NHL Buzz: Bennett to make Panthers debut against Lightning


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

Florida Panthers

Sam Bennett will make his Panthers debut against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; BSSUN, BSSUN+, ESPN+, NHL.TV).

The forward was acquired in a trade with the Calgary Flames on Monday for forward prospect Emil Heineman and a second-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.

Bennett, who will skate on a line with Jonathan Huberdeau and Anthony Duclair, has scored 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 38 games this season.

Florida (27-12-5) is third in the eight-team Discover Central Division, one point behind the Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes. The top four teams will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Philadelphia Flyers

Carter Hart will not play against the Washington Capitals (12:30 p.m. ET; NHLN NBCSP, NBCSWA, NHL.TV) because of a lower-body injury.

Alex Lyon will start his first game of the season with Brian Elliott as the backup. Lyon has played one game this season, making nine saves on 10 shots in 24:08 of relief in a 6-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on March 31.

Philadelphia also is without forwards Nolan Patrick (undisclosed) and Tanner Laczynski (lower body). Patrick left in the third period of a 2-1 shootout win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday after getting hit in the head by a shot.

The Flyers (20-17-6) are sixth in the eight-team MassMutual East Division, eight points behind the fourth-place Boston Bruins. The top four teams will qualify for the playoffs. — Adam Kimelman

Montreal Canadiens

Carey Price could return to the lineup against the Ottawa Senators (4 p.m. ET; TSN2, RDS, TSN5, NHL.TV).

The goalie took part in the morning skate but did not dress for a 2-1 win against the Calgary Flames on Friday. He practiced the previous two days for the first time since aggravating a lower-body injury April 5.

“There’s a chance he can be playing tomorrow,” coach Dominique Ducharme said Friday.

Jake Allen has started each of the past six games for Montreal (19-13-9), which is fourth in the seven-team Scotia North Division, six points ahead of Calgary. The top four teams will qualify for the playoffs.  — Sean Farrell


Nashville Predators

Matt Duchene will return to the lineup against the Carolina Hurricanes (7 p.m. ET; BSSO, NHL.TV).

The forward missed 22 games with a lower-body injury. He has scored eight points (three goals, five assists in 23 games.

“It’s play fast, tenacious, he’s got to skate on the forecheck, he’s got to win puck battles, he’s got to reload and track above pucks if there is a loss of possession in the offensive zone,” coach John Hynes said Saturday. “When you’re called upon to defend, there is commitment to detail in your game. That’s what we’re looking for him to do.”

Nashville, which was 10-13-0 when Duchene got injured, has gone 14-7-1 without him.

“The team is playing differently than when Matt was playing when he got hurt,” Hynes said. “There is a different level of commitment to the way we want to play, particularly with our forward group.”

Nashville (24-20-1) is fourth in the eight-team Discover Central Division, four points ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks. The top four teams will qualify for the playoffs. — Kurt Dusterberg

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