NHL Buzz: Landeskog out for Avalanche due to COVID-19 protocol

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Colorado Avalanche

Gabriel Landeskog was placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol Monday and will not play when the Avalanche host the Seattle Kraken (9 p.m. ET; ALT, ROOT-NW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

Colorado’s captain was named NHL First Star for the week ending Jan. 9 after the forward scored seven points (four goals, three assists) in three games. He is third on the Avalanche with 35 points (14 goals, 21 assists) in 26 games this season.

Forward Valeri Nichushkin is expected to return to the lineup and replace Landeskog. Nichushkin missed four games with an upper-body injury and has scored 16 points (10 goals, six assists) in 18 games this season.

 
Boston Bruins

Charlie McAvoy is expected to return to the lineup against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, NBCSWA, NESN, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

The defenseman last played Jan. 4 against the New Jersey Devils and missed two games with a lower-body injury. He leads the Bruins with an average of 24:23 of ice time per game

“Charlie McAvoy looked good this morning,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Obviously get through the pregame skate, but he looks like he’ll be back in.”

Defensemen Derek Forbort and Connor Clifton are each experiencing COVID-19 “testing issues,” Cassidy said. Urho Vaakanainen will remain in the lineup, regardless of the availability of Forbort and Clifton.

Forward Nick Foligno, who left in the first period of a 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Jan. 8 with a lower-body injury, will have an MRI in Boston on Tuesday.

“We’ll have a better update once they take those pictures and get back to us,” Cassidy said. — Amalie Benjamin

 
New York Rangers

Artemi Panarin could return when the Rangers visit the Los Angeles Kings on Monday (10:30 p.m. ET; SN, BSW, MSG+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

The forward was removed from NHL COVID-19 protocol Sunday and practiced after missing four games. He skated in his usual left wing position on the second line with center Ryan Strome and right wing Barclay Goodrow.

“We’re not sure,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant told USA Today on Sunday. “Today was just about flow drills, so no line combinations. They made their own lines, but as a coaching staff, we’ll talk about it later. We want to make sure we have everyone ready to go.”

Panarin also returned to the first power-play unit with Strome, Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad and Adam Fox. He said he symptoms for the first couple of days in protocol.

“For sure, I’m ready,” Panarin said. “I hope for long term I don’t have any problems with conditioning.

Panarin’s 36 points are tied with Fox for the Rangers lead.

The Rangers will be without Gallant after he entered protocol Sunday. Kris Knoblauch, coach of New York’s American Hockey League affiliate in Hartford, will replace Gallant in his absence.

Patrik Nemeth also practiced after he was added back to the roster. The defenseman missed four games for personal reasons.

 

Philadelphia Flyers

Travis Sanheim will return against the Carolina Hurricanes at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSP, BSSO, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

The defenseman took part in practice Monday after he was cleared from NHL COVID-19 protocol and missed two games. Flyers coach Mike Yeo said Sanheim’s early departure was planned to overwork him.

“Obviously he’s going to play some big minutes for us tomorrow,” Yeo said. “He feels good. We wanted him to participate in all except that last drill and that’s when we booted him off.”

Sanheim has scored 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 33 games. His average ice time of 22:31 is second on the Flyers after Ivan Provorov (24:26) among skaters who’ve played at least five games.

Provorov and forwards Claude Giroux and Travis Konecny remain in protocol, but Yeo said there’s a chance some of them could play Tuesday. Provorov and Giroux each has missed three games and Konecny two.

“We’re obviously waiting on a couple of results here and then that’ll give us a sense of whether they could be available or not,” Yeo said.

Defenseman Justin Braun was placed in COVID-19 protocol Monday and forward Patrick Brown will not play Tuesday because of a lower-body injury sustained during a 3-2 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. — Adam Kimelman

 

Arizona Coyotes

Goalie Scott Wedgewood, defensemen Jakob Chychrun, Cam Dineen and Anton Stralman, coach Andre Tourigny and goaltending coach Corey Schwab were placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol.

The Coyotes cancelled practice Monday for precautionary reasons. They’re scheduled to host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday before a home-and-home series against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday and Saturday, and a home game against the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 17.

Phil Housley, Cory Stillman and Mario Duhamel are Tourigny’s assistants.

Arizona (7-23-3) is last in the NHL with a .258 points percentage. It lost 4-2 to the Nashville Predators on Jan. 8.
 

Minnesota Wild

Joel Eriksson Ek was activated from injured reserve Sunday and could play against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.

The forward has missed three games with an upper-body injury. He’s scored 20 points (11 goals, nine assists) in 30 games this season.

Forwards Marco Rossi and Kyle Rau, and goalie Hunter Jones, were reassigned to Iowa of the American Hockey League, and forward Matt Boldy and goalie Andrew Hammond to the taxi squad. Rossi and Boldy each made his NHL debut Jan. 6, with the latter scoring his first NHL goal in a 3-2 win at the Boston Bruins.

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