NHL Buzz: Thornton, Hyman, Muzzin out for Maple Leafs

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

Toronto Maple Leafs

Joe Thornton, Zach Hyman and Jake Muzzin will not play against the Calgary Flames on Monday (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, TSN4, SNW, NHL.TV).

Hyman and Thornton, each a forward, are considered day to day. 

Thornton played four games since returning from a 10-game absence because of a broken rib. He’s skated on the top line with Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner, and Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said he was unsure who would fill Thornton’s spot at left wing.

Muzzin has a broken bone in his face. Keefe said it was unclear how long the defenseman would be out. 

“It’s a big loss for us,” Keefe said. “He does a lot of important things for us at 5 on 5 and penalty kill and takes on a lot of difficult matchups. He’s a big physical presence for us on the backend and the chemistry he’s had with Justin Holl has been very good as well.”

Travis Dermott is expected to play on a defense pair with Justin Holl, and defenseman Mikko Lehtonen will be in the lineup after being scratched from a 5-3 win at the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

“I talked to Travis Dermott though today and it’s a great opportunity for him,” Keefe said. “It’s something he’s been waiting for and something we’ve been wanting to prepare him for in the event there’s an injury. He’s worked hard since day one of camp and he’s got a chance here tonight to take a big step.” — Dave McCarthy

Anaheim Ducks

Trevor Zegras could make his NHL debut at the Arizona Coyotes on Monday (9 p.m. ET; FS-A PLUS, PRIME, FS-SD, NHL.TV).

The 19-year-old forward skated on a line with Sam Steel and Jakob Silfverberg at practice Sunday after he was recalled from San Diego of the American Hockey League. He scored two goals in a 7-3 win against the Colorado Eagles on Saturday, and his nine points (four goals, five assists) are tied with two others for the AHL lead.

“I was not informed prior to the game, I had no idea,” Zegras said Sunday. “Actually, our GM (Bob Ferguson) grabbed me after the game and said practice at Honda Center tomorrow. He gave me some knuckles and said, ‘Good luck, pal.’

“Obviously, I was pretty excited. Every kid’s dream is to play in the NHL. That’s what I was looking forward to for a long time, and then my family’s been looking forward to, so I think it’s [going to] be a pretty special day when it happens.”

Zegras, the No. 9 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, helped the United States win the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship with a tournament-high 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in seven games, including a goal and an assist against Canada in the championship game Jan. 5.

“We’re going to talk roster and lineup here in half an hour, so he’s a part of that conversation, obviously,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “We had him on the wing today, and if he does get slotted in the lineup, that’s where he’ll start.”

Forward Adam Henrique cleared waivers Sunday, one day after the Ducks (6-9-3) lost their third straight game, 5-1 to the Minnesota Wild. They’ve scored two or fewer goals in 14 of 18 games this season and are last in the NHL in goals per game (1.83). — Jon Lane

Buffalo Sabres

Jake McCabe had an MRI on Sunday for a lower-body injury sustained in a 3-2 win at the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.

The defenseman favored his right leg when he left the game at 8:57 of the third period after attempting to check Devils center Nico Hischier.

“I’ll be honest with you, not very optimistic about the diagnosis that’ll come out of this, but let’s let the medical team take a look at it,” coach Ralph Krueger said Sunday. “We’ll give you a full report. The lower-body injury is serious.”

McCabe has scored three points (one goal, two assists) in 13 games this season. The game Saturday was his third after being in NHL COVID-19 protocol.

“Jake’s a guy that, he’s taken a lot of strides in the last couple of years as a leader,” forward Kyle Okposo said. “He’s somebody that I have a ton of respect for and all the guys have a lot of respect for in that room. I don’t know what the final prognosis is yet but he’s going to be a guy that’s dearly missed on and off the ice.” — Heather Engel

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