Columbus Blue Jackets v San Jose Sharks

After 16-game absence, Murray back for Columbus


The Columbus Blue Jackets will get a huge boost in their hunt for the playoffs on Friday against Chicago, as rookie defenseman Ryan Murray will return to the lineup for the first time in over a month.

Murray, who went out with a knee injury against Toronto on Mar. 3, has missed the last 16 games as a result. The No. 2 overall pick at the ’12 draft was a key contributor on the Columbus back end prior to getting hurt, notching 20 points in 61 games while averaging over 20 minutes per night.

The Blue Jackets head into tonight in sole possession of the final wild card spot in the East, one point up on idle Toronto with two games in hand. They’d love to get a result against the ‘Hawks but will be hard pressed to do so — the last time the two played, back on Mar. 6, Chicago laid a 6-1 whipping on Columbus at the United Center.

Related: After big win in Philly, Jackets need to keep their ‘foot on the pedal’


Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.