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Top Line: Ducks close in on Blackhawks, Martin Brodeur set to return, more links

Teemu SelanneTeemu Selanne's goal helped lead Anaheim to its 14th come-from-behind win of the year. (Debora Robinson/Getty)

By Allan Muir

A notated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:

• You can't afford to give some teams the lead. The Ducks? Don't dare put them in a hole. For the 14th time already this season, Anaheim came from behind to pull off a thrilling victory over the league-leading Blackhawks.

• It looks like the race for the top spot between Chicago and Anaheim will come down to the wire after a pair of late miscues cost the Blackhawks two points at the Pond.

Martin Brodeur returns to the nets as New Jersey takes on the Hurricanes tonight, but he's not an instant cure for what ails the floundering Devils.

Nazem Kadri is silencing the doubters with a two-way commitment that eclipses the value of his team-leading offense.

• TSN's Darren Dreger tweeted that Joffrey Lupul will meet with the Department of Player Safety today regarding his head shot on Victor Hedman.

• The Lightning failed to get the win last night in Toronto, but playing at the ACC fulfilled a lifelong dream for Tampa Bay rookie Cory Conacher.

• Here's a solid piece from Terry Frei on the second-class status of the Colorado Avalanche in the hearts and minds of owner Stan Kroenke.

• The Second-Class Kids put an end to their four-game losing streak thanks to some lineup gerrymandering by beleaguered coach Joe Sacco.

• In Dallas, Mike Heika is calling the Stars' loss another deep drop in the team's roller coaster race to the finish.

• Blowing a two-goal, third-period lead for the second time in this homestand demonstrates that patience, more than a major roster shakeup, is what the Edmonton Oilers need.

• With hard rock defender Adam McQuaid joining Boston's list of long-term wounded, the pressure is on GM Peter Chiarelli to make something happen before the deadline.

Steve Ott is earning three more minutes a night under Ron Rolston than he did under Lindy Ruff. The result? Nine points in the last 10 games and more of the grit and leadership the Buffalo Sabres need.

• Even as the Rangers' season-long struggles continue, Patrick Hoffman believes John Tortorella remains the right man to guide the team.

• Best wishes to Rangers GM Glen Sather, who undergoes surgery for prostate cancer today.

• Promising Penguins rookie Beau Bennett doesn't have a steady spot in the lineup, but he's earned the chance to remain in Pittsburgh for the rest of the season.

• Meanwhile, Evgeni Malkin still isn't certain he'll be available on Friday when the Pens travel to Long Island.

• Would a trade for Jaromir Jagr spark the Flyers down the stretch? I'm thinking the Flyers pull out all the stops to get 68 back in orange and white.

• The Minnesota Wild won in Detroit for the first time in seven years to strengthen their grip on the division lead.

• One reason why the Predators are struggling? Martin Erat hasn't scored in 21 (!) games. The opportunity and effort are there, but the crafty winger just can't buy one.

• I don't know where Stephen Gionta went, but this isn't the way I learned to do it at hockey school.

• Know the name Sean Day? You might want to tuck it away for future reference. The 15-year-old defender reportedly has been granted exceptional status by Hockey Canada and is eligible for this year's Ontario Hockey League draft. He'll be just the fourth player to earn the early ticket to the O, but the third in four years. One hitch: He's unlikely to go first or second overall like previous ES players John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad and Conner McDavid.

• Big ups to the Czech legal system: Eight fans were banned from their team's stadium for one year for hurling racial epithets at Wayne Simmonds. The Flyers' forward played in the KHL during the lockout.

• Finally, a reminder that sometimes there are larger concepts to deal with in life than the left-wing lock: Here's how to explain existentialism to your five-year-old.

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