Rielly’s Injury Opens Door For Corrado, Varlamov’s Status & More News

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, according to comments made by head coach Mike Babcock and Rielly after the team’s practice on Wednesday.

Rielly suffered the injury after falling awkwardly with Buffalo Sabres forward William Carrier near the boards during the Leafs’ 4-3 win on Tuesday. Rielly was attempting to clear the puck out of his own end when he fell face first towards the ice and his right leg was extended backward as Carrier fell on top of it.

The 23-year-old blueliner got up in some noticeable pain and skated to the Maple Leafs’ bench before heading to the locker room. He returned soon after but later left the game for good.

Rielly has paired with Nikita Zaitsev on the team’s top defense pairing and his 22:22 of ice time is second among all Maple Leafs players. Jake Gardiner skated alongside Zaitsev once Rielly went down with the injury. Rielly’s tallied one goal and 16 assists in 42 games in his fourth season as member of Toronto’s defense corps.

With Rielly day-to-day, Maple Leafs blueliner Frank Corrado will have an opportunity to receive playing time as he’s expected to join the team when they face the New York Rangers on Thursday. Corrado will be paired with Connor Carrick, according to Babcock. Corrado has seen just one game with the Maple Leafs this season and just finished his seventh game with the Toronto Marlies in the American Hockey League as part of a two-week conditioning stint.

Avs’ Varlamov Out Through All-Star Break

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov will be out of the lineup through the All-Star break, according to head coach Jared Bednar on Wednesday.

Varlamov recently returned to the lineup on Jan. 12 after missing approximately three weeks with a lingering groin injury — the same issue that is causing him to miss at least the next four games between now and when NHL teams take a break for the all-star festivities in Los Angeles.

The 28-year-old netminder is 6-17-0 with a 3.38 goals-against average and a .898 save percentage as the Avalanche are seventh in the Central Division.

The Avalanche recalled Spencer Martin from the San Antonio Rampage (AHL) and will backup Calvin Pickard as Colorado looks to bounce back from a 6-4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.

Brodin to Miss At Least Month With Finger Injury

The Minnesota Wild will be without defenseman Jonas Brodin for a minimum of four weeks with a fractured finger, general manager Chuck Fletcher announced on Wednesday.

Brodin, 23, injured his finger during the team’s 4-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday. He’s registered three goals and 13 assists in 43 games as a regular contributor to the Wild who sit first in the Central Division with a 28-10-5 record.

Nate Prosser will likely get the call in Minnesota’s lineup with Brodin out of the lineup. He’s averaged just over 13 minutes of action in 17 games this season.

Odds and Ends

— New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider has been fined $5,000 by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety — the maximum amount allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The fine comes after Kreider struck Dallas Stars forward Cody Eakin with his own helmet during a fight on Tuesday. Eakin was suspended four games earlier this season after colliding with Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist who was attempting to play the puck behind his net at the time.