The Winnipeg Jets not only lost Game 1 of their qualifying round series against the Calgary Flames on Saturday night, they also may have lost one of their best players in the process. Mark Scheifele suffered a lower body injury during the first period of the series opener and didn’t return to the game.
During a play along the boards, Scheifele went down awkwardly and appeared to take a skate to the back of the leg from Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk. It was immediately clear that Scheifele was in an immense amount of pain as he fell to the ice and clutched at his leg while screaming in pain. He couldn’t put any weight on the leg as he left the ice with the help of trainers and teammates.
Over the course of his first four seasons in the league, Tkachuk has earned a reputation of being a pest that is greatly disliked by opponents. After Saturday’s Game 1, Jets coach Paul Maurice was adamant that the Flames forward intentionally tried to injure Scheifele on the play.
“It was intentional,” Maurice said. “It was a filthy, dirty kick to the back of the leg. You can’t see it on the program [camera] feed, but you take the blue-line feed and you zoom in. He went after the back of his leg. Could have cut his Achilles [tendon]. Could have ended the man’s career. It’s an absolutely filthy, disgusting hit.”
Asked about the incident after the game, Tkachuk frustratingly laughed off the idea that it was intentional before saying he “felt terrible” about what happened.
“No, absolutely not,” Tkachuk said. “I’m backchecking on him. It’s such an accident. I felt terrible. He was turning away, and I just went in and my left skate had a little bit of the speed wobbles. I was probably moving too fast for myself, and I was going down. It looked like my leg probably jammed him up.
“I feel terrible. He’s a top player in the NHL and someone I’ve gotten to know in the past few summers [training with him]. It’s not good for the game when somebody like that isn’t in the game. It was very unfortunate and unlucky. But there’s really nothing that could have happened.”
Intentional or not, Scheifele’s injury could have a major impact on Winnipeg’s postseason hopes this year. He’s the top line center on a team already thin down the middle and had a team-high 73 points (29 goals, 44 assists) for the Jets this season. Add in the fact that Winnipeg also may have lost another top forward in Patrik Laine, who exited Saturday’s game with an apparent wrist or hand injury, and things look pretty dire.
Both Scheifele and Laine will be evaluated by specialists on Sunday.
Stars’ Hintz, Bishop, Comeau and Faksa ‘unfit to play’ in Game 5 – Sportsnet.ca
Hintz left Game 4 after taking a hit from Tyler Johnson in the second period and did not return. In 25 games this post-season, the 23-year-old has 13 points.
Faksa will miss his seventh straight game with an undisclosed injury, while Comeau is out for his second straight game. Bishop has been sidelined since Game 5 against the Colorado Avalanche.
Goalie Anton Khudobin missed the Stars’ morning skate as Jake Oettinger was present at practice but the team confirmed that Khudobin would get the start.
The Stars trail the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 in their series. Puck drop for Game 5 is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET on Sportsnet.
Stamkos remains out of Lightning lineup for Game 5 vs. Stars – Sportsnet.ca
Tampa’s captain suited up in Game 3, but was declared unfit to play for Friday’s Game 4 victory. Before Game 5, Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Stamkos will not play on Saturday. However, earlier Cooper did not rule him out for the remainder of the series, should Dallas stave off elimination Saturday.
Stamkos has missed the entirety of the Lightning’s post-season run due to an injury suffered before the club reconvened from the season’s pause to begin training. Managing only 2:47 minutes of ice-time during Game 3, Stamkos made an immediate impact upon returning to the lineup, scoring the second goal of the Bolts’ eventual 5-2 win just seven minutes into the tilt.
Stamkos posted 29 goals and 66 points through 57 regular-season games in 2019-20, dominating before being forced to the sidelines with a core muscle injury.
Lightning-Stars stream: 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Final – NHL
NBC’s coverage of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs continues with Saturday’s Stanley Cup Final matchup between the Lightning and Stars. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Watch the Lightning-Stars stream on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
Boosted by the long-awaited and “inspirational” return of Steven Stamkos, the Tampa Bay Lightning got goals from all three of their first-line forwards, their top defenseman and their captain in a threee-goal win to move within two wins of the franchise’s second Stanley Cup. For the second straight game, Tampa jumped out to a multi-goal first-period lead before the Stars got on the board. The Dallas Stars cut the deficit to one entering the second period, but the middle frame was all Lightning, outscoring Dallas 3-0 in large part thanks to a 21-4 shot differential.
After Game 2, Kevin Shattenkirk said, “when we play our best game it’s hard for teams to win.” In Game 3, Tampa played one of its best games this postseason, getting major contributions from its usual suspects in the top line trio and Hedman and also a quantifiable (one goal from Stamkos) and unquantifiable lift from the return of its captain.
The top line of Palat, Point and Kucherov carried the day once again, combining for three goals and six points in Game 3, their second straight game with four-plus points. Point leads all players this postseason with 11 goals and with Palat and Hedman also reaching double-digit goals in Game 3, the trio make Tampa the first team in a decade to have three players with 10-plus goals in the same postseason.
Tyler Seguin has struggled mightily in the 2020 playoffs. The 28-year-old has now gone 12 consecutive games without a goal and has just one assist over that span (which was six games ago). His last goal came in Game 3 of the Second Round vs. Colorado
Along with Seguin, some of Dallas’ other forwards have been quiet recently as well:
▪ Jamie Benn: Zero points this series after ending West Final on a three-game goal streak
▪ Denis Gurianov: Zero points, three shots this series (OT goal and assist in series-clincher vs. Vegas)
▪ Alex Radulov: Zero goals, three assists this series
Tampa can become the first team in the NHL expansion era (1967-present) to win the Stanley Cup the season after being swept in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
WHAT: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Dallas Stars
WHERE: Rogers Place – Edmonton
WHEN: Saturday, September 26, 8 p.m. ET
ON THE CALL: Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Brian Boucher
LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Lightning-Stars stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Dallas Stars (TB leads 3-1)
Stars 4, Lightning 1 (recap)
Lightning 3, Stars 2 (recap)
Lightning 5, Stars 2 (recap)
Lighting 5, Stars 4 [OT] (recap)
Game 5: Saturday, Sept. 26, 8 p.m. ET – NBC (livestream)
*Game 6: Monday, Sept. 28, 8 p.m. ET – NBC
*Game 7: Wednesday, Sept. 30, 8 p.m. ET – NBC
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