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Preseason Buzz: Bruins lose Krug for start of season with fractured jaw

Defenseman will be re-evaluated in three weeks after taking puck to face Tuesday

NHL.com @NHL

Welcome to the 2017 preseason!

This is a busy time, with preseason games underway, rookies looking to make a name for themselves and veterans aiming to lock down roster spots. Each day, we will have all the updates of note right here.

Here is the preseason news for Thursday:

 

Bruins lose Krug for start of season with fractured jaw

Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug will miss the start of the regular season with a non-displaced fracture of his jaw.

Krug was hit in the face with the puck in the defensive zone during the second period of the Bruins' 4-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday. The Bruins said Thursday he will be re-evaluated in three weeks.

Krug led Boston's defensemen in scoring last season with 51 points (eight goals, 43 assists). He led the Bruins with 25 power-play points (six goals, 19 assists).

Coach Bruce Cassidy said the Bruins have a number of options to replace Krug.

"Obviously [general manager Don Sweeney] will make the decision he needs to make at the end of camp," Cassidy said. "If you're looking for just a clone of Torey, an offensive guy, obviously [Matt] Grzelcyk or [Jakub] Zboril have some of those qualities. It's an opportunity for them. Or it could be the best player. Robbie O'Gara started last year with us, Tommy Cross played in the playoffs, [Paul] Postma is a right shot but has played left in the past. So internally we have options. But again if [Sweeney] looks externally, I'm sure he'll always look to try to make our team better.

"But right now it's not a long-term injury. That's the good news."

The Bruins also said forward Matt Beleskey is day to day with a foot contusion sustained in a 3-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday, and that rookie forward Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson is day to day after leaving the game against Detroit with an upper-body injury.

Video: OTT@BOS: Krug makes a slick move, nets PPG

 

Zadorov, Duchene set for preseason debuts for Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov reported to training camp Thursday after getting his immigration papers finalized, underwent medical and physical testing, and will practice for the first time Friday. 

The Russia-born Zadorov, 22, who was a restricted free agent, signed a two-year contract reportedly worth $4.3 million last Friday.

"I finally saw all the guys," he said at Pepsi Center, where the Avalanche play the Dallas Stars Thursday in a preseason game. "They were happy to see me, I was happy to see them. Now [it's] back to work and I'm real happy to be here."

Center Matt Duchene will make his preseason debut. He's expected to play on a line with left wing Alexander Kerfoot and right wing Nail Yakupov.

Zadorov (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) will be on the Avalanche's top defense pair with Erik Johnson. Zadorov had 10 assists, 73 penalty minutes and a team-leading 153 hits in 56 games last season. He missed the final 25 games after breaking his ankle in practice.

"At our exit meeting last year [general manager Joe Sakic] told us we're probably going to play together this year, so we're excited," Zadorov said. "[Johnson's] been texting me every day, he wants me to be here and was happy I came today. I'm real excited to play with him, he's a great player."

Zadorov said he's been skating and working out since mid-August and doesn't think it will take long for him to be in game shape.

"I've got a few preseason games left, right?" he said. "I'm going to play some of them and hopefully I get my level back right away. I was skating and I was like, 'Let's get the season going already.' I'm ready and I don't think it's going to be any problem to come back to the same level."

-- Rick Sadowski

Myers elated after return to ice with Jets

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Tyler Myers passed his first test Wednesday after missing all but 11 games last season with injuries. Myers played a game-high 23:32 and had an assist in the Jets' 4-1 preseason loss to the Edmonton Oilers at Bell MTS Place.

It was the first game for the 6-foot-8, 229-pound defenseman since Nov. 11, 2016. He missed the Jets' final 71 games in 2016-17 because of lower-body injuries and two surgeries.

"It felt great to get back out there," Myers said. "My endurance was better than I thought it would be. It was great to get my legs underneath me, and I felt pretty good considering."

The 2010 Calder Trophy winner spent most of the night playing with his likely regular-season partner, Dmitry Kulikov.

Myers said he felt pretty close to his regular form.

"I don't think it's a bad thing I'm coming back during a training camp," he said. "I've had a good week to prep. It feels like the start of any season I've been in. I feel good, like myself, and I think it's only going to improve."

-- Tim Campbell

Video: DAL@WPG: Myers opens the scoring 15 seconds in

 

Robinson joins Blues as senior consultant

Nine-time Stanley Cup champion Larry Robinson joined the St. Louis Blues on Friday as a senior consultant.

Robinson played in 1,384 regular-season games and 227 playoff games during his 20-year NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens (1972-89) and the Los Angeles Kings (1989-92). He was a member of six Cup-winning teams with the Canadiens and won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman twice.

Robinson was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995, and was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian on Jan. 27.

He also won the Stanley Cup in 1995, 2000 and 2003 as a coach or assistant with the New Jersey Devils.

"He's at the point in his life now where he wanted some separation from the game, not a commitment that was necessary day to day but one that would be attached to it," Blues general manager said of Robinson, now 66. "I talked to [coach] Mike [Yeo] ... it just felt like going to someone like Larry Robinson; he's done an awful lot on the ice, to consulting, to working with someone like [longtime Devils GM] Lou Lamoreillo, who I have a ton of respect for, to coaching a Stanley Cup-caliber team. He's going to be able to share experiences. It's great that Mike wants to tap into the experiences of someone like Larry."

 

Flames goalie Gillies sparkles with behind-the-back save

Calgary Flames goaltender Jon Gillies didn't disappoint in his attempt to stand out in his second appearance of the preseason. 

Gillies, 23, turned in an early save-of-the-year candidate with his behind-the-back spinning catch on a deflected shot by forward Wacey Hamilton at 5:13 of the second period of a 5-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday.

Tweet from @NHLFlames: This save is so insane, you need to see it from a few angles. pic.twitter.com/qztlqKfnX3

"I didn't know where it was at first," Gillies said. "It went up in the air. When I felt it hit the back of my neck I kind of knew where it was going to come down because it happened before. I wasn't really trying to catch it. I was trying to roll to keep it away and keep it out of the net. I just put my glove in the path where I could kind of swat it and came up with it."

The save drew several in-arena replays and cheers from the fans. 

"That was great," Flames forward Kris Versteeg said. "He's a big guy and he's very athletic. You see him do it a lot in practice. These goalies are all genetic freaks now. It's hard to score on them and when he can make acrobatic save like that it's nice. The fans loved it too. We got excited for him.

Gillies, a third-round pick (No. 75) of the Flames in the 2012 NHL Draft, is expected to start the season with Stockton of the American Hockey League after signing a one-year, two-way contract on July 22.

-- Aaron Vickers

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