Mike Halford

Florida Panthers center Brandon Pirri (73) goes down after being checked by Boston Bruins center Chris Kelly (23) in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Sunrise, Fla., Saturday, March 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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Pirri (ankle) out ‘a few weeks’ after ugly crash into boards


Considering how bad the injury looked, Brandon Pirri‘s prognosis is relatively good.

On Monday, Panthers head coach Gerard Gallant said Pirri — who suffered what appeared to be a gruesome ankle injury in Saturday’s loss to Nashville — would only be out “a few weeks.”

Per the Miami Herlad, Gallant said the injury wasn’t as bad as it looked.

But man, did it look bad.

At the time, many speculated Pirri could be lost for the season. He reportedly left the arena on Saturday night on crutches, per the Sun-Sentinel, and obviously hasn’t practiced since getting hurt.

Pirri, 24, has been fairly productive this season, with 11 goals and 24 points in 52 games. His absence could further push Panthers GM Dale Tallon in his quest to add a goalscorer by the trade deadline.


Andersen: ‘Fair question’ to ask if Ducks will trade him

Corey Perry, Frederik Andersen
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The seemingly endless drama that is Anaheim’s goaltending situation could have another twist by Feb. 29.

This past weekend, the O.C. Register’s Eric Stephens wrote that Frederik Andersen is one of the Ducks’ “most attractive pieces to dangle” at this month’s trade deadline, because 1) Andersen’s $1.3 million cap hit is “a remarkably affordable deal,” and 2) there’s a feeling within the organization that Andersen, a pending RFA, “will be expendable at some point.”

Why? Because it’s largely assumed that John Gibson, the 22-year-old that made his first NHL All-Star Game this season, is the goalie of the future.

So, Stephens put it to Andersen — is it possible he’ll be dealt by the deadline?

“It’s a fair question,” Andersen replied. “We have two good goalies. (You’re) always going to look for using assets in whatever way. It’s nothing that’s in my control.

“You can’t worry about that stuff. It’s cliché but you really can’t. That’s never going to do anything good.”

Andersen, 26, has certainly upped his value at the right time. After a rough start to the year that included missed time to a back injury and illness — an absence that allowed Gibson to snare the No. 1 gig — the Danish netminder has stormed back recently, posting a .942 save percentage in January and a .931 in February.

The big question, of course, is how hungry the market is for goalies.

The one team that would seem to make sense is Calgary. Neither Jonas Hiller nor Karri Ramo are under contract beyond this year, and Ramo is currently sidelined with a knee injury.

Andersen’s RFA status is appealing for teams, because it gives them control over the contract, and it’s plausible to think Flames GM Brad Treliving could make a play for Andersen now, at the deadline, as opposed to this offseason.

After 11-game absence, Savard (oblique) back for Columbus

David Savard
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These are pretty decent times for the Blue Jackets.

The team is 7-3-2 in its last 12, recently re-upped with Ryan Murray on a two-year deal and, on Friday, announced that blueliner David Savard has been activated from IR after missing the last 11 games to an oblique strain.

Savard, 25, was a pretty integral part of John Tortorella’s defense when healthy. He averaged over 24 minutes per night and had 15 points through 39 games prior to being sidelined by the ailment.

He’ll presumably draw back into the lineup when the Jackets take on Ottawa on Saturday. No word yet on a corresponding roster move.

John Scott to return to Habs’ AHL team this weekend


John Scott’s had enough time off following his All-Star Game MVP award.

Now, he wants to get back to work.

Scott, who made major headlines at the end of January thanks to his unforgettable All-Star performance in Nashville, will return to Montreal’s AHL affiliate in St. John’s this weekend, as the IceCaps play a pair of games against the Toronto Marlies.

“It’ll be nice to [be] back playing hockey and doing my thing. I’m actually really excited for it,” Scott said, per ESPN. “This has been the longest break I’ve had, ever. But I play like 7-8 minutes, I won’t be too out of shape, I’ll be able to keep up.”

Scott, 33, hasn’t played since his Pacific Division team won the annual ASG 3-on-3 tournament on Jan. 31. Following that whirlwind weekend, the Montreal organization allowed him to take a leave to be with his wife, Danielle, who gave birth to twin girls on Feb. 5.

Scott only appeared in four games for St. John’s prior to the All-Star Game, going pointless with six penalty minutes and a minus-1 rating.


The John Scott story, coming to a theater near you?

Therrien on Habs recalling Scott: ‘You never know’


Goalie nods: Budaj set to make Kings debut

during a preseason game at Staples Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
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Journeyman Peter Budaj looks as though he’ll make his first regular-season NHL appearance since April of 2014, when the Kings take on the Rangers at MSG.

Recalled from AHL Ontario due to an injury to Jonathan Quick, Budaj gets the nod tonight after Quick’s backup, Jhonas Enroth, was beat for four goals on 29 shots in last night’s loss to the Islanders.

Budaj, 33, has certainly earned another crack at the big leagues. After catching on with the Kings through a PTO in training camp, he’s been terrific in Ontario, going 26-9-3 with a 1.58 GAA and .935 save percentage. The Slovakian netminder also has eight shutouts this year.

For the Rangers, Antti Raanta gets the start in goal, giving Henrik Lundqvist a night off.


Ben Scrivens, who appears to be the new No. 1 in Montreal, will go for his fourth straight win when the Habs visit Buffalo. Chad Johnson is in goal for the Sabres, who’ve really struggled of late.

Marc-Andre Fleury goes for the Penguins, while it looks like Cam Ward is in for Carolina.

— Really good matchup in Detroit as Semyon Varlamov goes up against Petr Mrazek who, according to Yahoo’s Puck Daddy, has “crashed Braden Holtby’s Vezina party.”

— Battle of All-Star netminders in Tampa Bay, as Ben Bishop goes for the Bolts while Pekka Rinne starts for Nashville.

The red-hot Brian Elliott will continue to roll as St. Louis’ No. 1 in Florida. The Panthers will go with their old reliable, Roberto Luongo.

Now that Karri Ramo’s on IR, it’s Jonas Hiller time for the Flames. He’ll start tonight in Arizona, against Louis Domingue.