NHL Buzz: MacKinnon skates after missing past two games for Avalanche

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Colorado Avalanche

Nathan MacKinnon skated Sunday after missing the past two games because the forward was not feeling well as the result of a hit to the head.

MacKinnon was scratched prior to a 3-2 overtime win against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday and also missed a 5-4 overtime loss to Anaheim on Saturday. He was injured in the third period of a 4-0 win at the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday when forward Joachim Blichfeld hit MacKinnon’s head with his shoulder. Blichfeld was assessed a match penalty and suspended for two games by the NHL Department of Player Safety for an illegal check.

“He seems to be progressing and feeling better,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said Saturday.

Defenseman Cale Makar also skated Sunday, but the Avalanche did not practice. Makar has missed the past five games with an upper-body injury.

The Avalanche next play at home against the Arizona Coyotes on Monday.

After the game Friday, Bednar said, “The protocol says he can’t play, and we’re not going to put him out there and risk him getting hurt or something or making it worse. I don’t know what that means as far as tomorrow or the next day, but I’m assuming he’s going to miss a couple games here.”

MacKinnon has scored 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in 19 games. Makar has not played since Feb. 26. He has 14 points (one goal, 13 assists) in 15 games.

 

Detroit Red Wings

Dylan Larkin is hoping to play against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday after missing four games with a lower-body injury.

“I’d say that exactly,” the Red Wings captain said after taking part in practice Sunday. “I felt pretty good. It’s kind of a day-to-day thing. The big thing is [Monday] and see how it feels and take it from there.”

Larkin skated on his own during Detroit’s 1-3-1 road trip that ended with a 5-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. Coach Jeff Blashill said he would not commit to the return of the forward Tuesday.

“We have two days to find that out,” Blashill said. “I don’t anticipate one way or another right now. We’ll find out as we go through it. He finished the practice today, so that’s a good sign.”

Larkin has scored 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 22 games, second on the Red Wings behind forward Bobby Ryan (13 points).

Tyler Bertuzzi did not practice. The forward has missed 17 games with an upper-body injury.

“It’s just been a longer process than what we realized and that happens sometimes with injuries,” Blashill said. “So we just sit and wait until he’s fully healthy and can get back at it.”

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