Saturday Injury Update

(3/3/12) We have an update on Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom, as the Wild announced he is out 2-4 weeks with a groin strain.  In Backstrom's absence, Minny turned to Josh Harding Friday against Detroit, and we have another update... the Wild are screwed.  They got blown out 6-0, and Harding let in every goal before finally getting the hook with just under 15 minutes left in the third.  Rookie Matt Hackett held down the fort in garbage time, but the fact that the Wild waited so long to have mercy on Harding might indicate they don't have a lot of faith in the 21-year old call-up.  Your guess is as good as ours which goalie they'll go with Sunday against the Avs, but they might have to give Hackett his shot.

Nikolai Khabibulin was back in net for the Oilers Friday after missing five games with a groin strain.  He made made 14 saves on 16 shots, but he took a loss in spite of the light workload, and the Stars added an empty netter to down Edmonton 3-1.

Yet another goalie dealing with a groin injury is Ducks backup Dan Ellis.  He underwent sports hernia surgery Friday and is out 4-6 weeks.

And jeez, forget concussions, the NHL has a groin problem here.  Todd Bertuzzi left last night's game with a minor groin injury as well.  He's questionable for Sunday's game against the Hawks.

Moving on to other parts of the body, Cal Clutterbuck appears on the USA Today injury report following last night's game.  He's listed as questionable for Sunday with an upper-body injury.  There's no other info out there on this one as of now, so we'll hopefully have an update tomorrow.

In the Rangers-Lightning game, each team had a player return to action.  Jeff Woywitka played for the first time since suffering a foot injury Jan. 30.  And Ryan Shannon was back for the Bolts after missing the last three games with an undisclosed upper-body injury.  Neither player has any fantasy value.

Alexei Ponikarovsky missed last night's game for the Devils.  He suffered a leg injury Thursday against the Bruins when he hit Andrew Ference.  He's questionable for Sunday.

In the early game today, Isles forward Michael Grabner sat out with flu symptoms and is questionable to play Sunday against the Devils.  For the Bs, Andrew Ference was out with a lower-body injury, while Johnny Boychuk returned after missing two games with a concussion.

And tonight in San Jose, Logan Couture is probable to return for the Sharks after missing two games with a lower-body injury.  And Doug Murray may also be able to go for the first time since fracturing his Adam's apple Feb. 16.  

Lastly, Paul Gaustad is expected to make his debut with the Predators tonight.  He missed the last two games with an upper-body injury.