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I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.
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Blue Jackets recall Tynan with Anderson out 7-10 days

The Columbus Blue Jackets recalled T.J. Tynan on an emergency basis because of an injury to forward Josh Anderson.

Anderson is expected to miss 7-10 days with a lower-body injury that might specifically be related to his right knee, according to the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline.

The 22-year-old has quietly enjoyed a breakthrough season in Columbus, generating 14 goals and 24 points in 63 games, also bringing a physical presence to the table (including registering 64 penalty minutes). Anderson hurt his knee during Sunday’s 3-0 win against the New Jersey Devils.

Tynan has yet to play in an NHL game. He has 30 points in 55 games in the AHL so far.

All things considered, the Blue Jackets are pretty healthy overall right now, aside from Anderson, Matt Calvert and Lukas Sedlak being sidelined.

WATCH LIVE: Dallas Stars at Washington Capitals

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Even in early March, it’s a little bit difficult to fathom that Dallas Stars vs. Washington Capitals isn’t billed as a potential Stanley Cup Final preview.

The Capitals are holding up their end of the bargain – and then some – but the Stars look at 2016-17 as a lost season.

On the bright side, the Stars have at least been looking more like the squad many expected lately, winning four of six. Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and John Klingberg have all been on a roll in recent weeks.

It doesn’t necessarily erase the disappointment with Dallas, yet it could set the stage for a fun game against the high-flying Capitals. You can watch the game on NBCSN, online and via the NBC Sports App.

Click here for the livestream.

Blues cruise against Avs, pass Kings into playoff position

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No doubt about it, this was an important one for the St. Louis Blues, and they easily handled the challenge.

And … sure, the “challenge” was facing the lowly Colorado Avalanche, but the Blues made little mistake about it, cruising to a 3-0 win on Sunday.

Jake Allen made the 27-save shutout, ending a five-game losing streak for the Blues.

Paul Stastny‘s 17th goal of the season ended up being the game-winner, Kyle Brodziak made it 2-0 early in the first period and Patrik Berglund scored his 18th of 2016-17 to push it to the final score of 3-0. The Avalanche didn’t threaten very often, either, as the two teams combined for just 52 shots on goal.

The victory moves the needle in significant ways for St. Louis. They went one point ahead of the Los Angeles Kings for the final West wild card spot, also giving themselves a shot at chasing the Nashville Predators for third in the Central.

3. Predators – 73 points in 65 games played

Second wild card spot – 69 points in 64 GP

Kings – 68 points in 65 GP
Jets – 66 points in 66 GP

The Blues close out this three-game road trip in Minnesota on Tuesday, then they enjoy a back-to-back set at home. After that, it’s a five-game road trip from March 13-21.

Again, few will be impressed with beating the Avalanche, but the Blues really took care of business in the sort of contest that might be a “trap” game for a lazier team. They pretty much needed to do win this and they left little doubt.

Wild beat Sharks, regain lead over Blackhawks in Central

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The surging Chicago Blackhawks took the Central Division lead last night, but the Minnesota Wild got it right back on Sunday.

In doing so, Minnesota also regained the lead in the Western Conference, so it seems especially fitting that the Wild beat the Pacific-leading San Jose Sharks 3-1 in the process.

It was a tight one, with Devan Dubnyk gaining sole possession of first in the NHL with his 35th win of the season. Dubnyk and Martin Jones played well (there was even a jersey save), while each squad seemed to contain two dangerous offenses. For the most part.

Here’s a quick look at the race for the top spot in the Central, and thus the West:

1. Wild – 90 points in 63 games
2. Blackhawks – 89 points in 65 games

While Minnesota’s margin of error is smaller than they might have expected, they showed tonight that those games in hand could make a difference. And, hey, they got Zach Parise back from that mumps issue …

Gold indeed.

Penguins fend off 3-0 deficit, best Sabres in regulation

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Things were looking a bit glum for the Pittsburgh Penguins after the first period on Sunday.

The Buffalo Sabres built a 3-0 lead, chasing Matt Murray in the process. A would-be 1-1 goal missed by a hair. It looked like the Columbus Blue Jackets would fatten their lead over second place in the Metro.

Of course, the headline gives it away: that didn’t happen. Good thing they still have Marc-Andre Fleury and a willingness to fight through their mistakes, as they rallied back to win 4-3 tonight.

 

(Doing so in regulation is that much more impressive.)

Fleury was a big part of that rally, making 28 saves during two periods of perfect relief work. As you’d expect, other Penguins chipped in to come back from that 3-0 deficit.

Justin Schultz continues his remarkable career turnaround, enjoying the best statistical night of any Penguins skater.

He scored a goal and two assists to help trigger that comeback, though Conor Sheary and Evgeni Malkin also deserve special mentions considering their one-goal, one-assist nights.

Despite nine shots on goal, Sidney Crosby didn’t register a point, which is just another reason why this win should hearten the Penguins as they ready for what could be a difficult road ahead as defending champions.

Speaking of which, most teams likely realize this and it’s easier said than done, but this game provided more evidence that it’s foolish to get in a track meet with this attacking team.

It’s also foolish to expect the Penguins to roll over, even when they dig themselves a big hole.