James O'Brien

lowelecavalier

Video: Vincent Lecavalier injured after two fights with Keegan Lowe

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One player (Keegan Lowe) is currently making his NHL debut and is probably best known for being Kevin Lowe’s son. The other (Vincent Lecavalier) has played more than 1,000 games and ranks as one of the most expensive frequent-healthy scratches you’ll see.

It’s an unlikely pairing for two bouts on Thursday, but that’s exactly what happened between Lowe of the Carolina Hurricanes and Lecavalier of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Lowe, 22, got the best of Lecavalier in the first fight.

It seems like the 34-year-old may have bent the rules a bit in getting revenge against Lowe later on, as Lecavalier received an instigator, misconduct and fighting major for the second squabble:

We’ll have to keep an eye out for these two if they meet again in the future.

Update: It turns out that Lecavalier suffered an upper-body injury from the fight(s). The Flyers announced that more will be known on Friday.

Bolt of energy: Lightning get Hedman back

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The Tampa Bay Lightning might be hobbling into the playoffs a bit, but one big, important player is back on Thursday night. Victor Hedman will play against the New Jersey Devils tonight, according to the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith.

Hedman is returning from his second troublesome injury of the 2014-15 season, as he’s been sidelined since March 30.

The Lightning have done an admirable job putting together wins even with significant injuries seemingly occurring left and right. Getting Hedman back – maybe even getting both of Tampa Bay’s remaining two games under his belt, depending upon how things shake out – is almost as enormous as the sizable Swede.

Tampa Bay needs some help in chasing Montreal for the Atlantic Division crown. The Habs face the hungry Detroit Red Wings without Tom Gilbert tonight because of an upper-body injury, so consider that another advantage for the Lightning.

WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks at Blues

St Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks
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The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues know they’ll be in the playoffs once the regular season is over, but that doesn’t mean they lack incentive to beat each other tonight.

Even beyond the sheer joy of spiting a rival, the two teams continue to jockey for position as the Central Division’s top three spots are far from decided as of today. You can watch what could be a gnarly game between two very good teams on NBCSN and also online via NBC Sports Live Extra

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

For a detailed preview of this game, read this post.

NHL’s Daly: Ticket drive suggests that Vegas can support a team

Gary Bettman, Bill Foley
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It seems like some key NHL executives are convinced that the slogan “Vegas wants hockey” rings true enough to really push the expansion issue going forward.

Executive Bill Daly didn’t confirm that expansion will happen without a doubt, but he provided some enthusiastic details to the IMG World Congress of Sports on Wednesday, as The Post Game reports.

“The response in Las Vegas has been very impressive and certainly suggests that there is an ability to support a professional sports franchise and particularly an NHL franchise at this point in time,” Daly said. “We have a Board of Governors meeting coming up in June. We’ll obviously report on the results of the Las Vegas ticket drive and we’ll have a discussion with our ownership as to whether they want to entertain the concept of expansion; they haven’t made that decision yet. And if they want to entertain the concept of expansion, how they want to do it.”

Again, it’s clear that the league and The City of Sin are currently in the “don’t count your chickens before they hatch” stage.

Still, the fact that Daly is laying out some specifics is worth noting. He said that if expansion does happen, it would involve a new team rather than relocation. That’s probably not a shock to many, yet Daly discussing it seems to indicate there’s fire to go with all the smoke.

Just because Vegas currently seems to have Daly and Gary Bettman’s support doesn’t mean everyone’s convinced just yet.

Calgary Flames executive Brian Burke spoke of some of the hangups of putting an NHL team in Vegas,

noting the concern that “no one’s believed that transitory people become fans and buy tickets.” Even with those reservations, Burke also admitted that the ultimate call is “above his pay grade,” and those in that position seem pro-Vegas at the moment.

Again, these ownership situations can present some sudden and crucial twists, so don’t assume that a Vegas team will play host to sleep-deprived NHL opponents during the 2016-17 season just yet.

Remembering Bruins doing their part for ‘Boston Strong’

bostonstrong
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About two years ago, lives were lost and plenty others were shaken by the Boston Marathon Bombings. Eventually, people tried to return to some form of normalcy, which added special meaning to some Boston Bruins games.

Watch the video below for some emotional memories of that time in April 2013, including reflections from former Buffalo Sabres Ryan Miller and Steve Ott (who played for the road team on one especially memorable evening).