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Preseason Buzz: Faulk expected to play first game with Blues

Bergeron set for debut; Lehner practices with Blackhawks in Berlin

NHL.com @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 Friday:

 

Faulk to play first game with Blues

Justin Faulk is expected make his debut with the St. Louis Blues when they play the Washington Capitals at Enterprise Center on Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, NHL.TV). 

The defenseman, acquired in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, will play the right side on a pairing with Alex Pietrangelo, coach Craig Berube said.

"It'll be good. It's been a little bit hectic, I think, the last few days, not too bad, but out there, it's just playing hockey," Faulk said. "It'll be nice to get playing with some of the guys and start to get a feel for this system and how this team plays.

Defensemen Robert Bortuzzo and Carl Gunnarsson will not play Friday, and Berube said both players have been "banged up," and "nicked up," although the coach said he's not concerned about their availability for the season opener Wednesday against the Capitals (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN). 

Louie Korac

 

Price likely to return for Canadiens in preseason finale

Carey Price took part in a full practice with the Montreal Canadiens and said he's ready to start their preseason finale against the Ottawa Senators at Bell Centre on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, NHL.TV).

The goalie sat out Montreal's games Monday and Wednesday with a bruised hand.

"It was kind of an unlucky deal," Price said after practice. "I just wound up getting hit in the back of the hand in a funny spot and it just swelled up. Every once in a while you get a stinger that hurts, but it was just kind of in a bad spot so we didn't want to push it."

Coach Claude Julien said Price is likely to start against Ottawa.

"If he's ready, there's a strong chance he'll be in net tomorrow," Julien said. "I know he's feeling much better. He felt good, and that's in line with what we talked about the other day after the game. It was a bruise and we gave him the time to heal a bit, and I said the odds were good we'd see him back by the weekend."

Sean Farrell

 

Lehner practices with Blackhawks in Berlin

Robin Lehner practiced with the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday as they prepared for the 2019 NHL Global Series Challenge at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin.

The goalie injured his right hip at practice on Tuesday and didn't practice on Wednesday.

Center Kirby Dach, who has been in NHL concussion protocol since the start of training camp, had his first practice with the Blackhawks. Dach, the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, skated three consecutive days last week before the Blackhawks departed for Berlin.

"The more time he spends around us the easier it's going to get for him, and he'll adjust to the speed and having him part of the full group today was a good step for him," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "We just kind of got the legs going and played a little 4-on-4 tournament. But that would still be good for him and tomorrow we'll practice [again]."

The Blackhawks play Eisbaren Berlin on Sunday (1:30 p.m. ET; NHLN; NBCSCH+, NHL.TV) and open the regular season against the Philadelphia Flyers at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic, on Oct. 4 (2 p.m. ET; NBCSP, NBCSCH, NHL.TV).

Tracey Myers

 

Bergeron to make preseason debut with Bruins

Patrice Bergeron will play for the Boston Bruins on Saturday when they host the Chicago Blackhawks in their final preseason game at TD Garden (3 p.m. ET; NHLN, NESN+, NHL.TV).

Bergeron hasn't played during the preseason as he recovers from a groin injury. 

David Krejci and Joakim Nordstrom were among four forwards who didn't practice Friday.

Krejci sustained a lower-body injury Monday in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers and hasn't practiced since. He had treatment Friday.

"I think he'll be back Monday or Tuesday," coach Bruce Cassidy said.

Nordstrom is dealing with a foot injury, and Cassidy said his status for the regular-season opener at the Dallas Stars on Oct. 3 (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, NESN, NHL.TV) is in question.

Jack Studnicka (dental) and Peter Cehlarik (lower body) also did not practice.

 

Barkov, Huberdeau practice, won't play in Panthers preseason finale

Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau, two-thirds of the top line for the Florida Panthers, were on the ice for practice Friday after each dealt with a minor injury.

Barkov left in the first period of a 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday after he took a hit from Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov and didn't return. Huberdeau did not play because of an undisclosed injury.

Coach Joel Quenneville said Barkov and Huberdeau each looked good during practice, but they and a handful of other veterans won't dress for the preseason finale against the Lightning at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

"We're not playing them tomorrow, but they both certainly could play," Quenneville told the Panthers website. "The progress from [Huberdeau] was good and [Barkov] was back to his regular self. It was good."

Forward Brett Connolly, who left the game against Tampa Bay 14 seconds into the third period after being clipped by Tampa Bay defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, did not practice. Quenneville said he could be out for a week.
 

Harley returned to junior team by Stars

Thomas Harley, taken by the Dallas Stars in the first round (No. 18) of the 2019 NHL Draft, was returned to Mississauga of the Ontario Hockey League.

The defenseman had two assists in five preseason games for Dallas.

The Stars also loaned forwards Nicholas Caamano, Rhett Gardiner and Jason Robertson to Texas of the American Hockey League, reducing their roster to 25 players.

 

Stafford released from PTO by Wild

Drew Stafford was released from his professional tryout contract by the Minnesota Wild on Friday.

Stafford was scoreless in three preseason games.

The Wild also assigned forwards Gerald Mayhew and Nico Sturm to Iowa of the American Hockey League as they reduced their roster to 26 players.

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