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Center Mike Modano #9 of the Dallas Stars reacts after his last home game of the season against the Anaheim Ducks at American Airlines Center on April 8, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) (Ronald Martinez/2010 Getty Images)
Center Mike Modano #9 of the Dallas Stars reacts after his last home game of the season against the Anaheim Ducks at American Airlines Center on April 8, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) (Ronald Martinez/2010 Getty Images)

Around the rinks Add to ...

Wounded Hawks



It's good news and bad news for the Chicago Blackhawks on the injury front. Defenceman Brian Campbell, who broke his clavicle on that hit from Washington's Alexander Ovechkin, is skating lightly and could return during the opening playoff round. Things are not going as well for Kim Johnsson, the player they acquired from the Minnesota Wild for Cam Barker just before the Olympics. Johnsson is out indefinitely with what appears to be a concussion and isn't skating yet. ... The Blackhawks' Marian Hossa had a scare the other day in a weird 6-5 win over the St. Louis Blues in which Chicago almost blew a 6-1 lead but hung on in the end. Hossa fell hard into the boards and left the game, but was not shaken up too badly and is not expected to miss any time.



More wounded



Injuries tend to dominate the discussion these days, especially among playoff-bound teams, and for now anyway, there is no word on when the Buffalo Sabres' leading scorer, Tim Connelly, will be able to play. The hope is he's back in time for the start of the playoffs. ... Columbus has been without its captain, Rick Nash, the past two games because of a sore neck and shoulder, which may affect his willingness to play for Canada at the world championship.



Retirement watch



The Dallas Stars' Mike Modano may pack it in as well, and just in case that happens, he invited his parents to watch him play his final game of the season, Saturday against the Wild in Minnesota. ... With Carolina confirmed for the 2011 all-star game, it now looks as though Minnesota will get the entry draft for the second time in history. The first occurred in 1989, when they were still the North Stars.



Capitals and championships



Most everybody inside and outside the NHL is hoping that the Pittsburgh Penguins play the Capitals this season, a matchup that could occur in the second round once again if the New Jersey Devils hold on to the second playoff seed. Most everybody except Capitals' coach Bruce Boudreau, that is. "I hope they lose in the first round," Boudreau said, even though his team swept the season series with Pittsburgh this season. ... Boudreau, incidentally, has no plans to rest Ovechkin this weekend, even though the Capitals have little left to play for. Boudreau figures Ovechkin got a rest during that two-game suspension for running Campbell into the boards and figures the Great 8 will want every opportunity to nail down some major NHL hardware, what with the goal-scoring and point championships going down to the wire.



The surprising Henrik Sedin



Henrik Sedin's intrusion into the Art Ross Trophy race after it looked as though it would be the permanent domain of Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for the next decade, was one of the most unexpected developments this season. The Canucks' Sedin played 16 games without his brother Daniel and never missed a beat. Since his return, they have been dominant. "I have an understanding where he's going to be," Henrik explained, "but I think it's mostly because we played together for such a long time. I think if you put any two guys together for 20 years on the same line, they're going to read off each other too, and get used to where he's going to put the puck and where he wants you to be." Makes sense.



Warm farewell to Igloo



The Penguins' 1,667th and final regular-season game was played at the Igloo Thursday against the Islanders, with more than 50 former players and front-office staff in attendance. Next year, the Penguins move into newer, more modern digs - and thank heaven for that. The Igloo had its own charm and its share of memorable moments, but the visiting dressing rooms have been a nightmare for going on 30 years, and so long as Crosby and company continue to challenge for championships, they need a more modern and better air-conditioned facility in order to play hockey into June. Either that, or the league could change the playoff schedule so hockey season ends before Victoria Day, a compromise lots of us could live with.

Follow on Twitter: @eduhatschek

 

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