March 18, 2012
NHL Notes: No break for Backes
By QMI Agency
The St. Louis Blues dodged a bullet with news that forward David Backes doesn't have a broken foot and could only be out day-to-day.
Backes blocked a shot with his left foot Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning but the Blues found out Sunday that no bones were broken. Backes is expected to be with the team for its three-game west coast road trip even though he likely won't play Wednesday in Anaheim, which would end his consecutive-games played streak at 185.
"It's day-to-day, week-to-week," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It's all based on pain tolerance. These things hopefully heal real quick. It's not a big deal, but it isn't like it's a long-term injury."
Andy McDonald, who injured a shoulder Thursday against Carolina, skated Sunday and admitted feeling "pretty good." But McDonald is also unlikely to play in Anaheim.
Despite missing Jason Arnott, Matt D'Agostini (concussion), Kris Russell (concussion) and Alex Steen (concussion), the Blues became the first team this season to top 100 points and clinch a playoff berth when they beat Tampa Saturday.
ADMIRALS IN CONTROL
At least something is going right for the Tampa Bay Lightning organization this season.
The Norfolk Admirals, the Lightning's top minor-league affiliate, set an AHL record Sunday, downing the Charlotte Checkers 5-0 for their 18th consecutive win. It's the longest winning streak in the 76-year history of the AHL.
Norfolk's mark, which is one more than the NHL record of 17 set by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992-93, erased the Philadelphia Phantoms' 17-game streak (2004-05) from the record books. The Syracuse Crunch also won 18 straight but that streak spanned two seasons -- 2007-08 and 2008-09.
The Admirals are first in the AHL standings with a 45-18-1-2 record.
THORNTON SIGNS ON
Boston Bruins tough guy Shawn Thornton signed a two-year contract extension worth a reported $2.2. million.
Thornton was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
The 34-year-old from Oshawa has four goals and eight assists in 70 games this season. He also leads the Bruins with 145 penalty minutes.
In 439 NHL games, Thornton has 29 goals and 43 assists.
The Bruins also sent forward Trent Whitfield to Providence of the AHL.
With the Detroit Red Wings still nursing a handful of injuries, including stud defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom, winger Gustav Nyquist was called up from Grand Rapids of the AHL Sunday.
The status of Lidstrom (ankle), Jonathan Ericsson (wrist) and Jakub Kindl (muscle strain) won't be updated until Monday, according to MLive.com. Darren Helm (knee) Johan Franzen (back) and Joey MacDonald (back) were added to the injury report over the weekend and will have MRIs done Monday.
Nyquist has 22 goals and 36 assists in 56 games with Grand Rapids. His 58 points are the most by a rookie in franchise history.