Hurricanes' Svechnikov to have surgery Thursday for torn ACL, lost for season

Carolina Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov is out for the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs because of a torn ligament in his right knee, a significant blow for a Stanley Cup contender.

Leafs expect O’Reilly back before playoffs and Avs coach says Lehkonen out 4-6 weeks

Men's hockey player dives to maintain possession of the puck during NHL action.
Hurricanes right-winger Andrei Svechnikov, who will miss the rest of the regular season and post-season following knee surgery, is tied for second on the team in points with 60 and ranks third in goals with 23. (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

Carolina Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov is out for the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs because of a torn ligament in his right knee, a significant blow for a Stanley Cup contender.

The team announced Svechnikov would undergo reconstruction surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament Thursday at Raleigh Orthopaedic. He was injured Saturday night in a loss to Vegas.

The Hurricanes already said Svechnikov would be out indefinitely with the knee injury but had been hoping for a better diagnosis.

"No easy way to say it," Carolina head coach Rod Brind'Amour told reporters earlier Tuesday before the team announced Svechnikov's status. "Hate it for him more than anything. He's worked so hard to get to this point of the year, when it's fun.

"And he's not going to be able to be a part of it here going forward. So it's tough."

In a statement, team president and general manager Don Waddell said the team is confident the No. 2 overall draft pick from 2018 would make a complete recovery.

Losing Svechnikov is a crushing blow to Carolina in a loaded Eastern Conference, with the Hurricanes spending much of the year second only to Boston in the overall league standings.

The 22-year-old top-line forward is tied for second on the team with 55 points and third with 23 goals. He has been a critical piece of Carolina's four consecutive playoff berths, starting with a run to the Eastern Conference finals in Svechnikov's rookie year.

Carolina's playoff run has included division titles in each of the past two seasons, though a lack of scoring depth has been a factor in earlier-than-expected post-season exits the past two seasons.

They addressed that in the off-season by acquiring winger Max Pacioretty in July, but Pacioretty tore his right Achilles tendon over the summer then did it again a few games into his debut with Carolina in January. They avoided major changes to their lineup at the trade deadline earlier this month.

The Hurricanes had won 16 of 19 before being outscored 7-0 in their past two games. And entering Tuesday's home game against Winnipeg, their once-comfortable lead atop the Metropolitan Division has been reduced to a tie in standings points (94) with the New Jersey Devils, who are only in second place because they've played one more game.

Leafs get favourable injury news

The Toronto Maple Leafs expect forward Ryan O'Reilly to return from a finger injury before the playoffs, general manager Kyle Dubas said Tuesday.

Dubas said the team was fortunate due to the type of break the three-time all-star suffered in a March 4 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

O'Reilly had surgery three days later and was placed on long-term injured reserve with a timeline of four weeks.

Toronto acquired O'Reilly along with forward Noel Acciari from the St. Louis Blues in a Feb. 17 three-team trade that also involved the Minnesota Wild.

In eight games with the Maple Leafs, O'Reilly has three goals and two assists.

In 986 NHL regular-season appearances with the Colorado Avalanche, Buffalo Sabres, Blues and Leafs, O'Reilly has 255 goals and 696 points. He was selected in the second round of the 2009 draft by Colorado.

Lehkonen absence a 'huge loss'

Colorado Avalanche forward Artturi Lehkonen will miss approximately four to six weeks with a broken finger, head coach Jared Bednar announced Tuesday.

"Maybe more," Bednar said on his weekly radio show appearance. "It's a huge loss. Good thing is it's his finger. It's his top hand and he can continue to train."

Lehkonen burned his former team by scoring two of Colorado's four first-period goals in an eventual 8-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday. He was injured later while reportedly blocking a shot.

Lehkonen, 27, has posted career-high totals in goals (20), assists (29) and points (49) in 62 games this season.

He has compiled 100 goals and 207 points in 474 regular-season contests with the Canadiens and Avalanche. He was selected by Montreal in the second round of the 2013 draft.

With files from Field Level Media

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