NHL Injury News: Malkin out vs. Devils; Byram, Makar back for Avs

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 phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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    Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

    Ilya Mikheyev
    Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports

    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

    Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports

    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

    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

    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.