According to Fox Sports Arizona, Marc-Antoine Pouliot will draw back into the lineup for the Coyotes this evening, replacing the suspended Martin Hanzal.
Pouliot, 26, will be making his Western Conference finals debut. He hasn’t played since Game 4 of the Nashville series — a 1-0 Phoenix win — and has appeared in five postseason contests all told, registering one assist.
It remains unclear what line Pouliot will play on because all Coyotes practices during the Stanley Cup playoffs are closed to the public, something Coyotes Senior Director of News Content Dave Vest pointed out to Twitter user OG Pimpbot.
Update: According to NHL.com, Daymond Langkow will move from the fourth line into Hanzal’s spot between Radim Vrbata and Taylor Pyatt. Pouliot will play somewhere on the fourth line.
FSN Arizona also reports that defenseman Michael Stone will play in his second straight contest tonight, paired with veteran blueliner Rostislav Klesla.
Stone, 21, made his playoff debut in Tuesday’s 4-0 loss, playing 12:15 in place of the injured Adrian Aucoin.
It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?
OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.
Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.
There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:
Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.
In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.
The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.
At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.
As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.
The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.
All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.