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Cheap Boston Bruins Jersey Wholesale From China For Sale

Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien

Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien

BOSTON (CBS) — The message from Claude Julien to Brad Marchand was simple during their eight seasons together.

“When I stop talking to you, that’s when you should be concerned,” Marchand recalled Julien telling him.

Julien was maybe a little tougher on the speedy left wing than other players, but Marchand came to realize what Julien was trying to accomplish. Julien believed Marchand could be more than a fourth-liner, more than a punk with a big mouth, more than someone who might eventually go on to a journeyman career.

“I learned a lot,” Marchand said after practice at Warrior Ice Arena on Tuesday. “You go through a lot of different things but I think the biggest thing he preached to me was how to be a good pro and how to be consistent. That’s one thing he talked about a lot was consistency. And if you want to be in this league a long time you have to be able to play and bring your best game every night, or close to it.”

Marchand’s success story – he has 94 goals in 191 games since the start of the 2015-16 season and will be an All-Star this season – is one example of how Julien’s tutelage brought the Bruins from the doldrums to the 2011 Stanley Cup title, the 2013 Eastern Conference title and 419 regular-season wins (the most in Bruins history).

It’s also an example of how Julien, who will make his return to TD Garden as coach of the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday for the first time since he was fired by the Bruins last Feb. 7, continues to affect the Bruins even while shepherding their most hated rival.

Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, David Pastrnak, Torey Krug … they all learned how to play the sport the right way and become not just regulars in the lineup but high-end stars. Bruce Cassidy, who replaced Julien on an interim basis and then returned this season as the full-time coach, has done a masterful job of continuing the improvement of the veteran players and finding new ways for them to approach the game and have more success in a different NHL environment. And, of course, Cassidy has integrated younger players into the lineup with near flawless execution, sometimes having as many as six or seven rookies dressed for a game.

But many of the players that have surprisingly driven the Bruins to sixth in the overall NHL standings this season got their start with Julien and had the seeds planted for their eventual improvement by the man from Blind River, Ontario.

Even the current Bruins player most associated with Julien’s distrust of younger players and a poster child for why general manager Don Sweeney decided to move forward with a new coach, Ryan Spooner, understands what Julien’s motivation was in being a little tougher on the lightning quick center.

“I just think that he saw some skill in me and maybe he got frustrated at times because I wasn’t really playing to the best that I can be,” Spooner said. “Sometimes it’s kind of easy as a player to look back on it and say he didn’t like me, but I don’t think that was the case. I think that it was a coach that saw some potential in me and maybe he was just frustrated that I wasn’t playing quite how he wanted me to. So that’s on me.”

You can throw Milan Lucic and Johnny Boychuk into the above-mentioned list of players Julien nurtured, and you can see that the Bruins’ success wasn’t predicated on the front office just giving Julien ready-made, veteran NHLers. There was development. Sometimes it took tough love and maybe a benching for Marchand here or a healthy scratch for Lucic there.

Cassidy’s stint behind Boston’s bench hasn’t lacked for those types of scenarios. Jake DeBrusk and Anders Bjork can tell you about getting scratched, and even Pastrnak can tell you about losing third-period ice time when his competitive level wasn’t where the Bruins needed it. Spooner can tell you about Cassidy’s decision to scratch him in the playoffs.

There’s no doubt the Bruins needed Cassidy’s offensive mind to help them take the next step in their rebooting process. The game has changed and Julien was a little to set in his ways. Cassidy will be the first to admit, however, that a lot of what the Bruins do defensively hasn’t changed since the Julien days. Players continue to add to their game (Julien might be shocked to see Spooner actually hitting opponents and Pastrnak managing the puck better) but their growth wasn’t stunted during Julien’s reign.

Just as the 2011 Cup winners owed a lot to the work of former general Mike O’Connell and his staff for some of the players they put in pace, some of the Bruins’ current success owes a debt of gratitude to Julien. He’s left the Bruins and gone to probably the worst place anyone who wants a little love from Boston could go, but his message still resonates with the Bruins.

His fingerprints are still visible on the players he helped make what they are today.

