The playoff-hungry Columbus Blue Jackets received bad news on Sunday.
The Jackets announced centre Artem Anisimov is out indefinitely after taking a direct hit to the head from the Minnesota Wild’s Charlie Coyle during Saturday night’s game.
Just 17 seconds into the first period, Coyle collided with Anisimov, knocking the 24-year-old Russian to the ice. Anisimov’s teammate, Brandon Dubinsky, took issue with the hit, receiving a game misconduct, a match fighting major and a two-minute minor for instigating a response.
Coyle was given a match penalty and a fighting major stemming from the incident.
Although the Columbus Dispatch confirmed Sunday that Anisimov, who travelled with the Jackets to Denver Sunday, has a head injury, it’s unclear if he’s concussed.
Anisimov’s 11 goals this season have him tied with Blue Jackets winger Vinny Prospal for the team lead.
BOUDREAU WANTS ALL HIS DUCKS IN A LINE
At one point, the Anaheim Ducks were one of the hottest teams in the National Hockey League.
Fast forward a few months, and head coach Bruce Boudreau is desperate to get his Ducks in a row.
After losing to the Los Angeles Kings Saturday night, Boudreau vented his frustration to the L.A. media.
“We had chances to take the lead,” he said. “We had chances to tie it up. We just didn’t get it done.
“We aren’t scoring any goals. Look at the numbers of guys who haven’t scored in a long time now. Our strength at the beginning of the year was that everybody was scoring, now it’s a weakness.”
Of the Ducks top players, Bobby Ryan has one goal in 13 games, Doug Winnik is suffering from a 19-goal scoring drought and Saku Koivu hasn’t netted a marker in his last 15 games.
Still, the Ducks remain securely in the No. 2 playoff spot in the Western Conference with two weeks to go in the regular season.
OVECHKIN USURPS STAMKOS FOR GOAL LEAD
Don’t hand over the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy to Alex Ovechkin just yet.
The Washington Capitals forward netted his 27th of the season on Saturday, passing the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Steve Stamkos (26) as the Caps downed the Bolts 6-5 in overtime.
Despite the offensive burst from both teams, Stamkos was held goalless, only managing an assist in the affair.
Meantime, Ovie has seven goals in his last five games to put the pressure back on Stamkos, who has six more games to reassert himself atop the scoring lead after being shut out Sunday by the Buffalo Sabres.
To some consolation, Stamkos’ 52 points this season is six better than Ovechkin, and just four behind Sidney Crosby for the league lead.
‘HAWKS END ELLIOTT’S STREAK
The Chicago Blackhawks finally managed to solve St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott, who was riding a shutout streak of 215 minutes stretching back to the club’s April 5 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Saturday’s 2-0 loss to the ‘Hawks quashed Elliott’s streak, which stretched across five games, putting an end to his bid to approach a long-standing NHL record.
Former Ottawa Senators goalie Alec Connell holds a seemingly untouchable shutout streak record of 461 minutes set over 23 periods during the 1927-28 season.
Elliott, 28, used a 241-minute shutout streak last season to set a St. Louis Blue franchise record of nine shutouts in a season.