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Flames’ Lomberg ejected for jumping Wild’s Dumba after questionable hit

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(UPDATE: Lomberg has been automatically suspended for one game and Flames head coach Bill Peters has been fined $10,000, per the NHL Department of Player Safety, as per rule 46.22, Instigating in the Final Five Minutes of Regulation. He’ll also have a hearing today for “a legal line change for the purpose of starting an altercation.” That could end up being a fine or multi-game ban. In other discipline news from the gameMark Giordano will have a hearing today for kneeing Mikko Koivu.)

A wild finished between the Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild saw a massive (questionable?) hit, an ejection and a seven-minute power play on Thursday.

A heated contest came to a head with under a minute left in the third period with the Flames holding a 2-0 lead.

Wild defenseman Matt Dumba stepped up in the Flames zone and delivered a hit to Mikael Backlund. There are a couple of angles to watch. One of them shows Dumba jumping into the hit and the other shows his shoulder hitting Backlund square in the face.

Here’s the tape:

Backlund was forced out of the game and could be out for a while, according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon.

Appears he was in concussion protocol, as well.

The Flames didn’t take too kindly to the hit and Ryan Lomberg came off the bench on a line change and made a b-line right to Dumba, jumping him and getting one punch in before the refs piled on top of the two.

Lomberg got two minutes for instigating, five minutes for fighting and a game misconduct for his efforts. The power play for Minnesota didn’t amount to anything as Mike Smith stood tall for the 31-save shutout.

Dumba was not penalized on the play.


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

Long after Burns, Wild’s Dumba is top-scoring d-man in NHL

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — More than seven years have passed since the Wild traded Brent Burns.

Finally, there’s a reason in Minnesota to stop wincing about dealing away one of the NHL’s most potent defensemen.

Matt Dumba leads all blue-liners in the league with 10 goals, a rate that translates to 34 scores over a full schedule. That’s a staggering pace that would crush the franchise record, set by Burns with 17 goals in 2010-11, his final season with the Wild. It’s doubtful Dumba can double that, but it’s clear that the $30 million, five-year contract the Wild gave him prior to this season was a worthy investment.

”It’s fun. I think it’s sustainable if I keep hitting the net and not try to do anything too tricked up or too special. Guys are kind of getting it to me more often and finding me more often,” Dumba said last week, after his two goals helped the Wild beat Ottawa 6-4 .

He knocked in a wrist shot from the point in the second period to make it 4-1. In the first period, he scored on power-play one-timer in the circle from a slick feed by Mikael Granlund.

”That was an absolute muffin,” Dumba said.

Dumba became just the sixth defenseman in the last 30 seasons to reach 10 goals by the 22-game mark, according to the NHL, joining Shea Weber (Nashville, 2008), Al MacInnis (St. Louis, 1997), Ray Bourque (Boston, 1995), Gary Suter (Chicago, 1995) and Jeff Brown (St. Louis, 1992).

”He’s going to score as long as he keeps shooting the puck and hitting the net because his shot is that good,” coach Bruce Boudreau said.

In Minnesota’s 4-3 loss to Arizona on Tuesday night, Dumba had an assist to stretch his streak to seven straight games with at least one point. That’s tied for the team-record mark for defensemen to match Ryan Suter‘s run in 2013.

The 24-year-old Dumba, who had 14 goals and 36 assists to go with a plus-15 rating while playing all 82 games last season, when he established career highs in almost every category. The 6-foot, 184-pound Dumba was drafted in the first round in 2012, exactly one year after the Wild traded Burns to San Jose.

”We’ve got to get him to play a little bit both ends of the ice type of thing, but scoring 10 goals as a defenseman is quite the feat,” Boudreau said.

Ah, but Dumba has come a long way on the defensive end.

”I get to watch the offensive ability and also not have to feel like there’s going to be a 2-on-1 every time he’s on the ice, because I can’t think of a time that he’s made a poor decision as far as getting in offensively,” goalie Devan Dubnyk said.

That’s how he gets paired with Suter as the Wild’s most-used duo. He’s averaging 24 minutes per game, just 45 seconds behind Suter for the team lead. Dumba’s shooting percentage is also up to a career-best 12.8, the fifth-best on the Wild, another sign of growth.

