Welcome to the NHL Buzz. Throughout the 2020-21 season, NHL.com will have you covered with the latest news.
New York Rangers
Artemi Panarin is day to day with a lower-body injury and won’t play against the Boston Bruins on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS, MSG+, NESN, NHL.TV).
The forward was injured in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. He played one shift totaling 1:28 on the power play in the final 15:50 of the third period after leaving the ice in apparent pain. He did not play in overtime.
“If he was ready to go, he was going to go,” Rangers coach David Quinn said. “We don’t think it’s anything series or long-term. It’s unfortunate he won’t be able to go tonight but we’re hopeful for the next time we play (against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday) he’ll be ready to go.”
Panarin leads the Rangers in scoring with 15 points (five goals, 10 assists). He was a finalist for the Hart Trophy as League MVP last season when he scored an NHL career-high 95 points (32 goals, 63 assists) in 69 games.
Forward Colin Blackwell will enter the lineup Friday, and Alexis Lafraniere will take Panarin’s spot on the second line with Ryan Strome and Kaapo Kakko. — David Satriano
Oliver Ekman-Larsson is expected to return to the lineup against the St. Louis Blues (9 p.m. ET; FS-A Plus, FS-MW, NHL.TV).
“‘O’ had a full practice today. He feels good,” coach Rick Tocchet said Thursday. “… I think ‘O’ is good to go, but I’ll talk to him at the end of the day.”
Ekman-Larsson has missed the past 10 games; he hasn’t played since sustaining a lower-body injury in a 5-3 win against the San Jose Sharks on Jan. 16 when he was hit into the boards by Evander Kane with 10:48 remaining in the third. The defenseman did not play a shift following the hit.
“It’s nice, he’s such a talented player, he’s going to be huge,” forward Conor Garland said. “He’s a guy who can get pucks through all the time from the point, who plays about 25 minutes, so I think it’ll be big for the rest of our [defenseman] corps, too. I think everybody’s playing well right now, and to get somebody like that back is huge.”
Ekman-Larsson has three assists in two games this season. — Alan Robinson
The Wild will practice for the first time since facilities were closed on Feb. 3 because of NHL COVID-19 protocol.
The closure came one day after a 2-1 loss at the Colorado Avalanche. The Wild had games against the St. Louis Blues (Thursday) and Los Angeles Kings (Saturday) postponed on Monday; they previously had four games postponed through Tuesday.
Forwards Nick Bjugstad, Nick Bonino, Joel Eriksson Ek, Marcus Johansson, Victor Rask and Nico Sturm defensemen Jonas Brodin, Ian Cole, Brad Hunt, Carson Soucy, and Jared Spurgeon, and goalie Cam Talbot are in protocol. Forward Marcus Foligno was removed from protocol Thursday.
Wild general manager Bill Guerin said one staff member has tested positive for COVID-19.
The Wild’s next scheduled game is at the Kings on Tuesday.