Darren Dreger

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The Buzzer: Senators win, Subban from center, Lehtonen notches 300th win

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Players of the Night: 

Bobby Ryan, Ottawa Senators: It’s been a struggle for Ryan this season. He came into the game with just as single goal in 21 games but left with two in 22 while also adding an assist to help the Senators avoid a six-game losing streak.

Tyler Pitlick, Dallas Stars: Pitlick scored twice, bookending Dallas’s five goals in a 5-2 win against the New York Islanders.

P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators: If you continue reading (and you should) you will see Subban’s goal that came from quite a distance. The defenseman notched two in a ___ win against the Vancouver Canucks, powering the Preds to their ninth win in their past 12 games.

Highlights of the Night: 

Brad Marchand fought off Mike Green, and then did this to win in overtime:

Dylan Larkin. Breakway. Shorthanded. Backhand.

Blunder of the Night: 

Yikes, Anders Nilsson. Bravo, P.K.

Factoids of the Night: 

Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen killed two birds with one stone on Wednesday:

Filip Forsberg accomplished an impressive feat for the second time in his career.

MISC: 

Scores: 

Senators 3, Rangers 2

Stars 5, Islanders 2

Bruins 3, Red Wings 2 (OT)

Predators 7, Canucks 1


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Dreger: Kane likely to be at Blackhawks camp

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Patrick Kane‘s longer term future is still unclear, but it sounds like he will attend Chicago Blackhawks training camp.

Darren Dreger said as much during the latest edition of TSN’s Insider Trading on Monday, noting that Kane hasn’t been charged with a crime and that there’s no “logistical” reason for him to be withheld from training camp.

That said, Dreger also stated that we should know for sure in the next 24-48 hours.

It’s unclear when there will be a resolution regarding Kane’s alleged rape investigation, although a postponed grand jury process is expected to resume “soon.”

Naturally, nothing is official at this point:

Before busting owners, Allan Walsh busted criminals

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Chances are if you’re on Twitter you’ve seen the work of agent Allan Walsh.

While the NHLPA does their own PR work rallying support of the players, Walsh has been more than aggressive in pushing the buttons of the NHL’s owners and drawing the fire of fans and media alike.

What you may not know about him, however, is he used to be the guy who put away violent criminals in Los Angeles. Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star has the fascinating story about Walsh spending six years prosecuting hardcore gang criminals and the gut-wrenching trial that made him decide to change careers.

Going from gang members to hockey players and owners sure makes for a drastic switch. That said, you’d have to think he’s not getting rattled when TSN’s Darren Dreger snarks back at him on Twitter.

Dreger: Caps no longer considering Craig Berube for head coach job

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According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Flyers assistant coach Craig Berube won’t be headed to Washington. Dreger reports Berube was on the Capitals’ list of head coach candidates but that’s no longer the case.

The Caps are looking for someone to help fill the shoes of Dale Hunter who opted to leave Washington after this season rather than stay on board and continue where he left off bringing the team to within a win of the Eastern Conference finals. As for who is on the Capitals list now, speculation is the name of the game.

Caps assistant coach Dean Evason is believed to be in the mix. Paul Maurice was believed to be a man of interest before he headed to the KHL. Devils assistant coach and former Capitals center Adam Oates is another guy rumored to have the Caps’ eye as is Norfolk Admirals coach Jon Cooper.

Darren Dreger: Penguins might want to trade Malkin instead of Staal if necessary

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Depending on plenty of factors – especially a new CBA and all that entails – the Pittsburgh Penguins’ much-touted center trio of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal might just become a dynamic duo. So which one would you let go if you had to decide as their contracts are set to expire (Crosby and Staal’s in 2013, Malkin’s in 2014)?

Plenty of people will add their two cents on this subject, but few carry the weight of TSN’s Darren Dreger, who thought long and hard about pegging Malkin instead of Staal in this radio interview. After complimenting Malkin’s regular season dominance, he wasn’t so sure about how he played against the Philadelphia Flyers in round one.

“For the most part, he wasn’t engaged; he wasn’t invested,” Dreger said. “[Which] Evgeni Malkin are you getting?”

For what it’s worth, here are the three centers full stats from the series:

Staal: six goals, three assists for nine points, +2, 49.5 percent on faceoffs
Malkin: three goals, five assists for eight points, -1, 52.7 percent on faceoffs
Crosby: three goals, five assists for eight points, -3, 54.8 percent on faceoffs

Perhaps Geno had an off game or three, but his stats are remarkably similar to the two other star centers who seemed to mostly get praise or neutral reviews. We can agree to disagree, but I’d say that it’s probably safer to judge Malkin on his all-world-Crosby-included 2011-12 regular season rather than his still pretty decent series. (Which, by the way, was wacky enough to be pretty unreliable from an “assessment” standpoint.)

Get rid of bad contracts instead

The radio interview also features a bit that hopefully will come to GM Ray Shero’s mind well before he considers trading franchise cornerstones: the Penguins basically have $9 million in poorly spent cap room invested in struggling defensemen Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek. There will also be plenty of players who will come off the cap.

The Penguins can’t bury Martin’s regrettable deal in the minors thanks to his no-movement clause (thanks to Nick Case), but perhaps they can rid themselves of his deal or Michalek’s if the league provides an “amnesty” window after the next CBA goes through. Even if that doesn’t happen, they’ll likely get a chance to trade away cap fat instead of breaking up their core.

After all, if you can trade Scott Gomez and Brian Campbell’s contracts, chances are you can fit Staal, Malkin and Crosby under the same cap ceiling.

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That being said, let me ask: if you had to get rid of one of the three – with all things considered – who would you let go? (I’d vote for Staal.)