The Blackhawks were without goaltender Alex Stalock tonight against the Panthers as the team announced (Twitter link) that the veteran is out due to illness. The 35-year-old has been a bright spot for Chicago this season, posting an impressive .920 SV% in 17 games, a mark that would put him in a tie for fourth in the league if he had enough qualifying appearances. With the decision being announced so late, the Blackhawks didn’t have time to recall someone from AHL Rockford so instead, they’ve signed Zach Andrews, Florida’s emergency goaltender, to an ATO agreement. The 31-year-old had a 45-12-4 record in four seasons with UMass-Boston from 2012 through 2016 with a .906 SV% and a 2.66 GAA.
More from the Central:
- Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar told Evan Rawal of Colorado Hockey Now that defenseman Erik Johnson appears to be ahead of schedule in his recovery from a broken ankle. The veteran has been out for a month with an expected recovery timeline of eight weeks. He’s already skating so it’s quite possible that he’s able to return before another four weeks elapse. Johnson has seven assists in 51 games this season and is not currently on LTIR so Colorado won’t have to make any roster moves to activate him when he’s ready to come back.
- While the Jets were without Pierre-Luc Dubois last night against Minnesota with an upper-body injury, it doesn’t appear as if he’ll be out much longer. Postmedia’s Paul Friesen relays that Winnipeg expects the center to be back at some point on their road trip. That trip begins Saturday in Florida and ends Tuesday in Carolina so it’s safe to say that Dubois should be back soon. The 24-year-old has 24 goals and 31 assists in 61 games so far this season.