UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 17: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders in action against the Tampa Bay Lightning during their game at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on December 17, 2013 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Tavares recovers after streak breaking one-game absence


New York Islanders captain John Tavares’ streak of 246 consecutive games played came to an end Saturday, but the team confirmed that he’ll be back for tonight’s match against the Minnesota Wild.

The Islanders have to be relieved that Tavares’ lower-body injury didn’t turn out to be anything serious. As it is they’re 11-21-7 this season and are averaging just 2.38 goals per game. Losing Tavares for an extended period of time would have killed what little hope they still have of making the playoffs.

Without him, the Islanders suffered a 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils last night.

Even with the team struggling offensively, Tavares has managed to scored 13 goals and 39 points in 38 games this season. In other words, this is shaping up to be his third straight campaign of averaging roughly a point per game.

After tonight’s match, the Islanders will head to Boston to play on Tuesday and complete their stretch of three games in four nights.

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?