James O'Brien

Sidney Crosby, Pavel Datsyuk

Video: Stars like Crosby, Datsyuk want 3-on-3 overtime

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Bob McKenzie was in the NBCSN studio on Wednesday at an ideal time, as he was able to add some color to the talk of 3-on-3 overtime and other issues from the NHL GM meetings.

McKenzie passes along some interesting tidbits, especially how Sidney Crosby, Pavel Datsyuk and others feel about the idea of having all that extra room in OT.

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How close is the NHL to adopting 3-on-3 OT?

Kings step back into West playoff picture with win

Jonathan Quick
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By shutting out the Arizona Coyotes 1-0 on Monday, the Los Angeles Kings end the night back in the West’s final wild card spot.

They had to grind this one out as Jonathan Quick made all 25 saves while Andy Andreoff scored the only goal on an increasingly spry Mike Smith (beaten just once on 35 shots). Los Angeles carried much of the play, but much like Washington out East, it wasn’t an easy night despite facing a “tanking” opponent.

Here is a quick look at the West wild card race after this one:

Minnesota (first wild card spot): 83 points, 35 regulation/overtime wins in 69 games played
Los Angeles (second wild card spot): 81 points, 32 ROW in 69 GP

Winnipeg: 80 points, 28 ROW in 69 GP
San Jose: 76 points, 31 ROW in 69 GP
Colorado: 75 points, 23 ROW in 69 GP
Dallas: 74 points, 29 ROW in 70 GP

It’s important to mention that the Kings could conceivably catch thee Calgary Flames (who have 81 points but two more ROW) and Vancouver Canucks (82 points, one game in hand on Los Angeles, plus three more ROW than the Kings) in the Pacific Division, too.

At this point, almost every win and loss could be framed as crucial. Regardless, the Kings would likely have some serious regrets if they dropped this one, but they managed to grit this one out. The West’s top teams probably aren’t happy, either.

Of course, a lot can still change in a month.

Kessel laments ‘all-time low,’ Kadri fears suspension after ugly Leafs loss

kadrifraser
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Whether Toronto Maple Leafs fans are hoping for their team to tank or not, Monday’s 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers was gruesome in many different ways.

Things were especially bleak for Jonathan Bernier, as he allowed three goals on four shots before being mercifully pulled in the first period of the game. The reactions on Twitter and social media in general ranged from sardonic to sorrowful.

Phil Kessel seemed to be in the latter camp:

The game serves as another serious misstep for Nazem Kadri, who may find himself suspended by the league not that long after he was shelved by his team. Check out this hit he delivered on Matt Fraser:

As you can probably see, Kadri attempted to apologize to Fraser right after he delivered that check, which drew a two-minute illegal check to the head minor. After the game, he admitted that he’s concerned about getting suspended, as TSN’s Mark Masters reports.

Kadri eventually left the game after an altercation with defenseman Andrew Ference, but the damage was already done.

If tonight is any indication, the last month of the 2014-15 season could be a really rough one for the Maple Leafs.

Head coach Peter Horachek doesn’t want to hear any whining in that regard, though.

Report: Islanders recall Poulin, could get Leddy back soon

Arizona Coyotes v New York Islanders
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The New York Islanders ready for a brief two-game road trip with some injury matters to consider.

New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple passes along word that Kevin Poulin has been recalled from the AHL, as Jaroslav Halak isn’t expected to join the team in Chicago on Tuesday. It’s unclear what, exactly, Halak is dealing with, but it may not be serious.

Staple also reports that Nick Leddy could be approaching his return to the Islanders lineup:

Leddy (pictured) has missed the last three games with a lower-body injury.

This might be a good time for the Islanders to gather their wits, as they’ve lost three games in a row and six of their last eight. The New York Rangers are pulling away enough that the Islanders really might just be fighting for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, but either way they’d certainly prefer to get out of this minor funk before the playoffs begin.

John Tavares expects them to work their way out of this, for one.

Lightning win rough one, move into virtual Atlantic tie with Habs

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The Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens might not seem like natural rivals, but they don’t seem to like each other, either. At least, that’s certainly the case with Brandon Prust and Ben Bishop.

The tough guy and goalie mixed it up again on Monday (particularly when Prust received a goalie interference penalty while checking Bishop behind his net) as the Lightning edged the Habs 4-2.

Technically, Tampa Bay didn’t tie Montreal for the Atlantic Division’s top spot, as the Canadiens hold a game in hand. This win definitely makes a big difference as far as the race for the division title is concerned, though.

Let’s be clear: if it comes down to a head-to-head tiebreaker, the Lightning will win that in a walk. They were victorious in all five games between the teams with Montreal only nabbing one out of a possible 10 standings points.

It should be an interesting ride to the finish line in that regard, and things could be awfully entertaining if the two teams happen to meet in the 2015 postseason.

Check out two angles of that Prust hit on Bishop, via My Regular Face:

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The hit didn’t bother Lightning head coach Jon Cooper all that much, it seems.