Unfortunately, there’s a lot of minor injury news to report from tonight’s games. We start in Florida, where head coach Paul Maurice said pregame that Sam Bennett wouldn’t be in the lineup when they take on the Penguins tonight.
Bennett took an awkward fall in yesterday night’s loss to the Rangers, immediately leaving the game and staying in the room through the first intermission. It didn’t hold him out of the rest of the game, however, as he would later return. While he won’t suit up tonight, it does seem to be a short-term absence for Bennett, who’s been in and out of the lineup over the past month with some minor injury concerns. Eetu Luostarinen, who’s impressed with 10 goals and 22 points in 49 games this year, slides into the top six with Bennett out.
- After leaving injured reserve a few days ago, Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry is back out of the lineup with an injury. His absence leaves both Pittsburgh and Florida without backup goalies on the bench for tonight’s game, as Spencer Knight was unexpectedly still unable to play and was a late absence from the Florida lineup. It’s hopefully a short-term absence for Jarry, who’s been spectacular with a .921 save percentage in 27 appearances for the Penguins this year.
- There’s some positive news on Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone, says ESPN’s Emily Kaplan. While he’ll be out through the All-Star break as expected, his back issue is different than the one that plagued him throughout last season, greatly reducing the likelihood of his long-term career being affected. Kaplan also says defenseman Shea Theodore, who’s been out since early December with an undisclosed injury, is an option for Friday’s game against the Rangers.
- Days after returning from significant hip surgery recovery, Nicklas Backstrom is back out of the Washington Capitals lineup with a non-COVID illness and is day-to-day. The 35-year-old has three assists in seven games since returning to the lineup.
- The Anaheim Ducks will also be down a player due to illness: defenseman John Klingberg. 25-year-old call-up Colton White moves into Anaheim’s top-four in Klingberg’s absence, playing on his off-side. Klingberg has just 15 points in 40 games this season, a career-low as he’s destined for free agency once again this offseason.