The Minnesota Wild will get a big boost on defense tonight against Tampa Bay as defenseman Jared Spurgeon will play for the first time since breaking his foot in early January.
“We’re anxious to see where his game’s at,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said, per NHL.com. “If he can step in and be close to the level that he was at before he got hurt, we’re a lot stronger for it.”
Spurgeon, 24, has missed the last 14 game and was a key member of the Wild blueline prior to breaking his foot. He averaged nearly 22 minutes per game over his first 43 contests, recording 12 points with a plus-6 rating. He’ll pair with Marco Scandella tonight.
The Alberta native had a productive 2013 campaign, scoring 15 points in 39 games while again averaging over 21 minutes per night. As a result, the Wild inked Spurgeon to a three-year, $8 million extension this past summer.
PHT Morning Skate: Shane Doan takes a (friendly) shot at the Miracle on Ice
The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.
Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.
With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.
Trevor Daley, traded to Blackhawks for Sharp & Johns and to #Pens for Scuderi (who was flipped to LA for Ehrhoff) played 28:41 in G4 W.