MONTREAL --Dallas Stars rookie Alex Chiasson has had a near historic number of highlights over the course of his short NHL career, but the one to come Tuesday at Bell Centre may top them all.
The Montreal-area native who has begun his NHL career with 11 goals in 18 games will play his first game in his hometown, with more than 50 family and friends expected to attend the game against the Montreal Canadiens.
"When we start the season there are always a couple of dates we circle, and tonight's going to be a memorable night for me," Chiasson said. "When the plane landed last night I was a little nervous. I didn't sleep much last night."
Wingels left the Sharks' 2-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Thursday night in the first period after taking a hit in the corner from Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara.
Wingels, who has two goals and four assists in 10 games this season, took part in the skate Saturday with no restrictions and said afterwards he was "feeling good" but that no decision had been made in regards to his status.
"We'll make a decision here once he's reviewed by the doctors and the training staff," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "He skated today and he's feeling pretty good, so we're hoping he can play."
Right wing Devante Smith-Pelly appears as though he will make his season debut in the place of Kyle Palmieri, who would be a healthy scratch for the first time this season. Smith-Pelly was called up Tuesday from the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League, where he had two goals in six games.
Palmieri has one goal and one assist in eight games for the Ducks, but played three shifts in the third period of the Ducks' game Tuesday in Toronto.
Also expected to draw back into the Ducks lineup is defenseman Mark Fistric, in place of Ben Lovejoy. Fistric has been scratched seven straight games, but Lovejoy played a season-low 12:35 Tuesday and was limited to four shifts in the third.
"That's been the history here with [Eberle] through training camp and the early part of the season, that he's been able to make the people around him better," Eakins said. "So he's going to be a key component in helping Nail along the way, and [Nugent-Hopkins] as well. [Nugent-Hopkins] got off to a good start and fell off a little bit, so we're hoping he has continued success as well."
Gaborik's spot in the lineup will be taken by Sean Collins, who will make his season debut.
Gaborik has two goals and four assists in five games this season playing on the Blue Jackets' top line with Brandon Dubinsky and Cam Atkinson. Rookie Boone Jenner is expected to take Gaborik's spot on that line.
Collins played five games with the Blue Jackets last season. He is still looking for his first NHL point.
Pacioretty left the Canadiens' 3-0 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday in the first period with a lower-body injury. He had to be helped off the ice and was unable to put weight on his left leg.
Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said the team still was awaiting the results of an MRI taken Wednesday night amid rampant speculation in Montreal about the severity of Pacioretty’s injury. When he said the team did not have the results of the MRI as of early Thursday afternoon, a few reporters chuckled.
"What are you laughing at? We don't know yet," Therrien said. "I'm as eager to know as you are. Maybe even a little more eager than you are."
Pacioretty hurt his arm midway through the first period of Montreal's season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs when he was hit along the boards by Colton Orr. Pacioretty missed the rest of the first period and the first few shifts of the second before coming back to finish the game.
Pacioretty participated in Montreal's practice Friday, but said afterward that he couldn't guarantee he would be able to play in Saturday's game. Coach Michel Therrien said Saturday after the team's morning skate that he considered it "too risky" to put Pacioretty in the lineup.
Pacioretty's absence, coupled with that of George Parros (concussion), ensures that rookie Michael Bournival will make his NHL debut while Ryan White will make his season debut after both sat out Tuesday's game.
I'm very excited about what happened today. We've worked on this deal with Toronto for a month, or over a month. It got a little bit of legs on draft day, but it really heated up last night, and we were able to complete the deal today.
— Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on Phil Kessel, who he acquired from the Maple Leafs in a trade on Wednesday