Holzer

Recalls: Holzer (Toronto), Holden (Columbus) and Paajarvi (Edmonton)

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A trio of AHL recalls to pass your way:

Toronto recalls Holzer

The Maple Leafs have summoned Korbinian Holzer from the Marlies, according to the team website. Holzer, 24, has appeared in one game for the Leafs this season and will replace injured defenseman Carl Gunnarson (lower body.)

In 34 games with the Marlies this year, Holzer has 1G-7A-8PTS with a plus-9 rating.

Columbus recalls Holden

The Blue Jackets have brought up defenseman Nick Holden from Springfield to replace injured defenseman James Wisniewski.

Holden, 25, had four goals, 18 assists and a plus-13 rating in 44 games in the American Hockey League. He’s only appeared in five NHL games — the last coming in Oct. 2010 — and now joins a decidedly green Columbus blueline that also features John Moore, Tim Erixon and David Savard, all of whom are 22 or younger.

Wisniewski crashed hard into the end boards during Saturday’s 4-2 win over Detroit and there’s “no chance” he’ll be ready to play on Tuesday against Los Angeles, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Edmonton recalls Paajarvi

The Oilers are giving former first-round pick Magnus Paajarvi another kick at the NHL can, bringing him up from Oklahoma City to replace injured forward Eric Belanger.

Paajarvi, 20, spent the first five games of the NHL campaign with Edmonton before being sent down on Jan. 31. He scored zero points (with a minus-3 rating) in three games with the Oilers, but has fared much better at the AHL level, scoring 4G-16A-20PTS in 37 games.

Detroit recalls Tatar, Mrazek

The Red Wings have brought up winger Tomas Tatar and goalie Petr Mrazek from Grand Rapids.

Tatar will suit up when the Wings play Calgary on Tuesday, according to the Detroit Free Press. The 22-year-old has 19 goals and 20 assists for 39 points in 44 games for the Griffins this year, and could play on one of the Wings’ top two lines against the Flames.

Update: Carolina has recalled Tim Wallace for tonight’s game against Toronto.

Video: Drouin equalizes, but Rust strikes again 30 seconds later

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Bryan Rust is really having himself a series.

After opening the scoring in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, Rust took matters into his own hands after Jonathan Drouin evened the score for Tampa Bay, notching his second goal of the game — just 30 seconds after Drouin scored — to put Pittsburgh back out in front, 2-1.

Before digging into the Rust goal (posted above), let’s take a moment to appreciate Drouin’s snipe, one that whizzed by Pittsburgh netminder Matt Murray:

Now, back to Rust.

With that second goal he’s now racked up eight points for the playoffs, just three back of the 11 he put up over the course of the entire regular season. The former Notre Dame standout has become a major storyline, and now sits tied with Patric Hornqvist for the team lead in even-strength playoff goals.

Not bad for a guy that spent a fair chunk of the year in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, eh?

Video: Rust opens scoring in Game 7

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What an Eastern Conference Final for Bryan Rust.

Rust scored his second goal of the series — and third point in as many games — to open the scoring on Friday night, giving the Penguins a 1-0 lead over the Lighting at Consol.

After scoring just 11 points during the regular season, Rust — in just his second season at the NHL level — now has seven points in 16 playoff games, and has emerged as a vital bottom-six contributor in the process.

Chris Kunitz and Evgeni Malkin notched assists on Rust’s goal, which came early in the second period. The Pens out-shot the Bolts 8-5 in the first period, but were unable to get one past Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Oh, and speaking of Kunitz, he’s also produced extremely well in this series — he now has six points in his last five games.

Shock of Lightning: Stamkos will play

Steven Stamkos
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He’s in.

As if Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final couldn’t get any more dramatic, it has — Tampa Bay captain Steve Stamkos, who hasn’t played since Mar. 31, will make his playoff debut against the Penguins tonight.

Stamkos underwent vascular surgery in early April to correct a blood clotting issue, and has remained on blood thinners ever since. While there’s been no confirmation he’s off medication, he did tell Sportsnet he’d be able to return to the lineup once he was.

More:

Stamkos reiterated that he’s still on the same prescription of blood thinners he was given earlier this month. He takes a 12-hour dosage, twice a day, and it has been suggested to him that once he is cleared to stop taking the medication, Stamkos conceivably could return to the Lightning lineup almost immediately.

That’s why I’m trying to stay in shape,” he said.

Per NHL.com, Stamkos took the warmup and participated in line rushes centering Ondrej Palat and Ryan Callahan.

It’s been exactly eight weeks since Stamkos played his last game. At the time of his diagnosis, the Lightning said his timetable for recovery was 1-3 months.

To say his return will be a boost is a major understatement. Aside from the emotional factor, Stamkos led the Bolts in goals this year, with 36, and would presumably spark a power play that’s gone just 2-for-12 in the series.

 

Drama builds as Stamkos takes Game 7 warmup

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 26:  Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on February 26, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. The Lightning shutout the Devils 4-0.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Steve Stamkos took the team bus to tonight’s Eastern Conference Game 7 in Pittsburgh. As TVA noted, it was the first time he’s arrived early for a game in these playoffs.

In his pregame presser, Bolts head coach Jon Cooper refused to answer any questions about Stamkos’ availability.

And then Stamkos took the warmup.

As such, the drama surrounding Tampa Bay’s captain has reached an all-time high. Stamkos, who’s been out of the lineup since early April due to blood clots, looks as though he’s on the verge of an emotional comeback as the Lightning try to win an ECF Game 7 — on the road — for a second consecutive season.

“If Stamkos is in the lineup, it’s our best foot forward,” Cooper said. “If he’s not in the lineup, it’s because he wasn’t eligible to play.”

No word if No. 91 is still on the blood thinning medication he’s been taking since undergoing vascular surgery on Apr. 4.

Stay tuned…