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Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens

MONTREAL (AP) — Montreal Canadiens forward Phillip Danault was released from a hospital Sunday after tests for a head injury.

Danault was hit in the head by Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara’s slap shot Saturday night and taken off the ice on a stretcher.

“Phillip Danault was released from the hospital earlier today and is now resting at home,” the Canadiens said Sunday on Twitter.

The rising shot in the second period looked to hit Danault on the side of the head. He was down on the ice for several minutes but was moving and appeared to be speaking to medical staff before leaving the ice to an ovation from the Bell Centre crowd.

“It’s stuff that happens in hockey and it’s scary,” defenseman Jordie Benn said after practice Sunday. “But Phil’s doing well.”

It wasn’t immediately clear when Danault might return to the lineup.

“We’ve just got to wait and hopefully he can get healthy pretty quick,” Benn said.

The 24-year-old Danault, from Victoriaville, has seven goals and 15 assists in 43 games this season.

Officials opted to play the final 1:37 of the second after intermission.

Marchand also scored in regulation, helping the Bruins improve to 9-0-3 in their last 12 games. Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci had the other goals for Boston, and Tuukka Rask made 27 saves.

“It’s different, but this was just another game,” said Marchand, who also scored in regulation. “We did a good job and look forward to the next one.”

Alex Galchenyuk, Max Pacioretty and Nicolas Deslauriers scored for Montreal, and Carey Price had 29 stops. It was Galchenyuk’s 100th career goal.

Claude Julien coached against Boston for the first time since he was fired by the Bruins last February and hired by the Canadiens a week later.

Montreal jumped in front 3:22 into the first when Pacioretty scored for the third straight game. Victor Mete, playing his first game back after helping Canada win world junior championship gold, picked up an assist when the rebound of his point shot was tucked inside the post by the captain of the Canadiens.

Marchand responded with a power-play goal at 17:11. He was left alone in front to take a feed from Patrice Bergeron and score his 18th of the season.

DeBrusk was sent in alone by Charlie McAvoy to beat Price with a high shot 2:55 into the second. Deslauriers picked up a loose puck at the Boston blue line and beat Rask with a low shot from the slot at 5:45.

Galchenyuk put the Canadiens in front again with a power-play wrist shot under the crossbar at 8:51. It was his 11th goal of the season.

But the Bruins tied it again with 2:18 left in the second. Jakub Jerabek swiped at and missed a bouncing puck and Krejci pounced on it and beat Price from close range.

Cheap Vegas Golden Knights Jersey Wholesale From China For Sale

It was 4:30 p.m., and the puck wouldn’t be dropped for another two hours. But the Jersey People already had gathered for the latest installment of Hockey Night in Las Vegas.

This is not a reference to puckheads who hail from New Jersey, though with the Rangers in town on Sunday, there was no shortage of those. They jammed into the bars and bistros that form a 100-proof corridor from The Park to T-Mobile Arena, home of the first-place (!) Golden Knights.

I’m talking about everybody who had a belly or some other body part pressed to the bar that was wearing a hockey sweater.

It was as if The Park had been transformed into the sixth New York borough. What a scene. Rangers jerseys easily outnumbered those of the Knights, but that was to be expected. The Rangers have been around since 1926; the Knights have been around since October.

There were a lot of Messiers and Lundqvists trying to forecheck their way into Beerhaus, situated in the neutral zone of the bars and bistros. There were no Vanbiesbroucks.

Closer to faceoff, the Messiers and Lundqvists were joined by the Fleurys and Karlssons. It was a helluva party. It was sort of like young Tom Cruise’s house when his parents went on vacation, minus Rebecca De Mornay and her gal pals.

‘You guys are the best’

Offering nearly a dozen watering holes and dining patios, none of which ever freeze over, The Park provides a perfect backdrop for a Golden Knights pregame party.

At Beerhaus, beyond the picnic tables on the promenade and out by the cornhole pits and the giant Golden Knights Connect Four game, Knights fan Ryan Francis was making merry with three guys and a woman wearing Rangers jerseys, one of which was his son, Collin.

