Kings lose Carter for one game, maybe more (Update: He’s on crutches, in a walking boot)

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Some tough news for the Los Angeles Kings as they push for the postseason — forward Jeff Carter will miss Friday’s game against Edmonton with an ankle injury. The severity of the injury is unknown, but the 27-year-old could be in danger of also missing Saturday’s tilt in Minnesota.

Carter hurt his ankle Wednesday in Calgary, though it’s unclear when it occurred (Carter played 17:25 and got most of his ice time in the third period.) Regardless, it’s a key loss for the Kings — he has 3G-6A-9PTS in 16 games since coming over from Columbus, clicking on a line with former teammate Mike Richards.

As for Carter’s replacement? Kings head coach Darryl Sutter was non-committal, but it’s clear he has plenty of options. Brad Richardson, Dwight King and Jordan Nolan have all been mentioned as potential fill-ins, but Sutter isn’t offering any clues.

“I haven’t decided yet,” he told LA Kings Insider. “Lots of guys can play different positions. We’ll see what the Oilers are doing first.”

The big concern for Los Angeles is the type of injury Carter’s suffered — he’s been plagued by foot and ankle issues throughout his career:

— 2006: 20 games missed (left ankle injury)
— 2010: Eight games missed (left foot injury)
— 2010: 11 playoff games missed (right foot surgery)
— 2011: 10 games missed (fractured right foot)

Of note, the Kings are 11-5 with Carter in the lineup.

Update: Lisa Dillman of the LA Times tweets that Carter is on crutches, Rich Hammond notes he’s also in a walking boot.

Auston Matthews keeps goal streak alive, gives Leafs 1-0 lead in third

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These are the moments Toronto Maple Leafs fans were dreaming about when they drafted Auston Matthews. At least those bold enough to picture such great things, so soon in his career.

Speaking of so soon … that’s not how you’d describe a 1-0 goal happening in the third period of a game in this Leafs – Washington Capitals series, but it took that long to break the ice in Game 6.

It took a very lucky bounce for the puck to find its way to Matthews … but the finish was pure skill. With that, the remarkable rookie now has a goal in four straight games (with an assist thrown in for good measure).

The lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Marcus Johansson scored to tie it 1-1.

Things could get awfully nervous for Toronto as they try to force a decisive Game 7 in Washington, but that was a huge goal by Matthews either way.

Clarke MacArthur, Craig Anderson made Sens win that much more emotional

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It could have been over for Clarke MacArthur plenty of times during his turbulent NHL career. Scratch that, his turbulent hockey career.

His team walked away from his salary arbitration award. MacArthur’s seen plenty of people give up on him. And then, when he finally found a home with the Ottawa Senators, concussion issues threatened to end his playing days.

Yet, there he was on Sunday … drawing a penalty in overtime and then scoring on the ensuing power play to help the Senators advance beyond the Boston Bruins.

He didn’t deny that he imagined very different possibilities during his darker moments.

And, as uplifting as his story was – seriously, just watch this interview and try not to root for the guy – it wasn’t the only emotionally charged moment from Game 6.

Nicholle Anderson was on hand to cheer on Craig Anderson in this one, and the two were able to embrace after the contest:

As violent and intense as the playoffs can often be, MacArthur and Anderson reminded us of the gentler human side of it all.

Erik Karlsson played through hairline fractures in foot to help Sens advance

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Remember when many were keeping an eye on Erik Karlsson after he was seemingly cramping up after logging more than 40 minutes in an OT contest against the Boston Bruins?

It’s possible he was also dealing with that sort of ailment, but he earned some “hockey tough” kudos on Sunday after word surfaced that the Ottawa Senators defenseman was dealing with hairline fractures in his left heel through the series.

Sportsnet’s Jason York refers to the issue as “two small fractures” while ESPN’s Joe McDonald went into specifics, noting that Karlsson explains that the injury happened on March 28 (and was why he missed some games late in the season).

There’s some optimism as the Senators ready for the New York Rangers, at least according to Karlsson.

Hmm.

Either way, that’s impressive stuff from the Senators defenseman, and the sort of information that usually only surfaces after a team has been eliminated. We’ll see if he’s hindered by such issues as the playoffs go along.

Gaudreau, Granlund and Tarasenko: 2017 Lady Byng finalists

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The NHL officially announced the nominees for the 2017 Lady Byng on Sunday, and they’re a star-studded bunch: Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Granlund and Vladimir Tarasenko.

The PHWA determines “the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

(Did Tarasenko help eliminate Granlund’s team in a gentlemanly fashion?)

For more on the three finalists, click here.