James O'Brien

Montreal Canadiens left wing Daniel Carr (43) celebrates scoring a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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Habs’ Carr injured, won’t return to Monday’s game

Daniel Carr gave the Montreal Canadiens a shot in the arm in his return to the lineup, but that appears to be short-lived.

The Habs announced that Carr won’t return to Monday’s contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets thanks to a lower-body injury.

There isn’t video available of the moment of injury (yet?). Here’s a GIF that makes it look like it could be knee-related:

Ouch. Carr isn’t a major contributor for the Canadiens. Still, this struggling team can use all the help they can get.

Stamkos plays coy about contract rumors

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Did the Tampa Bay Lightning really offer Steven Stamkos an eight-year, $68 million contract?

We may not know for some time – if ever – but Stamkos isn’t telling. He wasn’t being very forthcoming with the Tampa Bay Tribune on Monday, as you can see.

“Whether it was true or not, there has been a lot said — things that haven’t been true, and people have said things that are true,” Stamkos said. “And you have to make a story when things are not going on. So, all the stuff that we have talked about will stay internal and we’ll go from there.’’

OK, then.

According to many commenters, an $8.5 million annual salary probably wouldn’t be able to lock Stamkos down, even with the familiarity and chance to compete in Tampa Bay.

Chances are, if the years and dollars are right, Stamkos won’t need to be so guarded.

Of course, it could easily take months for that to happen.

Panthers sign Aleksander Barkov to reported six-year, $35.4M extension

Aleksander Barkov, Riley Sheahan
AP
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The 2015-16 season seems to be one in which all that potential is finally paying off for the Florida Panthers, and key figures keeping getting paid for their good efforts.

Multiple sources, including the Miami Herald’s George Richards, report that the Panthers signed Aleksander Barkov to a six-year, $35.4 million contract extension on Monday.

That works out to a $5.9 million cap hit for a high draft pick who’s really coming into his own, especially when he’s on an underrated top line with Jonathan Huberdeau and Jaromir Jagr.

As Richards notes, the Panthers soak up a couple expensive years that would have gone to unrestricted free agency.

This comes on the heels of front office members being locked up, as the Panthers are keeping GM Dale Tallon and head coach Gerard Gallant around long-term, as well.

We’ll see if anything comes from the team itself today, as Richards believes most of the official word will surface tomorrow.

WATCH LIVE: Buffalo Sabres at New York Rangers

Buffalo Sabres' Rasmus Ristolainen (55) defends New York Rangers' Derick Brassard (16) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 10, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP

When you look at the increasingly congested Eastern Conference bubble – just cross of the Capitals and Panthers to really get the picture – the New York Rangers possess an edge. But it’s not a large one.

Alain Vigneault seemed alarmed after watching his team (deservedly?) get shut out by the Senators yesterday, so there’s an added urgency to this home game against the Buffalo Sabres. They’ll need to grab a win without Rick Nash for another game, to boot.

The Sabres are going through growing pains, but there’s still talent on tap in the likes of Jack Eichel, Rasmus Ristolainen and Ryan O'Reilly. Watch one team with more present-oriented hopes take on a possible team of the future on NBCSN, and also via the stream below.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

For more on this contest, check out the full preview.

No Nash again tonight for Rangers, who are scratching Boyle

New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) celebrates with right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) and defenseman Dan Boyle (22) after scoring a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
AP

It looks like the New York Rangers were a little too optimistic on Sunday.

In announcing that Rick Nash would miss yesterday’s game (an eventual 3-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators, which left Alain Vigneault very disappointed), they felt like Nash would play today. That’s not the case, as he’ll sit out today’s contest against the Buffalo Sabres.

Nash hurt himself blocking a shot, and it sounds like he’ll be sidelined through All-Star weekend.

Dan Boyle won’t be in the Rangers’ lineup, either, although that appears to be a coach’s decision. Dylan McIlrath instead takes his place.

The East bubble race is getting pretty congested, so the Rangers would be wise to get back on the winning track, even if they need to do so without their key power forward.