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Ducks goalie Gibson out versus Capitals with lower-body injury

The Anaheim Ducks won’t have John Gibson in net tonight versus the Washington Capitals.

As you’ll note from Goalie Nods earlier in the day, the Ducks had not announced their starter for tonight’s game. Well, turns out, Gibson is dealing with a lower-body injury and is now listed as day-to-day, per an announcement from the club.

In a corresponding move, the Ducks recalled Jhonas Enroth from the American Hockey League. That means Jonathan Bernier could get the start, per Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register.

The Ducks face a Capitals team that has lost three in a row — all by the score of 4-2. Goals have been difficult to come by of late for Washington, which has boasted one of the highest scoring teams in the NHL all season.

Former NHLer Ryan Smyth injured after ‘blindside elbow’ in men’s senior game

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Former NHL forward Ryan Smyth was injured while playing for the Stony Plain Eagles senior men’s hockey team on Saturday, according to reports..

A veteran of more than 1,200 NHL games, and known mostly for his time with the Edmonton Oilers, Smyth lay “motionless” on the ice after an elbow to the head during an Allen Cup playoff game, per the Eagles.

From the Spruce Grove Examiner:

During Game 1 of the provincial finals in Lacombe on March 11, team captain Ryan Smyth took an elbow to the head from Generals winger Kyle Sheen. The incident occurred midway through the third period just after Smyth scored the go-ahead goal with a backhand rocket.

“Sheen was backtracking Smyth and made a beeline for him right after he released the puck with a blindside elbow to the face, leaving his feet,” Eagles head coach Mike Tavaroli said. “It was a dirty hit; Smytty was down and wasn’t moving. He’s going to be out for a while.”

Sheen was assessed a match penalty on the play and Tavaroli believes the league will step in with supplemental discipline. Sheen has averaged between two and four penalty minutes per game throughout his playing career.

The Eagles have since released a statement, saying Smyth is in “good spirits” and resting at his home in Edmonton.

Smyth played 1,270 NHL games, registering 842 points. He started his career in Edmonton before stops with the New York Islanders, Colorado Avalanche and L.A. Kings.

Goals just ‘aren’t coming easy’ for the Capitals right now

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The Washington Capitals remain one of the highest scoring teams in the NHL. They currently sit third in that category, averaging 3.21 goals-for per game.

But for a noticeably lengthy stretch now, the scoring has slowed. So, too, have the Capitals in the standings.

A recent three-game losing streak, following a loss to the L.A. Kings on Saturday, has allowed the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets to get within reach of Washington for top spot in the Metropolitan Division — not to mention the chance of winning the Presidents’ Trophy.

The Capitals have been held to two goals or less in seven of their last eight games. They have now lost three consecutive games by the score of 4-2 and only manufactured 19 shots on goal versus the Kings — facts not lost on the coach Barry Trotz.

“We’re going to have to score more than two goals. We haven’t scored too much lately,” he said following the loss in L.A.

“Just not coming easy. If they go in the net, we’re talking about four (goals) but we didn’t, so. You’ve got to fight through it. We’ve got to get to the net, we’ve got to shoot.”

Their power play, eighth best in the league right now, has scored only four times in 26 opportunities over this stretch. Alex Ovechkin, the most prolific and electrifying scorer of his era since coming into the league, has gone cold, without a goal in nine straight games. Nicklas Backstrom, a point per game player this season, has four points in his last eight games, which isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s not up to his typical standard of production.

That said, with a lineup this stacked with talent, it’s difficult to see this slump perpetuating. They visit the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, looking to end their losing streak and break out offensively.

Related: Kevin Shattenkirk suspended two games for charging

WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Red Wings

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The New York Rangers remain in a wild card spot, but they’ll look to keep pace for a top-three position in the Metropolitan Division when they face the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.

A win tonight versus the Red Wings would move the Rangers five points back of the division-leading (and currently struggling) Capitals.

You can catch the game (7 p.m. ET) on NBCSN or online with the NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

NHL ON NBCSN: Rangers expect Nash, Grabner back vs. Red Wings

Henrik Lundqvist out 2-3 weeks with lower body injury

Red Wings healthy scratch Mantha, call it a ‘teaching moment’

Radulov (lower-body injury) returns to Habs lineup versus Oilers

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Looking to take back top spot in the Atlantic Division, the Montreal Canadiens will get a boost to their lineup when they visit the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday.

Habs coach Claude Julien announced this afternoon that forward Alex Radulov, out the last 10 days with a lower-body injury, will play tonight.

Montreal is tied with the Ottawa Senators, winners of six in a row, with 84 points for the lead in the Atlantic. A single point would move the Habs back into the lead, albeit Ottawa would still have two games in hand following tonight.

Radulov has been one of the best acquisitions from last summer’s free agent signing period, returning to the NHL after spending the last four seasons in the KHL. In 63 games with the Habs, Radulov has 15 goals and 46 points.

The Habs will also have Paul Byron in their lineup tonight. He had been battling the flu, said Julien.