James O'Brien

I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.

WATCH LIVE: Boston Bruins at Philadelphia Flyers

It’s been a while since the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers butted heads in the playoffs – Simon Gagne wore both teams’ sweaters since then – but it’s possible that these squads might duke it out for a spot this season.

As it stands right now, both the Bruins and Flyers are outside of the East’s top eight, but not by much.

That really sweetens the deal for hockey fans on Tuesday: two teams with history face off, yet they also have plenty to fight for in the present. They also boast the likes of Claude Giroux and Patrice Bergeron on each side.

This kicks off what should be a really fun doubleheader on NBCSN tonight. You can watch online or via the NBC Sports App.

Click here for the livestream.

Kyle Turris is on fire for the Senators

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OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) Kyle Turris scored his team-leading 10th goal to help the Ottawa Senators beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 on Saturday night.

Turris broke a tie with 3:32 left, beating goalie Cam Ward high to the stick side. The Hurricanes challenged the goal, asserting that it was offside, but it stood after a review.

Dion Phaneuf also scored, and Craig Anderson made 32 saves. The Senators have won three straight to improve to 13-7-1.

Sebastian Aho scored for Carolina, and Ward stopped 22 shots.

Phaneuf tied it at 1 at 6:15 of the second with his second goal of the season. Ryan Dzingel did some great work, was patient and found Phaneuf who stepped into the slot and buried it past Ward.

For the 11th straight game Ottawa gave up the first goal. Carolina opened the scoring at 11:24 of the first. Aho put a shot on goal, Anderson made the stop and the rebound went in off Ottawa’s Tom Pyatt.

NOTES: Carolina was 1-2 on its three-game trip. … Erik Karlsson played his 500th NHL game, all with the Senators.


Hurricanes: Return home to face Florida on Sunday night.

Senators: At New York Rangers on Sunday night.

Getzlaf and Perry guide Ducks to gutsy win vs. Sharks


The Anaheim Ducks really needed this, and so did the two faces of their franchise.

A night after Ryan Getzlaf called himself and his partner-in-crime Corey Perry out for not scoring enough goals, Getzlaf generated the game-winner in a 3-2 victory against the San Jose Sharks.

The Ducks captain scored just his second goal of 2016-17 and helped his team snap a three-game losing streak. So, yeah, this was a pretty big deal.

Perry didn’t score a goal, but he did generate two assists of his own, so the Ducks’ dynamic duo really came through during a crucial time. If you want a sense of how much this meant to Anaheim, consider the efforts of Perry and Getzlaf, but also how much the team put on the line:

Losing to the Ducks is bad enough for San Jose, but in an uncomfortable theme of the night, the losing team also has to worry about a notable health issue. We may not know more about Marc-Edouard Vlasic‘s status until Sunday (or maybe later), but it really adds an injury to the insult of losing to their California rivals.

Kings win fifth straight, but Blackhawks go .500 on ‘Circus Trip’


Not that long ago, games between the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings were all about which contender was thriving the most.

Both franchises are still doing a lot of things correctly, yet on nights like Saturday, the two squads feel a little closer to “survival mode.”

In what was sometimes a battle of attrition, the Kings managed to extend their winning streak to five games with a 2-1 overtime victory thanks to Jeff Carter‘s clutch tally:

Carter’s nice goal felt like a delayed reward for a Kings team that seemed to exert its will on the Blackhawks early on.

Through the first two periods, the Kings generated a 24-11 shots on goal differential, including a 13-4 edge in the opening frame. Chicago carried the play in the third, but ultimately Los Angeles managed to grind out that win.

It’s not all bad for the Blackhawks, mind you.

By carving out a standings point in this game, they managed a respectable 3-3-1 mark during their “Circus Trip.”

As mentioned earlier on Saturday, the Kings must carve out all the points they can muster right now, as they face a nine-game road trip starting in mid-December.

When they need to dig deep, they could do worse than to think of victories like these, even if they haven’t always been pretty.

Well, at least Larkin seemed to avoid injury in rough Red Wings loss

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This time around, this wasn’t a costly win for the Detroit Red Wings. They’ll instead settle for a costly standings point.

Maybe the best news it that, after a scare, it at least looks like Dylan Larkin avoided an injury in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

So far, the same cannot be said for Brendan Smith and Tyler Bertuzzi. While the Red Wings haven’t provided an update regarding either player yet, MLive.com’s Ansar Khan reports that Bertuzzi left the building in a walking boot and crutches thanks to this awkward fall:

Smith appeared to be injured after knee-to-knee contact with Phillip Danault.

While it’s disappointing for Detroit to lose after getting a lead on a contender like the Canadiens, the Red Wings deserve some credit for scraping points together. After a four-game losing streak, they’ve gone beyond regulation in three consecutive contests, winning twice.

At 10-10-2, there’s still some hope, assuming injuries don’t totally demoralize Detroit.

More: Their previous costly win involved an injury to Jimmy Howard.