Blackhawks edge the Bruins, Rangers down the Capitals, Lightning beat the Hurricanes, aftermath of the NHL lockout, Avalanche still struggling at the gate and more

Patrick Kane scores in a shootout to beat the Bruins.

Patrick Kane scores in a shootout to beat the Bruins.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Patrick Kane’s shootout goal lifted the Chicago Blackhawks to a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rick Nash scored twice as the New York Rangers rolled to a 4-1 victory over the struggling Washington Capitals.

TBO.COM: Rookie blueliner Mark Barbeiro scored the first two goals of his NHL career and Ben Bishop made a career-high 48 saves to carry the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

CBC.CA: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has been named captain of Team Canada, with Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber named as alternates.

ESPN.COM: On the one-year anniversary of the NHL’s return to action from a lockout, Scott Burnside examines what’s improved since then and what issues (particularly international competition) the league must work on.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve learned to ignore dire warnings the league and the NHLPA will go to the well once too often and drive away the fans. Since 1992 there’s been three lockouts (one of which killed an entire season) and a players’ strike. After each stoppage, the fans returned in droves. For the few who don’t, the league seemingly has no difficulty attracting many others.

BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff is showing signs of a season rebound.

PHILLY.COM: Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros, a frequent subject of early-season trade speculation, has improved in recent weeks.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars captain Jamie Benn won’t receive supplemental discipline for elbowing Minnesota’s Matt Cooke in the head during a recent game.

DENVER POST: Terry Frei observes the Colorado Avalanche’s improved performance this season has yet to improve their attendance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs were a mess for several years, including the past three seasons where they missed the playoffs. Expect ticket sales to improve as they get closer to the playoffs, while sales of season tickets should jump in the off-season.

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