NHL Buzz: Krug out week to week with upper-body injury for Blues

St. Louis Blues

Torey Krug is out week to week for the Blues with an upper-body injury.

The defenseman left in the second period of a 5-2 win against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.

“It’s really tough. Valuable player for us,” Blues coach Craig Berube said Thursday. “It is what it is, but it is a tough loss for sure. It didn’t look like much, but obviously it is.”

Krug scored 35 points (eight goals, 27 assists) in 57 games this season.

“He’s a good player, big part of our defense,” Blues defenseman Colton Parayko said. “I guess we do what we’ve done all year, next man in. I think obviously down the stretch, we’ve got a lot of games. There will be a lot of maintenance for us all. But tough to lose Krug obviously , to have a player that brings a lot of value to our team.

Forward Vladimir Tarasenko played against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday after missing two games with an illness. — Lou Korac

Edmonton Oilers

Ryan Nugent Hopkins played for the Oilers against the San Jose Sharks after the forward missed 12 games with an upper-body injury sustained Feb. 26 in a 4-3 loss to the Florida Panthers.

“It was kind of a normal hit, I just kind of went in awkwardly and kind of got gripped by the boards a little bit and it just stuck,” Nugent-Hopkins said Thursday. “Unfortunately, that’s the way it goes sometimes. It’s definitely [frustrating]but I’ve been working through it and feeling better and definitely excited to get back going for this little push here.”

Nugent-Hopkins scored 37 points (seven goals, 30 assists) in 45 games this season.

Edmonton was 5-1-1 in its prior seven games.

“I’m definitely excited, it was tough sitting out a big stretch, especially after being out a decent stretch just a few weeks before that (six games in December and January),” Nugent-Hopkins said. “I’m excited to get back out there and be with the guys again and keep building on the way they’ve been playing.” — Derek Van Diest

Vegas Golden Knights

Max Pacioretty remained out for the Golden Knights against the Nashville Predators. The forward has not played since March 11 because of an undisclosed injury, missing seven games.

Pacioretty scored 29 points (15 goals, 14 assists) in 29 games this season.

Goalie Laurent Brossoit (undisclosed) is injured and was scratched. Logan Thompson started and Jiri Patera was the backup.

“[Brossoit] has been dressing, but he’s been dealing with something where he’s been able to dress and back up but not an option to start or play a full game,” Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said. “It’s gotten to the point now where it’s not even an option to back up.”

The Golden Knights were also without goalie Robin Lehner (lower body); forwards Mark Stone (back) and Reilly Smith (upper body); and defensemen Brayden McNabb (knee) and Alec Martinez (face).

Martinez practiced Thursday. He has been out since Nov. 11 after taking a skate to the face against the Minnesota Wild.

“It’s such a unique injury,” DeBoer said. “There are so many things going on with it. We all wish it was a broken bone and say in six weeks he’s going to be 100 percent healthy and ready to go. … Nobody wants to help and play more than him. I feel for the guy. Hopefully, closer than we think, but it really is day to day as he shows up.” — Paul Delos Santos

Dallas Stars

Vladislav Namestnikov made his Stars debut against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.

The center was acquired Monday in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings for a fourth-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.

“They have a really good team and they’re pushing for a playoff spot,” Namestnikov said Thursday. “I’m going to try to help as best I can. The guys are great, and I feel right at home. I can’t wait to put that Dallas Stars jersey on and get that first game out of the way.”

Namestniko, who scored 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists) in 60 games with Detroit this season, was minus-1 playing 10:21.

“I think they’re both great players, smart players,” Namestnikov said. “Both use their speed, so I think I can fit in on that line and hopefully bring that energy, win those puck battles in the corners and use my speed as well.”

Dallas coach Rick Bowness was an assistant during Namestnikov’s five seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2013-18.

“I know he’s a smart, reliable player,” Bowness said. “He’s got lots of experience in this league.”

Goalie Scott Wedgewood made 44 saves in his Dallas debut, a 4-3 shootout win. He was acquired in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.

Wedgewood was 10-14-3 with a 3.16 GAA and .909 save percentage in 29 games (25 starts) with the Coyotes and New Jersey Devils this season. — Kurt Dusterberg

Los Angeles Kings

Viktor Arvidson played for the Kings against the Chicago Blackhawks after the forward missed eight games with a lower-body injury.

“It feels good. Happy to be back and happy to help the team for sure,” Arvidsson said Thursday. “I’m just going to go in there and try and play my game and try and contribute the way I can. I can’t really do much more than that. I guess it’s nice to come in when we’re doing good. “

Arvidsson scored 38 points (18 goals, 20 assists) in 50 games this season.

“You look at our lineup the past five or six games, we’ve been really young and unexperienced, but I think people have stepped up and played really well,” Arvidsson said. — Dan Greenspan

Ottawa Senators

Drake Batherson could return for the Senators against the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

The forward has not played since Jan. 25 because of an ankle injury. He did not play against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.

Batherson scored 34 points (13 goals, 21 assists) in 31 games and was selected to the NHL All-Star Game but couldn’t play because of the injury.

“Obviously he has to be 1,000 percent,” Ottawa coach DJ Smith said Thursday. “I am not putting any of those (injured) guys at risk if they are not 1,000 percent. I want him in there, it’s going to help us and if he is ready, he’ll play.”

Minnesota Wild

Marc-Andre Fleury is expected debut for the Wild on Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota coach Dean Evason said Thursday.

The goalie, acquired by Minnesota on Monday in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks, was not at practice Wednesday. He backed up Cam Talbot on Thursday against the Vancouver Canucks.

“You know, it was a whirlwind (for Fleury),” Evason said. “… We had a good chat with him and just said get settled with family and get everything and then get back here for the game (on Thursday). Obviously Cam goes tomorrow. Then most likely … [Fleury] gets the next one, whenever that is.”

Jacob Middleton made his Wild debut Thursday. The defenseman practiced was acquired Monday in a trade with the San Jose Sharks for goalie Kaapo Kahkonen and a fifth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.

“We’ve got two extra forwards and two extra defensemen, right? And there’s a goaltender that’s not going to play on a given night. We expect everybody to be peeved off that they’re not in the lineup if they’re not in the lineup,” Evason said. “And they can voice any concerns or any disgruntlement to us. We want that. We want the communication. But it’s not a distraction to their teammates. If we’ve had anything here, we’ve had success because of our depth and because of the way that our team approaches their teammates. We don’t expect anything different with having a few more bodies within our group now.”

Middleton scored nine points (three goals, six assists) in 45 games with the Sharks this season.

Dmitry Kulikov was scratched. The defenseman scored 19 points (four goals, 15 assists) in 60 games. –Jessi Pierce

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rasmus Sandin is expected to be out for multiple weeks, Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said Wednesday.

The defenseman injured his knee in a 6-3 loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday. There is no timeline for a return.

“No, other than it’s going to be weeks, for sure, is what I’m told,” Keefe said. “How many, we are not certain of that.”

Sandin scored 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 51 games this season.

“I chatted with him yesterday,” Keefe said. “He’s walking around and doing things in the gym and stuff like that, so he’s moving around and that kind of stuff, but it’s going to take a little bit of time for it to heal up and get greater clarity on exactly how long. He’s been in pretty good spirits and that kind of stuff and he’s been in the gym doing things there, so his recovery is well under way.”

Mark Giordanoacquired in a trade with the Seattle Kraken on March 20, replaced Sandin on a pair with Timothy Liljegren in his Maple Leafs debut against the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday, a 3-2 win. Giordano had three hits and two blocked shots in 18:35. — Dave McCarthy


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