“It doesn’t matter where you come from, when you come here, we all get along,” said the elder Francis, who grew up a Rangers fan.

“It’s Vegas, so it’s a little different than any other place,” Chuck Tarantino of West Caldwell, New Jersey, said about the hockey vibe around T-Mobile Arena compared to the one at Madison Square Garden.

Wife Susan was impressed with the hospitality and demeanor of Knights fans. “You guys are the best, you’re really nice people.”

So, not like Flyers fans at all.

To paraphrase that Under Armour commercial, this is our haus, but we’ll save you a seat at the bar.

Official Knights party haus

“Beerhaus is the official pregame fanfest for the Golden Knights, so we (do) a lot of marketing for that,” said Anthony Olheiser, The Park’s executive director, who was not wearing a hockey jersey and thus stuck out like a goaltender’s sore thumb. “It’s a great opportunity to let people all over the country know that we’re here and hockey is for real.”

Olheiser said the idea was to have fans go to a hockey game and have a party break out, but he never envisioned a soiree such as this.

“Having the team play so well, it’s been a monster year for us,” he said. “Having the locals and the away teams come, it’s just been huge. Every game it gets bigger. We have drink specials, we have Golden Knight Ale, we’ve got 80 beers inside, and 30 on draft.”

Who needs the checking line when you have 80 beers inside and 30 on tap?

By the time musical group Vegas Saints started their second set of familiar 1980s pop tunes, it appeared thirsty Rangers fans had sampled at least 65 of the 80, and all the drafts. It was much the same when Nashville was here Tuesday, when Vegas Saints performed a rollicking hat trick of “Jessie’s Girl,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “My Girl.” Even Predators fans raised on the Grand Ole Opry tapped their toes.

Sunday’s hockey party built to a crescendo as the Knight Line beat their flashing drums and the Knights’ cheerleaders waved their pompoms during a procession through The Park. Those at the bars and bistros were encouraged to join the parade. A guy wearing a Syracuse Bulldogs jersey nearly tripped over the big toe of the 40-foot sculpture of the blissful dancer where The Park opens to Toshiba Plaza.

Chance the gila monster, the Knights’ sometimes maligned mascot, led the Knight Line and the cheerleaders into the arena.

It had been such a great party that nobody wearing a Messier jersey made fun of his costume.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Struggling to score goals and with several important offensive players sidelined, the Columbus Blue Jackets pulled out a gritty win — just the way coach John Tortorella wants his team to play.

Josh Anderson scored the deciding goal in the eighth round of the shootout, lifting the Blue Jackets to a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Sunday night.

“That scratching, clawing, spitting, biting doing everything you can to win the game, we did it,” Tortorella said.

Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky stopped Jared McCann’s attempt to secure the win for the Blue Jackets, who also got goals from Artemi Panarin and Jack Johnson in the tiebreaker. Aleksander Barkov, who tied the score with 1:34 left in the third period, and Mike Matheson scored in the shootout for Florida.

“It was a good point,” Panthers coach Bob Boughner said after his team lost its third straight. “It was a hard fought point against a real good hockey club. Both teams had good goaltending. We’ve just got to take this and move on.”

Nick Foligno and rookie Pierre-Luc Dubois scored power-play goals for Columbus — just the second time this season the NHL’s worst man-advantage unit has come through twice, and both against Florida. Bobrovsky, who took an errant stick under his chin in the final period, had 42 saves through overtime to help the Blue Jackets win for just the fourth time in 11 games (4-6-1).

“We threw a lot of pucks at them and we were able to get a couple big power play goals,” Columbus forward Boone Jenner said.

Jonathan Huberdeau also scored for the Panthers and James Reimer stopped 46 shots. Florida’s streak has followed a five-game winning streak to close December.

Reimer was clutch in the third period, keeping his team within one goal while making several tough saves in the opening few minutes and later turning aside a breakaway by Dubois.

“He gave us a chance and he definitely was a big part of us getting a point,” Boughner said of Reimer, who made his 14th straight start. “You always wish you had two. We had some great chances in overtime and it would have been nice to win it for him.”

