San Jose Sharks winger remains out with upper body injury

SAN JOSE — Sharks winger Kevin Labanc could miss the next two weeks with an upper-body injury he suffered over the weekend, coach Bob Boughner said Monday.

Boughner said the Sharks will know more after Labanc’s MRI, which was scheduled for later Monday.

The Sharks play host to the Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, then finish their pre-Christmas schedule against the Canucks on Dec. 21 and the Edmonton Oilers on Dec. 23, also at home. The Sharks’ first game after Christmas is Dec. 27 in Anaheim.

Labanc was hurt on his first shift in Saturday’s game with the Dallas Stars on a hit by defenseman Jani Hakanpaa. Labanc did not return in the Sharks’  2-1 win over the Stars.

“It’s the type of injury that you need to see what the pictures look like to find out,” Boughner said, “but more likely it’s a week to two.”

Labanc was in his second game back after he was a healthy scratch for last Tuesday’s home game with the Calgary Flames. Boughner liked Labanc’s game when he was reinserted into the lineup Thursday against the Minnesota Wild, saying it was the best the forward had looked all season.

Labanc, who has six points in 20 games this season, had three shots on net in just over 16 minutes of ice time in a 5-2 Sharks loss to the Wild.

“He sat out a game and he responded,” Boughner said of Labanc. “The idea in the game against Dallas was to start him on the fourth line, but use him on the second power unit and move him up and down the lineup if he played well and give him more of an opportunity.

“But he’ll be back. I don’t think it’s anything too long term.”

The Sharks are also without Rudolfs Balcers for at least another week. With those two unavailable, the Sharks recalled winger Jayden Halbgewachs from the Barracuda.

Halbgewachs, 24, has 16 points in 19 games in his fourth season with the Barracuda. Halbgewachs, who went undrafted, has never played in an NHL game but has been one of the Barracuda’s most consistent point-producing forwards since the start of the 2018-19 season with 81 points in 144 regular-season games.

Boughner said he hasn’t decided if he’ll play Halbgewachs against the Kraken. Halbgewachs skated on the Sharks’ fourth line in Monday’s practice with center Jasper Weatherby and wingers Jonah Gadjovich and Lane Pederson.

“He’s a guy who’s paid his dues,” said Sharks defenseman Jake Middleton, who played most of the last three seasons with Halbgewachs, who is listed at 5-foot-8. “Extremely skilled, deceptively fast for his size. Wins a lot of battles when he can. I’m really happy to see him on this side (of Sharks Ice).”

REIMER STARTS: Goalie James Reimer will start Tuesday’s game after he stopped 34 of 35 shots in the win over the Stars. Reimer is 5-1-0 in his last six starts with a .934 save percentage, which is the eighth-best mark among the 39 NHL goalies who have played at least five games since Nov. 21.

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