Just four games are on the schedule for this evening, but one will feature the return of a former franchise player. Jeff Skinner returns to Carolina for the first time as a Buffalo Sabres forward and has his team on track for the playoffs. The Sabres sit just two points behind the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division and could tie them with their game in hand tonight. Skinner’s 29 goals are a huge part of Buffalo’s success, and have him on pact for a new career high.
- Kasimir Kaskisuo has been returned to the minor leagues by the Toronto Maple Leafs, but won’t be there for long. Frederik Andersen is not expected to play until Monday according to Lance Hornby of Postmedia, meaning Michael Hutchinson will likely get another start in net tomorrow night.
- With MacKenzie Blackwood on injured reserve and potentially staying in the NHL long-term, the Binghamton Devils have signed Evan Cormier to an AHL contract for the rest of the season. Cormier had been playing on an amateur tryout previously, but has a .938 save percentage in four games.
- Speaking of the Devils, the New Jersey variety have sent Egor Yakovlev back down to Binghamton today. Yakovlev is expected to suit up for the minor league game tonight, his ninth game with Binghamton this season.
- The Ottawa Senators have placed Colin White on injured reserve, recalling Stefan Elliott in his place. White suffered an upper-body injury against the Los Angeles Kings last night when he was crushed by defenseman Jake Muzzin.
- Troy Grosenick is heading back to the AHL after filling in for Juuse Saros on the bench last night. The minor league goaltender was called up under emergency conditions when Saros was sick, but won’t get into an NHL game just yet.
- The San Jose Sharks have returned both forward Rourke Chartier and defenseman Jacob Middleton to the AHL Barracuda, the team announced. Considering the Sharks and Barracuda share a building, every recall and reassignment in San Jose is a paper transaction. The duo are expected to play for the Barracuda tonight, but could very well be called up tomorrow when the Sharks host the Ottawa Senators. With both Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun still sidelined, there’s a a good chance that at least Middleton’s return is only temporary.
- In search of more offense, the Buffalo Sabres recalled top AHL forward C.J. Smith last month. After recording, one point in four games, he’s headed back down. The team announced that Smith has been reassigned to the Rochester Americans. No corresponding move has been made as of yet.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets have shuffled their lineup, sending emergency backup J-F Berube and winger Eric Robinson back to the AHL and promoting center Kevin Stenlund, per a team release. The 6’4″ pivot has yet to make his NHL debut, but has performed well in his second season in North America and has the makings of a strong bottom-six center. A second-round pick by Columbus back in 2015, Stenlund’s arrival to the Blue Jackets roster has been long-awaited.