While he is still a long way from returning to the lineup, Devils center Travis Zajac took a step forward in his recovery on Friday in the morning skate for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle back in mid-August. However, head coach John Hynes was quick to caution to Andrew Gross of The Record that he still has a long way to go and that there’s no updated timeframe yet for his return. At the time of the surgery, Zajac was expected to miss four-to-six months but if he doesn’t experience any setbacks as he begins to skate, he could potentially push to be back for the shorter end of that timeline.
Other injury notes from around the league:
- The Capitals will likely be without winger Brett Connolly for at least the next two games as he has been placed into concussion protocol, notes Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post. Anthony Peluso, who was recalled yesterday, is likely to take his spot on the roster while Tyler Graovac (upper-body injury) was transferred to injured reserve.
- The Ducks have activated goaltender Ryan Miller off IR, reports Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register. The netminder is expected to serve as the backup tonight and then potentially make his first start of the season on Sunday. Miller is in his first season with Anaheim after signing a two-year deal with them in free agency but suffered a wrist injury in the preseason and has yet to suit up in a regular season game in 2017-18.
- Also coming off the IR in Anaheim is blueliner Sami Vatanen, Stephens notes in the same column. He has missed the entire season so far after undergoing surgery in May to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. His return to the Ducks’ lineup comes at a great time with Cam Fowler (knee) and Kevin Bieksa (hand) both dealing with injuries.
- After leaving Friday’s game with an upper-body injury, Hurricanes winger Teuvo Teravainen will skate Sunday morning and is listed as a game-time decision for their game against Anaheim, the team announced (via Twitter). Teravainen is off to a nice start in his second season with Carolina, recording five points in the first nine games of the season which ranks him tied for third on the team.