Kuznetsov passed concussion test, expected to play Saturday

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Feel free to breath a sigh of relief, Capitals fans — Evgeny Kuznetsov is okay.

“During the end of the third period, Evgeny underwent and passed all tests pertaining to the league’s concussion protocol evaluation,” the Caps said today in a statement. “We expect him to take the morning skate tomorrow and play against the Stars later that night.”

Kuznetsov left last night’s game versus the Wild in the third period after appearing to take the butt-end of Mikael Granlund’s stick to the face.

Kuznetsov leads the Caps with 54 points.

Report: Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season

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Joe Vitale will not play again this season.

The Arizona Coyotes have shut Vitale down for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign due to “concussion-related issues,” according to a report from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports on Wednesday.

Vitale, a 30-year-old veteran center, appeared in only one game for the Coyotes this season. That was back on Oct. 17, when he suffered a concussion and broken orbital bone in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.

McDonagh out with concussion after Saturday’s altercation with Simmonds

Ryan McDonagh
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The New York Rangers will be without Ryan McDonagh tonight at home to New Jersey, the club announcing this morning that the defenseman is out with a concussion.

McDonagh left Saturday’s game in Philadelphia following an altercation with the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds that ended with McDonagh taking a punch to the face from Simmonds.

Simmonds received a match penalty and was thrown out of the game, but did not receive any supplemental discipline.

Given the standings, the Rangers can ill afford to lose McDonagh for long. They play in Pittsburgh Wednesday, followed by three home games against Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

standings

NHL confirms Wideman was diagnosed with concussion after hitting linesman (Video)

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The Dennis Wideman saga took another turn on Wednesday evening.

In the video explanation for Wideman’s 20-game suspension for hitting linesman Don Henderson, the league revealed that — after the Flames-Preds game in which the incident occurred — Wideman was diagnosed with a concussion, potentially suffered on a hit he took moments before colliding with Henderson.

“It is accepted for the purposes of this decision that he was later diagnosed as having suffered a concussion,” the NHL explained. “However, that fact even accepted as true, cannot excuse Wideman’s subsequent actions.

“First, although he appears to get up slowly from being checked, Wideman skates steadily and purposefully to his bench, taking a half dozen strides to get there. Wideman also demonstrates his continued awareness of his circumstances and surroundings when, upon approaching the Calgary blueline, he raises his stick and taps it on the ice to alert his teammates that he’s coming off for a line change.”

The hit Wideman took — delivered by Nashville’s Miikka Salomaki — was judged to be a “hard, legal check.”

It should be mentioned that 1) there’s been no confirmation that Wideman’s injury was a direct result of the Salomaki collision, and 2) the league made mention of the fact Wideman refused medical attention while on the bench, and remained in the game.

The video:

Related:

NHLPA ‘strongly’ disagrees with Wideman suspension, will appeal

Leafs prospect Nylander set to return to Marlies lineup after concussion … and appendicitis

More than a month after his last American Hockey League game, Toronto Maple Leafs prospects William Nylander is set to make his return to the Marlies lineup versus the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday.

Nylander, selected eighth overall in the 2014 NHL Draft, last suited up for the Marlies on Dec. 18.

He suffered a concussion while playing for Sweden at the world juniors. And, as he revealed to Marlies broadcaster Todd Crocker, Nylander also dealt with a bout of appendicitis after completing the concussion protocol.

“I’m really excited. Been a month off on vacation, so I mean I’m ready to get back at it,” Nylander told Marlies TV prior to Friday’s game in Grand Rapids.

“I went through concussion protocol and that went by pretty quickly. Once I started to get back on the ice, was on the ice for a week, I basically came back … and had appendicitis. Then I was out for a couple of days, they gave me antibiotics and stuff, so it’s been a little of a delay with the return.”

The Marlies also play Saturday at home against the Binghamton Senators.

In 27 games with the Marlies this season, Nylander has 14 goals and 34 points.