Author: James O'Brien

Ottawa Senators v Minnesota Wild

Quick hits: Wild scratch Bergenheim, Pens’ Perron out sick

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Quite a lot is happening this Saturday afternoon, so here’s an attempt to gather some of the smaller bits in one spot, whether you use this information for fantasy purposes or just general information:

  • The Minnesota Wild made trade deadline acquisition Sean Bergenheim a healthy scratch on Saturday, putting Ryan Carter in the lineup instead. In an odd quirk, Bergenheim (pictured) has the same paltry production as fellow scratch Devante Smith-Pelly: just one point in 15 games with his new team.
  • As much as the Pittsburgh Penguins are approaching full-strength, there are still setbacks. David Perron’s out sick today, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari.
  • The Philadelphia Flyers are dealing with some flu issues that are sidelining defensemen Mark Streit and Carlo Colaiacovo. NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman shares their modified defensive pairings here.
  • Lubomir Visnovsky returns to the New York Islanders’ defensive lineup.

Holtby doesn’t even last 15 minutes vs. Preds

Braden Holtby

It was an early start for Braden Holtby on Saturday, and it looks like his afternoon will be done early, too.

The Washington Capitals’ starter is having a rough afternoon as the Nashville Predators chased him with three goals on 13 shots. Holtby didn’t quite make it through 15 minutes of the first period before giving way to Justin Peters.

The final goal Holtby allowed was a ruthless snipe by Filip Forsberg.

Goalie nods: Lundqvist won’t get to ease back in

Henrik Lundqvist
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All the latest from the blue paint…

Long live the King?

As already noted earlier today, it appears as though Henrik Lundqvist will make his return to the New York Rangers’ net as they face the Boston Bruins (who most likely will roll with Tuukka Rask).

Normally, this would be a cause for outright glee, and it’s true that “King Henrik” will be gladly welcomed back into the fold. Still, the Rangers have been on a tear thanks in a large part to Cam Talbot’s wonderful play in Hank’s absence, so it remains to be seen if New York sees a little fall-off.

Let there be no doubt that the Bruins will send their best at Lundqvist, so this isn’t exactly an example of easing a player back into the mix.

This is just one of several games during an unusually busy Saturday afternoon, so hopefully hockey fans already got their errands (and napping) done today.

Elsewhere:

Predators at Capitals: Pekka Rinne vs. Braden Holtby

Ducks at Islanders: Probably Frederik Andersen vs. Michal Neuvirth

Sharks at Flyers: Alex Stalock vs. (likely) Steve Mason

Coyotes at Penguins: Mike Smith vs. Thomas Greiss

Lightning at Red Wings: Likely Ben Bishop s. Petr Mrazek

Senators at Maple Leafs: Craig Anderson vs. James Reimer

Panthers at Canadiens: Roberto Luongo vs. Carey Price

Devils at Hurricanes: Keith Kinkaid vs. Cam Ward

Blue Jackets at Blues: Likely Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Brian Elliott

Kings at Wild: Likely Jonathan Quick vs. Devan Dubnyk

Sabres at Avalanche: ANders Lindback vs. Semyon Varlamov

Stars at Canucks: Maybe Kari Lehtonen vs. Eddie Lack

Preds’ Weber out with a lower-body injury

Winnipeg Jets v Nashville Predators

The Nashville Predators are aiming to clinch a playoff spot on Saturday, but they’ll face the Washington Capitals without Shea Weber.

The all-star defenseman is out with a lower-body injury, which is considered a day-to-day issue, according to the team. It’s not immediately obvious how, exactly, the hard-shooting blueliner got hurt.

Weber, 29, has 15 goals and 45 points in 75 games so far this season. He’s a big part of a Predators defense that can create a lot of offense.

Check today’s various playoff-clinching scenarios here.

Take a look at Nashville’s defensive pairing sans-Shea:

Today’s NHL playoff clinching scenarios

Nashville Predators v Anaheim Ducks
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Generally speaking, if a team can clinch a playoff berth about two weeks before the season’s over, they’re probably in great shape.

Still, fans of teams probably want to know it’s a sure thing to start throwing some confetti, so here are four teams’ clinching scenarios for Saturday:

  • The Montreal Canadiens would clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Panthers in any fashion OR if the Rangers defeat the Bruins in any fashion OR if they get one point against the Panthers AND the Bruins defeat the Rangers in a shootout.
  • The Anaheim Ducks would clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Islanders in any fashion OR if they lose to the Islanders in overtime or a shootout. (Update: Anaheim won, so they’re in.)
  • The Tampa Bay Lightning would clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Red Wings in any fashion OR if they get one point against the Red Wings AND the Rangers defeat the Bruins in any fashion OR if the Rangers defeat the Bruins in regulation.
  • The Nashville Predators would clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Capitals in any fashion. (Update: Nashville did it.)

Hey, at least Nashville’s situation is straightforward enough.