Franzen is on “concussion protocol” following a high hit from Tampa Bay defenseman Radko Gudas during a 3-0 loss in Detroit on Sunday. The incident occurred early in the second period and, after Gudas went unpenalized, Franzen blew up at officials and earned a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Franzen then left the game and didn’t return, finishing with just 6:50 TOI.
“All those guys that get bumped in the head — you know what it’s like in the league now? They’re gone forever, it seems like. So I don’t know what that means,” Babcock told the Detroit Free Press following the game. “I don’t know, protocol-wise, what’ll happen. We’ll figure that out.”
It remains unclear if the Wings will recall a forward from AHL Grand Rapids to replace Franzen in the lineup. The 33-year-old Swede has nine goals and 22 points in 30 games this year, averaging just over 17 minutes per night.
Franzen will now join a pretty sizable list of injured Wings, joining Henrik Zetterberg, Stephen Weiss, Danny DeKeyser and Darren Helm on the shelf. Justin Abdelkader is also currently out, undergoing the same concussion protocol as Franzen.
Canucks’ Pettersson returns Sunday after five-game absence
After Saturday’s practice, Pettersson told the assembled media that there was a good chance he would play on Sunday. And with the team activating him off injured reserve today, that chance turned into a confirmation.
“I don’t like to watch hockey, I like to play it,” Pettersson said.
He’s pretty good at the latter.
Pettersson’s start to the season, despite missing two now because of a concussion and the aforementioned knee injury, has been nothing short of sensational.
Pettersson led all rookies with 22 goals and 42 points prior to his latest injury and will return still leading all rookies.
And his absence from the Canucks, who are battling for a playoff spot, has been notable:
in the 6 gms EP has been out, canucks have 14 goals (incl 2 ENG and 1 Lu let in). even with those, that's a 2.33 goals/gm rate. It would place the team 30th in NHL scoring for the season
Stout defense and solid goaltending, two traits that Sunday’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and visiting Washington Capitals had neither of.
But goal scoring? Yeah, there was a metric tonne of that in an 8-5 win for the Blackhawks on NBC.
Jonathan Toews scored a hat trick and added two assists for a five-point afternoon. Patrick Kane had a five-point game of his own, notching two goals and adding three helpers to push his point streak to eight games. Dylan Strome had a goal and two apples.
For the Capitals, they didn’t get one goal from their forwards. John Carlson led the way with two goals. All five of their goals came care of their defenseman — six if you include Dmitry Orlov’s own goal (he also scored one on the right net, too).
It was a game that reeked of two teams desperate to end their respective losing streaks. Chicago owned the longest of the two, coming into the game winless in five. The Capitals’ streak, meanwhile, extended to five, which extended their season-long drought.
The Caps came into the game outscored 14-4 in that time. You’d think scoring one more than they had in their previous four would be enough, but when Braden Holtby gets pulled after 22:30, allowing four goals on 11 shots, it’s probably not going to end well.
Goaltending wasn’t of particular importance in the game.
Collin Delia got the start for the Blackhawks and did enough in the end, despite allowing a few ugly ones. There weren’t a lot of notable saves in this one, but Delia made the save of the game with this effort in the second period.
Alex DeBrincat also found the back of the net, notable because he now has seven goals in his past seven games and 25 on the year.
DeBrincat is now three shy of the 28 he threw up in his rookie season last year and still has 32 games to get there. He’s likely going to crush that record in his sophomore season.
None of that is surprising given he can do things like this:
While Washington seems secure for the moment in terms of a playoff spot, their stock in Metropolitan Division is plummeting.
The New York Islanders leapfrogged them already with their four-game winning streak and could buy themselves some breathing room now with a win over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.
The win for Chicago moves them out of the Western Conference basement, one point up on the lowly Los Angeles Kings. The Blackhawks are in a different battle down the stretch here, with the best lottery odds on the line for June’s NHL Draft.
NBC’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with Sunday’s matchup between the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals. Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
The Capitals have hit their biggest road block in their title defense after going 3-5-2 in their last 10 games, including four straight losses (0-3-1). The last time Washington lost four straight games was in March of 2017. During this four-game losing streak, the Caps have been outscored 12-1 in 5-on-5 play, and the lone goal in that scenario came against Nashville with the team trailing 7-1 late in the third period.
The last time the Capitals lost five straight games was Oct. 26 to Nov. 4 2014.
Alex Ovechkin enters this game tied with Dave Andreychuk for 14th place on the all-time goals (640) list. He is also only five points away from tying Hockey Hall of Famer Sergei Fedorov for the most in League history by a Russian player (1,179).
The Blackhawks have lost seven of their eight games in the new year (1-4-3), including five straight losses (0-3-2) and are once again last in the NHL. Since Jeremy Colliton took charge on November 6, Chicago has lost 24 of their 34 games under their new head coach (10-18-6) after going 6-6-3 in 15 games under Joel Quenneville. The Hawks are coming off a 4-3 loss to the Rangers on Thursday.
A bright spot for Chicago has been its power play which has now scored in seven consecutive games (9-for-21, 42.9 percent). That hot streak has put them in the middle of the pack in the NHL at 18.9 percent for the season.
The Golden Knights have been pretty hot lately (now eight wins in their last 10 games), but Marchessault isn’t having the easiest time. Heading into Saturday, he only had a goal and an assist in his last 10 contests.
Marchessault broke out during Vegas’ lopsided win against the Penguins, generated his second career hat trick. He’s the second Golden Knights player to generate a hat trick, with William Karlssonproviding the other two.
This gives Marchessault 17 goals and 34 points in 50 games this season.
The Avalanche lit up the Kings on Saturday, and Barrie played into that, collecting three assists. Barrie now has five assists in his last three games.
It’s quite the season so far for the underrated offensive defenseman, as he has 37 points in 44 games. The Avs blueliner was quite impressive last season, too, as his 57 points came in just 68 contests last season.
Consider this a 3b (or maybe 2b?) for the three stars: Mark Giordano generated a goal and two assists for three points in this one. Giordano now has an outstanding 52 points in 48 games this season, leaving him just four points behind his career-high of 56 from 2015-16.
Hey, at least Milan Lucic is heating up for the Oilers, right bummed out fans?