NHL Buzz: Vatanen to make season debut for Devils


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


New Jersey Devils

Sami Vatanen is expected to make his season debut at the Boston Bruins on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NESN, MSG+2, SN360, SNE, SNW, SNP, ESPN+, NHL.TV).

The defenseman, who signed a one-year contract with the Devils on Jan. 7, skated for the first time Monday because of Visa delays and quarantining due to NHL COVID-19 protocol. He has not played since Aug. 19 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when he was with the Carolina Hurricanes.

“It’s been a little time since the last game, so I’m very excited and ready to go,” Vatanen said.

Vatanen scored 23 points (five goals, 18 assists) in 47 games for the Devils last season before he was traded to the Hurricanes on Feb. 24. He did not play with them in the regular season because of a lower-body injury, but returned for the playoffs and had three assists in seven games.


San Jose Sharks

Erik Karlsson will miss at least the next two games for the Sharks because of a lower-body injury.

The defenseman did not travel with the Sharks for their game at the St. Louis Blues on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; FS-MW, NBCSCA, NHL.TV). The Sharks also play at the Blues on Saturday.

“He’s not on the road trip,” coach Bob Boughner said. “Obviously not as good as he thought. We all thought he was going to be able to (travel) and he left practice. … With what he has, it’s an injury that if you play through it, it’s just going to get worse. … It’s more of a day to day thing at this point and time.”

Karlsson did not play in a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday. He left in the third period of a 3-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.

Karlsson has four assists and a minus-4 rating in 13 games this season. He ranks fifth in the NHL in ice time per game (25:36). — Louie Korac


St. Louis Blues

Colton Parayko will not play against the San Jose Sharks (8 p.m. ET; FS-MW, NBCSCA, NHL.TV) because of an undisclosed injury.

The defenseman, who has been playing through the injury, has not missed a game this season. He has scored eight points (one goal, seven assists) in 16 games.

“We need to get him better, so we decided that he will not go tonight,” coach Craig Berube said. “[The injury] did not happen in the bubble (during the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season). It happened this season.”

Defensemen Marco Scandella, who missed the past six games with an upper-body injury, and Torey Krug, who was day to day with an upper-body injury, will play. — Louie Korac


New York Rangers

Artemi Panarin is expected to play at the Philadelphia Flyers (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, NBCSP, MSG, NHL.TV), coach David Quinn said.

The forward missed the past two games with a lower-body injury. He leads the Rangers in scoring with 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 12 games this season.

New York has scored two goals in two games without Panarin and has lost four straight (0-3-1).

Quinn also said defenseman K’Andre Miller, who missed one game with an upper-body injury, will play Thursday. — Dan Rosen

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