Some injury news and updates to pass along:
Nashville forward Patric Hornqvist has resumed skating after suffering a knee injury in late January.
The 26-year-old Swede only appeared in five games for the Preds before landing on IR, and the team has missed his offensive production mightily.
Hornqvist had 1G-3A-4PTS prior to getting hurt and is a three-time 20-goal scorer, potting a career-best 30 in 2009-10.
Nashville has the league’s worst offense (1.77 goals per game) and is hopeful Hornqvist will return to practice next week.
Chicago Blackhawks agitator Daniel Carcillo has also returned to the ice.
Carcillo has been out of the Chicago lineup since suffering a knee injury in the team’s opening game of the season, but recently began skating with fellow injured ‘Hawk Steve Montador (concussion).
Carcillo remains on IR, but the club is optimistic he can return to full practice in the near future.
“He’s doing good,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville told the Chicago Tribune. “Danny is still not in our practices yet, but hopefully at some point this week he might get injected into our practices.”
Washington forward Brooks Laich — who has yet to dress for the Capitals this season — has been cleared for practice contact, according to Katie Carrera of the Washington Times.
The 29-year-old center injured his groin while playing for Kloten of the Swiss league during the lockout.
Caps head coach Adam Oates brought Laich along on Washington’s latest road trip — the Caps won 6-5 in OT in Florida on Tuesday, and will now to go Tampa Bay and New York (Rangers) — and the club is hopeful he can participate in practice while they’re on the road.
The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.
Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.
With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.
It was a thrilling, sometimes nasty contest, from Sidney Crosby shaking off an Alex Ovechkin slash, to Evgeni Malkin delivering a hit some thought was over the line and plenty of typical playoff skirmishes.
Ultimately, Matt Murray played another strong game and Patric Hornqvist scored the overtime-winner to put the Capitals in a tough spot.
The Penguins lost their previous eight playoff overtime games, so maybe it was just a matter of time before such a game went their way?
Then again, the history between the two teams is a little different:
If the Capitals want to advance beyond the second round for the first time in the Ovechkin era, they’ll need to accomplish quite the feat against arguably the hottest team in the NHL.
Sidney Crosby is known to get fiery, but even for his feisty standards, he was furious during the third period of Game 4.
An Alex Ovechkin slash caught Crosby on the hand, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins star shaking his mitt and pleading for a call.
After that, Crosby left to get his hand looked at … but not before flipping out and destroying his stick.
You can watch it happen in the GIF and the videos above.
Crosby was able to return not that long after that moment, although we can only speculate regarding how his overall game will be affected if his hand isn’t 100 percent.
Tensions seem to rise with every passing game in the playoffs, particularly in a series with bad blood like the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.
Kris Letang was suspended for his hit in Game 3, and some wonder if Evgeni Malkin should suffer a similar fate for his check on Daniel Winnik on Wednesday.
Winnik left the contest and has not yet returned during the third period.
Take a look at the hit in the video above and decide for yourself.
Fires devastated the Canadian city of Fort McMurray, and the St. Louis Blues are doing their part to help those who were affected.
Here’s what the team is doing to raise money during Game 4 against the Dallas Stars:
Proceeds raised through the team’s 50/50 raffle and the Blues for Kids silent auction will benefit families who have been misplaced by the fires.
Blues forward Scottie Upshall shared his thoughts with the Associated Press regarding several family members being among those evacuated from the area.
“It’s been a great city, a city that’s survived for many years through some tough times and for me, growing up there doesn’t seem too long ago,” Upshall said. “Places that probably aren’t standing anymore will be really, really tough to take. But as long as everyone’s OK, that’s the main thing.”
Other people from around the hockey world weighed in on the scary scene, including Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, who told the Ottawa Citizen that “it hurts a lot.”
People shared some scary sights from the evacuation.