Nicklas Backstrom, Joe Thornton

Bruce Boudreau says both Michal Neuvirth and Nicklas Backstrom are ‘OK’

While the Washington Capitals earned a hard-fought shootout win to improve their lead in the Southeast Division against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight, it seemed like it might have come with two caveats: injuries to Nicklas Backstrom and Michal Neuvirth.

It looked like Backstrom aggravated his thumb injury (forcing him out after the second period), while Neuvirth left the game after the first period when a shot him in the mask.

Katie Carrera passes along good news on both fronts from coach Bruce Boudreau, who said that each player is “OK.”

On Neuvirth:

Boudreau said part of the metal from the mask went into Neuvirth’s eye after that first shot. They got it out thou[gh]. “He’s going to be Ok.”

Part of his mask went into his eye? Yikes.

Background on Backstrom (from here and here):

Backstrom fell on his left hand/fractured thumb, Boudreau said he’s going to be ok and that he wanted to come back vs Lightning. #Caps

Looked like Backstrom’s thumb and possibly part of his hand was wrapped after the game but it was hard to tell to what extent.

Now, keep in mind, this might be a matter of semantics. Being “OK” doesn’t necessarily mean that both Neuvirth and Backstrom are going to be ready for the Capitals’ next game (against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday), but it should at least be soothing for those worried about two important players missing serious time.

Still, the team should be careful with Backstrom. After all, it might be tough for him to maintain his world-class passing skills if that fractured thumb doesn’t heal sufficiently.

Report: Ex-NHLer Aaron Ward arrested for assaulting female (Updated)

Brad May, Kevin Hodson, Jiri Fischer, Aaron Ward
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Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran that appeared in over 800 career games, has been arrested for assault on a female, per WNCN.

Ward was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina and also charged with interfering with emergency communication, according to the report.

Currently working as an analyst for TSN, Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina, helping the ‘Canes capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Update: Per WRAL, Ward’s wife called 9-1-1 after the two had a confrontation around 1 p.m. ET. Police confirmed Ward was arrested at his home in Cary.

Video: Hextall comments on AHL d-man Pyett, who was diagnosed with sarcoma in leg

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) Defenseman Logan Pyett of the Philadelphia Flyers’ AHL affiliate has been diagnosed with a form of cancer and will be out indefinitely.

The team said Friday the 27-year-old Canadian has a sarcoma in his upper leg. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall says the club offers “heartfelt thoughts and prayers.”

Pyett signed a one-year contract with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms after being at the Flyers’ training camp. He was selected by Detroit in the seventh round of the 2006 NHL entry draft. He signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers in 2012 and spent two seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League.