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Preseason Buzz: Larkin questionable for season opener with Red Wings

Kempny out for Capitals; Suzuki, Fleury make Canadiens @NHLdotcom

Welcome to the 2019 preseason! This is a busy time, with rookies looking to make a name for themselves and veterans looking to lock down roster spots. Each day, we will have all the updates of note right here.

Here is the news for Tuesday:

Larkin injured during Red Wings practice

Dylan Larkin's status for the start of the 2019-20 season is a concern after he appeared to sustain an injury in practice Tuesday.

The forward slid into the boards about midway through practice and left the ice without assistance. Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said that Larkin is under evaluation and they should know more Thursday.

Detroit opens its season against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, FS-D, NHL.TV).

"I'm a big believer in let's find out what's going on and then where we are from there," Blashill told Red Wings website. "There's no reason to try to think about ... he could be totally fine. We'll know tomorrow.

"He kind of curled up with the puck and just kind of at the same time, he almost ran into [teammate Darren Helm], and then kind of went into the wall a little bit. It didn't look vicious at all. Not vicious, that's not the right word. It didn't look anything much. It looked fairly innocent and then he went off the ice."

Andreas Athanasiou did not practice Tuesday. The forward has had an injury throughout camp and seemed to aggravate it after skating with the Red Wings on Monday. Blashill called it a tweak and said he hopes Athanasiou will be ready for the Predators.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Blashill gives an update on Larkin & looks ahead to the regular season following today's practice day. #LGRW

Krejci status for Bruins opener remains unknown

David Krejci returned to practice with the Boston Bruins, but it's unknown if he will be able to play in the season opener against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; SN360, FS-SW, NESN, NHL.TV).

The forward, who sustained a lower-body injury in a preseason game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sept. 23, practiced Tuesday for the first time since being hurt. He wore a red no-contact jersey and left practice when the contact drills started.

"It's to be determined still," general manager Don Sweeney said in response to a question about Krejci's availability against the Stars. "He worked his way back up there for sake of a practice, and he'll continue to do the same. So we'll re-evaluate every day. He's possible."

Krejci was mostly tight-lipped about his status, but was positive with the step he took Tuesday.

"It was a good day today, for sure," Krejci said.

Matt Kalman


Kempny placed on injured non-roster list by Capitals

Michal Kempny was placed on the injured non-roster list and the defenseman won't play for the Washington Capitals in the season opener at the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN) because he hasn't fully recovered from surgery to repair a torn hamstring.

"Obviously, I'm not going to play tomorrow, for sure," Kempny said. "It is what it is. I feel better every day and I'm just trying to build, to work on some stuff and get better."  

There is no timetable for Kempy's return, but he expressed hope Tuesday that he will soon be cleared for contact. The 29-year-old, who was injured against the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 20, has practiced throughout training camp wearing a light blue non-contact jersey. 

"I think I'm really close," Kempny said. "We have to talk with [head athletic trainer Jason Serbus] and go from that, but I can say I'm very close."

With Kempny unavailable, rookie defenseman Martin Fehervary, the Capitals' second-round pick (No. 46) in the 2018 NHL Draft, is expected to make his NHL debut Wednesday.

Tom Gulitti


Suzuki, Fleury get chance with Canadiens

Forward Nick Suzuki and defenseman Cale Fleury have earned the opportunity to make their respective NHL debuts with the Montreal Canadiens. Each are expected to play in the season opener against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV).

"He kind of made it blunt, just said, 'You made the team,'" Suzuki said about his conversation with Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin before practice Tuesday. "I was thinking about it a lot over the past couple of days and I thought I did everything I could to earn a spot. I'm just lucky enough to be here."

Ryan Poehling was Montreal's final cut. The 20-year-old center, chosen in the first round (No. 25) of the 2017 NHL Draft, will begin the season with Laval of the American Hockey League after missing several preseason games because of a concussion.

"Ideally our young players get to play four or five preseason games," Bergevin said. "Unfortunately for Ryan, he was out for 10 days and he only played two games. … Like I told Ryan this morning, it's only a matter of time before he returns to Montreal."

Sean Farrell


Haley agrees with Rangers

Micheal Haley agreed to terms on a contract with the New York Rangers. The 33-year-old forward was on a professional tryout with the Rangers and scored one goal in five preseason games.


Waiver wire

* Eric Comrie was claimed off waivers by the Arizona Coyotes from the Winnipeg Jets. The 24-year-old goalie was the Jets' second-round pick (No. 59) in the 2013 NHL Draft.

* Carl Dahlstrom was claimed by Winnipeg from the Chicago Blackhawks. He'll provide the Jets depth on defense with Dustin Byfuglien suspended because of a personal leave of absence and the offseason departures of Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers, and Ben Chiarot.

* Defenseman Andrew MacDonald was released from his professional tryout contract by the Calgary Flames. Forwards Alan Quine, Zac Rinaldo and Dillon Dube cleared waivers and were assigned to Stockton of the American Hockey League.

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