Cam Tucker

The Stars will be without Jamie Benn versus the Flames

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The Dallas Stars visit the Calgary Flames tonight, following a win in Vancouver on Thursday. Unfortunately for the Stars, they will be without Jamie Benn.

The Stars’ captain was hurt during a fight with towering Canucks defenseman Nikita Tryamkin and has now been listed as out with an upper-body injury, according to coach Lindy Ruff.

The injury didn’t occur from any punches, but instead from a glove to the face from the much larger Tryamkin, who is listed at 6’7″ and 265 pounds.

As you’ll see in the video above, Tryamkin didn’t remove his left glove until toward the end of the scrap.

“He got scratched, saw the eye doctor, got a glove in the eye,” Ruff said of Benn, per Mark Stepneski of the Stars’ website.

The fight occurred late in the second period, and Benn didn’t return for the third period. Benn is second on the Stars in total scoring, with 63 points in 66 games.

Things have ‘changed quickly’ for the Capitals, losers of four straight


It wasn’t another 4-2 result. But the losing did continue for the Washington Capitals.

Washington lost 5-2 to the Anaheim Ducks, who were without goalie John Gibson due to injury, on Sunday.

The Capitals leave California on a four-game losing streak. They were swept on this trip, unable to secure even a single point. The schedule doesn’t get any easier in the immediate aftermath of this funk.

The Minnesota Wild lead the Central Division, have a shot at the Presidents’ Trophy and they are next to play the Capitals on Tuesday.

It wasn’t that long ago the Capitals were going through their opponents like a hot knife through butter. But the scoring problems that have suddenly crept up continue to linger on and the losses have followed.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are one point back in the Metropolitan Division. The Columbus Blue Jackets are three back. The New York Rangers are five back. The chase is very much on right now.

“We were winning 5-1, 6-1. Things were going a little too easy but now it’s the other way. It can change quickly here,” said Nicklas Backstrom, per the Capitals. Difficult, if not impossible, to maintain that level of offense throughout an entire 82-game season.

Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler each had three points in the win, with Kesler recording his 20th goal — the ninth time in his career he’s hit that milestone in a single season. While on the other side, Alex Ovechkin‘s scoring drought reached 10 games.

When asked if, on this trip, the opposition’s best players had been better than Washington’s best, Backstrom confirmed that suggestion. “That’s absolutely correct. We had some chances, too, on the power play that we have to capitalize on. Overall, five-on-five we can be better,” he said.

Both teams entered the second period in a scoreless tie, but by the midway point, Anaheim had opened up a three-goal lead, thanks in large part to goals from Perry and Rickard Rakell 28 seconds apart.

“This is going to make us better,” said coach Barry Trotz. “It’s not going to make us worse.”

Spooner (concussion) could return during Bruins road trip


There was a positive development at Boston Bruins practice Sunday.

Ryan Spooner, previously listed as out indefinitely with a concussion, was back on the ice skating with his teammates ahead of Monday’s game with the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.

The Bruins are at the beginning of a four-game road trip that includes three games in four nights with stops in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters that Spooner will not play Monday, however he left the door open to the possibility of the 25-year-old center returning to the lineup two days later in Calgary.

It’s likely that when that happens, Spooner will return to his role in the middle of Boston’s third line.

“When he’s healthy, he won’t lose his spot because of injury — unless something really changes quickly here,” said Cassidy. “But that’s the plan.”

Still got it: Patrick Marleau goes top shelf to open the scoring for Sharks


Make that 23 goals this season for the 37-year-old Patrick Marleau.

The veteran San Jose Sharks forward opened the scoring Sunday against the Dallas Stars. That’s what you get when you leave a remarkably consistent scorer all alone in the slot like that.

Marleau is now only two goals shy of his total from a year ago. It’s definitely possible for him to surpass his 48-point total from 2015-16, as well, which is interesting for a few reasons:

— His ability to remain a scoring threat certainly could bode well for San Jose as it looks to make another run toward the Stanley Cup after falling just short a year ago.

— Marleau is a pending unrestricted free agent, nearing the end of a three-year, $20 million contract, and his future in San Jose — and that of Joe Thornton as well — will be something to keep an eye on once the Sharks hit their off-season.

The Canadiens came roaring back to defeat Oilers

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Well, that was sudden.

Looking to move out of fourth place in the Pacific Division, the Edmonton Oilers had a one-goal late third-period lead over the Montreal Canadiens before it all went horribly wrong for Todd McLellan and his group on Sunday.

Paul Byron, inserted into the lineup after battling the flu, tied the game. OK, no biggie for the Oilers. It’s just a tied game and with 6:27 remaining to go about finding a late winner.

Instead, it was the Habs that found the winning goal — on an odd bounce that appeared to hit off Edmonton defenseman Oscar Klefbom following the initial shot (or was it a pass?) from Max Pacioretty, who was credited with the goal.

Montreal would score twice more in the final 1:07 to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

“It’s tough to swallow,” said Jordan Eberle, per the Oilers. “All of a sudden you go from leading the game for the majority … to being down with a little bit of time to get back.

“Any time something like that happens — you think you’re in control and then it changes that quickly — it sucks.”

Edmonton will remain fourth in the Pacific and in the first wild card spot.

That’s a big win for the Canadiens. They jump back ahead of the Ottawa Senators for the lead in the Atlantic Division.