The New Jersey Devils will be without their top rookie for a second straight game as head coach John Hynes revealed that center Jack Hughes will not play against the Buffalo Sabres Sunday, according to The Athletic’s Cory Masisak. Hynes did suggest that Hughes may be available on Tuesday against Vegas.
No one is sure when or how Hughes got hurt, other than it is considered to be a lower-body injury. Hughes, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, hasn’t been as dominant as the team has hoped although the 18-year-old has flashed some elite skills and should be a building block for the team in the future. Hughes currently has four goals and 11 points in 24 games.
- The Washington Capitals are expected to get forward Carl Hagelin back from LTIR for Tuesday’s game at San Jose, but The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir reports that the team is hoping to get back center Nicklas Backstrom as well. The veteran forward will travel with the Capitals on their West Coast road trip and Backstrom’s return hinges on how things will go in practice on Monday.
- TribSports’ Seth Rorabaugh suggests that the injury to Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who underwent surgery to repair lacerated tendons in his ankle earlier today and will be out for eight weeks, could be construed as good timing, if such a thing is possible. Assuming the eight-week timetable holds up, Dumoulin would be out during the holiday break and during the team’s bye-week at the end of January.
- The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa (subscription required) writes that the Boston Bruins had a tough decision to make as defenseman Connor Clifton is within one game of playing his 60th game of his career (playoff games count). Once he plays that game, which is expected to be today given the team’s announced lineup, the Bruins will be required to pass the blueliner through waivers to send him to the AHL. The problem is that despite playing well, the team is expected to get John Moore and Kevan Miller back sooner than later with Moore currently on a conditioning stint with Providence Bruins. To slow the process, Boston has been swapping Clifton with Steven Kampfer, but as Shinzawa suggests that the Bruins have a better chance of winning with Clifton in the lineup. While Clifton has just two goals on the season, he does have 44 hits in 22 games.