Thurs Injury Update: James Neal, Bolland, Rinne
(4/5/12) Thursday's injury report comes a little bit later than normal today, but as they say, better late than never...
In a few games that have already started, Henrik Lundqvist is taking the night off to rest a brusied arm. Jarolsav Spacek is in the 'Canes lineup after missing eight games with a lower-body injury. Sergei Gonchar sat out Tuesday, but he's in tonight for the Sens. And David Clarkson is active after missing the Devils' last contest with a lower-body injury.
The Penguins are missing a handful of players. Most notably, James Neal is out with a LBI. It doesn't sound serious, more of a maintenance day, and he should be full-go for the playoffs. As well, Matt Niskanen is out with a shoulder injury, and Steve Sullivan is out with a minor lower-body injury. It's expected that all three will be ready for round one.
With the Bruins having locked up the #2 seed in the East, they left a trio of players back in Boston to rest up for the playoffs. Tim Thomas, Patrice Bergeron, and Zdeno Chara all stayed behind in hopes of being fresh for the start of the first round. Also sitting out is defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who is suffering from a mild knee sprain he sustained in Tuesday's game. Originally it sounded like it could be worse, but Boychuk is now considered day-to-day. Meanwhile, Jordan Caron is expected to be back in action for the Bs after missing Tuesday's contest with the flu.
For Chicago, Jonathan Toews is still out tonight, but we expect him to return on Saturday for the Hawks' final game. Andrew Brunette and Steve Montador also remain out, while Dave Bolland suffered an upper-body injury last game and is out tonight, as well. Back in the lineup for the Hawks is Duncan Keith, who has served his five game suspension.
Finally, there were rumblings earlier in the day that Pekka Rinne is dealing with an illness, but he's on the ice and it looks like he'll start for the Preds. That's it, enjoy the games tonight!