Injury roundup: Islanders lose Filppula; Stepan close to return for Coyotes
It was a pretty brutal Tuesday night for the New York Islanders. Not only were they completely dominated and blown out by the Boston Bruins, but they also lost a couple of key forwards to injury.
The team announced on Wednesday that center Valtteri Filppula will be sidelined for the next four weeks due to an upper-body injury that he suffered early in the first period, forcing him out of the game after logging just 2:57 of ice-time.
Filppula was one of the many veteran forwards the Islanders acquired over the summer following the departure of John Tavares to Toronto, and in 71 games has scored 15 goals to go with 14 assists.
He is one of six players on the roster to have scored at least 15 goals this season.
He was not the only player to have an injury issue after Tuesday’ game.
The team also announced that Jordan Eberle is day-to-day with an upper-body injury of his own. Eberle has 14 goals and 31 total points in 69 games this season. While neither player is a superstar or among the team’s top-five scorers it would still be a pretty big blow to their depth to be without both for an extended period of time. Even with them in the lineup the Islanders are still only 20th in the league in scoring.
Cal Clutterbuck was also injured in Tuesday’s game but he was back at practice on Wednesday.
Injured Bruins returning to practice
Few contenders have been hit harder by injuries this season than the Boston Bruins, but they did get some good news on Wednesday when coach Bruce Cassidy announced that Matt Grzelcyk, Marcus Johansson, and Kevan Miller will join the team for practice in Florida. All three player have been sidelined for at least two weeks. Johansson’s injury came not long after he was acquired in a trade deadline deal with the New Jersey Devils. He suffered a lung contusion when he was on the receiving end of a big hit from Carolina Hurricanes forward Micheall Ferland.
[Related: Ferland’s big hit gives Johansson lung contusion]
Lightning’s Girardi out indefinitely
In other injury news, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced that veteran Dan Girardi is out “indefinitely” due to a lower-body injury.
Girardi has not appeared in a game for the Lightning since March 7, but in 61 games this season has four goals and seven assists while logging just over 17 minutes of ice-time for the Presidents’ Trophy winners.
Stepan getting closer to return
Finally some good injury news for the Arizona Coyotes, another team that has been crushed by injuries all season.
Center Derek Stepan is getting closer to returning to the lineup after being sidelined since the end of February due to a lower-body injury.
Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said on Wednesday, via Craig Morgan, that Stepan is “very, very close” to rejoining the team and that they could see him this weekend against either the New Jersey Devils or New York Islanders.
In 64 games this season Stepan has 13 goals and 19 assists and would be a big boost for the stretch run as the Coyotes look to secure a Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. They currently occupy the second Wild Card spot, still holding a one-point lead over the Minnesota Wild.