NHL Buzz: Makar wont play for Avalanche against Blue Jackets



Colorado Avalanche

Cale Makar will not play at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET; ALT2, BSOH, ESPN+, NHL LIVE) because of a upper-body injury.

The defenseman is day to day. He has scored six points (two goals, four assists) in eight games and leads the Avalanche in average ice time per game (25:00).

Forward Mikko Rantanen (lower body) will miss his third straight game. Forward Andre Burakovsky (lower body) is doubtful after he left in the second period of a 4-1 win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.


Detroit Red Wings

Dylan Larkin is away from the Red Wings for personal reasons and did not play at the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET: TSN2, RDS, BSDET+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill did not say whether the forward will be available against the Boston Bruins on Thursday.

“I’m not going to comment on that any further than I did,” Blashill said. “We’ll take everything, like we do with everything else, day by day.”

Detroit’s captain did not practice Monday because of what Blashill said was a maintenance day. Larkin has scored eight points (three goals, five assists) in eight games this season. 

“He didn’t practice today,” Blashill said. “I’ll leave it at that.”


Winnipeg Jets

Mark Scheifele returned to the lineup against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, BSSW+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

The center played on a line with Adam Lowry and Blake Wheeler. Scheifele practiced Monday for the first time since entering NHL COVID-19 protocol Oct. 21.

“It’s been an adventure, that’s for sure,” Scheifele said Monday. “It’s nice to be back with the boys. It felt like forever. It was nice to be back with the boys and back at it.”

Scheifele had two assists in two games before entering protocol.

“He works hard, he’ll be fine,” coach Paul Maurice said. “The game speed, it won’t take him too long. It won’t be right there maybe at the start, maybe it will, but if it’s not, it won’t take him too long before he’s back and right.”

The Jets were 4-0-2 in their previous six games. Wheeler played 18:21 of a 2-1 overtime loss at the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, his first game since entering protocol Oct. 18. — Jon Lane


San Jose Sharks

Timo Meier was placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol on Tuesday.

The forward leads the Sharks with 11 points (five goals, six assists) in eight games. He is one of seven San Jose players in protocol (forwards Kevin Labanc and Matt Nieto, defensemen Erik Karlsson, Jake Middleton, Radim Simek and Marc-Edouard Vlassic).

Forward Jonathan Dahlen was removed from protocol Tuesday.

“It’s not fun having those guys out,” Dahlen said. “Hopefully everything is good for them. We’re taking precautions in the locker room. We can’t control anything besides being very cautious. We just have to do what we can control and see where it takes us” 

San Jose was without eight players and coach Bob Boughner for a 2-1 overtime win against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. Seven of the eight were in COVID-19 protocol; forward Logan Couture had a non-COVID illness

The Sharks play the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday (10:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, HULU, NHL LIVE).

“We’re trying to take as many precautions as we can,” assistant coach John MacLean said. “Wearing masks, we’re doing everything we can. … We’re trying to keep on top of everything the best we can.” — Chelena Goldman


Philadelphia Flyers

Ryan Ellis is week to week with a lower-body injury, and the defenseman did not play against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSP, BSAZ+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

Ellis skated before practice Monday but missed his fifth straight game.

Coach Alain Vigneault said the injury is related to a lower-body injury Ellis sustained during training camp.

“It’s taking a little bit longer to heal than he expected,” Vigneault said Monday. “When Ryan’s ready to play, he’ll let us know because obviously he wants to play and help his teammates.”

Vigneault said Ellis’ availability for games at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday and at the Washington Capitals on Saturday would be determined by Wednesday.

“We’re going to practice on Wednesday,” Vigneault said. “If he’s not practicing full-go with the team, then he’s not coming on the trip.”

Vigneault said forward Kevin Hayes, who also skated Monday but has not played this season because of abdominal surgery Sept. 21, could soon return to practice.

Hayes is on long-term injured reserve and eligible to be activated after Philadelphia plays its 10th game (Washington on Saturday). — Adam Kimelman


Pittsburgh Penguins

Kris Letang skated on his own Monday and could practice Wednesday after being cleared from NHL COVID-19 protocol.  

The defenseman, who experienced symptoms after testing positive, has missed four games since entering protocol Oct. 23. Letang had his final cardiac screening Monday and will skate on his own again Tuesday, a scheduled day off for the Penguins. 

Pittsburgh host the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. Letang’s status for that game has not been determined. 

“The symptomatic guys, everybody’s a little bit different, so it’s hard to anticipate how long it’s going to take to get him back in the lineup,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “Hopefully, we can get [Letang] on the ice tomorrow and then he can join the team on Wednesday. We’ll see where he is at that point.” 

Defensemen Marcus Pettersson and Chad Ruhwedel entered protocol Sunday. Pettersson has shown some signs of symptoms and Ruhwedel has not, Sullivan said. 

Defensemen Pierre-Olivier Joseph was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on Sunday. He skated on a pair with John Marino on Monday. 

The Penguins are also without forwards Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust. Malkin, normally the second-line center, is expected to be out until at least December after having knee surgery June 4; Rust, usually the first-line right wing, is week to week with a lower-body injury. 

Malkin and Rust skated together before practice Monday. — Wes Crosby

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