1:10 p.m.: According to Josh Yohe of The Athletic, Brassard has a groin injury that “isn’t believed to be real serious.”
12:30 p.m.: Per Mike Sullivan, Brassard is day-to-day. Matt Murray will start his fourth consecutive game, barring something unforeseen.
12:21 p.m.: Very interesting. Matt Hunwick looks to be drawing back into the lineup after 12 games on the shelf, as he left the morning skate in Newark early. He’ll likely take the place of Chad Ruhwedel alongside Olli Määttä on the third defense pairing.
11:29 a.m.: Center Josh Jooris has been recalled from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. This may not be good news regarding Derick Brassard‘s lower-body injury.
9:15 a.m.: The Pittsburgh Penguins announced Jim Rutherford‘s mother, Dorothea, passed away early this morning at the Matthews House Hospice in Alliston, Ontario. In addition to the Penguins family, Pittsburgh Hockey Now offers its deepest sympathies and condolences.
9:00 a.m.: The Washington Capitals essentially locked up the Metro Division with a comeback win over the New York Rangers last night. The Capitals trailed 2-1 with under one minute remaining but scored an extra-attacker goal by Lars Eller, then Evgeni Kuznetsov beat Henrik Lundqvist in the first minute of overtime. In the blink of an eye, the Capitals earned two points. They now lead the Penguins by seven points with five games remaining.
The Philadelphia Flyers also earned two points. They beat the Colorado Avalanche in Denver, 2-1. The win vaulted the Flyers back into third place, tied with the Penguins at 92 points. Ivan Provorov had a goal and an assist, though goaltender Michal Neuvirth left the game with an undisclosed injury.
The Florida Panthers finally made up one of their in-hand games. They lose to the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-3. Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Anderson was spectacular. He stopped 30 of 33 shots, but many were high-quality chances. The Panthers trail the New Jersey Devils by three points for the wild-card position, and have one game in hand.
The drumbeat is starting. Sportsnet’s Mark Spector wrote about awarding the Hart Trophy to Connor McDavid, despite McDavid not being on a playoff team. The answer should be no, no, and no, says Dan Kingerski. Although Matt Gajtka apparently disagrees on this topic!