With the Panthers trailing late in regulation and the teams skating 4-on-4, the puck deflected off the skate of Foligno to Barkov, who slammed it past Bobrovksy for his 13th to even the score.

“The third period I thought we played really well and we just couldn’t score a third goal,” Tortorella said. “And you knew it was going to happen (that Florida would tie the game).”

Foligno opened the scoring at 9:47 of the first period, wristing a rebound from the slot over Reimer’s glove for his first in 11 games.

Huberdeau made it 1-1 just 31 seconds into the second period on the power play with his 15th, a redirection near the crease on pass from Barkov. Huberdeau has scored six times in his last seven games.

Later in the period, Jones zipped a pass from the right side that Dubois tapped in for his ninth on a bang-bang play.

“Our power play hasn’t been working this year but I think in our past couple games we’re getting closer and closer,” Dubois said.

NOTES: Columbus is still without injured forwards Brandon Dubinsky, Cam Atkinson and Alexander Wennberg. … Florida RW Radim Vrbata missed his fifth consecutive game because of an illness. …The Blue Jackets are 17-4-3 when scoring first. … The Panthers, completing the first half of their 82-game schedule, had gone seven contests without a power-play goal.

Cheap Dallas Stars Jersey Wholesale From China For Free Shipping

After eight weeks of being sidelined with a knee injury, Marc Methot could potentially return tomorrow. Where will the Dallas Stars fit him in a crammed defensive lineup?

Having too much of a good thing can be bad, and the Dallas Stars know that.

Over the past few years, the Stars seem to have struggled with having too much offensive talent. With a limited number of starting spots, the mix between veteran skaters and young, thriving prospects proved to be a tad excessive. As a result, some changes had to be made to keep everything aligned.

Now the Stars seem to have an issue on defense as well.

After spending the past eight weeks recovering from surgery on an injured knee, Dallas defenseman Marc Methot finally looks ready to return to the lineup. The Stars traded for Methot this past June in a deal with the Vegas Golden Knights.

He played every game for the Stars this season up until November 6 and has been on the IR ever since. The initial projection was four to six weeks, but recovery time has taken longer than expected. Still, there is supposed to be a good chance that Methot is ready for tomorrow’s game against New Jersey.

But where will he fit in the lineup? This could end up being the most difficult question to answer so far this season.

Methot is a good veteran defender. He’s a stay-at-home caliber defenseman that plays a solid game in the defensive zone. He has yet to tally a point this season, though that is typical for defensive defensemen. His possession numbers are not terrific by any means, but he finished the first part of the year with a -1.

Though his stats may not look it, Methot is still a very smart and capable veteran defender that can help the Dallas lineup both at even strength and on the penalty kill.

But where is he going to slide into the lineup? It’s a tough question, and that’s primarily because of the current defensive success that Dallas is having.

When Methot initially went out with his injury, it left Dallas with six defensemen on their roster.  Esa Lindell, John Klingberg, Dan Hamhuis, Greg Pateryn, Stephen Johns, and Jamie Oleksiak were the only starters Dallas had to choose from after exiting training camp with nine NHL-ready defenders. So it was pretty slim pickings.

More From Blackout Dallas: What We Learned About The Stars In First Half Of Season

In addition to that, the Stars defense wasn’t looking too hot. They had struggled in the first month of the season to play consistently and with structure and gave up three or more goals in eight of their first 15 games. That’s not an ideal number for a defense trying to be much better than they were last year.

With the Methot injury, Dallas recalled Julius Honka for the second time in mid-November in an attempt to give themselves another option on the blue line.

After a few weeks of juggling defensive pairings and trying to find a happy medium, the Stars finally seem to have found a unit that works.
Dan Hamhuis – Greg Pateryn

Stephen Johns – Julius Honka

These three pairings have given the Stars a consistently solid effort in each game and are buying the team opportunities to win. Dallas is confident in this group and even traded Jamie Oleksiak to the Pittsburgh Penguins, which cut the number of defenders down to an ideal six.

