Ruutu, 30, didn’t play in either of the Hurricanes’ first two exhibition contests — a 5-4 loss to Columbus and a 5-2 loss to Buffalo — but will rejoin his mates for tonight’s game against Montreal, the first of back-to-back games against the Habs.
It will mark a significant comeback for Ruutu, who had his 2013 campaign book-ended by a pair of hip surgeries.
The first, a procedure done in early January, sidelined the Finn for the majority of the season. Ruutu made his ’13 debut on Mar. 21 and proceeded to appear in just 17 games, scoring nine points.
Once the season was finished, Ruutu went in for a second hip procedure in May, one that has kept him from fully participating in Carolina’s camp.
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With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.