New York Islanders center Valtteri Filppula is expected to miss four weeks with an upper-body injury, the team announced Wednesday.
Filppula was injured in the first period Tuesday night on a hit from behind by Boston Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton. Filppula, 35, has 29 points (15 goals, 14 assists) in 71 games in his first season with the Islanders.
New York, with nine games to go in the regular season, is eight points ahead of ninth-place Montreal in the Eastern Conference. Filppula's recovery timetable could put him in line to play during the first round of the playoffs, which begin April 10.
He has been the team's third-line center and a regular penalty killer.
"Fil's been instrumental in our success this year," captain Anders Lee said on NHL.com. "He's got such a veteran presence and is so smart down the middle. He plays the right way and is always in the right spots. We have some big shoes to fill now with Fil out."
Filppula is in his 14th year in the NHL, with 492 points (183 goals, 309 assists) for four teams.
--Field Level Media