A daily look at the NHL lockout

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DATE: Wednesday, Dec. 5.

DAY: 81.

LAST NEGOTIATIONS: Wednesday, Dec. 5 in New York

NEXT NEGOTIATIONS: Thursday in New York.

GAMES LOST: 423 (all games through Dec. 14, plus New Year's Day Winter Classic and All-Star weekend).

STILL TALKING: A similar group of negotiators on both sides of the NHL labor fight got back together on Wednesday, for a second straight day, and met until nearly 1 a.m. — one hour later than Tuesday's talks that ended at midnight and generated some optimism. Both sides characterized the discussions as "candid," with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly saying some key areas are still unresolved. Negotiations were scheduled to pick up again on Thursday. Commissioner Gary Bettman and union executive director Donald Fehr again stayed on the sidelines Wednesday, but the respective leaders were available for caucuses that often broke up the meeting. Bettman spoke briefly after a two-hour NHL board of governors meeting in the afternoon, but offered no details on the bargaining.

WHAT WE MISSED: Four games were lost on Wednesday night including a visit by the Rangers to Washington to take on the Capitals, the team New York eliminated in a seven-game, second-round series in last season's playoffs en route to the Eastern Conference finals.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: Former NHL forward Matthew Barnaby was fired by ESPN as the cable network's hockey analyst, one day after being charged with drunken driving. Barnaby was found behind the wheel of an SUV that was missing its front tire. The Erie County sheriff's office said Barnaby was driving a Porsche Cayenne with front-end damage and a sparking rim. Barnaby was arrested after failing field sobriety tests and refusing a breath test.