Jason Brough

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 21: Tuomo Ruutu #15 of the New Jersey Devils in action against the New York Islanders during the third period at the Prudential Center on March 21, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
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Devils’ Ruutu fined $5,000 for slew-footing

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Devils forward Tuomo Ruutu has been fined $5,000 for slew-footing Pittsburgh’s Matt Cullen on Sunday.

The fine is the maximum allowable under the CBA.

Ruutu received a minor penalty on the play, which occurred in the third period of the Penguins’ 6-1 victory.

Video of the incident:

Jackets activate Bobrovsky — can he stay healthy this time?

Sergei Bobrovsky
AP
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The Columbus Blue Jackets have activated goalie Sergei Bobrovsky off injured reserve and, in a corresponding move, assigned goalie Joonas Korpisalo to AHL Lake Erie.

Bobrovsky is expected to start Friday versus Pittsburgh. The 27-year-old hasn’t played since January, when he suffered yet another groin injury.

The Jackets were committed to not rushing Bobrovsky back from his latest groin issue. In the words of GM Jarmo Kekalainen, they wanted to do “everything that’s possible to make sure he gets back to 100 percent and playing and sustaining that, rather than this back and forth.”

Bobrovsky returned to practice last week.

“I did some splits,” he told the Columbus Dispatch. “I did some reaction stuff. I felt pretty good.”

As for Korpisalo, the 21-year-old rookie showed well in the NHL. He leaves the Jackets with a 14-8-4 record and .918 save percentage.

“His development is very, very important to our organization,” said Kekalainen. “This was the plan all along. He needs to play, and play regularly. He’s going to be a big part of Lake Erie’s playoff run.”

Related: Jackets insist Bobrovsky didn’t return too early from groin injury

Hossa hoping things ‘click’ with Toews and Ladd (Update: But he won’t play tonight)

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Cross your fingers and hope for some chemistry, Blackhawks fans.

Tonight in St. Louis, Marian Hossa is expected to return from his month-long injury absence and skate on Chicago’s top line with captain Jonathan Toews and deadline acquisition Andrew Ladd.

On paper, it’s an imposing trio.

“I’m looking forward to playing with those two,” Hossa told CSN Chicago. “Hopefully we click, hopefully we find the chemistry and we can be the dominant line we want to be.”

If all that happens, the Blackhawks will barrel into the playoffs with those three on the first line and Artemi Panarin, Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane on the second.

The bottom six — featuring the likes of Teuvo Teravainen, Andrew Shaw, Andrew Desjardins, Tomas Fleischmann, and Dale Weise — doesn’t look too bad either, especially with Marcus Kruger expected back soon.

“We feel there’s balance deeper than we’ve seen at any point this year,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We’re better when everybody’s contributing as four lines, and that’s what we’re looking for.”

Update:

Related: Can Ehrhoff find a ‘style fit’ with the Blackhawks?

Therrien calls Galchenyuk ‘a completely different player’ compared to start of season

Montreal Canadiens' Alex Galchenyuk celebrates after scoring against the New York Islanders during third-period NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes)
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Alex Galchenyuk has been taking full advantage of his opportunity to center the Montreal Canadiens’ top line. The 22-year-old has four goals in two games since being promoted to skate alongside captain Max Pacioretty, who’s spent most of the season centered by veteran Tomas Plekanec.

Habs coach Michel Therrien had high praise for Galchenyuk after last night’s 4-3 win over Dallas.

“The way he was at the beginning of the season and the way he is right now—he’s a completely different player,” Therrien said, per Sportsnet.

Of course, for the coach’s detractors — and there are quite a few of those — these last two games are proof that they’ve been right all along, that Therrien has been too slow to trust Galchenyuk, that too much loyalty has been shown to the likes of Plekanec and David Desharnais.

Not surprisingly, Therrien doesn’t see it that way.

“In the past he’s had some good sequences for two or three games, and then after that it’s become a bit more difficult,” he said. “But over the last month he’s been able to maintain the quality of play we’re looking for.”

Kruger agrees to three-year extension with ‘Hawks

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five
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The Chicago Blackhawks have come to terms with Marcus Kruger on a three-year contract extension worth a reported $9.25 million.

A fifth-round draft pick in 2009, the 25-year-old Swede has developed into a valuable bottom-six forward for the ‘Hawks.

From the club’s press release:

The two-time Stanley Cup champion recorded 17 points (7G, 10A) in 81 games with the Blackhawks last season en route to the 2015 Stanley Cup championship. He added four points (2G, 2A) over 23 postseason games, including a triple-overtime tally in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks. Kruger led team forwards with 180:01 of shorthanded time on ice in the regular season and ranked second with a 53.3 faceoff win percentage.

Kruger is currently on injured reserve after dislocating his left wrist in December. The hope is he’ll be back for the playoffs, if not sooner.

Kruger signed a one-year deal with the ‘Hawks in September. He can now become an unrestricted free agent when his new contract expires after the 2018-19 season.