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Top Line: Ilya Bryzgalov back in NHL, Ben Scrivens keeps winning, more links

Ilya Bryzgalov dressed for his first NHL game as an Edmonton Oiler.Ilya Bryzgalov: Second chance? Hey, the new Oiler goalie says he never lost his first one! (Andy Devlin/Getty Images

By Sarah Kwak

An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

Ilya Bryzgalov is back and instructing the media about second chances. Edmonton's always distinctive new goalie dressed for his first NHL game of the season and watched as his Oilers dismantled the Blue Jackets, 7-0, on Tuesday night.

Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin meet tonight for the first time as divisional rivals. Should be a good one. First place is on the line.

• Hey Michiganians, stumped for New Year's plans? Head to Ann Arbor and watch a giant puck drop at midnight.

• Some teams have a hard enough time finding a No. 1 goalie. Now it's all about the backup? It could be for the Wild, now that Josh Harding is the No. 1 in Niklas Backstrom's absence.

Kings goalie Ben Scrivens has made the backup discussion a hot topic. His shutout streak ended at 191 minutes on Tuesday night, but Los Angeles still bested the Lightning, 5-2. Scrivens is all the rage right now.

• After years of brutal netminding, the Leafs are more than glad to have two quality stoppers. Coach Randy Carlyle says goaltending is now the flashpoint of the trade market.

• The Maple Leafs keep finding ways to win while they continue to confuse everyone.

• In other goaltending news, Semyon Varlamov's domestic abuse case is now in the hands of Denver's DA.

• Former NHL blueliner Darius Kasparaitis recalls the time he drank vodka-spiked champagne, found ketchup on his shoe and tried to outrun the cops when he was caught driving drunk.

• Do the struggling Islanders have a leadership void? An interesting question posed by Arthur Staple during the first season of John Tavares' captaincy.

• They've wobbled a bit of late, but the Avalanche are using a blueprint for success that has worked well for a particular team from Chicago.

• That team from Chicago, however, started a road trip with a painful stumble in Denver that cost them Bryan Bickell and exposed a lack of a depth a forward.

• Minnesota's tireless Ryan Suter has played and played and played himself into the lead for the Norris Trophy.

• Veteran defenseman Adrian Aucoin has retired after 17 years.

• Does Olympic-sized ice really matter for Team USA?

• And could Tim Thomas seriously make the U.S. roster for Sochi?

• Thomas retains the tire pump as his Panthers beat Roberto Luongo and the Canucks on Tuesday night, a fact that the Oilers could not help pointing out on Twitter and igniting a bit of a sparring match.

• The NHL Stadium Series tickets for the January 26 Rangers-Devils matchup at Yankee Stadium go on sale Thursday morning.

• The goalie tandem of Martin Brodeur and Cory Schneider in New Jersey is working out pretty well.

• Tampa Bay winger Martin St. Louis played his 1,000th game, cementing his status as a future Hall of Famer.

Matt Cooke and P.K. Subban had a sticky exchange on Tuesday night.

Rick Nash returned from a concussion for the Rangers, but his team still can't score.

• With the CHL-Russia Super Series underway, Ryan Kennedy compiled his latest hot list of top prospects. Jonathan Drouin is back in high-powered form after being sent back to Halifax by the Lightning.
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