Welcome to the NHL Buzz. Throughout the 2020-21 season, NHL.com will have you covered with the latest news.
New York Rangers
Artemi Panarin is day to day with a lower-body injury and won’t play against the Boston Bruins on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS, MSG+, NESN, NHL.TV).
The forward was injured during a 3-2 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. He played one shift totaling 1:28 on the power play in the final 15:50 of the third period after leaving the ice in apparent pain. He did not play in overtime.
“If he was ready to go, he was going to go,” Rangers coach David Quinn said. “We don’t think it’s anything serious or long-term. It’s unfortunate he won’t be able to go tonight but we’re hopeful for the next time we play (against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday), he’ll be ready to go.”
Panarin leads the Rangers with 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 12 games. He was a finalist for the Hart Trophy as NHL most valuable player last season when he scored an NHL career-high 95 points (32 goals, 63 assists) in 69 games.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson will return to the lineup against the St. Louis Blues (9 p.m. ET; FS-A PLUS, FS-MW, NHL.TV).
“‘O’ had a full practice today. He feels good,” coach Rick Tocchet said Thursday. “… I think ‘O’ is good to go, but I’ll talk to him at the end of the day.”
The Coyotes captain has been out the past 10 games; he hasn’t played since sustaining a lower-body injury in a 5-3 win against the San Jose Sharks on Jan. 16, when he was hit into the boards by Sharks forward Evander Kane with 10:48 remaining in the third. The defenseman did not play a shift following the hit.
“It’s nice, he’s such a talented player, he’s going to be huge,” Coyotes forward Conor Garland said. “He’s a guy who can get pucks through all the time from the point, who plays about 25 minutes (per game), so I think it’ll be big for the rest of our [defenseman] corps, too. I think everybody’s playing well right now, and to get somebody like that back is huge.”
Ekman-Larsson has three assists in two games this season. — Alan Robinson
Matt Dumba is expected to return to the lineup when the Wild play their next game against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.
The defenseman has missed two games since sustaining an injury in a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Jan. 30 when he was hit by Wild forward Jordan Greenway.
“It wasn’t as bad as we thought,” Dumba said Friday. “We took all the right steps to make sure I’m feeling good today and there’s no real issues with it now.”
Minnesota, which last played Feb. 2, has had six games postponed through Saturday because of NHL COVID-19 protocol. Facilities opened Friday for the first time since Feb. 3.
“It felt great,” Dumba said. “It was honestly kind of good to have a little time off the ankle to let everything heal up. So I feel like I’m ready now.”
Forward Mats Zuccarello could return Tuesday. He has not played this season after having surgery on his right arm prior to training camp.
“I think he’s chomping at the bit,” general manager Bill Guerin said. “If he gets cleared, I think he’ll be ready to go (Tuesday).” — Tim Campbell
St. Louis Blues
Vladimir Tarasenko skated with his teammates for the first time since having shoulder surgery this offseason.
The forward, who was expected to be reevaluated five months following surgery Sept. 17, had been skating on his own since Jan. 30 and took part in an optional skate Friday prior to the game against the Arizona Coyotes (9 p.m. ET; FS-A, FS-MW, ESPN+, NHL.TV).
“He’s on the ice, he’s conditioning,” general manager Doug Armstrong said Friday. “His shoulder’s certainly not 100 percent right now, but it’s at a point where the safety and the mechanisms are in place that we feel he can skate. He can receive passes, make passes, shoot to a level of his comfort. He’s still a ways away. We won’t see him for a number of weeks, but he’s certainly on the right track.”
Tarasenko was injured Oct. 24, 2019, against the Los Angeles Kings and had surgery three days later before returning to play four games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season.
“I’ve been on the ice with him for a while, but he can still rip the puck like he always could,” forward Zach Sanford said. “It’s good to have him back out on the ice with us and include him as part of those practices again.” — Louie Korac