Kris Versteeg, Jason Pominville

Jason Pominville is out for Game 6; playoff future in doubt after being cut by skate


Jason Pominville’s playoff future might be in doubt after suffering a scary injury during Game 5’s overtime win over Philadelphia. Pominville left the game in the first period after he was cut on the leg by James van Riemsdyk’s skate blade after a body check in the corner.

Pominville has been ruled out of Game 6 in Buffalo on Sunday which means Matt Ellis gets the call from the AHL to take his spot in the lineup.

As for how Pominville is doing, things weren’t looking too good after the game. The Buffalo News’ John Vogl has the observation from Philadelphia and the grim outlook from the Sabres head coach.

The Sabres’ early dominance disappeared when Jason Pominville did. The right winger suffered a lacerated left leg when stepped on with a skate late in the first period. He reportedly was seen after the game with crutches and a walking boot that went up above the knee.

“We’ll have more probably [Saturday], but it doesn’t look too good,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said.

Pominville is quietly one of the more important players in the lineup for Buffalo. He provides scoring balance along their top two lines and he’s got a knack for just finding the net. While the Flyers have issues of their own, Buffalo can’t afford to be losing any offensive producers from their lineup.

On the upside for Buffalo, they’re close to getting last season’s top scorer Derek Roy as well as Jochen Hecht back from injury as well. If Pominville is out for a while and they get Roy back, things shape up well for Buffalo. In a perfect world they’d have both guys ready to go, but as it is they’ll gladly welcome back a healthy Roy.

Diaz could leave Rangers for Europe

Raphael Diaz, Mike Sislo
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Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?

We’ll know in a month.

Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:

The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.

The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.

If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.

Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”

And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.

While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.

Canucks say Markstrom (hamstring) out another week — could it be longer?

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Bit of uncertainty out of Vancouver regarding the health of backup goalie Jacob Markstrom.

Markstrom, a late drop from the Canucks’ 5-1 opening-night win over Calgary, has suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him sidelined for another week, the club announced on Thursday.

With Markstrom out, backup duties will stay with AHL call-up Richard Bachman, who served as Ryan Miller‘s No. 2 on Wednesday.

Now, the focus turns to how long Bachman keeps those duties.

Per a Sportsnet report, Markstrom could miss up to three weeks of action with his injury. If that’s the case, Bachman will almost certainly be called into action; the Canucks will play eight games in 17 nights starting with Saturday’s home-opener against the Flames, which includes back-to-backs in Los Angeles and Anaheim on Oct. 12 and 13.

It would be asking a lot of the No. 1, 35-year-old Ryan Miller, to shoulder that entire load.

Bachman does have some NHL experience, with nearly 50 games to his credit. That includes a 3-2-0 record with the Oilers last year, in which he posted a 2.84 GAA and .911 save percentage.