”I try not to force stuff really too much. I know that really doesn’t help anyone,” Dumba said. ”It’s more of letting it come to you and when you’ve got those opportunities, take a shot and hit the net while you do it.”

Burns has averaged 55 points per season over the last seven years, and he won the Norris Trophy in 2016-17 as the NHL’s best defenseman. If Dumba keeps improving, well, he could find himself in the conversation for that award someday.

”Any defenseman will tell you it’s a tough position, tough as a young kid, because we all come from situations where you’re a dominant player or a player who could do a little more,” Dumba said. ”When you play against everyone up here that kind of takes a little bit off of that. So it’s just kind of figuring out where you stand, how hard you have to work to be successful.”

More AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Canucks’ Bachman gifts Mikko Koivu with easy power-play goal

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Mikko Koivu won’t score an easier goal in his life.

And he can thank Vancouver Canucks goalie Richard Bachman for that.

Bachman was in a giving mood in the first period against Koivu’s Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. With the Canucks trying to kill off a Wild power play, Bachman tried to be a hero on an outlet pass from behind his net after Koivu dumped it into Vancouver’s zone.

What occurred next was less than heroic:

It is Bachman’s first start with the Canucks this season and just his 48th NHL game for the American Hockey League veteran. The 31-year-old is playing backup to Jacob Markstrom while Anders Nilsson has been on the shelf since late October with a fractured finger.

To Bachman’s credit, the pass was as good a tape-to-tape job as you’ll see from a goalie. He’ll just want to find a teammate’s stick next time.


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

Kings, Wild hold moment of silence after recent shooting

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“Enough.”

That was the united message from the Los Angeles Kings and the Minnesota Wild before puck drop on Thursday.

Players and coaches all held signs that simply read, ‘Enough,’ as a moment of silence was held for the 12 victims who were tragically killed in a mass shooting on Wednesday at a country music bar in Thousand Oaks, California, a 40-minute drive from downtown Los Angeles.

“We want to help amplify the message that enough is enough,” Kings President Luc Robitaille said before Thursday’s game. “We cannot accept these incidents as a new reality.”

Robitaille was on the Kings’ broadcast before the game and said that Wednesday’s events can’t be lost on peoples’ minds the next day.

“It’s not enough for every sports organization to just do a moment of silence. We need to do more,” he said.

Classy stuff by both the Kings and the Wild.


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

NHL on NBCSN: Stars look to get back to winning ways vs. Wild

NBC’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with Friday night’s matchup between the Minnesota Wild and the Dallas Stars at 8 p.m. ET. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports App by clicking here.

Dallas welcomes Minnesota on Friday looking to rebound after back-to-back losses to the Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils, games that saw them score a combined single goal in six periods of hockey.

That kind of production doesn’t win games and highlights how the Stars can struggle when their top line of Alexander Radulov, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin aren’t putting pucks in the back of the net. The line has combined for 28 points this season but only Radulov was able to notch an assist (a secondary one at that) in the past two games.

The good news for Dallas is they return home to American Airlines Arena where they are 3-1-0. Now, they need to start playing the same game as they were when they began the season strong out of the gate.

“We have to be five guys in the picture, whether on forecheck, or rush defense, or in the defensive zone,” Stars coach Jim Montgomery told NHL.com. “We’re just not connected. You don’t see the five guys together. That’s what we are missing now. We can’t sustain offense or get the puck out quickly because we are not together.”

[WATCH LIVE – 8 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

Finding a way to win on the road will be top of the order for the Wild on Friday.

They’ve gone 0-2-0 in road games so far this season and are facing a Stars team that has been solid at home. That said, Minnesota has found success against the Stars in recent times, with an 11-4-4 record in their past 19 meetings (including a 5-3-2 record in their previous 10 games in Texas).

The Wild aren’t doing themselves any favors early on, allowing 38.2 shots per game. Their savior at the moment has been Devan Dubnyk, who’s been sensational with his .940 save percentage despite seeing nearly 40 shots per game in his five starts.

The Wild have struggled to find the back of the net as well with just 14 goals through five games. Couple that with their porous possession numbers (45.64% as a team), and it’s no wonder Dubnyk has been shelled game after game.

MORE: Your 2018-19 NHL on NBC TV schedule


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