NHL Buzz: Oshie, Vrana out for Capitals against Flyers


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


Washington Capitals

T.J. Oshie and Jakub Vrana won’t play when the Capitals host the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday (Noon ET; NBC, SN, TVAS).

Washington coach Peter Laviolette said Oshie has an upper-body injury. The forward has scored seven points (two goals, five assists) in 11 games this season.

Vrana was placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol Saturday. The forward has scored eight points (three goals, five assists) in 11 games.

The Capitals recalled forwards Daniel Carr and Philippe Maillet from the taxi squad and each will play Sunday. Maillet, a 26-year-old undrafted free agent, will make his NHL debut.

Forward Evgeny Kuznetsov and goalie Ilya Samsonov have been in the COVID-19 protocol since Jan. 20, but Laviolette said they began working out off the ice Saturday. 

“They’re starting to begin workouts, but remain in protocol,” Laviolette said.

The Capitals are also missing forward Conor Sheary (lower body) and defenseman Justin Schultz (hit in face by puck), who remain day to day. — Tom Gulitti


Philadelphia Flyers

Carter Hart will start Sunday when the Flyers visit the Washington Capitals.

The goalie practiced Saturday after he did not play in a 2-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Friday because of back spasms.

“I’m definitely feeling a lot better today,” Hart said. “Just kind of tightened up yesterday and I was just erring on the side of caution. I know we have a busy week coming up so I was just being a little more careful. It wasn’t my start anyway, but I’m just taking it day by day.”

Sean Couturier returned to practice Saturday and could play Sunday. The center sustained a rib injury Jan. 15 and was expected to miss at least two weeks. 

“There’s no doubt that he’s getting closer,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “If that will be tomorrow, Tuesday or a day or two after that, I’m not quite sure yet. Today was the first time he’s had a practice with the team, but he has been skating since the beginning whether it’s the taxi squad or on his own. So I’m not concerned at all about his conditioning or his timing because he’s been able to skate and push through this. So it’s just a matter of him feeling healthy and our doctors and our medical staff saying he’s good to go.”


Columbus Blue Jackets

Zach Werenski will be out 1-2 weeks because of a lower-body injury sustained in the third period of a 4-3 win against the Dallas Stars on Thursday. 

The defenseman was placed on injured reserve Saturday and forward Liam Foudy was added to the roster from the taxi squad.

Werenski, who is second on the Blue Jackets in ice time per game (24:09) behind defenseman Seth Jones (25:02), has scored four points (one goal, three assists) in 12 games this season.

The Blue Jackets host the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, FS-O, FS-CR, NHL.TV). — Craig Merz

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