James O'Brien

John Tavares

John Tavares aims for Thursday return vs. Habs


The good news is that John Tavares seems to think that he’s ready to return to action.

The slightly less good news is that the New York Islanders actually need to OK it.

Tavares told media members including Newsday’s Arthur Staple that he hopes to face the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

He apparently lost some weight from flu-like symptoms that sidelined him for three games, but he believes he’s “close to that.”

“I want to play,” Tavares said. “I feel good, I felt pretty good on the ice today and I just want to get back out there.”

The Isles went 1-1-1 with Tavares out of the lineup. If Jack Capuano decides he wants to give Tavares a little more time and rest him on Thursday, the Isles’ next game is against the Bruins on Nov. 8.

Alternatively, playing him tomorrow – maybe sparingly? – could be a decent move because of that gap.

Hey, it’s a long season, and the best news may be that his illness seemingly really was an illness … instead of an “illness.”


Dreger: McDavid’s best-case scenario is 7-8 weeks


Darren Dreger spoke with NBCSN’s Liam McHugh on Wednesday, giving more details on Connor McDavid‘s injury situation.

The most direct news for Edmonton Oilers fans: the best-case scenario for McDavid’s return would be a window of seven-to-eight weeks.

Hopefully you note that it’s a best-case scenario, although hockey players – especially ones as devoted as McDavid – sometimes beat even optimistic outlooks.

Still, this is a broken clavicle we’re talking about, so it could be a significantly bigger problem for all we know.

Dreger provides more sensory details in the video above, including talk of a “clean break.”

WATCH LIVE: St. Louis Blues at Chicago Blackhawks

Viktor Tikhonov, David Backes

The St. Louis Blues have to hope that they can make like the Los Angeles Kings tonight.

On Tuesday, the Blues were the rested team while the Kings were wrapping up a back-to-back, yet Los Angeles took it to St. Louis.

Now the shoe is on the other foot, as the Blues visit the Blackhawks in Chicago one night after being manhandled by Los Angeles. It’s already a fun Central Division matchup between a Blackhawks team that’s had the Blues’ number, and this context only makes it more of a test for St. Louis.

You can watch the game on NBCSN and also stream it online via the link below.


Blue Jackets put Clarkson on IR, recall Rychel

Cory Schneider, David Clarkson

Updating an item from earlier on Wednesday, the Columbus Blue Jackets placed David Clarkson on injured reserve and recalled Kerby Rychel, as the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline reports.

This post goes into deeper detail regarding how Clarkson was hurt.

In a nutshell, he got injured while “tangled up” with Joe Thornton during Tuesday’s 5-2 Blue Jackets win against the Sharks.

Clarkson is likely relieved to be out from under the harsh spotlight in Toronto, yet it’s not as if life has gone perfectly in Columbus, either. He’s been hampered by injuries essentially from day one, and it doesn’t look like things are getting any easier anytime soon.


Habs grab point without Price, but Sens take it in OT


MONTREAL (AP) It was the Ottawa Senators’ fifth game that went to overtime this season and they finally got a goal.

Kyle Turris scored 34 seconds into the extra period to lift the Senators to a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens, a team playing its first overtime of the season.

“This was one of our best games of the year,” said Turris, putting it on par with a 3-1 win in Detroit on Oct. 30. “To come into this building against a team that’s been so hot lately, it’s a big one for us.

“We haven’t been very good at home but Thursday (against Winnipeg) will be a good opportunity to keep this going.”

The Senators’ first four overtime games went to shootouts – two wins and two losses.

Turris was glad Montreal used only one defenseman (Jeff Petry) in the new 3-on-3 overtime format. Some opponents start two defensemen and try to force the game to go to a shootout.

“You’re constantly moving, trying to keep possession of the puck and create something,” Turris said. “But if you just play defensive the whole time it kind of defeats the purpose of playing fun, entertaining hockey and it just goes to a shootout.”

Montreal went on the attack in the overtime, but a turnover saw Mike Hoffman carry the puck up the left side and feed Turris for his eighth goal of the season.

“It was our first time,” Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. “We lost the puck and you can’t do that.

“But we will learn from our first experience.”

Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored for Ottawa, while Dale Weise scored for Montreal.

The Canadiens outshot Ottawa 37-27.

Rookie goalie Mike Condon, filling in for the injured Carey Price for a third straight game, had another strong outing even if he didn’t get the win. His record to start his NHL career is 4-0-1.

Condon made a spectacular glove save near the end of a scoreless first period to prevent Cody Ceci from finishing a 2-on-1 with Pageau.

Pageau opened the scoring shorthanded 3:16 into the second period. After P.K. Subban fanned on a shot from the point, Pageau went in on a breakaway and beat Condon between the pads.

It was Pageau `s fourth goal and sixth point in eight career games against the Canadiens, including a near-identical short-handed goal in Montreal’s win in Ottawa on Oct. 11. He had a hat trick against them in the 2013 playoffs.

Weise tied it on a power play at 6:13, completing a passing play with Andrei Markov and Alex Galchenyuk. It was Weise’s seventh goal, three short of his career high set last season and tying Max Pacioretty for the team lead.

“I feel good,” Weise said. “I’m playing with some great players.

“Davey (David Desharnais) is so underrated it’s not even funny. Flash (Tomas Fleischmann) has amazing hands. And getting chances on the power play helps. I’m just going to try and stay consistent and try to put in as many as I can.”

Montreal had two goals nullified after video review – one by Tomas Plekanec in the first period because Brendan Gallagher interfered with goaltender Craig Anderson and another by Alex Chiasson in the third due to a quick whistle.

NOTES: Ottawa’s Mark Stone served the first of his two-game suspension. His spot on the top line was taken by Curtis Lazar. … Montreal sent D Greg Pateryn to St. John’s in the AHL for a conditioning stint. Although healthy, Pateryn has yet to play in a game this season.