Tampa Bay Lightning v New Jersey Devils

Volchenkov, Zidlicky return to Devils’ practice

New Jersey Devils fans can breathe a sigh of relief after Anton Volchenkov and Marek Zidlicky showed up for Saturday’s practice. Both players were victims of huge hits in Game 5 on Tuesday of the Devils’ second round series against the Philadelphia Flyers. New Jersey won that game and has been waiting to find out who their opponent for the Eastern Conference Finals will be.

Devils coach Peter DeBoer previously said that he expects them to play in Game 1 of the next round, but neither player participated in Thursday’s practice. New Jersey didn’t have a practice scheduled for Friday.

Losing Zidlicky in particular would have been problematic for the Devils as he’s the team’s postseason leader in playing time per game and has been a significant part of their success with the man advantage. Volchenkov is more of a defensive defenseman and has been limited to 15:21 minutes per contest in the playoffs.

Sharks name Pavelski captain; Thornton, Couture alternates

Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton
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Joe Pavelski is the new captain of the San Jose Sharks. The club made the announcement today via Twitter.

The former captain, Joe Thornton, will be an alternate captain, along with Logan Couture.

Pavelski, 31, was the Sharks’ leading scorer last season, finishing with 37 goals and 33 assists. He’s also signed through 2018-19, so giving him the ‘C’ makes sense from a long-term stability perspective.

Couture, 26, is also signed through 2018-19, while Thornton, 36, only has two years left on his contract.

The Sharks had four alternate captains (Thornton, Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic) in 2014-15, but no captain.

Related: DeBoer says Sharks will have a captain next season

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.