Goalie nods: Crawford (upper body) still day-to-day, so Darling starts again

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Bit of a rarity for Chicago on Friday — with Corey Crawford still nursing an injury, Scott Darling will make consecutive starts when the ‘Hawks take on the Jets in Winnipeg.

Darling, who stopped 26 of 29 shots in a 3-2 loss to Philly on Wednesday, hasn’t been very busy this year. Crawford has been great and a real workhorse for Chicago, which has resulted in Darling making just 19 appearances (14 of which were starts).

All told, the 27-year-old is 6-6-2 this season, with a .912 save percentage and 2.60 GAA.

As for Crawford, the ‘Hawks weren’t offering much as to injury specifics (surprise!)

Crawford did struggle in his last two outings prior to being shelved with the injury, giving up nine goals on 45 shots in losses to Dallas and Los Angeles.

For the Jets, Ondrej Pavelec is in goal.


Craig Anderson will take on Chad Johnson when Ottawa visits Buffalo.

Braden Holtby will be in goal when Washington and head coach Barry Trotz host Trotz’s former team, Nashville. The Preds haven’t announced a starter yet.

— Colorado, minus the services of Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog, will need a big game from Semyon Varlamov tonight in Calgary. Joni Ortio goes for the Flames.

— Vancouver will give Jacob Markstrom the nod tonight in Edmonton. No word yet on an Oilers starter.

— Looks as though Jonas Gustavsson will give Tuukka Rask the night off in Anaheim, while the Ducks are set to start Frederik Andersen.

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.

Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

Rasmus Sandin
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TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.