Ladd leads the Jets over the Kings

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Captain Andrew Ladd scored twice and Blake Wheeler added a goal and an assist as the Winnipeg Jets picked up an important two points in a 5-2 win over the L.A. Kings Sunday night.

Winnipeg now has a three-point cushion on the Minnesota Wild for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Jets trail the Blackhawks by just three points for third spot in the Central Division.

“Ladd’s [past] three games have been spectacular,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said per NHL.com. “He really is driving that line [with Bryan Little and Michael Frolik]. There is a consistency to [Ladd’s] game and the way that he prepares, the way he practices and the way he plays that you have to have from your leader.”

The loss is the third straight for L.A. after an eight-game winning streak.

The Kings remain outside the playoff picture. L.A. is tied with Calgary (70 points) in the Pacific Division, but the Flames hold the tiebreaker. The Kings are three points back of the Wild for the final wild-card spot.

Drew Stafford and Tyler Myers had the other goals for Winnipeg. Michael Hutchinson made 18 saves for his 19th win of the season.

Jeff Carter had both Kings’ goals.

“We know what to expect coming in here,” said Carter. “We didn’t play near or close to what we should be playing to come close to getting two points. We need to get it going. We’re in a tight race, and every game for us right now is a playoff game, and we need to get our level up.”

Jonathan Quick allowed four goals on 21 shots and was replaced by Martin Jones to start the third period. Jones made seven saves in relief.

Midway through the third period the Jets acquired Lee Stempniak from the New York Rangers for Carl Klingberg.

Senators goaltender Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks with injury

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OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.

The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.

Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.

The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.

Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.