The Pittsburgh Penguins could be without rookie forward Zach Aston-Reese long-term. Actually, head coach Mike Sullivan described the injury as “longer-term”, though he refrained from putting any specific timeline on his return. He did say that Aston-Reese suffered an upper-body injury in practice, which is why he missed last night’s game, a 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils, and will presumably miss many more. While the Penguins made a splash with their acquisition of center Derick Brassard at the trade deadline, Aston-Reese has been a point-per-game player since being recalled to Pittsburgh, spending ample time beside Sidney Crosby. Fortunately for the two-time defending Cup champs, they are also deep at wing and should have no trouble making up for the loss of Aston-Reese in their top-nine.
- While the Penguins lose a man to injury, the rival Blue Jackets add one. Columbus announced today that captain Nick Foligno has been activated from injured reserve. Foligno missed more than a week with a lower body injury suffered against the Penguins back on the 18th. However, he’s returning to the lineup sooner than expected. The Blue Jackets are thankful for Foligno’s quick bounce back; not only are they looking to solidify their playoff position, but they also lost forward Josh Anderson to long-term injury recently. Fortunately, Foligno’s return and the additions of Thomas Vanek and Mark Letestu at the trade deadline make for a timely situation to replace Anderson.
- Speaking of trade deadline injury replacements, the Bruins could not be happier with how their additions played in the absence of Patrice Bergeron last night. When a player of Bergeron’s caliber goes down, the team always suffers. Bergeron will be out at least two weeks with a fractured foot and it showed right away last night on the defensive side of the match-up, as Boston surrendered three easy first period goals to the Carolina Hurricanes. However, it was Rick Nash and Tommy Wingels leading the charge to a comeback victory. The pair of new Bruins combined for two goals and an assist in 32 minutes of ice time as Boston won 4-3.