Mike Halford

Drouin out versus B’s following big hit from de Haan

The hit that knocked Jonathan Drouin out of the Lightning’s last game will keep him out of the next, too.

On Thursday, Bolts head coach Jon Cooper announced that Drouin would be held out of tonight’s game against Boston, and will be evaluated by team doctors. The club is unsure how long Drouin will be out.

Drouin was knocked out of Tuesday’s game early in the first period, following a hit from Isles d-man Calvin de Haan. De Haan was given a five-minute interference major on the play, while Drouin left and didn’t return, finishing with just 18 seconds of ice time.

“He was in good spirits after the game,” Cooper said of Drouin, per NHL.com.

Offensively, the high-flying Bolts are more than equipped to deal with Drouin’s absence, though it will still be a significant loss. The 21-year-old, coming off last year’s impressive postseason and strong effort with Team North America at the World Cup, had five points through 10 games this year, and was averaging 16:35 TOI per night.

After tonight, the Bolts host New Jersey on Saturday before heading down to Sunrise for a Monday night tilt against the Florida Panthers.

After making NHL debut, Ducks’ Larsson returned to Swedish League

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16:  Jacob Larsson #51 of the Anaheim Ducks skates against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on October 16, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders defeated the Ducks 3-2 in overtime.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Whirlwind start of the season for Jacob Larsson.

Larsson, taken 27th overall by Anaheim at the 2015 draft, was returned to Swedish League side Frolunda this week, a move that comes after he surprised by making the Ducks out of training camp, then proceeded to play four games for the club.

Larsson, 19, also played in four games with AHL San Diego.

So, why the move back home? Apparently Frolunda had a loan agreement in place with Anaheim that allowed for the promising young d-man’s return, to the club that groomed him through the youth and junior ranks.

Last season Larsson played in 47 games for Frolunda, scoring 14 points.

The 6-foot-2, 191-pounder probably wasn’t going to see much more time at the NHL level this year — if at all — especially with Anaheim’s defense coming into full focus. Hampus Lindholm, who recently signed a six-year, $31.5 million extension, is expected to be back next week.

Gilbert to have hearing after boarding Ritchie

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 28:  Tom Gilbert #14 of the Los Angeles Kings lines up for a faceoff during a preseason game at Staples Center on September 28, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Kings blueliner Tom Gilbert will have a disciplinary hearing for his hit on Anaheim forward Nick Ritchie, the Department of Player Safety announced on Wednesday.

The play in question, which occurred during Anaheim’s 4-0 win last night:

Ritchie left the game and didn’t return. Per Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle, he underwent concussion protocol and was being re-evaluated today.

Ritchie won’t play in Anaheim’s game tonight against Pittsburgh.

As for the Kings, losing Gilbert for any length of time would hurt. The club is already down the services of Brayden McNabb, which has forced head coach Darryl Sutter to utilize the likes of Matt Greene and Derek Forbort on the blueline. The veteran Green only appeared in three games last year, missing extensive time with injury, while Forbort has just 24 games of NHL experience.

Gilbert has been a pretty steady contributor this year. He’s averaging over 16 minutes per night through eight games, and has registered three assists.

After five-game absence, Letang back for Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 17:  Kris Letang #58 of the Pittsburgh Penguins talks before a faceoff during the game against Colorado Avalanche at PPG Paints Arena on October 17, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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Matt Murray isn’t the only key player the Pens will welcome back tonight.

Kris Letang, out since Oct. 18 with an upper-body injury, will return to the lineup this evening when the Pens take on the Ducks in Anaheim.

It’s a huge get for Pittsburgh, to say the least.

Prior to getting hurt, Letang averaged over 26 minutes per game, on par with the heavy workloads he’s shouldered over the last few seasons. His return also rounds out Pittsburgh’s d-man corps, as he’ll skate alongside Brian Dumoulin on the top pairing.

Olli Maatta will team up with Trevor Daley, while Ian Cole will skate alongisde Justin Schultz.

 

Goalie nods: Murray to make season debut for Pens

SAN JOSE, CA - JUNE 12:  Matt Murray #30 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates with the Stanley Cup after their 3-1 victory to win the Stanley Cup against the San Jose Sharks in Game Six of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final at SAP Center on June 12, 2016 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Quite a few developments from Pittsburgh’s crease today.

Earlier, in case you missed it, the Pens traded Mike Condon to Ottawa for a fifth-round pick. That move coincided with tonight’s development — Matt Murray, who hasn’t played this year due to a hand injury, will make his season debut when Pittsburgh takes on the Ducks in Anaheim.

With Murray back in the fold and Marc-Andre Fleury still firmly entrenched, Condon was the odd man out in Pittsburgh.

Now, we’ll  see who takes the reins as the club’s No .1.

Murray, of course, backstopped the club to the Stanley Cup last spring, leading to great speculation about Fleury’s future with the club. But Murray got hurt at the World Cup, opening the door for Fleury to get significant ice time — he’s played all but 20 minutes this year — and led GM Jim Rutherford to suggest that both netminders could be with the club for the foreseeable future.

So that’s the Pittsburgh side of things.

Anaheim has some questions in goal as well, though they pertain solely to this evening.

John Gibson, who’s shouldered a massive workload lately with Jonathan Bernier hurt, could get a rest after shutting out Los Angeles last night. Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said Bernier is “available to the hockey club” this evening, so read into that what you will.

Elsewhere…

Ryan Miller gets the nod for the Canucks, who are in Montreal. Carey Price will go for the Habs.

— After allowing four goals on 10 shots and getting pulled against Florida on Sunday, Petr Mrazek returns to start for the Red Wings. He’ll be up against Michal Neuvirth who, along with Steve Mason, has struggled to start the year for the Flyers.