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NHL Buzz: Scheifele in COVID-19 protocol for Jets – NHL.com

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Welcome to the NHL Buzz. Throughout the 2021-22 season, NHL.com will have you covered with the latest news.

Winnipeg Jets

Mark Scheifele was placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol Thursday.

A team spokesperson said the center tested positive Wednesday morning and negative at night. If Scheifele tests negative Thursday morning, he will be eligible to play against the Anaheim Ducks (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, BSSC, BSSD, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

“We have game time decisions all the time,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “The difference is if a guy has a pulled groin, you don’t have to worry about it spreading to the guy he sits beside on the plane. We’re going to wait for a test, we’ve done that in the past, and we’ve got two line-ups, two plans, and two power-play groups. Mark is in the protocol now, so we’re going down one direction. We’ve got that set for tonight. If we get good news on Mark here, we’ll just quickly switch.”

Scheifele, who led the Jets in scoring last season with 63 points (21 goals, 42 assists) in 56 games, has two assists in two games. He did not play in a season-opening 4-1 loss at the Ducks on Oct. 13 because he was serving the final game of a four-game suspension he received for charging Montreal Canadiens forward Jake Evans in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Second Round last season.

Forward Blake Wheeler remains in protocol after testing positive Monday. Wheeler is required to miss at least three more games.

Forward Dominic Toninato was recalled from Manitoba of the American Hockey League. — Tim Campbell

Pittsburgh Penguins

Jeff Carter and Tristan Jarry were placed in COVID-19 protocol.

Carter, who is tied for the Penguins lead with four points (one goals, three assists) in four games, tested positive, coach Mike Sullivan said. He had been the center on the top line with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each out with an injury.

Jarry has started three of the Penguins’ four games. He is 2-0-1 with a 1.62 goals-against average and .935 save percentage.

“We did a really good job last year. I don’t think we had one, or maybe we had one case the whole year,” forward Evan Rodrigues said. “It just seems like this year, we’re not catching the breaks. … At the same time, when one guy goes down it’s another opportunity for someone else. It’s just going to have to be a collective effort from the whole group.”

Crosby, who hasn’t played this season, will not play against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. If Carter doesn’t play, Rodrigues will be the first-line center.

“A mistake a lot of young guys make is, they get bumped up the lineup and they try to create more offense or play a different game,” Rodrigues said. “The reason why you have success is by playing your game. Whether it’s me, whether it’s [Drew O’Connor] or whoever is getting more minutes, you play your game. You do your thing. The game will take care of itself.”  — Wes Crosby

Buffalo Sabres

Cody Eakin will miss at least the next two games for the Sabres with an undisclosed injury he sustained in practice Wednesday.

Sabres coach Don Granato said the forward is day to day and will not play against the Boston Bruins on Friday or at the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.

The Sabres host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.

Eakin has scored two points (one goal, one assist) in three games.

Chicago Blackhawks

Mike Hardman will not play when the Blackhawks host the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; SNP, NBCSCH, ESPN+, NHL LIVE) because of a head laceration.

The 22-year-old forward was injured after being checked into the boards by New York Islanders forward Matt Martin in the third period of Chicago’s 4-1 loss during Hardman’s season debut Tuesday. Playing on the third line with left wing Alex DeBrincat and center Henrik Borgstrom, Hardman played 9:54 with two shots on goal, a team-high six hits and two blocked shots.

“I think he did exactly what we hoped he would do,” Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. “That line was probably our best line and DeBrincat’s best game. We’ll see how long it is, but kind of just picked up where he left off in camp, I thought.” — Tracey Myers

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