Jackets’ Goloubef could be done for the season

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When the Columbus Blue Jackets claimed defenseman Kevin Connauton off of waivers from the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, they did so with a cloud of uncertainty surrounding Cody Goloubef.

Goloubef suffered a right knee injury on Nov.1 and could be done for the season.

“We don’t know, he might be out for the season, might be out for another three weeks,” said Jackets’ GM Jarmo Kekalainen. “We’re not sure yet. We needed another defenseman.

“There’s a little tear on his ACL that we think is going to heal, but if it doesn’t, then it could be season-ending.”

The 24-year-old has appeared in three games for Columbus this season averaging 12:23 in ice time to go along with a minus-1 rating. In 20 career games over three seasons, all with the Jackets, Goloubef has a goal and four penalty minutes.

Goloubef’s injury is on top of knee injuries to Ryan Murray and Fedor Tyutin. Kekalainen said Tyutin will miss 4-6 weeks.

“He’s a guy that can play in the NHL and will give us some skill and mobility and depth,” Kekalainen said of the 24-year-old Connauton.

Originally a 2009 third-round pick (83rd overall) of the Vancouver Canucks, Connauton has appeared in 44 career NHL games all with the Dallas Stars registering a goal and 10 points while averaging nearly 15 minutes in ice time.

Horton update

The troubles on the blue line are in addition to the ailing back of forward Nathan Horton.

Horton hasn’t played this season and may never play again as he ponders career-ending back surgery.

“He’s resting now,” Kekalainen said. “We’re hoping the rest is going to get him back into more of a rehab stage again where we can start strengthening and hoping he can get back to playing.”

Man games lost

Columbus is on a similar pace through 18 games (6-11-1) as they were last season (6-10-2) when they snapped a four year playoff drought.

But on Tuesday Kekalainen revealed some startling numbers on his team’s injury woes.

“Someone sent me an email today saying we have seven man games lost, on average, per game this year,” he explained. “One of my colleague’s upstairs told me that if you have 300-something (man games lost) you have no chance at making the playoffs.

“We’re on pace for 600 this year. I hope the pace gets down a little bit.”

The Jackets return to action on Friday when they entertain the Boston Bruins.

Looking back at the Blackhawks’ Scott Foster game

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With the 2019-20 NHL season on hold we are going to take an occasional look back at some notable “this day in hockey history” moments. Today, Scott Foster gets to play a game for the Chicago Blackhawks. 

Before there was David Ayres with the Carolina Hurricanes, there was Scott Foster with the Chicago Blackhawks.

It was two years ago Sunday that Foster, an accountant by day, was forced into action as the emergency goalie against the Winnipeg Jets.

He stopped all seven shots he faced in 14 minutes of ice-time to help the Blackhawks hold on for a 6-2 win. You can see the highlights of his performance in the video above.

At the time of Foster’s appearance the entire thing was pretty unheard of because the NHL hadn’t really seen an appearance like this — a non-professional player forced into a game — in the modern era.

It all happened because of a series of goaltending injuries that left the Blackhawks shorthanded at the position. Chicago signed Foster to an amateur tryout contract the night before the game due to injuries to Corey Crawford and Anton Forsberg. He was supposed to serve as the backup to rookie Collin Delia as he made his NHL debut. Everything was going as planned until Delia was also injured early in the the third period, forcing Foster into the game.

His performance earned him No. 1 star honors for the game.

Because the Blackhawks were already comfortably ahead when he entered the game he did not get credit for the win. It was probably the biggest highlight of the season for the Blackhawks as they missed the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade.

At the time Foster’s appearance and performance was mostly celebrated and treated as the feel-good story that it was.

But when Ayres had to enter a game for the Hurricanes this season — and ended up being the winning goalie against the Toronto Maple Leafs — there was a very vocal minority that thought it was an embarrassment for the league and that, maybe, the emergency goalie protocol needed to be changed. It was eventually decided that no change needed to be made. Even with two instances in the past couple of years it is still a very rare occurrence that needs a very specific set of circumstances to actually happen.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Olympic hockey on NBC: 2018 women’s gold medal game

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Hockey Week in America continues Sunday with the unforgettable Olympic women’s gold medal game in 2018.

NBC will present the women’s gold medal game at the 2018 Olympics between Team USA and Canada, won by the Americans in a 3-2 shootout in PyeongChang. With the victory, the women’s ice hockey team claimed its second ever Olympic gold medal and ended the Canadians streak of four straight gold medals.

Kenny Albert, AJ Mleczko and Pierre McGuire called the gold medal game in PyeongChang.

You can catch a replay of the 2018 women’s Olympics gold medal game Sunday on NBC at 1 p.m. ET or watch the stream here.

SUNDAY NIGHT SCHEDULE
• Maple Leafs vs. Bruins (Game 7, Round 1, 2013 playoffs) – 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN
• Golden Knights vs. Sharks (Game 7, Round 1, 2019 playoffs) – 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN
• Kings vs. Blackhawks (Game 7, Western Conference Final, 2014 playoffs) – 12 a.m. ET on NBCSN

More information about NBC Sports’ Hockey Week in America can be found here.

Capitals vs. Penguins on NBCSN: Kuznetsov’s overtime series clincher

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Hockey Week in America continues Saturday with memorable playoff performances in the Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin rivalry.

In 2018, the Capitals and Penguins met in Round 2 for the third straight postseason. Pittsburgh won the previous two series en route to back-to-back Stanley Cup titles. But this time Washington would have its revenge. Evgeny Kuznetsov would score in overtime of Game 6 to help the Capitals advance as they went on to win their first championship in franchise history.

You can catch Game 6 of the 2018 Penguins vs. Capitals playoff game Saturday night on NBCSN beginning at 12:30 a.m. ET or watch the stream here.

SATURDAY NIGHT SCHEDULE
• Capitals vs. Penguins (Game 6, Round 2, 2018 playoffs) – 12:30 a.m. on NBCSN

More information about NBC Sports’ Hockey Week in America can be found here.

Capitals vs. Penguins on NBCSN: Bonino Bonino Bonino!

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Hockey Week in America continues Saturday with memorable playoff performances in the Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin rivalry.

The Capitals needed a win to force Game 7 in Round 2 of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Facing the Penguins yet again, the clawed back from a 3-1 third period deficit to force overtime. It was there, however, that Pittsburgh once again topped their Metro Division rivals. This time it was Nick Bonino breaking their hearts to put the Penguins on a path to the franchise’s fourth Stanley Cup title.

You can catch Game 6 of the 2016 Penguins vs. Capitals playoff game Saturday on NBCSN beginning at 10 p.m. ET or watch the stream here.

SATURDAY NIGHT SCHEDULE
• Capitals vs. Penguins (Game 6, Round 2, 2016 playoffs) – 10 p.m. on NBCSN
• Capitals vs. Penguins (Game 6, Round 2, 2018 playoffs) – 12:30 a.m. on NBCSN

More information about NBC Sports’ Hockey Week in America can be found here.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.