Washington’s 3-1 loss to Ottawa tonight may have been more destructive than just hurting their hold on the Southeast Division.
Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom did not take a shift from the mid-point of the third period on and the team announced he would not return to the game with an upper body injury. On his last shift of the game, he was struck in the arm by a shot from teammate Mike Green.
After the game, Caps coach Adam Oates said they would reevaluate Backstrom on Friday, meanwhile Green says he hopes Backstrom is all right.
“It caught him in the arm. He’s alright but definitely gave him a bruise so I hope everything’s ok,” Green said.
If Backstrom is hurt more seriously than is being let on, it’s a huge blow. He’s been their top playmaker this season and is second only to Alex Ovechkin on the team in points. While Ovechkin’s done it with goals, Backstrom is all about the assists with 38 of his 44 points coming on helpers.
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: