On Tuesday, New York announced that defenseman Marc Staal has been diagnosed with a concussion stemming from a hit on Saturday from Devils forward Reid Boucher.
“[Staal has been] diagnosed with a concussion,” head coach Alain Vigneault explained. “Doctors feel it isn’t as serious as in the past.”
Staal, 26, has a long history with concussion and head injuries. He missed 36 games during the 2011-12 campaign with a concussion following a hit from his brother, Eric, and missed 27 games during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign after taking a puck to the eye against Philadelphia.
As a result, Staal has played sparingly over the last two years and had some difficulty reclaiming the form that saw him score 29 points in 77 games during the 2010-11 campaign, averaging over 25 minutes per.
He currently has just two goals and one assist through 30 games this year, and is averaging under 20 minutes TOI — one of the lowest totals of his career.
The Rangers originally said Staal was being treated for a stiff neck following the Devils game — he missed Sunday’s loss to Washington — so it’ll be interesting to see how his recovery will be handled. The Rangers are in the midst of a record-long nine-game homestand and Vigneault has been critical of his team’s defense this season, Staal included.
You know a playoff series is starting to rev up when teams can’t even peacefully share an ice surface during warm-ups.
The New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to draw a red line in the sand between each other before Game 3, with the two sides exchanging a couple bumps and mean looks.
It’s … honestly a pretty amusing spectacle.
You can watch it all in the video above. Perhaps this GIF will fuel a meme or two:
Brian Boyle downplayed the exchange(s):
The Pittsburgh Penguins recalled tough guys Tom Sestito and Steve Oleksy from the AHL on Tuesday.
This move makes a sense for a couple of reasons.
Most clearly, things are getting nasty between the Penguins and Washington Capitals, so Pittsburgh is bringing in a couple of brutes. Each player isn’t shy about piling up penalty minutes, whether that be in the NHL or AHL.
The other reason: with injuries and Kris Letang‘s suspension, Oleksy could provide some depth. Justin Schultz is motivated to prove himself, yet Oleksy provides a little insurance.
Is it the ideal scenario in a big playoff game? Nope, but if brute force ends up being a factor, the Penguins added some muscle.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will look to take the series lead for the first time against the New York Islanders, who are trying to regain the advantage on home ice at the Barclays Center after a split in Tampa Bay. You can catch Game 3 between these teams on NBCSN (7 p.m. ET) or online with the NBC Sports’ Live Extra.
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Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
Strome saga continues, will be a healthy scratch for Game 3
Halak practices fully, hoping to be back soon
Artem Anisimov on Tuesday underwent successful surgery on his injured right wrist, the Chicago Blackhawks announced.
“We anticipate his return to full hockey activities in approximately six to eight weeks,” said team physician Dr. Michael Terry in a statement.
The news comes eight days after the Blackhawks were ousted in the first round, eliminated in seven games by the St. Louis Blues.
Acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in last summer’s blockbuster deal for Brandon Saad, the 27-year-old Anisimov enjoyed the second 20-goal season of his career and fell just two points shy of his previous career best of 44 when he was with the New York Rangers.
He played the bulk of this season on a line with two highly skilled players in Patrick Kane, the league-leader in points with 106, and Artemi Panarin, named as a Calder Trophy finalist on Monday.
In March, Anisimov was named to Russia’s preliminary roster for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey, although the recovery schedule outlined above should allow plenty of time for Anisimov to be physically ready for the tournament when it begins in September.
Related: Three major challenges facing the Chicago Blackhawks, who won’t be champs in 2016