NHL on NBCSN: Bruins visit Red Wings

Getty Images
2 Comments

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with Sunday night’s matchup between the Boston Bruins at the Detroit Red Wings. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

The Boston Bruins can take a big step in locking up home ice advantage in the first round with a win against the Detroit Red Wings on Star Sunday on NBCSN.

The Bruins need three points to lock up the second seed in the Atlantic Division and could have that done with a win in Detroit followed by a point against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday — and that’s if Toronto doesn’t lose a game along the way, which would expedite the process.

“We want to finish second [in the Atlantic],” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “That’s our ultimate goal. But we also want to be healthy.

“We’re here to win games until we get locked in. What’s in front of us is second place. We’d like to get there.”

The Bruins are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Florida Panthers on Saturday, snapping a 12-game winning streak at TD Garden, and are now on the road for three games before returning home next Saturday to close out the season against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The big thing for the Bruins heading into the postseason is that they’re getting healthy.

David Pastrnak is back. Torey Krug is back. Jake DeBrusk is healthy. Matt Grzelcyk returned on Saturday. And Kevan Miller could return on Sunday.

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 6:30 PM. ET – NBCSN]

Detroit’s season went how you might expect for a team rebuilding. They’ll miss the playoffs for the third straight season, something they haven’t done in 35 years when they missed five straight seasons between 1979 and 1983.

That said, Detroit is finishing the season on a strong note having won four straight heading into Sunday.

“I think everyone right now is just buying in and we’re competing hard, playing the right way,” Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi said. “Playing simple. And sometimes, simple hockey wins.”

Bertuzzi has been a stud as of late, with seven points over his past three goals. He’s one goal shy of his first 20-goal campaign.

Dylan Larkin reached the 30-goal mark on Thursday, and Andreas Athanasiou joined him on Friday. Larkin comes into the game riding a three-game goal-scoring streak.

“I think we’re playing hard. We’re not giving up on the season, even though it seems like,” forward Dylan Larkin said. “I guess you could look at it as meaningless hockey and meaningless games here down the stretch.”

Brendan Burke (play-by-play) and Brian Boucher (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst) will have the call from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich. Pre-game coverage starts at 6:30 p.m. ET with NHL Live, hosted by Kathryn Tappen alongside Keith Jones and Anson Carter.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

Ilya Mikheyev
Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports
2 Comments

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

austonmatthews
Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

caufield surgery
David Kirouac/USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

matty beniers
Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.