Injury Notes: Skinner, Pitkanen, Kovalchuk, Salvador, Lehtonen, Bertuzzi, Helm, Smith, Ryder, Staal and Karlsson

  • Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer: Hurricanes Jeff Skinner returned to Raleigh yesterday after being injured on Tuesday night. He took a big hit from Senators Jared Cowen. It’s been labelled as an upper-body injury. Skinner has had a concussion in each of the past two seasons.
  • Chip Alexander: GM Jim Rutherford said that Joni Pitkanen’s surgery on Tuesday went well, and he should be ready for training camp.
  • Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger: The season could be over for Devils Ilya Kovalchuk and Bryce Salvador. Neither will play tonight, and they could be shut down for the season if the Devils are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

    “I don’t know. I’m taking this day to day, literally,” coach Pete DeBoer said about the possibility of telling Kovalchuk he won’t play again this season. “I’m not looking beyond. He’s not ready for Philly. Let’s look at Florida (Saturday afternoon at Prudential Center).”

    “Not just (the) conversation. A conversation and what I saw in practice,” DeBoer said. “It’s a daily evaluation of both, and he’s not ready yet. And we’re not going to put him in a spot where he can do more damage or he’s not comfortable.”

  • Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: Stars Kari Lehtonen took part in a full practice yesterday and said he’s ready to go. Lehtonen has been out since April 9th with a groin injury. It’s possible that Lehtonen plays the remaining six games.
  • Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press: Red Wings winger Todd Bertuzzi hasn’t played since February 7th, but it’s looking like he could get into a game this season. He was on the ice for 90 minutes yesterday.

    “We’ll see,” coach Mike Babcock said. “Any time you miss the whole year, it’s hard. The other thing about it is, we need to win games. So do you play a guy who hasn’t played all year?

    “Those are good questions. We’ll answer them when he’s ready.”

    Darren Helm remained in Detroit and there is little optimism that he’ll get back in the lineup this season.

  • Dave Vest: Coyotes goalie Mike Smith skated with the team before they left for St. Louis. He’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
  • Eric Engels: Canadiens Michael Ryder missed last night’s game after taking a big hit against the Flyers.
  • Steve Zipay: Rangers defenseman Marc Staal took part in a full practice yesterday, the first time since suffering his eye injury.
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