March 20, 2023
NHL Buzz: Nichushkin out for Avalanche vs Devils

NHL Buzz: Nichushkin out for Avalanche vs Devils

Colorado Avalanche

Valery Nikhushkin did not play for the Avalanche against the New Jersey Devils on Friday due to a lower body injury.

The forward ranks fourth in the NHL with 12 points (seven goals, five assists) and has a point in each of Colorado’s seven games this season.

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said Nichushkin is out every day and will travel to Finland with the team.

After Friday’s game, the Avalanche play the New York Islanders on Saturday before heading to Finland on November 4-5 for the 2022 NHL Global Series, where they face the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Martin Kaut replaced Nichushkin in the second row with forwards Alex Newhook and Evan Rodrigues.

Pittsburgh penguins

Jake Guentzel trained with the Penguins at an optional morning skate but will not play with the Vancouver Canucks on Friday (10:00 p.m. ET; SN360, SN1, ATTSN-PT, ESPN+, SN NOW).

The forward has missed the last three games after being shot in the ear by the Pittsburgh defender Kris Letang in a 6-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on October 20.

“Not sure. No idea yet,” Guentzel said of whether he could return against the Seattle Kraken on Saturday. “I feel good. It’s exciting to get back out there and connect and just be out there with the guys.”

Güntzel, the left wing in the front row with Sydney Crosby and Rickard RackelHe has five points (three goals, two assists) in four games. Last season he led Pittsburgh with 40 goals in 76 games, the second time he scored 40 goals in six NHL seasons.

Arizona coyotes

Jacob Chychrun had a setback in his recovery from wrist surgery and the Coyotes’ defense attorney is being watched by the week.

“He went to his doctor in New York,” general manager Bill Armstrong said Thursday. “We’re going to treat him week by week and just take care of it. He’ll rejoin the team once he’s cleared and he’ll step in and hopefully be in training but we’ll be covering it week in and week out for him.

“We are happy to get him back in the line-up. He is a big piece for us.”

Chychrun underwent wrist surgery during the offseason and has not played since March 12 when he sustained a season-ending ankle injury.

The 24-year-old had 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) in 47 games last season. He had 41 points in 56 games in 2020-21, including 18 goals for leading NHL defensemen. – Dan Rosen

New York Rangers

Philip Chytil suffered a setback in training on Friday and will not travel with Rangers on their two-game road trip this weekend.

The forward has missed two games with an upper-body injury sustained in the first period of a 5-1 loss to the Blue Jackets on October 23.

The Rangers visit the Dallas Stars on Saturday and the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.

Forward Vitaly Kravtsov could return after missing a 3-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Wednesday with an upper-body injury.

buffalo saber

defender Matthew Samuelsson and Henri Jokihar were placed on injured reserve on Thursday and are expected to be out for a few weeks.

Samuelsson, who signed a seven-year, $30 million contract ($4.29 million average annual value) on Oct. 12, sustained a lower-body injury in Saturday’s 5-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. He has no points in five games this season.

“It’s going to be a couple of weeks, but a lot better than we might have initially thought,” said Kevyn Adams, general manager of Sabers. “So a couple of weeks and then we’ll just go from there. He’ll be out for a while, but not terribly.”

Jokiharju was injured when a puck hit him in the face in the 6-3 win over the Calgary Flames on October 20. He has missed the last two games and has an assist in four games this season.

“Small fracture that doesn’t unduly alter his progression or anything,” Adams said. “The good news from him is that he’s feeling a lot better, he’s making progress. … The fact that he had a better day today bodes well. You’ll probably see it here by the day, though [we’ll] Let’s see if he gets back on the ice a bit next week. Probably more week to week for him.”

Buffalo recalled defenders Lawrence Pilot and Kale Clague from Rochester of the American Hockey League. With two other defenders injured at Rochester, the Sabers could make additional moves if needed.

“For the past two days we’ve reviewed all options,” Adams said. “What we’re not going to do is make a big reactionary or emotional move. But if we think something makes sense, if we could add a little more depth to the organization, not at a price where we’re giving up assets or anything, then maybe that’s something we’ll try.” – Heather Engel

Chicago Blackhawks

Tyler Johnson was placed on injured reserve with a left ankle injury.

The forward picked up the injury when he awkwardly went into the rink after a goal from the middle of the Panthers Alexander Barkov in the third period in the 4-2 win on Tuesday.

Johnson had played in all six Blackhawks games prior to Thursday’s 6-5 loss to the Edmonton Oilers and was their top scorer with six points (two goals, four assists).

“Ankle sprains are a bit common these days, especially with the stiff boots and the skates they wear,” Chicago coach Luke Richardson said before the game. “I saw the rerun and it’s a big man that turned on him so we’re lucky it’s hopefully short term. He plays so well too. We will miss him. It’s definitely good news (Johnson didn’t go on long-term IR) because it could have been worse.”

Johnson underwent an artificial disc replacement (ADR) on December 3 before returning on March 3.

“It’s tough, he played so well,” says Blackhawks forward Sam Lafferty said. “He brings so much to the table for us, so much energy and so much skill. He scores, he plays, he scores. He does everything.” – Bruce Miles

Ottawa Senators

Markus Kaštelic signed a two-year, $1.67 million deal with the Senators on Thursday. It has an average annual value of $835,000.

“I kind of knew it was coming, but we finished it last night and I couldn’t be more excited to be here for two more years after this season,” Kastelic said on Thursday. “I’ve had so much fun so far and hopefully this is just the beginning. … Now that I’ve signed, I see no change. I’m just going to keep putting my head down and working and trying to enjoy it every day and make money out here every day.”

The 23-year-old forward has two goals in seven games this season and is third in the NHL for faceoff percentage (66.1 percent, at least 50 faceoffs). He is expected to take on a bigger role at the center Josh Norris take a long break with a shoulder injury.

“He’s tall, strong (6ft-3, 233lbs), obviously tough, but so is his faceoffs, he’s responsible, and then his ability to keep pucks in goal [offensive] Zone, get on the forecheck,” said Senators coach DJ Smith. “His game has really improved. And I think as he gains more confidence, he just keeps getting better.”

Kastelic was selected by Ottawa in the fifth round (No. 125) in the 2019 NHL Draft and has six points (four goals, two assists) in 23 games.

“Mark has worked tirelessly to earn whatever came his way since he was a late round draft pick three years ago,” said Senators general manager Pierre Dorion. “He is reliable, competitive, very proud of his condition and regularly shows his willingness to take on any challenge. He is a very good example for the young players and prospects throughout the organization.” – Callum Fraser

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