Jason Brough

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Rangers assign Buchnevich to AHL

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The New York Rangers have assigned forward Pavel Buchnevich to AHL Hartford.

Buchnevich does not require waivers to be sent down, so this is not technically a conditioning assignment.

But it’s for conditioning purposes all the same. Buchnevich has not played since Nov. 12 due to back spasms, an issue that required him to strengthen his core.

The 21-year-old winger has four goals and four assists in 10 games for the Rangers this season.

The Wolfpack plays tonight and tomorrow in Hartford, then Sunday at Providence.

Neuvirth expected to make first start in almost two months

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After gaining just four points out of a possible 16 in their last eight games — and suddenly in danger of falling out of a wild-card spot — the Philadelphia Flyers are making changes ahead of tomorrow’s home game against Tampa Bay.

The changes start in goal, where Michal Neuvirth is expected to make his first start since getting injured in a game against Minnesota on Nov. 12.

Neuvirth has a decent record, 4-2-0, but a lowly save percentage of .859. He’ll give Steve Mason a rest, after Mason allowed four goals on 27 shots in Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to the Rangers.

“I wasn’t good enough,” said Mason, per CSN Philly. “It’s pretty simple.”

Head coach Dave Hakstol also shook up his top three forward lines ahead of Saturday’s afternoon affair.

From philly.com:

Top-line center Claude Giroux had a new right winger, Matt Read, with Michael Raffl still on the left side; right winger Jake Voracek dropped to the second line, which had a new center, Sean Couturier, and Travis Konecny on the left. The third line had Brayden Schenn centering Wayne Simmonds, with Nick Cousins and Dale Weise alternating at left wing.

Only the fourth line – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare cenetring Chris VandeVelde and Boyd Gordon – was the same as the last game. Gordon, however, could be replaced by Roman Lyubimov.

It’s a big game for both teams tomorrow. The Flyers are only three points ahead of the Lightning, who’ve had their own issues lately.

The Bolts have dropped two straight and are coming off a 6-1 loss to Nashville on Thursday evening.

The Flyers also play Sunday in Columbus.

standings

Brendan Gallagher out ‘minimum’ eight weeks after hand surgery

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The Montreal Canadiens have another significant injury to overcome.

The Habs announced this morning that winger Brendan Gallagher had surgery last night on his fractured left hand. A “minimum” of eight weeks is expected for recovery, the club said.

Gallagher has six goals and 12 assists in 39 games. Though his goal totals are down, he remains an important part of the Canadiens’ attack. His 112 shots are second on the team to only Max Pacioretty‘s 123.

Gallagher was hurt in Wednesday’s 4-3 overtime victory in Dallas.

The good news? Alex Galchenyuk is getting close to a return from his knee injury.

Montreal plays tomorrow in Toronto.

The Canadiens (24-9-6) have a 10-point lead atop the Atlantic Division.

Update:

Related: Habs recall pair of AHL forwards after Gallagher, Byron hurt in Dallas

Blackhawks assign Abbott and Forsling to AHL

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The Chicago Blackhawks assigned a pair of players, forward Spencer Abbott and defenseman Gustav Forsling, to the AHL today.

Abbott returns to Rockford after just one game. He logged 8:34 in last night’s 4-3 overtime victory over Buffalo.

Forsling, meanwhile, has played 32 games (1G, 3A) for the ‘Hawks this season. The 20-year-old rookie surprisingly made the club out of training camp, but has seen his average ice time fall as the season has progressed.

Last night, two veteran defensemen, Brian Campbell and Michal Rozsival, were scratched against the Sabres. The ‘Hawks don’t have any injuries on the back end, and Forsling can be sent to the AHL without having to clear waivers.

Chicago hosts Carolina tonight. With Abbott going down, expect Jordin Tootoo to return to the lineup.

Update:

Bruins recall McIntyre, who could get a start this weekend

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As expected, the Boston Bruins have recalled goalie Zane McIntyre from the AHL, and they’ve assigned goalie Anton Khudobin to Providence.

From the press release:

McIntyre, 24, is undefeated with Providence in 2016-17, compiling a 10-0-0 record. The 6-foot-2, 206-pound netminder leads the AHL in goals against average (1.41) and save percentage (.951), and was recognized as AHL Goalie of the Month for December. 

He has also played in three games with Boston this season, posting a 0-2-0 record with a 4.04 goals against average and .859 save percentage. He also played two games with the Atlanta Gladiators of the ECHL, recording a 1.99 goals against average and .931 save percentage.

The B’s start a four-game road trip Saturday at Florida. McIntyre may even start that one, as the Bruins also play Sunday at Carolina.

Tuukka Rask allowed four goals on 25 shots in last night’s 4-3 loss to the Oilers. The B’s (20-17-4) are at risk of falling out of a playoff spot. They’re only two points up on Toronto for third place in the Atlantic Division, and the Leafs have four games in hand.

Related: Khudobin hasn’t solved the Bruins’ backup goalie problem