But now Methot is back, and he needs a spot. Though Dallas shouldn’t have to make any changes in terms of roster reduction, someone will likely come out of the lineup. So, who will Ken Hitchcock scratch?

The most likely scenario is that he moves Honka to the “seventh defenseman” role and slots Methot in no. 6’s spot. But do you really want to move Honka after he’s played 11 straight games, been a possession monster, posted a +2, and is continuing to develop into a strong NHL defender while skating limited minutes?

Still, it’s probably the route Dallas will take. For all the #FreeHonka people out there, I’m sorry.

Once Methot is back in the lineup, though, where will he play? Lindell and Klingberg are providing a quality top pairing for Dallas and are skating heavy minutes both at even strength and on special teams. They provide a great two-way balance for Dallas and generate plenty of offensive pressure.

Just below them, you have Hamhuis and Pateryn, who are arguably just as good together as the top pairing. The Stars have found a gold mine with no. 2 and no. 29, with both guys playing a defensive-centered role. Each can play heavy minutes on the penalty kill and give Dallas a shutdown presence in the defensive zone. It’s gotten to the point where Hitchcock will even call on his second pairing more often than he does his first.

So do you really gamble and break either of these two pairings up, especially when they are both giving you consistently solid outings? It’s going to be a tough decision either way.

If Hitchcock wants to keep his top two pairings and hopefully continue to see success from them, he can always put Methot on the third pairing with Stephen Johns. The two have played together some this year and compliment each other’s playing styles well.

All in all, it will be interesting to see where Hitchcock slots no. 33 upon his return to the lineup. One wrong move could be disastrous for the entire defensive corps. But on the bright side, Methot’s return will signal a reborn sense of competition. The window for error will be very small now considering the Stars have seven defenders to choose from. Hopefully that will lead to consistent results.

Cheap Chicago Blackhawks Jersey Wholesale From China For Sale

Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks

The trip that will have kept the Blackhawks off their United Center ice for 18 days hasn’t resulted in a complete fall.

The Blackhawks have lost four games, a starting goalie and a second-line center during their seasonlong six-game suitcase swing that concludes Wednesday night against the Rangers in New York.

Somehow they’ve managed to stay within striking distance of a playoff spot despite winning just one game — 4-3 against the Oilers in overtime Friday — of the five they have played so far. This despite losing starting goalie Corey Crawford to an upper-body injury, and center Artem Anisimov, the team’s second-leading goal-scorer with 13, to the same.

Players and coaches found themselves trying to accentuate the positive after losing 4-3 in overtime Sunday against the Flames to fall into a the standings in points with them at 42 Western Conference tie with the Flames at 42 points.

Both teams are two points out of the second wild-card spot ndwiched in between and one point behind the Wild.

Rookie goalie Jeff Glass started his second straight game Sunday and made 35 saves to keep the Hawks afloat after they fell behind 3-0. Perhaps the most memorable save he made in his hometown occurred when he stifled Johnny Gaudreau on a breakaway with 2 minutes, 43 seconds left and the Hawks down one.

“Well, we were down 3-0 (so) it’s a great point,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said told reporters in Calgary after the game. “That was a great save. That was like, ‘OK, that was instrumental in getting us a point. Pretty dangerous opportunity to close the game out.’ ”

Glass, who was born and raised in Calgary, wasn’t impressed with his start, which included allowing a last-second goal at the end of the first. But he was impressed with the way the Blackhawks responded during the next two periods.

“You don’t ever want to give up three,” he said. “We did a good job to climb out of that hole. It felt good to get back to all square, but I would have liked another point.”

Top liners Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad each were happy finally to record a point. Both had gone six games without a goal or an assist. Toews’ goal, which came 56 seconds after Jordan Oesterle scored in the second, pulled the Hawks to within one.

Saad, who earlier clanged one off the crossbar, smacked home his game-tying goal off a Toews faceoff win with 1:46 left in regulation.

“We’ll take any point (we) can get,” Saad said. “But obviously we want to get both points, especially with the position we’re in.”

Glass concurred.

“Working in the right direction,” Glass said. “My goal is to get two points every game. We fell short of that (Sunday). Little bit of room to improve for next game, something to shoot for. It’s a step in the right direction.”

