Cam Tucker

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Bruins’ Marchand replies to Twitter user’s homophobic slur

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BOSTON (AP) Bruins winger Brad Marchand is standing up to a Twitter user who attacked him with a homophobic slur.

Marchand says the slur happened two days ago and he thought it important to go public and reply directly to the person who wrote it. The player says this struck home because he has a “few friends that are in same-sex relationships.”

In speaking to the media about this before Saturday’s home game against the Buffalo Sabres, Marchand said: “Nowadays it’s not right to go after people that way, so I figured I’d get it out there.”

Marchand says the person who used the slur also directed it at a teammate.

The Boston forward says he replied to the Twitter user, writing: “This derogatory statement is offensive to so many people around the world.”

Win some, lose some: Despite injuries, Bolts rally to defeat Habs in OT

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A two-goal deficit, facing Carey Price? No problem, apparently, for the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

The Bolts rallied from a 3-1 deficit to force overtime with a pair of third-period goals before getting the overtime winner from Tyler Johnson, as he snapped a shot over the shoulder of Price, who earlier in the game had made a save-of-the-year candidate by robbing Ondrej Palat.

But, for the Bolts, the win came at a price.

Both Vladislav Namestnikov and Brayden Point were unable to finish the game, however, head coach Jon Cooper didn’t have updates afterward, per Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.

Namestnikov was on the receiving end of a thunderous hit into the boards from Habs defenseman Shea Weber just before the midway point of the third period.

The Bolts also began the game without Valtteri Filppula, who reportedly missed a morning meeting and was subsequently benched.

“In the end, Val is an unreal pro. He made a mistake,” said Cooper.

Video: Fabbri hat trick leads Blues over Flyers

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The St. Louis Blues began a six-game home stand, which includes the Winter Classic next Monday, in style.

Facing the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday, the Blues recorded a 6-3 victory thanks to Robby Fabbri‘s first career hat trick, which included a terrific individual effort in the third period to give St. Louis some insurance and ultimately secure the win.

It wasn’t that long ago the sophomore forward was a healthy scratch, with Blues coach Ken Hitchcock calling on Fabbri to be more tenacious during his early-season struggles.

At the time, Fabbri had one goal and three assists in 14 games. That drought seems to be behind him. He’s now up to 11 goals and 23 points in 35 games following his performance versus the Flyers.

For Philly, that’s a particularly difficult way to come back from the holiday break.

The Flyers took a 3-2 lead early in the third period on a goal from Brayden Schenn. But then the Blues broke out for four goals — one of those being into an empty net — on five shots in the final 20 minutes.

Steve Mason takes the loss in net for Philly.

Video: Barkov hurt in Panthers shootout loss to Maple Leafs

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The youthful talent the Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers both possess was on display Wednesday.

Auston Matthews scored — again. The rookie forward is up to 17 goals on the year. William Nylander also scored for Toronto, while Vincent Trocheck, 23, and Jonathan Marchessault, 26, scored for Florida.

Unfortunately, though, for the Panthers, one of their top young players, Aleksander Barkov, was forced to leave the game early in the second period with an apparent injury.

Replays show Barkov was hit up high with the puck following an offensive zone faceoff. He finished his shift, which resulted in a scoring chance at the side of the net, but he was clearly in pain after the whistle went.

The Panthers forced overtime with a pair of third-period goals but lost 3-2 in the shootout, with Mitch Marner scoring the lone goal in the deciding breakaway contest.

There was no update on Barkov from coach Tom Rowe following the game.

“Losing him is like losing (Sidney) Crosby in Pittsburgh,” said Trocheck after the game.

Indeed, it would be a huge loss for the Panthers if Barkov is forced to miss time. He has nine goals and 27 points in 35 games, but is charging along with a 57.5 per cent Corsi For rating at five-on-five this season.

Video: Carey Price with a save-of-the-year candidate

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Carey Price has done it again.

One of the most dominant goalies in the National Hockey League made one of the most spectacular saves you’re going to see this season, as he denied Ondrej Palat during Wednesday’s game.

Palat had a wide open net, and it looked like Price was completely beaten, out of position, on the play. But the Habs goalie reached out and got the paddle of his stick on the Palat re-direct attempt, getting enough of the puck to keep it out of the net.

That incredible save maintained Montreal’s 2-1 lead at the beginning of the second period.