James O'Brien

Henrik Zetterberg, Steven Stamkos
AP

WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Red Wings

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Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.

Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.

While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.

WATCH LIVE

Animal activists protest Ducks’ Stoner over grizzly bear hunt

Keith Fialcowitz
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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — A small group of vocal protesters gathered outside Honda Center on Monday night to call for the suspension of Anaheim Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner, who faces charges in Canada of illegally obtaining a license to shoot a grizzly bear.

While Ducks fans entered the rink for their home opener against Vancouver, about 20 protesters held signs and shouted slogans condemning Stoner. He faces five charges related to the 2013 hunt on British Columbia’s central coast.

“Killing is not a sport! Play a real sport!” the protesters shouted in unison. “Shame on the Ducks!”

Judie Mancuso, the president of Social Compassion in Legislation, compared Stoner to quarterback Michael Vick and Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer, whose killing of a beloved lion in Zimbabwe sparked an international outcry.

“The entire globe is against trophy hunting right now,” Mancuso said. “If most of these hockey fans understood that was the issue, I think most of them would be on our side.”

Wildlife groups and First Nations leaders have been outraged by Stoner’s killing of the bear, named Cheeky. Stoner defended his actions at the time when graphic photos of the kill were publicized, but he hasn’t commented recently.

The protesters were serenaded by chants of Stoner’s name by many fans, while others stopped to look at the signs. Mancuso said her group hopes to raise awareness of Stoner’s legal troubles.

“If people didn’t have outrage with the NFL, Michael Vick would have gotten away with it,” Mancuso said. “The only way that anything is going to happen is if we do this. If there’s not public outcry, nothing is going to happen, so we’ve got to try.”

Stoner grew up on Vancouver Island, but hasn’t lived in the province full-time for several years, which authorities say made him ineligible for the hunting license used to take the bear. He played for the Minnesota Wild at the time of the shooting.

Stoner faces two counts of knowingly making a false statement to obtain a hunting license and one count apiece of hunting without a license, hunting out of season and unlawful possession of dead wildlife. His case is set for Nov. 13 in Vancouver.

The 30-year-old Stoner was in the Ducks’ lineup for their home opener, and he fought Brandon Prust in the opening minutes. Stoner is beginning his sixth full NHL season and his second with Anaheim after signing a four-year, $13 million deal as a free agent before last season.

Related: Ducks d-man Stoner charged with unlawful grizzly bear hunt

Coming Tuesday: Dan Boyle, $4.5M healthy scratch

Brad Marchand, Dan Boyle
AP
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Few things say “Oops, bad signing” quite like putting a really expensive player in street clothes (without an injury being involved).

The Philadelphia Flyers set quite the high bar in that regard, but the New York Rangers can’t laugh too much. Not with Dan Boyle expected to be a healthy scratch against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

The word from the Bergen Record is that Dylan McIlrath will draw into the Rangers lineup in Boyle’s space, although Kevin Klein will take over Boyle’s role on the power play.

Let’s face the facts. At 39, Boyle may still boast some zip on offense, but maybe not enough to justify an everyday role.

It’s not the first time the Rangers have decided to make the difficult, awkward season to phase a big name out as he approaches age 40.

Even if it’s just a momentary situation, one cannot help but wonder if Boyle’s career is screeching to halt much like Martin St. Louis’ did in 2014-15 (though the latter’s decline was more sudden).

On the bright side, it sounds like Boyle has a side job lined up with Faith No More.

Flyers rebound with feisty win vs. Panthers

Brayden Schenn
AP
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Philadelphia Flyers Dave Hakstol preached to his players not to overreact from a 7-1 loss. It seems like they provided the perfect response on Monday.

It’s not too surprising that it was a feisty, physical contest since the Flyers faced the same Florida Panthers team that embarrassed them on Saturday.

Maybe they would have treated any opponent this way, though. This was a home-opening contest after a humiliating defeat, after all.

Either way, it was a physical contest that demanded some expert penalty killing:

Hakstol got his first win as Philly’s head coach in the process.

Brayden Schenn scored the game’s only tally, but perhaps the real story was Michal Neuvirth, who very much earned a shutout in his first start with the Flyers.

The Flyers’ next game is against the Chicago Blackhawks, with honor going to Kimmo Timonen. It will air on NBCSN on Wednesday.

Ouch: Blues’ Fabbri out indefinitely with concussion

Robby Fabbri, Mattias Janmark-Nylen
AP
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After he fired home his first NHL goal off of beautiful feed by Jori Lehtera, some St. Louis Blues fans may have been daydreaming about Robby Fabbri being the “missing piece.”

Maybe that’s still eventually in the cards, but the promising young forward will be sidelined indefinitely with a concussion, according to the team.

In a cruel twist in an already tough situation, it sounds as though Fabbri was injured thanks to a check by Chris Porter, at least by St. Louis Gametime’s account.

Video of the hit that hurt Fabbri will be posted if it becomes available.