Daniel Alfredsson

Alfredsson (back) out for Wings tonight, Andersson to face B’s

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The Red Wings’ oldest player will sit tonight as their opening-round series with Boston shifts to the Joe.

Daniel Alfredsson will miss Game 3 with a back injury, the Wings have announced, and he’ll be replaced by Joakim Andersson on a line with Darren Helm and Tomas Jurco.

Alfredsson, 41, has struggled at times during this series, playing just 12:14 in the Game 1 victory over the B’s and 17:03 in Sunday’s 4-1 loss. The veteran Swede has no goals, no assists, no points and no shots on goal thus far, suggesting he’s far from 100 percent.

Andersson, 25, could provide a spark for a Detroit team that looked flat in the aforementioned Game 2 defeat. He was a solid contributor last postseason — five points in 14 games, playing over 13 minutes a night — and is coming off a regular season in which he posted a career-high eight goals and 17 points.

The rest of head coach Mike Babcock’s lines remain unchanged aside from Andersson’s insertion. Pavel Datsyuk will still man the top unit between Johan Franzen and Justin Abdelkader, while Riley Sheahan is the center on the No. 2 line between Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist. Drew Miller, David Legwand and Luke Glendening are on the fourth line.


Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.