Fresh off signing extension, Ducks’ Jackman (lower body) out 4-6 weeks

Eventful last few weeks for Anaheim grinder Tim Jackman.

After signing a contract extension with the club on Feb. 19, the Ducks announced today that Jackman would miss the next 4-6 weeks with a lower-body ailment.

Jackman was hurt early in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Dallas after colliding awkwardly with Stars forward Ales Hemsky:

Prior to the injury, Jackman had five goals and seven points while averaging 8:29 TOI in 52 games this season. The Ducks rewarded Jackman for that output — and for his toughness, as the club’s fighting majors leader (with eight) — with a one-year, $700,000 deal.

Video: Isles’ Martin to face hearing for ‘stupid’ knee-on-knee hit

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Islanders forward Matt Martin will face a disciplinary hearing for this hit on Dallas’ Trevor Daley from Tuesday night, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety has announced:

Martin was given a five-minute kneeing major for the hit, and was tossed from the contest. Daley is expected to miss “weeks” with an injury, per Stars head coach Lindy Ruff, who was none too please with Martin’s actions.

“That’s a suspension,” Ruff fumed, per the Dallas Morning-News. “It’s another stupid hit that makes you just shake your head.  We’ve already lost our best forward [Tyler Seguin] and now we’ve lost probably our best defenseman for a period of time on a play that just wasn’t necessary.”

Martin has been suspended previously — once for charging, once for his role in a fight — but since those incidents occurred more than four years ago, he’s not viewed as a repeat offender under terms of the CBA.

NHL on NBCSN: Reloaded Red Wings, Rangers set to battle tonight

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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Detroit Red Wings host the New York Rangers at Joe Louis Arena at 8:00 p.m. ET tonight. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

At this stage of the season, the Red Wings and Rangers have all-but secured a postseason berth and have their eyes on the playoffs. They were both active buyers in the lead up to the trade deadline with the Rangers adding defenseman Keith Yandle and forward James Sheppard while the Red Wings have welcomed blueliner Marek Zidlicky and winger Erik Cole to their ranks. Part of these final weeks of the regular season will be about integrating their new talent and getting into a playoff mindset, but they also have more immediate goals in mind.

Thanks to the parity in the conference, just about any team that makes the playoffs in the east will have a legitimate shot of going all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. With the competition that tight, every little edge counts and both the Red Wings and Rangers have a chance to make life much easier for themselves in April and beyond by successfully securing the Atlantic and Metropolitan Division titles respectively.

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The Rangers are in a far better position to take their division going into this game. They’re just one point behind the leading Islanders despite having played in three fewer games. At the same time, the Rangers have to look over their shoulder as Pittsburgh has been surging lately and is just three points shy of overtaking them, making it still entirely conceivable that New York will not only miss out on first place, but also fail to secure the home ice advantage in the first round.

By getting Yandle, the Rangers arguably made the biggest splash in the trade market, so that gives them an advantage over their competition. Coming from Arizona, Yandle is thrilled to be part of a winning team.

“If you just look at the back end out, the Rangers are as strong as any team,” Yandle, who has been paired with Kevin Klein, said. “They are fast up front, have tons of speed and skill, and the goaltending is best in the league. I can’t find a weak flaw in the lineup so it’s pretty cool to be a part of it.”

Detroit’s in a more difficult position as it currently ranks third with 81 points behind Tampa Bay (84) and Montreal (87) in the Atlantic. However, the Red Wings have played in four less games than the Lightning and two fewer than the Canadiens, so they’re not entirely out of the race yet.

Cole and Zidlicky are projected to make their Red Wings’ debut tonight, but the big news out of Detroit is that Henrik Zetterberg (concussion) might be ready to return after skating with the team on Tuesday, per the team’s website. If the practice lines yesterday prove to be accurate, then Zetterberg will play alongside Cole and Justin Abdelkader, while Tomas Jurco, Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Tatar will form the other top-two line. Cole’s addition has also given the Red Wings the luxury of moving Gustav Nyquist to the third line. That provides them the depth needed to compete in a lengthy playoff run or, more immediately, take on New York tonight.

Update: Stars’ Daley could miss ‘weeks’ after hit by Isles’ Martin

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New York Islanders forward Matt Martin received a game misconduct and five-minute kneeing major for this hit on Dallas Stars defenseman Trevor Daley on Tuesday:

Daley suffered what’s labeled a lower-body injury on the play (it looked like a knee issue, but we’ll see).

Martin has been suspended by the NHL before, but not in years. Should he receive supplemental discipline for that play?

Update: Bad news for the Stars (and maybe Martin) from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, as Daley could miss “weeks.”

Goalie nods: Markstrom makes season debut for Canucks

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Vancouver goes with Markstrom

There’ll be plenty of eyes on the crease in Vancouver tonight as Jacob Markstrom makes his season debut against the Sharks.

Markstrom, a former touted prospect with Florida that came to the Canucks as part of the Roberto Luongo trade, has spent all of this season in AHL Utica and revived his career, going 17-7-2 with a 1.95 GAA and .932 save percentage, earning a spot in the All-Star Game.

Markstrom was recalled last week after Ryan Miller went down to injury, and served as Eddie Lack’s backup. Tonight, he’ll play in his first NHL game since April of 2014.

No word yet on who’ll start for San Jose. Alex Stalock played last night and shut out the Habs, so the Sharks could turn to Antti Niemi.

Elsewhere…

Preds at Devils: Carter Hutton (probable) vs. Cory Schneider

Flames at Flyers: Karri Ramo vs. Steve Mason

Caps at Jackets: Braden Holtby vs. Sergei Bobrovsky

Sabres at Bolts: Anders Lindback vs. Ben Bishop

Leafs at Panthers: Jonathan Bernier vs. Roberto Luongo

Sens at Wild: Andrew Hammond vs. Devan Dubnyk (probable)

Isles at Stars: Jaroslav Halak vs. Kari Lehtonen (probable)

Ducks at Coyotes: Frederik Andersen (probable) vs. Mike Smith

Kings at Oilers: Jonathan Quick (probable) vs. Ben Scrivens (probable)