The direction the Hawks will be going after Wednesday is home, finally, where they are 10-5-2. They will play eight of nine games there after Wednesday. Where they go in the standings remains to be seen.

“We just kind of limped into the Christmas break,” Kane told reporters in Vancouver on Thursday before the Hawks lost their third in a row. “Let’s get back to the way we want to play. This is an important trip. You look at the teams were playing against, they’re all kind of right around the same spot we are.

“Big games, important points. It’s going to be a dog fight till the end of the season.”

Cheap Buffalo Sabres Jersey Wholesale From China For Free Shipping

NEW YORK — For the second straight season, the New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres will meet at one of the bookends of the NHL’s Christmas break. Unfortunately for the Sabres, they’re in the same position this year as last year.

The Islanders will look to build on the momentum they created prior to the break Wednesday night, when they host the reeling Sabres at Barclays Center.

Both teams last played Saturday, the final day before the three-day break. The Islanders maintained their standing in the Eastern Conference playoff race by beating the visiting Winnipeg Jets, 5-2. The latest rough season for the Sabres, meanwhile, continued with a 4-2 loss to the host Carolina Hurricanes.

Since their only winning streak of the season — a two-game run from Oct. 21-24 — the Sabres (9-20-7) have gone 6-15-5 to entrench themselves in the basement of the Atlantic Division.

The Sabres have missed the playoffs in each of the last six seasons and finished last in the Atlantic in three of the last four seasons. And if his comments Saturday are any indication, the constant losing that is beginning to take a toll on the franchise’s most important player, third-year star center Jack Eichel.

Following the loss to the Hurricanes — a game in which Carolina took a lead it would never relinquish by scoring a mere 33 seconds into the first period — Eichel, in a one-on-one interview with The Buffalo News, criticized Buffalo’s readiness coming off a 4-2 win Friday night over the Philadelphia Flyers.

“I think it shows a lack of maturity as a group for us right now with the position that we’re in,” Eichel told the newspaper. “We played last night. We’re traveling, we’re in a back-to-back. They’re here and ready and waiting for us. They’re at home right before break. You know they’re going to come out and play hard. And from the first shift, we’re chasing the game.”

Unlike last season, the Islanders haven’t spent most of the season chasing the rest of the Eastern Conference. New York entered the Christmas break last season tied for last in the East with the Sabres following a 5-1 win at Barclays Center on Dec. 23 before eventually missing the playoffs by one point.

The Islanders are 4-6-2 since a season-high four-game winning streak from Nov. 22-28, but the win Saturday kept them tied for the Eastern Conference wild card spots with the New York Rangers while providing a template for remaining in the playoff race.

Goalie Jaroslav Halak recorded 38 saves for the Islanders, who rank second in the NHL in both goals scored (130) and goals allowed (127).

“It was a good win,” Islanders head coach Doug Weight said. “It was a good test for us, going through some issues. It was a good challenge and I think it was well-goaltended.”

Halak is likely to draw the start again for the Islanders. He is 9-2-0 in 11 appearances against the Sabres.

Robin Lehner, the Sabres’ No. 1 goaltender, should return to the net after Chad Johnson took the loss Saturday night. Lehner, who earned the win Friday after recording 33 saves against the Flyers, is 3-3-2 in eight games against the Islanders.

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Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim Ducks

PITTSBURGH — John Gibson grew up in Pittsburgh. He downplayed his annual homecoming Saturday night, but his teammates with the Anaheim Ducks understood this wasn’t just any game and it wasn’t just any arena for the 24-year-old who has helped keep them afloat during an uneven first half of the season.

What better way to thank Gibson for hanging in there than helping him shut down the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions. Gibson turned aside 29 shots and the Ducks pounced on several sloppy mistakes by the Penguins in an easy 4-0 victory.

“It might sound silly, but for us, it was important,” said Anaheim defenseman Cam Fowler, who capped the scoring with his fourth goal of the season. “Mainly because of what John’s done for us all season. I mean, he’s stood on his head multiple times and given us opportunities to win hockey games.”

