Hjalmarsson to be re-evaluated
The Chicago Blackhawks lost defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to an upper-body injury against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday. It's unclear what happened to cause the injury, but Hjalmarsson appeared to pull up lame during the end of his last shift of the game. Coach Joel Quenneville said Hjalmarsson will be re-evaluated on Friday.
Gibson misses game
Goalie John Gibson is missing the Anaheim Ducks' game against the Boston Bruins with a lower-body injury. The Ducks recalled Jhonas Enroth from their AHL affiliate in San Diego to back up Jonathan Bernier on Wednesday night. Gibson is 23-15-8 with a 2.24 goals-against average while starting 45 of the Ducks' first 61 games in his first season as their No. 1 starter. He has posted five shutouts and a .922 save percentage.
Erik Johnson nears return
Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson is nearing a return after being sidelined since early December with a broken leg. Coach Jared Bednar said the Avalanche's top defenseman has been going through some of the contact drills in practice and "that's a positive sign." Johnson broke his leg while blocking a shot December 3 against Dallas. Forward Rene Bourque also is progressing after missing the past 14 games with a head injury.
Maatta out 6 weeks
Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta is out six weeks after undergoing surgery on his left hand. He injured the hand in the second period of Thursday night's 4-3 overtime victory against the Winnipeg Jets. Maatta has one goal and six assists in 54 games this season for Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh defenseman Justin Schultz also sat out the third period on Thursday with an injury. The Penguins bolstered their defensive depth by recalling Cameron Gaunce and Steve Oleksy from the American Hockey League.
Vermette suspended 10 games
Anaheim Ducks forward Antoine Vermette was suspended for 10 games without pay Thursday for slashing a linesman in apparent anger after a faceoff. Vermette slapped his stick against the back of linesman Shandor Alphonso's legs after losing a faceoff to Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu during the third period of the Ducks' 1-0 win Tuesday. Two days later, the NHL issued the automatic 10-game ban, but Vermette is expected to appeal the suspension.
Vermette facing lengthy ban
Anaheim Ducks center Antoine Vermette is facing the likely prospect of a 10-game suspension from the NHL for slashing a linesman. Vermette slapped his stick against the back of linesman Shandor Alphonso's legs after losing a faceoff to Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu during the third period of the Ducks' 1-0 win Tuesday night. Vermette had a disciplinary conference call with the league and the players' union Wednesday, but the NHL didn't issue an immediate confirmation of what's expected to be an automatic 10-game suspension under league rules for applying physical force to an official without intent to injure.
St Louis 15.2.17
Blues place Stastny on IR
Forward Paul Stastny has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. The St. Louis Blues said the veteran was injured during the Blues' 2-1 overtime win on Feb. 9 in Toronto. The 31-year-old is tied for fourth on the team with 35 points (15 goals, 20 assists) in 54 games. Stastny is in his third season with the Blues after being signed as a free agent in July 2014.
Malkin may return against Canucks
The Pittsburgh Penguins have weathered the absence of center Evgeni Malkin pretty well, earning 10 of a possible 14 points. Still, they are thrilled that Malkin is likely to return Tuesday when the Vancouver Canucks visit PPG Paints Arena. Malkin, who is recovering from a left leg injury, was expected to return Saturday at Arizona, but somewhat surprisingly was scratched before Pittsburgh's 4-3 overtime loss. Monday, however, Malkin was a full participant in practice, including his regular spot on the power play.
Ericsson to have wrist surgery
Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson is expected to miss 12 weeks after fracturing his wrist in Detroit's loss at Washington on Thursday night. A team spokesman confirmed Friday that Ericsson is set to have surgery next week. The Red Wings put Ericsson on long-term injured reserve and recalled goalie Jimmy Howard on Friday from Grand Rapids of the AHL.
Burakovsky to miss at least a month
Washington Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky is expected to miss at least a month with an injured right hand. Capitals coach Barry Trotz said at practice on Friday that Burakovsy will not need surgery but will be out until mid to late March. Burakovsky was hurt when he was hit by the puck while blocking a shot in the first period of the NHL-leading Capitals' 6-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.
Bruins fire coach Julien
The Boston Bruins fired Stanley Cup-winning coach Claude Julien, just hours before a downtown parade in honor of the New England Patriots' Super Bowl victory. General manager Don Sweeney apologized for the timing, but said the team's two-day break between games provided time to recover from the emotions of Julien's dismissal. With the team in danger of missing the playoffs for a third straight season, Sweeney felt he had little choice. Assistant Bruce Cassidy was named interim coach. Julien is the fourth coach to be fired this season following Ken Hitchcock in St. Louis last week , Gerard Gallant of the Florida Panthers in November and Jack Capuano of the New York Islanders in January.
St Louis 6.2.17
Fabbri out for rest of season
St. Louis Blues forward Robby Fabbri will miss the rest of the season because of left knee injury. The 21-year-old was checked into the boards by Pittsburgh's Carter Rowney during the first period Saturday and went to the ice. The long-term injury is another blow to the Blues, who have lost six of their past eight games to fall out of a playoff position in the Western Conference and fired coach Ken Hitchcock last week. Fabbri had 11 goals and 18 assists for 29 points in 51 games this season.
Bergeron listed as day to day
The Boston Bruins are hopeful they won't be missing one of their top scorers when they open a crucial four-game homestand against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. Center Patrice Bergeron didn't practice Friday because of a lower-body injury suffered Wednesday in a 5-3 loss at Washington. General manager Don Sweeney classified Bergeron as day to day. Coach Claude Julien wouldn't rule out Bergeron against the Maple Leafs.
Sheary out 4 to 6 weeks
Conor Sheary's breakout season with the Pittsburgh Penguins hit a speed bump on Wednesday. The team says the second-year forward is out 4 to 6 weeks due to an upper-body injury. It's unclear when the 24-year-old was hurt. Sheary played 16:52 and picked up an assist in Tuesday night's 4-2 victory over Nashville.
The injury is the latest hit to Pittsburgh's depth. Center Evgeni Malkin is out indefinitely with a knee injury and forward Matt Cullen remains out with a broken foot, though Cullen said Wednesday he is nearing a return.
Stars hope Faksa returns against Toronto
The Dallas Stars have battled injuries for much of the season but could get a boost from the return of young center Radek Faksa, out the past two games with a lower-body injury. "He's a good possibility," coach Lindy Ruff said. "He skated over the weekend, felt good, thought he looked good out there today, so we'll see later today. As long as he continues to feel well, he's a good possibility to play."