Babcock: No update on Frederik Andersen, but ‘ideally he’ll start tomorrow’

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There was no shortage of drama between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

The Maple Leafs came back to win, clinching a playoff berth and officially eliminating Tampa Bay and the New York Islanders from contention.

However, there is concern for the status of Toronto’s starting goalie Frederik Andersen, who left the game early in the second period after a collision with Tom Sestito in front of the crease and didn’t return.

In his first season with the Maple Leafs, Andersen has been solid with 33 wins, four shut outs and a .918 save percentage in 3,800 minutes.

Mike Babcock didn’t have an update on Andersen after the game, saying only that, “Ideally he’ll start” in the team’s regular season finale against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.

While the Maple Leafs have locked up a playoff position, tomorrow’s game is still important because it will determine which team they face in the opening round. They’re currently third in the Atlantic with 95 points. The Boston Bruins have the same point total, but their regular season is over.

A single point for the Maple Leafs on Sunday would ensure they remain third in the division and would pit them against the Ottawa Senators.

However, a regulation loss to the Blue Jackets would mean the Maple Leafs fall into the second wild card spot, per the Toronto Star. That would put them up against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, who have won nine of their last 10 games and lead the league with 118 points.

Curtis McElhinney took over from Andersen and made some huge saves — none bigger than a left-pad stop on Sidney Crosby in the final minute to preserve the win. His performance didn’t go unnoticed.

“In a big game, that’s important to our players and our team, but to our city, as well,” said the coach.

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.