The Tampa Bay Lightning could have forward Alex Killorn and defenseman Braydon Coburn in the lineup when they open up their first round playoff matchup with the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.
Killorn suffered an undisclosed injury in an April 2nd game against the Ottawa Senators and missed the final three games of the regular season.
“We planned for today to be the first day for me to skate with the guys and stuff,” said Killorn following Monday’s practice. “So, I felt good. It’s progressing well. I think by Thursday, I’ll be fine.”
The 25-year-old had 15 goals and 38 points in 71 games during the regular season and will get his first taste of NHL playoff action on Thursday.
“I think there’s going to be a ton of adrenaline in the first playoff game,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to affect me that much, maybe a shift or two just to kind of get into things. Skating right now, even though it’s clearly not a game, I don’t feel like I’m sucking air.”
Coburn played in just four regular season games with the Lightning after being acquired at the trade deadline from the Philadelphia Flyers.
The 30-year-old suffered a lower body injury in Tampa’s 1-0 win against the Montreal Canadiens on March 10 and missed the final 14 games with the injury.
Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf and starting goaltender Jonathan Bernier have elected to skip next month’s World Hockey Championship.
Phaneuf is still dealing with a right hand issue, which forced him to miss 12 games during the season. On Monday the Leafs captain noted his hand was still slightly swollen.
The 30-year-old suffered the injury during a January fight with Senators’ forward Milan Michalek.
Bernier told reporters following Saturday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens that he was considering Hockey Canada’s offer to represent the country overseas.
During Monday’s locker cleanout, the 26-year-old said he’s decided not to go due to both an undisclosed injury and the uncertainty surrounding his contract. Bernier is set to become a restricted free agent this summer.
James van Riemsdyk and Morgan Rielly could be headed to the Czech Republic.
Van Riemsdyk told reporters he’s considering an offer to join Team USA while Rielly is awaiting the results from an MRI.
The red-hot Ottawa Senators are getting a key piece of their lineup back for the postseason.
On Monday, head coach Dave Cameron confirmed that veteran winger Milan Michalek — out since Mar. 21 with a concussion — will return from an 11-game absence and dress for Game 1 of Ottawa’s first-round series against Montreal.
Michalek, 30, had just 13 goals and 34 points in 66 games this season, but really started to find his form in February and March following a slow start to the campaign. He scored 18 points over his final 22 games of the regular season, that after scoring just seven in his first 22.
With Michalek drawing it, Zack Smith will sit for the series opener on Wednesday.