VANCOUVER, British Columbia —After more than three months away, Marcus Kruger picked up right where he left off Saturday night in his first game back — effective in his own end, killing penalties with aplomb, and even creating a couple of net-crashing scoring chances.
Kruger said everything he could do before wrist surgery, he can do now.
“Otherwise I wouldn’t be out there,” he said. “You never know how it’s going to feel when you haven’t been out there in game situations, but I felt pretty quick that, yeah, I would be able to do the things I needed to do.”
The one exception was at the faceoff dot, where Kruger took just four draws, while winger Andrew Shaw took 11. Kruger was one of the league’s top faceoff men last season, but given the nature of his injury, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville wants to ease Kruger back in at the dot.
“We expect him to get better, get stronger every day,” Quenneville said. “Sometimes, [Shaw] can help us out, too, jumping in there.”
Artem Anisimov missed the game with a lower-body injury, according to the team. He’s day-to-day. Teuvo Teravainen centered Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane in his absence, with Dennis Rasmussen playing for the first time in eight games
Anisimov has just one goal and five assists in his last 18 games.
Quenneville said there was no change in Corey Crawford’s status. He has yet to skate, and while Quenneville said he’s “hopeful” he’ll skate soon, there’s no timetable.