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The Daily Puck: Sekera Heats Up Buffalo

Kevin King

Kevin King

Kevin is a suffering Tottenham supporter living in Buffalo, New York, where also suffers from being a Buffalo Bills fan. He covers Major League Soccer and the English Premier League for Rotowire.

Drop the Puck

· Who wants to face the Devils in the first round if they make the playoffs? They are now on a 20-2-2 bender, a number that could look even better a week or so from now. The Devils’ next five games are all against teams that are currently not in the Eastern Conference top eight.
· While teams in the East are fighting their way into the playoff hunt, it seems like nobody wants that final spot out West. The Ducks are in trouble because of Jonas Hiller’s problems, the Wild and the Predators lost Sunday, and the Kings lost Saturday.
· As always, keep an eye on the goalie grid throughout the day for the latest confirmed starters.

Washington (Michal Neuvirth) vs. Tampa Bay (Dwayne Roloson), 7:00 PM

Washington injuries:

Semyon Varlamov (G) – Out. Will miss most of the upcoming week due to lower-body injury.
Tom Poti (D) – Out. The season-long injury saga with Poti continues.
Mike Green (D) – Out indefinitely with head injury.

Tampa Bay injuries:

Steve Downie (LW) – Doubtful for Monday due to an ankle injury.

Columbus (Steve Mason) vs. St. Loius (Ty Conklin), 8:00 PM

Columbus injuries:

No significant injury news

St. Louis injuries:

Jaroslav Halak (G) – Out with a hand injury, but will likely be activated from IR this week.
Roman Polak (D) – Doubtful to play Monday due to a lower-body injury. Polak did not play Saturday after picking up the injury in practice Friday.

Dallas (Kari Lehtonen) vs. Los Angeles (Jonathan Bernier), 10:30 PM

Dallas injuries:

Brad Richards (C) – Out while still battling post-concussion symtpoms.
Jamie Langenbrunner (RW) – Doubtful for Monday night with upper-body injury.
Niklas Grossman (D) – Questionable for Monday with hip injury. Has resumed skating with the team but is a good bet to sit again on Monday night.

Los Angeles injuries:

No significant injury news

Transactions

Kyle Wilson, C, Columbus – Recalled from Springfield (AHL)

Around the League

Hot

Ryan Callahan (RW) NY Rangers – Truly the heart and soul of the Rangers, Callahan took advantage of a sleepwalking Philadelphia team Sunday afternoon, scoring four times and earning an assist in a huge 7-0 win. The Rangers have won 19 of the 26 games in which Callahan has picked up at least one point.

Henrik Lundqvist (G) NY Rangers – Hank the Tank has stopped 52 of the last 53 shots he has seen. He picked up two wins in the process, including Sunday's shutout of the Flyers.

Cold

Evander Kane (LW) Atlanta – The Thrashers are free falling out of relevance, and Kane has led the charge. It's ridiculous to think that Kane is still just 19, but his inconsistency sometimes reinforces just how young he is. Kane is minus-7 and has not scored over Atlanta’s last six games.

Ty Conklin (G) St. Louis – Another reason the Blues need Jaroslav Halak back so badly? Ty Conklin has been terrible in his absence. Conklin has lost three of his last five games while posting a 3.58 GAA and a brutal .865 SV%.

Recommended Pickup

Andrej Sekera (D) Buffalo – Confidence, confidence, confidence. For a couple of years now fans in Buffalo have seen glimpses of what Sekera can do; but while he is a gifted skater, he has never been very assertive offensively. Something has gotten into Sekera of late though, making him one of the hottest blueliners in the NHL. Sekera has totaled 10 points (2G, 8 A) over his last five games and is plus-7 over that span. Sekera led conventional leagues in points last week, and even at half that production he'd be a phenomenal free agent addition.