Filip Forsberg is “really close” to returning to the ice for the Nashville Predators, general manager David Poile said Tuesday.
The forward, who has an upper-body injury, has not played since a 3-2 overtime win at the Calgary Flames on Nov. 2. Forsberg left the ice at 10:16 of the third period following a collision with a teammate. Monday marked his first practice since the injury.
“I think he’s really, really close,” Poile told ESPN 102.5 The Game. “[Tuesday] he’s going to skate again with the team and he’ll see the doctor after the skate. So I’m thinking it’s very, very close here.
“Filip will know the right time, talking to all of our doctors. But I met with him yesterday and he feels really, really good. Needs to probably have more conditioning, but we’ll see how he did [Monday] and we’ll see how he does [Tuesday] morning. But I think you’re going to see Filip return real soon here.”
The Predators host the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; BSSO, ATTSN-RM, ESPN+, NHL LIVE) and the New Jersey Devils on Friday.
The forward has scored seven points (four goals, three assists) in nine games this season.
Jared Spurgeon is considered week to week with a lower-body injury, Wild coach Dean Evason said.
“We had him evaluated,” Evason said. “It’s lower body and he won’t be in this weekend, and then we’ll see how he progresses.”
The defenseman left a game against the Florida Panthers midway through the first period of a 5-4 loss at the Florida Panthers on Saturday and did not play in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday.
Spurgeon is expected to be out at least the next three games: at the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, BSN, BSWI+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE), at home against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday and at home against the Lightning on Sunday.
Evason said Spurgeon will be evaluated further when the Wild returns to Minnesota.
Spurgeon has scored eight points (three goals, five assists) and averaged 20:28 in ice time in 17 games.
Jake Allen will start for the Canadiens when they begin a three-game road trip at the Washington Capitals on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, SNO, NBCSWA+, RDS, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).
The goalie said Tuesday he was cleared medically from a concussion sustained at the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 13. He practiced Monday.
“I had a couple of minor [symptoms] when the hit occurred, post hit,” Allen said. “The last few days have been clear, have been good, feel no issues at all. All signs, green light.”
Allen was removed from the game in Detroit by the NHL concussion spotter with 48 seconds left in the first period. He was injured following a collision with Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin, who was pushed from behind by Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry.
“It was sort of a quick play,” Allen said. “I felt OK right away. I sort of jumped up because I’ve been in a situation before where I’ve been hit. I was the first goalie, I think, when the protocol was put in place to ever get pulled from a game, back when I was with the [St. Louis] Blues.
“I felt OK, so I knew that if I laid on the ice I was going to get taken out. But by the time the spotter reached down to the penalty box and told the ref, I needed to go through the protocol. Looking back on it, it was definitely the right thing. As we did the test, I noticed a few things were off.”
Defenseman Brett Kulak (lower body) is not with the Canadiens on the trip, Montreal coach Dominique Ducharme said.
Goalie Carey Price is continuing his conditioning program, though he has not skated for a week.
“He keeps working on everything else, getting off-ice treatment and so on,” Ducharme said Monday. — Jon Lane
New Jersey Devils
Jack Hughes practiced with the Devils for the first time Monday since he was injured in a game against the Seattle Kraken on Oct. 19.
The center was a limited participant and wore a non-contact jersey for a part of practice.
“It was great. It was awesome. We miss him, I know I miss him, I miss having him around,” defenseman P.K. Subban said. “It was great to see him out there getting some touches.”
The Devils said Oct. 29 that Hughes would be out at least five more weeks because of a dislocated left shoulder. The 20-year-old center was placed on injured reserve Oct. 23 and will not require surgery. The No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft has scored three points (two goals, one assist) in two games this season.
Paul Stastny was on the ice about 90 minutes before the morning skate, but the forward missed his seventh consecutive game with a foot injury Monday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“The word ‘good’ came out, so we’re hanging on that,” coach Paul Maurice told the Jets website. “He’ll skate again tomorrow, and we expect to bring him on the trip.”
Stastny has been out since being hit in the foot with a puck and leaving in the third period of a 2-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Nov. 6.
Winnipeg begins a three-game road trip at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SNW, BSOH, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).