NHL Buzz: Hart to start for Flyers on Saturday after goalie was scratched


Welcome to the NHL Buzz. Throughout the 2020-21 season, NHL.com will have you covered with the latest news.


Philadelphia Flyers

Carter Hart will start at the New York Islanders on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, MSG+, NBCSP, NHL.TV) after the goalie was a scratch for the past two games.

Hart was pulled 2:06 into the second period after allowing five goals on 11 shots in an 8-3 loss to the New York Rangers on March 25. He backed up Brian Elliott in a win against the Rangers on March 27 before he was scratched for two games against the Buffalo Sabres.

“He needs to work on his game,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said Monday. “He needs to work harder; he needs to work better. I’ve had a good conversation with him and [Flyers goaltending coach Kim Dillabaugh] about my expectations about his practice habits and him stopping the puck.”

Hart is 8-9-3 with a 4.04 goals-against average and an .869 save percentage in 22 games. He’s allowed at least three goals in eight consecutive starts, and in 15 of his 20 starts this season.

Forwards Oskar Lindblom and Nolan Patrick are expected to play Saturday after each was scratched for a 6-1 loss at the Sabres on Wednesday. Vigneault said he felt Lindblom and Patrick each needed a rest.

“It’s almost 72 hours in between the last time they skated until today,” Vigneault said Friday. “They had — other than coming in to test (for COVID-19) yesterday — they had a total day off. So I’m hoping that it was a time for them to get refreshed mentally and physically and they’ll be able to help us here in the final push for the playoffs and they’ll be good contributors for us.” — Adam Kimelman


Winnipeg Jets

Nathan Beaulieu will be out for the season after having shoulder surgery.

The defenseman hasn’t played since March 9 because of a hand injury and has been dealing with a shoulder injury.

“He broke a bone in his hand on the blocked shot (March 9),” coach Paul Maurice said Friday. “That injury in his shoulder had deteriorated. With those injuries, unless it’s a catastrophic tear, there is always rehab or repair. There is always a discussion. What’s the best way to do it? It deteriorated to the point where, he’s got a broken bone, this thing is not feeling better, it’s got to get done to give him a chance to be 100 per cent healthy and be a player next year.”

Blake Wheeler skated and will be a game-time decision against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, TSN4, NHL.TV). The Jets captain left a 3-1 loss to the Maple Leafs on Wednesday with an undisclosed injury. 

Wheeler, who has not missed a game this season, has missed eight games in his 13 NHL seasons.

“He’s the heart of our team,” defenseman Neal Pionk said. “To see the minimal games that he’s missed throughout his career and then finally getting to play with him, I see why now, and how tough he is.” — Darrin Bauming


Carolina Hurricanes

Petr Mrazek was recalled from a conditioning stint but it is unclear when the goalie will return to the lineup.

Mrazek made 43 saves in a 5-2 win for Chicago of the American Hockey League against Grand Rapids on Thursday.

“It’s been eight weeks since I played a game, so I was really happy I could see the action and see the puck, see the puck through traffic and battle hard so it was positive,” Mrazek said after the game. “I don’t think there’s anything better than facing 45 shots. That’s a good conditioning game.”

Mrazek has missed 29 games following right thumb surgery Feb. 3. He’s 2-1-0 with a 0.99 goals-against average, a .955 save percentage and two shutouts in four games with the Hurricanes this season.

James Reimer and Alex Nedeljkovic have split starts for the Hurricanes in Mrazek’s absence. Carolina hosts the Dallas Stars on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, BSSO, BSSW+, NHL.TV).

“Petr hasn’t really said, ‘Hey, I’m 100 percent ready to play.’ So, we’ll wait and see,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “I think he is, but I want to make sure I have a good conversation with him, which I haven’t had yet. … . I think that’ll be day to day, to be quite honest with you. We’ll kind of monitor as we go. I don’t have an update for you right now.” — Tracey Myers


Ottawa Senators

Colin White is day to day with an upper-body injury, coach D.J. Smith said.

The forward did not play in the third period of a 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

Smith also said goalie Matt Murray (upper body) is not 100 percent and that forward Micheal Haley (groin) will be out for the season.

Murray has missed the past eight games and hasn’t played since March 10; Haley, who has no points in four games, last played March 2.

The Senators visit the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, TVAS, SN, CITY, NHL.TV).

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