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Hockey

What we learned in the NHL this past week

Jonathan Quick

Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick stops a shot by the San Jose Sharks during the first period on Oct. 12.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

What we learned from the past week of play in the NHL:

Goaltending is a hazardous occupation

Injuries or illnesses have left several teams scrambling to find netminders. Kings starter Jonathan Quick (groin) is expected to be idled for three months, and backup Jeff Zatkoff was placed on injured reserve after injuring his groin on Saturday. The Arizona Coyotes initially thought goaltender Mike Smith would be out long-term because of a lower-body injury but now say he’s week to week, and Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray is still recovering from the broken hand he suffered during the World Cup. The Boston Bruins ran out of goalies Monday when Anton Khudobin injured his arm or shoulder, according to the Boston Globe, and had to leave practice. No. 1 goalie TuukkaRask remains out because of an undisclosed injury. And Buffalo’s Robin Lehner was deemed too ill to play Tuesday, so Anders Nilsson will start and minor-league callup Linus Ullmark will be the backup

Some good news: Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne, who missed Saturday’s game because of a stomach problem that swept through the team, returned to practice on Monday.

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Red Wings not letting 25-season playoff streak end without a fight.

Or without taking major fighting penalties. The Red Wings, known more for finesse than fisticuffs, were assessed a league-leading five fighting majors in their first six games this season. They had eight all of last season and generally rank at the bottom of the NHL in that category. They’ve also won four straight games since losing their first two.

Game delayed by… sun?

The Heritage Classic outdoor game, played Sunday in Winnipeg, Canada, between the Jets and the Edmonton Oilers, started two hours late because the afternoon sun caused too much glare for conditions to be safe for players. Temperatures were around 50 degrees for the game, which the Oilers won, 3-0. The real winners were the fans of Winnipeg, a city with cold weather (usually) but a warm heart. Week-long celebrations of the Jets’ history included an alumni game that reunited members of the Oilers’ great dynasty teams and the sight of Teemu Selanne converting two penalty shots, among other nods to the city’s deep hockey roots. It was the first of four NHL outdoor games this season.

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--Jaromir Jagr hits 750

That’s goals, not years on Earth. Jagr, who will be 45 in February, is still a productive player for the Florida Panthers and last week joined Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky as the only players to score 750 NHL goals. That’s an impressive group.

helene.elliott@latimes.com


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