NHL Buzz: Olofsson, Jokiharju could return for Sabres against Rangers


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

Buffalo Sabres

Victor Olofsson and Henri Jokiharju could return for the Buffalo Sabres when they visit the New York Rangers on Sunday (6 p.m. ET; TVAS, MSG 2, MSG-B, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

Sabres coach Don Granato said he needed to get a report from the Sabres’ medical staff before finalizing the lineup.

“No lineup decisions yet for tonight,” Granato said after the morning skate, “All options are available, starting with both goalies, and the potential of guys coming back is still there.”

Olofsson joined the Sabres for the morning skate in a non-contact jersey. It was the forward’s first practice since he sustained an undisclosed injury that has kept him out for the past eight games; he last played at the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 31. Olofsson is tied with Jeff Skinner and Tage Thompson for the Sabres lead with five goals.

Jokiharju practiced Friday, and the defenseman could play Sunday or against the Columbus Blue Jackets at home Monday. Jokiharju was hit in the ankle by a puck in the first period of the season opener against the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 14. He finished the game but hasn’t played since. 

“Any time you get guys back into practice, it’s encouraging,” Granato said. “They’ve already skated with our rehab skates and conditioning skates, so by the time they enter team practice they’ve had multiple days on the ice, and it’s good news.” — Heather Engel


Minnesota Wild

Jared Spurgeon won’t play against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; BSSUN, BSN, BSWI, ESPN+, NHL.TV) after the defenseman sustained a lower-body injury during the first period of a 5-4 loss at the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

“You don’t have your captain and arguably your best player against the best team in the league, it’s tough,” Wild coach Dean Evason said Saturday.

Defenseman Calen Addison was recalled from Iowa of the American Hockey League on Sunday. He scored one goal in two games earlier this season. Defenseman Jordie Benn, who hasn’t played since Oct. 28, also is an option to replace Spurgeon.

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