Mike Halford

Jonathan Toews, David Backes
Getty Images

NHL on NBCSN: Blues, Blackhawks clash on Rivalry Night

5 Comments

Heading into tonight’s action, the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks sit third and second in the Central Division, both looking up at first-place Dallas.

For now, that is.

The ‘Hawks can pass the Stars with a victory tonight, while the Blues can move to within a single point in what’s becoming one of the most heated races in the NHL.

Which sets the stage nicely for a tantalizing Rivalry Night on NBCSN.

A reminder that you can catch tonight’s game on NBCSN, starting at 8 p.m. ET — or, you can watch online using NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH ONLINE

Stars say Demers injury ‘not good,’ could be done for season

Jason Demers, Justin St. Pierre
Getty Images
7 Comments

Dallas might’ve suffered a big blow on Tuesday in Montreal, when it lost veteran d-man Jason Demers to what appears to be a serious injury.

More, from the Morning-News:

Demers went down with an upper body injury on Tuesday. The defenseman fell awkwardly, went to the bench to have his neck looked at and then left in the second period and did not return.

He was wearing a sling on his right arm after the game.

“Not good, not good, it’s going to be a good period of time,” [head coach Lindy] Ruff said. “I doubt if he will play the rest of the season.”

Right now, it’s unclear if Ruff was referring to the remainder of the regular season, or the entire year.

Demers, 27, plays a pretty big role on the Dallas defense, averaging just under 21 minutes per night while sitting second among blueliners in points, with 23. His seven goals put him just three back of John Klingberg for the lead among Dallas d-men.

Speaking of Klingberg, he’s also currently out of the Dallas lineup with an injury of his own — though he’s currently listed as day-to-day. The Stars are also without Jordie Benn, who’s out for roughly another week with a lower-body ailment.

Not good for a club that’s right in the thick of the battle for Central Division playoff jockeying with St. Louis and Chicago.

Rangers expect Lundqvist back by weekend

Henrik Lundqvist
Getty Images
2 Comments

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault says goalie Henrik Lundqvist‘s neck spasms have subsided and he’s on track to return by this weekend.

And forward Rick Nash shouldn’t be far behind.

Vigneault provided the updates before the Rangers game at Buffalo on Tuesday, and after Lundqvist and Nash practiced on their own in New York.

Lundqvist missed his third game since experiencing spasms against Pittsburgh on March 3. After facing Buffalo, the Rangers are off until playing at Detroit on Saturday.

Nash is now listed as day to day, but Vigneault wasn’t sure whether he’ll be ready to play this weekend. Nash has been out since sustaining a bone bruise at Carolina on Jan. 22.

Defenseman Dylan McIlrath will miss a few weeks after he hurt a kneecap Sunday.

Report: Canucks sign towering KHL d-man Tryamkin (Updated)

2014 NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
Getty Images
5 Comments

After weeks of speculation, it appears the deal is done — Nikita Tryamkin, the hulking blueliner from Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg in Russia, has reportedly agreed to his entry-level deal with the Vancouver Canucks.

Per News 1130, it’s a two-year pact worth $1.6M. Tryamkin joins the Canucks after being released from the final two months of his KHL deal, and it’s believed there’s an out clause to return to Russia should he not crack the NHL roster to start next year.

It’s presumed Tryamkin will get a look with Vancouver this season, as the club is out of playoff contention and giving several youngsters their shots at the big league level.

Taken 66th overall at the ’14 draft, Tryamkin is listed at 6-foot-8, 267 pounds and has enjoyed a fine year with Avtomobilist in ’15-16. He had 11 points through 53 games, fairly impressive output from a young defenseman that only turned 21 in August.

Updated: Canucks GM Jim Benning told season ticket holders at a town hall meeting on Tuesday that the Canucks have filed a contract for Tryamkin.

Rangers announce McIlrath (knee) out ‘a couple of weeks’

St Louis Blues v New York Rangers
Getty Images
1 Comment

Rugged New York blueliner Dylan McIlrath will be sidelined for the next while with a knee injury, head coach Alain Vigneault confirmed on Tuesday.

More, from Blueshirts United:

After being re-evaluated by team medical personnel McIlrath found out that his right kneecap injury is a bit more serious than first anticipated, though not considered to be a major setback either. The injured kneecap is not the same one he dislocated during prospects camp back in 2012. That injury, which necessitated surgery and forced him to miss half of the following season, was to his left kneecap.

When asked if this would open a spot among the team’s seven-man defense corps for fellow rookie Brady Skjei who was recalled on an emergency basis from Hartford on Monday, Vigneault would not provide a definitive answer, citing salary cap concerns first and foremost.

Skjei didn’t play in Sunday’s 6-4 loss to the Islanders, the game in which McIlrath saw just 3:38 of ice time before exiting. That put quite a pinch on fellow blueliners Ryan McDonagh and Keith Yandle, who both finished with over 24 minutes each.

Moving forward, Skjei will play with veteran blueliner Dan Boyle on a pairing.

As for McIlrath, the knee injury derails his first full campaign at the NHL level. After making the Blueshirts out of training camp — had he not, the team would’ve been forced to expose him to waivers — he’s since appeared in 31 games, averaging just under 14 minutes per night.