NHL notebook: Bruins' McAvoy (knee) on the mend

Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy hopes to return from a medial collateral ligament sprain in his left knee with time to participate in some regular-season games before Boston begin its playoff run.

McAvoy has shined in his first full season after making his debut in the NHL playoffs last year. He has seven goals and 25 assists in 59 games, mostly playing alongside captain Zdeno Chara on the first defensive pair. He spoke to reporters Thursday about his injury, which he sustained last week against Montreal.

"Just one of those crazy things," McAvoy said. "I've never had any knee problems, lower-body things like that. ... I'm confident that I'll be back."

--Vegas Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith was ruled out for the Thursday game against the Detroit Red Wings with an undisclosed injury sustained earlier this week.

Coach Gerard Gallant said Smith is day-to-day but declined to provide further details. The 26-year-old Smith was checked into the boards by Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard late in the second period on Tuesday and got up favoring his left side.

Smith ranks second on the team in plus/minus (plus-32) and is tied for second in points (60) through 66 appearances this season. In his sixth full NHL season, he already has set a career high in points and is four tallies shy of a personal best for goals.

--After missing his previous game against the Winnipeg Jets with flu-like symptoms, New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad was cleared to return Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Zibanejad, 24, entered the day ranked second on the team in goals (19) and fourth in points (34) in 57 appearances this season. In his sixth full NHL season, he is three goals shy of a career high.

The Rangers could also be getting top defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk back from a knee injury soon.

--Field Level Media

03/08/2018 20:29

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