The San Jose Sharks are expected to get back a key forward for Game 5 on Saturday, but it won’t be captain Joe Pavelski. The veteran forward, who has been out after hitting his head on the ice in Game 7 of the first-round of the playoffs after taking a hit from Vegas’ Cody Eakin, has been skating more often this week, but is still not ready to return, according to Curtis Pashelka of The Mercury News. “Getting better. Starting to skate regular,” head coach Peter DeBoer said of Pavelski, but added “Not in tonight.”
However, the Sharks are expected to be getting back Joonas Donskoi, who has missed the last five games with an undisclosed injury after taking a hit from Vegas’ Brayden McNabb in Game 6 in the first round. The winger said he’s available to play, although DeBoer said that Donskoi will be a game-time decision. The 27-year-old has appeared in just three playoff games this season with no points. Donskoi was a healthy scratch for the first three games of their first-round series to allow Micheal Haley to play. If Donskoi does go in, he would likely replace Lukas Radil and join the team’s third line along with Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane. Haley is expected to play on the fourth line regardless.
- The Athletic’s Lisa Dillman (subscription required), in a mailbag column, suggests that the Los Angeles Kings would be better off holding on to veteran goaltender Jonathan Quick. With the team moving towards a rebuilding project, many feel that trading Quick makes the most sense, especially considering the success that Jack Campbell and Calvin Petersen had this season. However, Dillman writes that with four years remaining on his contract at $5.8MM AAV, there will likely be few takers for Quick considering his poor numbers last year (3.38 GAA, .888 save percentage). She writes that it would be better for the Kings to hold onto him and hope he can bounce back and increase his value ahead of the trade deadline or next off-season.
- Vancouver Canucks prospect goaltender Michael DiPietro got injured Saturday in the OHL playoffs, according to Sportsnet’s Rick Dhaliwal, who adds that he hears it is a high-ankle sprain, which could end his season early. The 19-year-old star goalie prospect, who is expected to join the Utica Comets next season in the AHL, is 13-0 in the playoffs with a 2.24 GAA and a .917 save percentage. The injury should not affect his availability to begin next season.