The Tampa Bay Lightning got a break Saturday when the San Jose Sharks revealed that they had scratched star defenseman Erik Karlsson despite the fact that he participated in the pre-game skate. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Karlsson is nursing an injury, but it isn’t expected to be very serious.
According to The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz, Karlsson has been struggling with the lower-body injury since the team faced Arizona on Thursday and hasn’t been practicing. He added that Karlsson was limping noticeably after the game against the Coyotes, favoring his left side. While Kurz acknowledged that the injury isn’t serious, the scribe wonders if the Sharks might hold him out until after the All-Star break. San Jose has two games remaining against Florida and Washington on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, and then don’t play again until Feb. 2.
- The Boston Bruins may have lost Tuukka Rask for some time as the team announced that the goaltender suffered a concussion during Saturday’s game against the New York Rangers and will not return. The hit happened late in the first period when Rangers’ Filip Chytil collided with Rask after scoring a goal. Chytil was actually pushed by Boston’s Charlie McAvoy, sending Chytil airborne and sending Rask backwards, where he appeared to hit his head on the right goalpost. Rask remained on the ice for quite a while before skating off with assistance. Jaroslav Halak took over for Rask.
- The Athletic’s Scott Powers (subscription required) writes that a league source says the Chicago Blackhawks are attempting to trade Marcus Kruger, Chris Kunitz and Andreas Martinson. While no names are surprises, Powers writes that the team will most likely find a trading partner for Kruger, who has just a seven-team no-trade clause. He is in the final year of a three-year, $9.25MM deal at $2.75MM AAV, which many teams might be willing to take on for some bottom-six help.
- NHL.com’s Mitchell Clinton writes that Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who has been out since Dec. 29 with a left leg injury, has resumed skating with the earliest possible return being after the All-Star break. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound blueliner would be an important piece to get back for the Jets, who have missed him in his absence.