Gibson didn’t quite have to go that far in picking up his first victory in his hometown. The Penguins got to him for five goals last year and six in the 2015-16 season opener. They didn’t get one by him this time.

While he wasn’t particularly busy, Gibson’s night included a sprawling blocker save on Sidney Crosby in the second period that preserved a three-goal lead.

“Just throw something over there and hope (the puck) hits it,” Gibson said.

Rickard Rakell, Andrew Cogliano and Ondrej Kase also scored for the Ducks, who wrapped up a six-game road trip with a flourish.

“I think the last few games, we’ve obviously been playing a lot better, especially defensively,” Gibson said. “I think we’re kind of getting in our zone and feeling confident. Definitely trending in the right direction.”

The Penguins not so much.

Matt Murray made 10 saves on 13 shots before he was pulled early in the second period after Cogliano turned a short-handed breakaway into his fifth goal. The Penguins have lost five of seven and are one point out of last place in the Metropolitan Division.

“We made some big mistakes,” Crosby said. “Sometimes you can make those and get away with them and tonight they were big ones, some Grade A chances that we ended up giving up the other way.”

Two days after an emotionally charged shootout victory over Columbus that the Penguins hoped would be the start of a surge needed to get back in the mix, they instead fell into an all-too familiar pattern of questionable decision-making that ended with their goaltenders exposed and an early deficit.

“When you go down two goals early, it makes for an uphill battle and there’s been a lot of those lately,” coach Mike Sullivan said.

Kase pounced when a lazy and inaccurate cross-ice pass by Kris Letang intended for teammate Brian Dumoulin instead hit the boards behind Dumoulin and bounced toward the middle of the ice. Kase jumped on it, split Dumoulin and Letang and flipped a shot by Murray to put Anaheim up just 3:10 into the game.

Rakell doubled the lead when he took the puck away from newly acquired defenseman Jamie Oleksiak and slipped a shot by Murray that trickled between the goalie’s pads just past the midway point of the first period.

The Penguins had an early power-play chance in the second, but the momentum vanished quickly. Brandon Montour’s clear for Anaheim skipped by Crosby and went right to Cogliano. He broke in alone and beat Murray between the legs to make it 3-0 at 3:42, and Murray skated to the bench in favor of Tristan Jarry.

While Jarry allowed only Fowler’s power-play goal with just 3.4 seconds to go in the second, the damage was already done, leaving the 502nd consecutive sellout crowd at PPG Paints Arena to boo another listless night.

“We show signs of it where we put some games together where we’re playing to the identity that this group has had success with,” Sullivan said. “But we haven’t done it nearly consistently enough this year.”

NOTES: The Ducks finished their road trip 3-2-1. … Anaheim went 1 for 2 on the power play. The Penguins were 0 for 2 with the man advantage. … Pittsburgh scratched D Matt Hunwick and C Dominik Simon. … Anaheim scratched Ds Korbinian Holzer and Andy Welinski and F Dennis Rasmussen.

UP NEXT

Ducks: Begin a three-game homestand next Wednesday against Vegas.

Penguins: Face Columbus for the second time in less than a week on Wednesday. Pittsburgh beat the Blue Jackets 3-2 in a shootout on Dec. 21.

Cheap Vancouver Canucks Jersey Wholesale From China For Sale

VANCOUVER – Just for fun, imagine the Vancouver Canucks fully healthy – you’ll have to think hard because it hasn’t happened since Game 3 – and make a list of their National Hockey League players in order from best to worst.

Now, cross out the guys who are injured.

Don’t worry too much whether you have Bo Horvat or Brock Boeser at the top of the list because they’re both out for now. Defenceman Chris Tanev is probably No. 3. He’s hurt, too. And whether you have injured winger Sven Baertschi ranked ahead or behind Danny and Hank Sedin, he’s somewhere in the top seven.

Some of you may have shutdown (and penalty-killing) forwards Brandon Sutter and Derek Dorsett in the bottom half of your lists, but based on role and ice time under Canuck coach Travis Green, they’re probably both inside the top 10. Top 12 at worst.

