Sounds as though veteran Pittsburgh d-man Brooks Orpik will be held out for a second straight game tonight as the Pens get their first crack at eliminating the Blue Jackets.
From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
[Orpik] did not participate in a morning practice at Nationwide Arena. Instead, he spent time riding a stationary bike outside the visitors’ dressing room.
Orpik was not wearing any braces on either his knees or ankles, and did not have any part of his mid- to lower-body areas wrapped in ice or heat.
Orpik did not play in the Penguins’ home Game 5 victory on Saturday night. Team policy is not to provide specifics regarding injury during the playoffs, but Orpik walked gingerly after the contest.
The rugged blueliner had been a constant presence through the first four games of the series, playing at least 21 minutes a night while logging 28:02 in a Game 2 OT loss.
With Orpik out, Robert Bortuzzo is likely to draw in again for the second straight game. Bortuzzo played just over 13 minutes in Saturday’s 3-1 win, registering three shots on goal, two blocked shots and two hits.
It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?
OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.
Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.
There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:
Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.
In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.
The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.
At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.
As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.
The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.
All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.