PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Penguins backup goaltender Tomas Vokoun had surgery Saturday to remove a blood clot from his pelvis and will remain in the hospital for several days.
General manager Ray Shero announced the operation after the Penguins’ 5-3 preseason loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
He said Vokoun left the Saturday morning practice at CONSOL Energy Center after noticing swelling in his thigh. He was taken to a local emergency room, where doctors diagnosed the blood clot.
“The most important thing right now is Tomas’ health and well-being,” Shero said. “The clot was dissolved by the procedure, and the doctors tell us that he will remain in the hospital for several days. We will continue to monitor his progress after that.”
Penguins team physician Christopher Harner said there was no injury that led to the clot.
The 37-year-old Vokoun played 20 regular-season games for the Penguins in 2012-13, going 13-4 with a 2.45 goals-against average. He also appeared in 11 playoff games and was 6-5 with a 2.10 GAA.
The native of Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic has played 15 NHL seasons with Montreal, Nashville, Florida, Washington and the Penguins.
Jeff Zatkoff is likely to be the Penguins’ backup goalie in Vokoun’s absence.
Blue Jackets 5, Penguins 3
PITTSBURGH — Boone Jenner scored his second goal of the game to offset Jussi Jokinen’s hat trick and lift the Columbus Blue Jackets to a victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in a preseason game.
Jenner notched the winner by banking a backhander in off of traffic in front 7:21 into the third period.
Brandon Dubinsky and Jenner scored in the first period and Cam Atkinson added a goal in the second before Jokinen scored three straight goals in a span of 8:28 in the second to tie the game.
Derek MacKenzie added an empty netter with 44 seconds left in the game.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 19 of 23 Columbus shots, while last season’s Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky made 38 saves.
Caps to host Winter Classic
WASHINGTON — The Winter Classic is moving south of the Mason-Dixon Line, which means it’s time to check the forecast.
Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis announced Saturday that the Capitals will host the NHL’s annual New Year’s Day outdoor game in 2015. He’s been lobbying for the game for years. The Capitals were the visiting team in Pittsburgh for the 2011 Winter Classic, which was postponed several hours because of rain.
The average high temperature on Jan. 1 in Washington is 44 degrees, with a record of 69 set in 2005. This season’s Winter Classic will be held in Michigan, but a good litmus test for outdoor hockey in a warmer climate will come Jan. 5 when the Anaheim Ducks will play the Los Angeles Kings at Dodger Stadium.
Still to be determined are a venue and an opponent. NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins said the league will consider Nationals Park, RFK Stadium and FedEx Field. Leonsis would prefer to rule out FedEx Field, which is located outside the city in Landover, Md.
Read gets 4-year extension
PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Flyers say they have signed forward Matt Read to a four-year, $14.5 million contract extension.
Read, who had 11 goals and 13 assists in 42 games last season, is now under contract for five years. He led NHL rookies with 24 goals during the 2011-12 season.
Read originally signed with the Flyers as a free agent in March 2011 after his collegiate career at Bemidji State University.