The Anaheim Ducks shuffled their lineup as they prepare to face the St. Louis Blues on Saturday and adjust to having Jonas Hiller out of action.
The 30-year-old netminder’s lower-body injury earned him a day-to-day designation, according to the OC Register. Because of that ailment, journeyman goalie Jeff Deslauriers, 28, will back up surging 30-year-old “rookie” Viktor Fasth tonight.
Anaheim’s moves weren’t just goalie-related, either.
The Ducks’ defense saw some minor alterations with Sami Vatanen, 21, and Jordan Hendry, 28, being sent to the minors. It appears that recent trade addition Ben Lovejoy, 28, pushed one of them out, while the Ducks hope that Cam Fowler, 21, can recover from a recent head injury enough to at least travel with the team during their upcoming three-game road trip.
The team also sent forward Devante Smith-Pelly, 20, to the minors on Tuesday.
Even with some shuffling, the Ducks are in a favorable position early on. Despite losing to the Dallas Stars 3-1 on Friday, Anaheim could move atop the Pacific Division with a win tonight after the San Jose Sharks lost to the Phoenix Coyotes 1-0 (SO) in the early evening.
They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.
The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.
In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.
The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.
Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.
The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).
McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: