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From the Branches: Four shutouts and a funeral

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Sparks left last night's game with what is being called a 'long-term injury'.

I didn't know he could fly! I should let him out of the basement more often.
I didn't know he could fly! I should let him out of the basement more often.
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Empire lost in OT to the Rebellion last night when a wookiee scored the game winning goal. The big news is that Garret Sparks was injured. How it happened is still unclear, but he left the game and is now reported to be out 'long term'.

About Those Two-Goal Leads... - Pension Plan Puppets
The Sharks and Leafs traded blown two-goal leads, but the Leafs did it in a more timely fashion, so Sharks win this one.

Sharks top Leafs in OT - Fear The Fin
Brent Burns scored the overtime winner against the Maple Leafs in a tight game in Toronto.

The Flames might be looking at Jonathan Bernier. Do they make a move? - Matchsticks and Gasoline
Well this for sure isn't happening now.

If you would like to drive yourself crazy you can go to The Star and read an absolutely bizarre recap of last night's game by Rosie Dimanno which includes lines like "If he could have swallowed the puck, he doubtless would have."

World Juniors should offer tantalizing glimpse of Leafs’ future - TSN
The Leafs could have as many as five prospects in the tournament: Marner and Travis Dermott for the Canadians; Kasperi Kapanen will represent Finland; Timashov and Nylander will don yellow and blue for Team Sweden.

Game Summary Hurricanes vs Blades - SportsNorth
Nielsen impresses in Hurricane victory

Last Night's Other Games

So much for the NHL's scoring problem. 7 teams playing last night scored 4 or more goals, despite there being shutouts in 4 of the 11 games! Then there was the ridiculous Jackets-Coyotes game. It was so crazy even David Clarkson scored a goal. We are having a GIF party to celebrate!

Max Domi pulled a Lucic on the Columbus goalie.

But he's a nice guy so he went and got his helmet back for him.

Dawwwwww

AHHHHHHHHHHH!

OOPS!

SB Nation's Game Recaps

Johnson gets first shutout of the season in 3-0 win - Die By The Blade
Johnson made 44 saves in his fourth career shutout and first as a Sabre.

The Force was with Steve - Broad Street Hockey
Flyers goaltender Steve Mason was the hero, shutting out the Vancouver Canucks to lead Philadelphia to a 2-0 victory.

Wild Offense Rolls in rout of Rangers - Hockey Wilderness
The power play went 2-for-3 as both units scored, and the Wild added 3 more 5v5 goals against a stingy Rangers team.

Vladdy Don't Care 'Bout No Return. - St. Louis Game Time
Smells like bacon in here.

The Home Game Awakens - Mile High Hockey
The Force is Strong with the Avs.

Way she goes - Eyes On The Prize
Sometimes she goes, sometimes she doesn't. Lately, she's not going at all.

Alex Burrows

Here is your big and unsurprising controversy of the day: Burrows is an ass.

Burrows broke NHL’s trash talking ‘code' - TSN
Patrick O’Sullivan alleged on Twitter that Burrows taunted him for the well-documented physical and emotional abuse O’Sullivan was subjected to as a child from his father. "He said he wanted to hurt me like my father did."

Burrows' Image Takes Bigger Big Hit After O'Sullivan Comments - Nucks Misconduct
Well geez, another player comes out of the woodwork and claims Canucks' agitator Alexandre Burrows made hurtful remarks about him. The newest story is disturbing, to be honest.

Other News

Brampton Thunder split weekend series with Les Canadiennes - Pension Plan Puppets
Howe stole the show this weekend for Brampton.

Pride Tape Launched At The University of Alberta - The Copper & Blue
Profits from the sale of Pride Tape will be split between the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services and the You Can Play Project, a group whose goal is to insure the safety and inclusion of all in sports - including LGBTQ athletes, coaches and fans.

WATCH: Wild Star Wars intro for the Rangers game. - Hockey Wilderness
Star Wars hockey fans, get ready to change your shorts.