 1,200th game of his NHL career.

John Gibson had no chance on this Roman Josi laser:

• Nifty primary assist here by Derek Grant:

Factoid of the Night:

Scores:
Edmonton 6, New Jersey 3
Nashville 5, Anaheim 3

————

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.

Puck to face lands Getzlaf on IR as Ducks’ bad luck continues

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The Anaheim Ducks have already been dealing with injury issues this season, and now an errant puck to the face lands Ryan Getzlaf on injured reserve.

He’ll be reevaluated on Monday, according to the team, which means that Getzlaf will miss at least the next three games for the Ducks. They host the Maple Leafs on Wednesday, the Predators on Friday, and then face the Sharks in San Jose on Saturday. After that, they’ll begin a five-game homestand on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Here’s that unfortunate moment from the Ducks’ eventual 4-3 shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes:

Give the Ducks credit; they won that game, and head coach Randy Carlyle is taking a matter-of-fact approach:

True, but it’s understandable if the Ducks are a little frustrated.

They finally got Ryan Miller into the mix on Sunday. Sami Vatanen is back to some extent, as he played on the weekend but didn’t suit up for back-to-back games. Cam Fowler‘s knee injury looks foreboding, and it remains to be seen when Ryan Kesler can return (and how long it will take the hard-working two-way center to approach full health). Kevin Bieksa is banged-up, while Patrick Eaves deals with a legitimately frightening ailment.

Speaking of frightening aliments, John Gibson seemed to avoid anything, um, too severe:

Despite these injuries, the Ducks have won four of their last five games to improve to 6-4-1. That’s resilient work, yet you wonder if they’ll cave under the pressure with their captain sidelined for at least the next three contests.

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.