6:03 pm: Orlov will be in the lineup tonight for the Capitals.
4:36 pm: According to the Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir, Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov could return to the lineup tonight in Montreal against the Canadiens (Tweet Link). Capitals’ Head Coach Peter Laviolette told El-Bashir that he hopes Orlov will be in the lineup tonight, but did not appear certain on the issue. Orlov has missed two games with a lower-body injury, last playing on April 10th.
Getting the veteran Orlov back in the lineup will certainly be a boost for the Capitals as they look to finish their season strong, and potentially catch the Boston Bruins in the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, or the Pittsburgh Penguins for third place in the Metropolitan Division, five points back of either, and with three games in hand on Pittsburgh. Orlov has long been a staple of Washington’s defense and locker room, and his presence could have a strong impact as the team plays important games from here on.
- As the Capitals may get Orlov back, the Blues are going to be without forward Alexey Toropchenko, at least for today’s game against the Minnesota Wild, reports Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Toropchenko was injured Thursday when he took a puck in the leg in the Blues’ game against the Buffalo Sabres. Fortunately for St. Louis, Toropchenko appears only to be day-to-day, so he should be able to return soon for the Blues down the stretch of the season. Forward Dakota Joshua took Toropchenko’s place in the lineup against Minnesota Saturday.
- The Los Angeles Kings announced that they have activated forward Andreas Athanasiou ahead of tonight’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at home. Athanasiou’s return to the lineup is impactful for the Kings, as they deal with injuries while trying to hang on to playoff position in the Pacific Division. The forward has played in just 22 games this season, dealing with injuries, last playing March 10th, but he does own an impressive nine goals and five assists in that time.
- The University of Minnesota announced that All-American defenseman Jackson LaCombe would be staying with the Gophers for next season, his fourth and final of NCAA eligibility. LaCombe was the Anaheim Ducks second round selection, 39th overall, in 2019, and would be eligible to become a free agent after this coming season if he chooses not to sign with Anaheim. While that is clearly of-note on LaCombe, it’s not yet apparent if that is of concern to Anaheim. LaCombe’s return could easily be a bit of unfinished business with Minnesota, much the same as it is for Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Matthew Knies, who is also returning to the Gophers. Minnesota lost in the semifinals of the Frozen Four to Minnesota State, who was then defeated by the University of Denver in the final. In three years on Minnesota’s blueline, LaCombe has 10 goals and 54 assists in 103 games.