News and notes from around the NHL this evening
- The Edmonton Oilers have recalled forward Anton Lander from the Bakersfield Condors today. Sportsnet’s Mark Spector speculates that the move means Jujhar Khaira may be out for longer than initially thought. Khaira suffered an upper body injury yesterday in the first period against the Florida Panthers. Lander’s callup was inevitable given how he’s lighting up the AHL. Lander has 14G and 13A in only 16 games—almost a two points per game pace. Those stats have not translated at the NHL level, however, with Lander scoring only 1G and 3A in 20 games.
- New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal may be nearing a return. According to the Newsday’s Steve Zipay, coach Alain Vigneault did not rule out Staal returning soon, and that Vigneault will play Staal as soon as he is healthy. Staal is recovering from concussion symptoms that kept him out since January 3rd. He’s been skating with the team for the past week to keep up conditioning and monitor his progress.
- Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman still needs more time before returning to action, reports James O’Brien of NBCSports. Hedman misses his third straight game tonight with the vague “illness” tag. The Lighting are three points back of a playoff spot, but do not face a conference opponent until they visit the Florida Panthers next Thursday. Despite missing games, Hedman remains 2nd in scoring among defenseman with 7G and 31A in 44 games. The Lightning desperately need his production, so any absences indicate a more severe issue than initially thought.