In addition to center Stephen Weiss returning after missing Tuesday's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins to attend his grandmother's funeral, defenseman Filip Kuba could be ready to play after missing the past two games because of an upper-body injury.
PHILADELPHIA -- If Michal Neuvirth were healthy, he'd be starting in goal for the Washington Capitals in their NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center.
"It would have been a good night to give Neuvy a start," Capitals coach Adam Oates said prior to the game.
Coach Alain Vigneault said a CT scan taken on Wednesday morning revealed the fracture. He did not have a timeline for the return of his Selke Trophy-winning center, but it's bad timing for a team about to play 16 games in March.
"Any fracture is usually four to six weeks, depending on the nature of the fracture," Vigneault said. "Some are less -- hairline fractures. I haven't gotten at length with our doctors how long this will be."
Malkin skated for 30 minutes and reported no symptoms, according to the Penguins. There is no timetable for his return.
Although they gave up the game-winning goal with five seconds remaining, the Kings played their best game to that point and have since won six of seven, allowing seven total goals in that span. They come full circle Wednesday night when Detroit comes to Staples Center.
What changed in that Feb. 10 game? Jarret Stoll said the Kings got back to better puck movement.
“Whether it’s a 5-, 6-, 8-foot pass to score, moving the puck up the ice is really key instead of having the sloppy pass or the sloppy bobbled puck, and then you’re in one in your own zone,” Stoll said. “A team like Detroit – they can sense that, they can feel that. They’re smart at that. We’ve got to make sure we’re sharp moving the puck, supporting each other.”
The New York Rangers will likely have defenseman Ryan McDonagh back in the lineup Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but Rick Nash and Michael Del Zotto are not sure bets to return from their injuries.
All three participated in an optional practice Wednesday in Greenburgh, N.Y., after missing Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Forward Arron Asham, who has missed three games with back spasms, was not on the ice.
Newly acquired Montreal Canadiens forward Michael Ryder will play against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday but coach Michel Therrien would not say where the 32-year-old would be slotted in the lineup.
The Canadiens had 15 skaters plus their two goalies on the ice at the morning skate and did not skate in line rushes. Carey Price likely will get the start in goal.
The Maple Leafs activated goaltender James Reimer from injured reserve and sent Jussi Rynnas back to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. Ben Scrivens will start and Reimer will serve as the backup.
PHILADELPHIA -- Forgive the Washington Capitals for seeming insensitive, but the news that Michal Neuvirth is ill and won't be able to play Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers isn't exactly devastating.
It's the exact opposite.
Of course, the Capitals would prefer to have Neuvirth healthy and with them on this trip to Philadelphia, but the fact that he's ill means Braden Holtby will make his eighth straight start and second in as many days.
That's good news for a team that has won two straight and five of seven, including a 3-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, due in large part to Holtby's 33 saves.
Tuesday's full practice proved to be a costly one for the St. Louis Blues.
Days after placing rookie wing Vladimir Tarasenko on injured reserve with a concussion and facial laceration sustained during Wednesday's game at the Colorado Avalanche, two more Blues forwards were hurt during practice.
Wednesday, the team announced that wing Andy McDonald has been placed on injured reserve with a left knee injury. McDonald is listed as week-to-week, and wing Alex Steen is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
"One guy is day-to-day, so it's not a big deal," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "The other guy is week-to-week. It happens. We've got lots of guys coming in that are hungry, guys that have played in the NHL. So we shouldn't miss a beat."
Hitchock said he has not ruled out Steen for Thursday's game against the Chicago Blackhawks.
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For our team, as a group, we've never been this far before, and so it's just more lessons learned, and sometimes you have to go to the school of hard knocks to find out what works and what doesn't. We've got a young group. They've played some unreal hockey here to get us this far, and we showed if we're not going to play the proper way, a really, really good hockey team is going to beat you, and that's what they did. It's a lesson learned.