The Canucks, in a span of about three weeks, have lost six of their top 10 or 12 players.

Which is why that warm breeze rushing east over The Rockies on Monday afternoon was British Columbia exhaling that Boeser’s injured foot will keep the talented 20-year-old out a matter of days, not weeks.

When the Calder Trophy candidate, who leads the Canucks with 17 goals and 30 points in 31 games, crawled excruciatingly off the ice Sunday and hobbled away after being drilled by Mark Giordano’s shot, it seemed any lingering hope for Vancouver’s season was leaving with him.

But a CT scan Monday confirmed that Boeser had escaped any fractures to his left foot — by far the best injury news the Canucks have had during a dark, bleak December.

“It’s good news that it’s not broken,” general manager Jim Benning told Sportsnet. “I’m relieved because he has been playing so well for us. His shot and his ability around the net to find pucks and make plays and score goals is huge for us. It’s not fractured, so that’s the good news. It’s still a bone bruise and he could be out a little bit. But I’m just glad he’s not going to be out for six or eight weeks.”

The injuries to Horvat (broken foot), Baertschi (broken jaw), Sutter (lower body) and Tanev (lower body) are all long-term. Only Tanev is expected to miss fewer than four weeks. The Canucks hope their seventh injured player, defenceman Erik Gudbranson (upper body), returns soon. He last played on Nov. 22.

Tough luck for the Canucks? Absolutely. They’ve been accustomed to it since they entered the NHL in 1970.

But eight months ago, Vancouver was a 69-point team going nowhere. Until Horvat broke his foot in an awkward solo collision with the boards two weeks ago, the Canucks were 14-10-4 and digging in for a long fight for a playoff spot.

Since then, they are 1-5 and have been outscored 26-6 in the losses. No matter what they say, the Canucks haven’t been close without Horvat and Baertschi and others.

Without Boeser long-term, they’d have had zero chance to stay competitive.

That’s why the sight of him sliding across the ice Sunday was the low point of the Canucks’ season.

“I just thought this can’t be happening,” Benning said. “With the injuries we’ve had so far, like, this can’t be happening.

“I’ve never been a part of teams that have lost this amount of top players. A third of our team is out. No matter how hard you try to plan to have depth in the organization, when you’re six or seven guys down, it’s just too many important players to try to replace. Having said that, the players we have left have to work and compete and be competitive until we get injured guys back.”

It’s stunning how quickly and dramatically the Canucks’ course has changed in a couple of weeks.

With the Montreal Canadiens visiting Rogers Arena on Tuesday, the 15-15-4 Canucks are as near 15th place as the final playoff spot in the Western Conference (four points) and in danger of sinking below .500 for the first time since Oct. 20.

“We had some momentum, our guys were getting some confidence,” Benning lamented. “(But) the players we lost, it’s hard to replace. Until we ran into these injuries. . . we were competitive in every game. We were still competitive when we were missing one or two players, but when you get to six or seven, this is a hard league to stay competitive in.”

Other teams manage it. The Anaheim Ducks, for example, have stayed afloat despite missing titanic centres Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler almost all season.

But the Ducks were a 105-point team last year and are trying to win the Stanley Cup. The Canucks were a 69-point team and are simply trying to improve and build towards something better two or three years from now.

“It just seems like bad luck,” Benning said. “The injuries we’ve had – Sven gets a puck in the face and breaks his jaw, Bo slams into the boards and never really got hit – it’s bad luck. I don’t know what we can do about that. It’s bad-luck things.”

They finally got a good-luck thing on Monday.

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St. Louis Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo was activated from injured reserve Sunday after missing four games with a lower-body injury.

He will be available for Sunday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets. Pietrangelo has been out since suffering the injury in the first period of a 6-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Dec. 9.

Pietrangelo has 23 points this season (7 goals, 16 assists), the eighth most among defensemen, and a plus/minus of plus-14.

He has 326 points (72 goals, 254 assists) in 569 career games, all with the Blues.

The Blues are tied with the Nashville Predators for the Central Division lead with 46 points.