The Penguins will be without Evgeni Malkin Thursday night when they take on the Devils for the first time this season. During Tuesday night’s loss to Boston, the forward suffered a lower-body injury after taking a hit from Jarred Tinordi.
Malkin took the hit early in the first period and left the game before returning a short while later. He took another shift later in the period but eventually exited the game for good.
On Thursday afternoon the Penguins announced Malkin would be placed on injured reserve retroactive to March 16.
“We’ve just got to carry the momentum we’ve had the last couple weeks we’ve been playing well here,” said lineman Kasperi Kapanen. “Obviously, [Malkin is] a huge part of that. He’s been playing really well. He’s feeling himself. We’re going to miss him out there, but we’re ready for the challenge.”
Avs getting blue line boost
Good news for Colorado and bad news for the rest of the West Division. The Avalanche will be getting Bowen Byram and Cale Makar back Thursday night. Byram and Makar missed nine and 10 games, respectively, with upper-body injuries. Over that span the team has gone 7-2-1 and sit third in the division with a .667 points percentage through 27 games.
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Goalie carousel continues in Ottawa
The Joey Daccord feel-good story took a hit with Senators head coach D.J. Smith saying that the goaltender will miss “the next little bit.” The Arizona State product injured his left leg during Wednesday’s loss to the Canucks.
Already without Matt Murray and Marcus Hogberg, Ottawa currently only has Filip Gustavsson and Anton Forsberg, who was claimed on waivers from Winnipeg this week, healthy. The Senators are off until Monday, allowing time for their goalies to heal up.
“There’s a lot of question marks there as to who could be ready over the next three days, so we’re hopeful a lot of guys get healthy and we have some choices,” Smith said. “But if it’s [Gustavsson], I thought he looked great again today in practice, thought he came in [against Vancouver] for having no idea that he’d be in, in a pressure situation, the way he came in and when he did, I wouldn’t be afraid to put him in for sure.”
Dallas’ stars ‘not even close’ to practicing
The wait to see Ben Bishop and Tyler Seguin return to the Stars’ lineup continues.
Bishop underwent knee surgery in October, while Seguin had hip surgery in early November. Neither have played this season and won’t be back any time soon.
“They’re not even close,” said head coach Rick Bowness. “To put a timeline on it, can’t do that. All I can tell you is that neither one of them is close to practicing with the team.”
Both players had initial five-month timetables from their surgeries, which put them back around mid-April.
Nedeljkovic filling in just fine for Mrazek
Petr Mrazek could be back soon from his thumb injury, but in the meantime Alex Nedeljkovic has been fantastic. In nine starts Nedeljkovic has helped the Hurricanes to six wins and posted a .938 even strength save percentage and a 5.86 goals saved above average (per Natural Stat Trick).
Nedeljkovic and James Reimer have split starts since early February and played a big role in Carolina’s recent eight-game win streak. What happens when Mrazek is healthy? Head coach Rod Brind’Amour hasn’t thought that far just yet; he’s just enjoying the team success that has come with his strong goaltending duo.
“It gives the whole group a lot of confidence when you know your goalie can bail you out of some crazy situations or things that don’t work out,” Brind’Amour said via the News and Observer. “He’s been good and I’m happy for him.”
Rangers coaches to remain out through weekend
David Quinn and assistants Jacques Martin, David Oliver and Greg Brown all missed Wednesday’s blowout win over the Flyers after being placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol.
According to the team, the four coaches will remain away from the bench this weekend’s games against the Capitals. AHL Hartford head coach Kris Knoblauch, associate head coach Gord Murphy, and associate GM Chris Drury will remain in charge as they were versus Philadelphia.
Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.