Washington Capitals forward Lars Eller appears to have avoided serious injury on Friday night. Eller left the Caps’ contest with the Calgary Flames early in the second period and did not return, due to an undisclosed lower-body injury. He then did not practice with the team this morning. However, the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan relays news from head coach Todd Reirden that Eller will simply be a “game-time decision” on Sunday when Washington hosts the Boston Bruins. It seems that he is only nursing a minor injury and should be ready to return to action sooner rather than later. The dependable third-line center is an underappreciated part of the Capitals’ talented team and would have been an unfortunate injury absence.
Khurshudyan also states that defenseman Christian Djoos is nearing his return to the lineup. Djoos has been out since mid-December after undergoing thigh surgery and has missed 23 games this season. However, he has been cleared for contact and has resumed practicing with the team. Reirden did not rule out the possibility that Djoos could head to Hershey on a conditioning stint with the AHL’s Bears, but one way or another should see game action in the near future.
- The Buffalo Sabres suffered a brutal 7-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks yesterday and are no doubt dealing with some injured morale today. However, two of the players that did not suit up on Friday are in fact dealing with actual injuries. The team announced that forward Johan Larsson and defenseman Matt Hunwick are both considered day-to-day with injuries. Larsson, who likely got hurt when he last played on Wednesday, is out with an upper-body injury, while Hunwick, who played in just his third game of the season on Tuesday, probably suffered his lower-body injury during that contest. On top of that, the team also announced that starting goaltender Carter Hutton missed practice today due to illness. The status of all three players is in doubt for the Sabres’ next game against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.
- The St. Louis Blues are hoping to stay in the playoff race in the Western Conference and the contributions of rookie Robert Thomas could be key in doing so. The Blues have announced that Thomas has been activated from the injured reserve and will be back in the lineup tonight when the team visits the Columbus Blue Jackets. Thomas has missed the past seven games with a shoulder injury. A 2017 first-round pick, Thomas has just 14 points in 37 games thus far, but has noticeably improved along the way in his first pro season. That trajectory could have him as an impact player for St. Louis down the stretch.