Cam Tucker

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings reacts to a missed chance during a preseason game against the Arizona Coyotes at Staples Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Kopitar continues to skate, but will he return versus the Ducks?

Following some desperate times earlier this week, the L.A. Kings have won two games in a row.

Now, an important Pacific Division match-up with the rival Anaheim Ducks awaits them Sunday.

With the exception of goalie Jonathan Quick, things have started to look promising for the Kings when it comes to some of their injury issues. They could certainly use Anze Kopitar, who hasn’t played in eight days due to an upper-body injury, back in their lineup.

Whether that actually transpires tomorrow remains to be seen.

Kopitar skated again on Saturday, per coach Darryl Sutter in his post-game comments following his team’s 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils.

With their win Saturday, the Kings move into third in the division with a 9-9-1 record. A regulation win Sunday would put them into a tie in points with the Ducks atop the Pacific.

“I mean, I don’t know if it’s ‘learning to play’ without someone,” said Alec Martinez on Saturday, per LA Kings Insider.

“You lose a guy like Kopi, he’s easily one of the best players in the world. You’re not going to replace a guy like that, so everyone’s just got to pick up their own game and pick up a little bit of slack. Obviously we miss him, but hopefully he’ll be back soon.”

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    Video: McDavid snaps scoring drought with a little help from Stars’ Klingberg

    DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 13:  Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates his first career NHL goal against the Dallas Stars in the second period at American Airlines Center on October 13, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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    Finally!

    Connor McDavid has snapped his scoring drought, which had reached 10 games prior to Saturday. And while it wasn’t the prettiest goal, he’ll take it. So will the Edmonton Oilers, looking to snap a five-game losing skid.

    Looking to make a pass in front of the Dallas Stars net, McDavid tried to send the puck across to an open Milan Lucic, who was looking for the one-timer.

    The puck never made it to Lucic. Instead, it was deflected into an open net by Stars’ defenseman John Klingberg, giving the Oilers a 1-0 lead early in the first period.

    Related: McLellan doesn’t like how much Oilers rely on McDavid

    ‘We need a jolt’ — Drake Caggiula to make NHL debut as Oilers look to snap losing skid

    EDMONTON, AB - SEPTEMBER 26:  Drake Caggiula #36 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Calgary Flames on September 26, 2016 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
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    Drake Caggiula is slated to make his NHL debut tonight for the Edmonton Oilers.

    Meanwhile, forward Benoit Pouliot, who doesn’t have a point in his last 11 games and ran afoul of the coaching staff earlier in the season for undisciplined play, is expected to be scratched from the lineup, per the Edmonton Journal.

    “His best play came after some penalty problems (earlier this season). We delivered a stern message and he responded really well. He’s given us what he can but the timing, the reading, the reacting, not much is getting done for Benny. He needs to take a breather,” coach Todd McLellan said of his decision to remove Pouliot from the lineup.

    “It’s hard putting three players in at the same time but we need a jolt. I think it’s a little much to expect them to lead us to the winning Wonderland but they can have an impact because they’re fresh.”

    After a strong start, the Oilers have lost five in a row.

    They’re still second in the Pacific Division, but McLellan will provide another shake-up for his team with some lineup changes for Saturday’s contest with the Dallas Stars.

    The Oilers also activated Kris Russell and Matt Hendricks from injured reserve. Both will be in the lineup versus the Stars.

    Caggiula, the reigning NCAA Frozen Four most outstanding player that signed with the Oilers when his college career ended, has yet to play a game this season due to a hip injury suffered in pre-season.

    “It was a more severe injury that we thought,” said Caggiula. “I skated two or three days after it and felt good, but the day before opening night, I fell on the ice and tweaked it. Another look at it and it was worse.”

    Rangers rookie Buchnevich might be dealing with more than just back spasms

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06:  Pavel Buchnevich #89 of the New York Rangers skates against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden on October 6, 2016 in New York City. The Flyers defeated the Rangers 4-2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    Pavel Buchnevich has put together an impressive start to his NHL career, but there is growing concern about the back spasms that have kept him out of the Rangers lineup for the last week.

    Per reports, the 21-year-old Buchnevich didn’t take part in Saturday’s practice. Coach Alain Vigneault acknowledged the rookie forward might be dealing with something more than spasms.

    “Not a set back. Today he came in and wasn’t feeling the way we expected him,” said Vigneault, per the Rangers.

    “Right now we’re going to have our doctors take a good look at him. This obviously might be more than just back spasms. We’re going to take a look at this and we’ll come up with a plan and I’ll share that plan with you.”

    The Rangers have been one of the big stories in the NHL so far this season. They’ve averaged a league-leading 4.11 goals-for per game, which is well ahead of second-place Columbus in that category.

    Buchnevich didn’t waste any time becoming a contributor to that high-powered offense.

    In 10 games, he has recorded eight points. He had a scoring streak of four straight games before coming out of the lineup due to his ailing back, and his possession numbers (55.6 per cent Corsi For) have been strong through 120 minutes at five-on-five.

    The Rangers will look to rebound from a 4-2 loss to the Blue Jackets on Friday, as their schedule enters a difficult stretch next week.

    They host the Florida Panthers on Sunday, then travel to Pittsburgh to play Sidney Crosby and the Penguins on Monday. The Rangers and Penguins meet again Wednesday in New York.

    Related: Looking to make the leap: Pavel Buchnevich

    Poll: Who should be in the ’17 Hockey Hall of Fame class?

    Teemu Selanne
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    Let the debate begin!

    On Monday, the 2016 class was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. It’s a night of many emotions for those who are honored, as well as their families.

    The focus will soon shift to who should be in the Hall of Fame next year.

    Teemu Selanne enters his first year of eligibility. He certainly has the credentials, with 684 career goals and 1,457 points. He’s an Olympic medalist and a Stanley Cup champion. He began his NHL career with a bang, scoring 76 goals — a remarkable achievement that may never be broken.

    Daniel Alfredsson enters his first year of eligibility. He’s never won the Stanley Cup, but he is an Olympic champion, with 1,246 regular season games, 444 goals and 1,157 points in his career. That’s quite impressive for a sixth-round draft pick. He played 17 seasons with the Ottawa Senators and one season with the Detroit Red Wings.

    Dave Andreychuk enters his ninth year of eligibility. He captained the Tampa Bay Lightning to a Stanley Cup in 2004 and played 1,639 games in the NHL. He ranks 14th all-time in goals with 640. He’s accumulated 1,338 points over his lengthy career.

    Now, have your say. Choose up to four players, the maximum number of NHLers for an annual Hockey Hall of Fame class. For write-in suggestions, put those in the comments section.