Rookie defenseman Colin Miller has been called up from the AHL and will play tonight for the Boston Bruins against Carolina.
Kevan Miller will also play for the B’s, while Dennis Seidenberg will miss another contest due to injury.
With both Millers playing, that means Joe Morrow and Zach Trotman will come out. Morrow had a costly giveaway in Boston’s 6-4 loss to Chicago on Sunday.
The Bruins’ back end has been under the microscope all season. With just three games left and a playoff spot on the line, it seems that storyline will remain one. Boston hosts Detroit in a huge game Thursday before finishing its schedule Saturday at home to Ottawa.
“When a team wants to get itself back on track, which we have to do this week, you’ve got to trust whatever word you want to use — game plan, system,” coach Claude Julien told the Boston Globe. “You’ve got to trust it.
“You’ve got to respect it and go and do it so that everybody’s on the same page. That just minimizes breakdowns. That’s the focus we have to have this week. Let’s trust our game plan and our system here. Let’s execute it the best we can. The rest will take care of itself.”
Colin Miller’s last NHL game was on Feb. 14. Waiver exempt, he was returned to the AHL when Adam McQuaid was activated off injured reserve.
The B’s made room for Miller by sending forward Seth Griffith to Providence.
Kings head coach Darryl Sutter isn’t saying anything about whatever ailment is expected to keep defenseman Alec Martinez out of the lineup tonight in Vancouver.
“You’re going to get nothing from the coaching staff for the rest of the year until September about the status regarding players,” Sutter told LA Kings Insider. “It’s not a good idea for coaches to relay messages through the media to the other team.”
But Martinez is reportedly day-to-day with something. He didn’t skate this morning and it’s expected he’ll be replaced tonight by Jamie McBain.
Martinez — who hasn’t missed a game all season — logged 19:29 in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Dallas. Among Kings defensemen, only Drew Doughty (27:01) and Jake Muzzin (22:51) played more than that.
Related: Sutter has belief that Scuderi ‘can still play’
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos had vascular surgery this afternoon at Tampa General Hospital. The two-hour procedure was a success, according to the surgeon, Dr. Karl Illig.
“Everything went as expected for Steven today,” Dr. Illig said in a team release. “We plan to re-evaluate him in about two weeks and we should know more about his prognosis at that time.”
The timeline for Stamkos is 1-3 months. That makes a return to the playoffs a possibility, assuming the Lightning can make a run.
But the defending Eastern Conference champs will be in tough to do that without their captain, not to mention defenseman Anton Stralman, who’s out indefinitely with a fractured leg.
The Lightning will clinch a playoff berth tonight if they get at least one point against the Islanders.
Pavel Datsyuk can’t — or won’t — say what his plans are for next season.
In the wake of Saturday’s report that the Red Wings star was entertaining a return to Russia, Datsyuk was noncommittal with reporters today.
“I have one more year on contract, we have three games left in season. That is more focus for me now,” Datsyuk said, per MLive.
“I’m not looking at next year.”
The 37-year-old is signed through next season, though — for a $7.5 million cap hit that would remain on the books were he to retire.
Datsyuk’s agent provided a similarly noncommittal comment yesterday.
Detroit has three games remaining in its regular season, with a lengthy playoff streak on the line. The Wings host the Flyers Wednesday, play in Boston Thursday and finish their schedule Saturday at the Rangers. They’re currently one point up on the Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division. The B’s also have three games left.
The last time Detroit missed the playoffs was the 1989-90 season.
“Our focus right now are these three games starting on Wednesday,” said captain Henrik Zetterberg. “That’s what Pavel is focused on, that’s what we’re focused on and whatever happens after, we focus on after.”
Thomas Greiss will be back in goal for the New York Islanders tonight at home to Tampa Bay.
Greiss got Saturday’s game off, as it was Jean-Francois Berube between the pipes for the 5-0 loss to Pittsburgh. Berube then missed practiced yesterday. The Isles then announced this morning that Berube was day-to-day with a lower-body injury and that Christopher Gibson had been recalled on emergency loan from AHL Bridgeport.
With Jaroslav Halak out long-term with his own lower-body injury, Greiss is the best bet to be the Isles’ starter when the playoffs begin next week. The 30-year-old has enjoyed an excellent season overall (21-11-4, .924 SV%), but his numbers have been slipping of late (.909 SV% in March).
“Thomas has been in some big games before,” Isles coach Jack Capuano told reporters recently. “I know what he’s capable of doing. Obviously, it’s unfortunate that Jaro got hurt but (Greiss) loves the opportunity that he’s in.”
There’s still a slim chance that the Isles fail to even qualify for the playoffs. They have five games remaining in the regular season, four of them against opponents currently in a playoff spot, the other against Buffalo.
Ben Bishop will be in goal for the Lightning.
— Mike Smith for the Coyotes in St. Louis. Brian Elliott for the Blues.
— Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers in Columbus. Joonas Korpisalo for the Blue Jackets.
— Al Montoya for the Panthers in Toronto. Jonathan Bernier for the Maple Leafs.
— No starters have been announced for tonight’s Canucks-Kings game in Vancouver.
Related: Capuano calls out Strome, Nelson and Bailey