Devan Dubnyk, Dustin Brown

Yakupov to play tonight versus Penguins


After sitting and watching two games as a healthy scratch, Edmonton forward Nail Yakupov will be back playing tonight in Pittsburgh, according to Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins.

Edmonton (1-4-1) lost both games without Yakupov in the lineup, 6-5 in overtime to Toronto Saturday and 4-2 Sunday in Washington.

The decision by Eakins to scratch the 20-year-old former first overall pick has led to all sorts of conjecture, from the chances of a trade to even the possibility that Yakupov returns to Russia to play in the KHL.

In reality, Yakupov was first scratched after four games in which he failed to register a point. Then, after the Oilers played well enough to win versus the Leafs, Eakins scratched him again for the Washington game.

We won’t completely discount the chances of a trade down the line, if only because the Oilers have so many talented young forwards and are weak in other areas. But for now, let’s see how Yakupov does tonight in Pittsburgh against a Penguins side that could fill the net if Edmonton doesn’t get some halfway decent goaltending.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?