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NHL Today: More Islanders Injuries; Pacioretty Debuts For Caps




Good morning, my name is Andrew Fantucchio. It’s Thursday, January 4, and here’s what’s happening around the NHL today.

Islanders News:

More Injuries: The line to get into the Islanders’ training room is out the door and around the corner at this point. The team placed recently acquired defenseman Robert Bortuzzo on injured reserve Wednesday afternoon with a lower-body injury that he suffered in their overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday night.

Bortuzzo wasn’t the only Islanders casualty in Colorado as goalie Semyon Varlamov left the game at the 14:52 mark of the first period and did not return. Varlamov hasn’t been placed on injured reserve, and the extent of his injury isn’t known. However, the Islanders recalled goalie Ken Appleby on an emergency loan from AHL Bridgeport yesterday.

This is Varlamov’s second injury scare in the last week.

Takeaways vs. Avalanche: As for the game against the Avs itself, the Islanders put together a solid effort but eventually got run over, blowing a two-goal lead and eventually losing in overtime. Here are the key takeaways.

Schedule Not In Their Favor: The game in Colorado was tough enough on its own, and the schedule won’t get any friendlier for the Islanders over the next few weeks. Their standing in the Metro Division could be at serious risk.

Zucker Suspended:

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has suspended Arizona Coyotes forward Jason Zucker for three games for boarding Florida Panthers forward Nick Cousins.

Zucker’s suspension begins tonight as he’ll miss the Coyotes’ game versus the Islanders.

Pacioretty Makes D.C. Debut:

Nearly a year after tearing his Achilles tendon for the second time, Max Pacioretty debuted for the Washington Capitals last night.

Although, his performance versus the New Jersey Devils wasn’t particularly noteworthy, and he’d be the first to say that.

“It was a lot of emotions,” Pacioretty told’s Tom Gulitti. “Obviously, I haven’t played. I’ve played five games in two years almost, so yeah, a lot of emotions. But at the end of the day, it probably couldn’t get any worse than it did tonight for me.”

In 11:47 of ice time, Pacioretty took a penalty and failed to register a shot on goal as a -1 in a 6-3 Caps loss.

Washington faces the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.

Yesterday’s Scoreboard:

Devils: 6, Capitals: 3

Maple Leafs: 2, Ducks: 1

Today’s Schedule:

All Times EST

New York Islanders vs. Arizona Coyotes, 9 p.m.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Philadelphia Flyers, 7 p.m.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins, 7 p.m.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. New York Rangers, 7 p.m.

Buffal0 Sabres vs. Montreal Canadiens, 7 p.m.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Minnesota Wild, 8 p.m.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Dallas Stars, 8 p.m.

Calgary Flames vs. Nashville Predators, 8 p.m.

Vancouver Canucks vs. St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m.

Florida Panthers vs. Vegas Golden Knights, 10 p.m.

Ottawa Senators vs. Seattle Kraken, 10 p.m.

Detroit Red Wings vs. Los Angeles Kings, 10 p.m.

Winnipeg Jets vs. San Jose Sharks. 10 p.m.

More From National Hockey Now:

Philadelphia: The Philadelphia Flyers are the surprise team of the year in the NHL and probably wouldn’t be where they are without Sean Couturier. (+)

Pittsburgh: Reilly Smith has played well for the Pittsburgh Penguins, but they know he has more to give. (+)

Boston: After Team Canada’s disappointing end at the World Juniors, a dejected Matthew Poitras returned to the Boston Bruins.

Detroit: Alex Lyon has fought to be the starting goalie for the Detroit Red Wings.

Montreal: Former first overall pick Juraj Slafkovsy is finally showing his potential and is transforming the Montreal Canadiens’ top line.

Chicago: Jaycob Megna, you are now a member of the Chicago Blackhawks.




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