Some good news is abound tonight for Montreal Canadiens fans, as 2022 first-overall pick Juraj Slafkovsky is returning to the lineup tonight against the St. Louis Blues. Slafkovsky had not played in nine days.
The Slovak phenom suffered the injury after getting hit hard by Arizona Coyotes defenseman Josh Brown, but then immediately proceeded to score his first NHL goal, leading to what was an intense stare during his goal celebration. It was then reported earlier this week that Slafkovsky was undergoing tests on an upper-body issue, but they appear to have concluded that it was nothing major. The goal is his lone NHL point so far through five games.
- Colorado Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin will miss his second straight game tonight with a lower-body injury, per The Denver Post’s Bennett Durando. Nichushkin remains day-to-day and the team’s “hope” is that he rejoins the squad for their first practice in Finland, ahead of their Global Series matchup next week against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Tampere. Despite missing a game already, Nichushkin still holds the team lead in goals (seven) and points (12).
- Half of the Buffalo Sabres blueline is out of game action now. The Buffalo News’ Lance Lysowski reports that Ilya Lyubushkin is not playing tonight due to a lower-body injury, with Lawrence Pilut drawing back into the lineup in his place. Lyubushkin missed a game earlier in the season with a lower-body injury, and it’s unclear whether the two are related. He has one assist in six games to begin his Sabres career.
- The Carolina Hurricanes announced tonight that forward Derek Stepan would not return to their game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Per the team, Stepan suffered an upper-body injury. We will likely receive more information on the nature of Stepan’s absence tomorrow.
- The Washington Capitals have issued two injury updates of their own. Per a team announcement, both John Carlson and T.J. Oshie are doubtful to return to tonight’s contest against the Nashville Predators due to lower-body injuries. Like with Stepan, we will likely get more information on these injuries tomorrow.