NHL notes: Penguins place Crosby on IR

Sidney Crosby will miss the first week of the NHL season after being placed on the IR on Monday....

Sidney Crosby will miss the first week of the NHL season after being placed on the IR on Monday. (REUTERS/Jason Cohn)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:52 PM ET

The Pittsburgh Penguins put Sidney Crosby on injured reserve Monday, ending speculation he would be ready to play during their season-opening road trip.

Because of the move, Crosby will be ineligible to the Pens for the first seven days of the season. He can be removed from IR when he is healthy because the injury carried over from last season, general manager Ray Shero said.

Crosby will miss the opener in Vancouver and games in Calgary and Edmonton, along with the Pens' first home game Oct. 11 against the Florida Panthers.

The Penguins also put forwards Dustin Jeffrey and Nick Petersen and defencemen Robert Bortuzzo and Boris Valabik on IR as they cut the roster down to 23 players.

LYDMAN CLOSE

Anaheim Ducks defenceman Toni Lydman might not play in Friday's season opener against the Buffalo Sabres in Helsinki.

Lydman had off-season shoulder surgery and hasn't been taking contact in practices so his availability is still in question. Ducks coach Randy Carlyle thinks Lydman is ahead of schedule in his recovery and hasn't ruled him out but the 34-year-old Finn isn't so sure he'll be able to play against his former team.

"Of course it would be fun to play in Helsinki, and especially against the Sabres, but the shoulder has to be 100% for me to play," Lydman said. "I don't think the decision will be made until Thursday."

Lydman was second in the league in plus-minus last season, finishing with a plus-32 mark.

OVIE HEADS HOME

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has gone home to Moscow after the death of a "close relative," according to the team.

No other information was released by the Capitals but the Washington Post said the relative was Ovechkin's uncle.

Ovechkin is expected back in Washington in time to play in the season opener against the Carolina Hurricanes.

EMERY WINS GIG

Ray Emery signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks Monday after winning the backup goalie spot during the preseason.

Emery, a 29-year-old veteran, beat out Czech native Alexander Salak for the No. 2 job behind starter Corey Crawford. After recovering from hip surgery, Emery went 7-2-0 with a 2.28 goals-against average and .926 save percentage last year with the Anaheim Ducks.

"We're in the fortunate position to have to make a difficult decision on two netminders that impressed throughout our entire training camp," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said on the team's website. "Having both Ray Emery and Alexander Salak as a part of the Chicago Blackhawks organization makes us stronger in both the short-term and long-term."

Emery gives the Blackhawks some veteran insurance in net if Crawford, who has just one full season of experience, falters.

BRIEFLY

The Florida Panthers sent forward Jonathan Huberdeau, the third pick in last summer's draft, back to the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Huberdeau had a team-high three goals and one assist in five preseason games ... One-time phenom Fabian Brunnstrom, a free agent invited to training camp, signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings also released veteran forward Ryan Johnson, who was also in camp on a tryout basis ... Defenceman Ryan Ellis, the 2010-11 OHL player of the year, failed to make the Nashville Predators. The ex-Windsor Spitfires star was assigned to Milwaukee of the AHL ... Buffalo Sabres forward Jochen Hecht will miss Tuesday's preseason game against his hometown team, Adler Mannheim, in Germany. Hecht is still suffering the effects of a concussion he received early in training camp ... Forward Sean Avery was scratched from the New York Rangers preseason finale against EV Zug in Switzerland. It was the second game in a row he sat out, leading to speculation he's finished with the Rangers ... The New York Islanders put tough guy Trevor Gillies and rookie Nino Niederreiter on IR, retroactive to Sept. 30. Gillies had two goals in 39 games last season while Niederreiter had a goal and assist in nine games before being sent back to junior.


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