NHL Buzz: Konecny returns, Hart out for Flyers with illness

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Welcome to the NHL Buzz. Throughout the 2021-22 season, NHL.com will have you covered with the latest news.

 

Philadelphia Flyers
 

Joel Farabee will return to the lineup for the Flyers against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSP, SN360, SN1 CITY, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

The forward missing seven games with a shoulder injury; he has scored 10 points (seven goals, three assists) in 21 games.

“Good timing, No. 1, but also such a valuable player for us,” coach Mike Yeo said. “He’s a guy that obviously we’re not going to just ease him back in, we’re going to throw him right up there with [Sean Couturier] and [Travis Konecny] here tonight. He has that ability ” make plays and create offense for us.”

Goalie Carter Hart will not play because of an unspecified illness.Martin Jones (4-4-1, 3.37 GAA, .908 save percentage) is expected to start.

Hart made 38 saves in a 3-2 shootout loss at the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. He is 7-8-4 with a 2.74 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in 19 games.

“Carter is sick and I will say that we don’t know if it’s COVID related or not,” Yeo said.

Forward Max Willman and a staff member were placed in COVID-19 protocol. Willman has scored three points (two goals, one assist) in 12 games.

 

New Jersey Devils

Mackenzie Blackwood will not play for the Devils against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; BSDET, MSG+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE) because of a neck injury.

The goalie, who is listed as day to day, did not travel with the team to Detroit. He is 5-6-3 with a 3.14 goals-against average and .902 save percentage in 16 games (15 starts) this season.

New Jersey is also without goalie Jonathan Bernier, who was placed on injured reserve Dec. 10 with a hip injury.

Defenseman P.K. Subban was placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol Saturday. He joins defensemen Ryan Graves, Christian Jaros and forwards Nico Hischier and Jesper Boqvist.

Subban has scored 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 27 games.

 

Detroit Red Wings

Jeff Blashill will not coach the Red Wings against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; BSDET, MSG+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE) after the coach was placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol.

Goalie Alex Nedeljkovic, forwards Carter Rowney and Givani Smith as well as assistant Alex Tanguay were also placed in protocol.

Goalie Calvin Pickard and forward Riley Barber were recalled from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League.

Red Wings assistant Doug Houda will be joined behind the bench by Grand Rapids coach Ben Simon and assistant Todd Krygier.

 

Toronto Maple Leafs

Forwards John Tavares and Alexander Kerfoot were placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol Friday.

Practice Friday was canceled in Vancouver, where the Maple Leafs are scheduled to play the Canucks on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, SNO, SNW, SNP, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

Nick Ritchie rejoined the Maple Leafs for practice Thursday after missing the start of a three-game road trip against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday because of a non-COVID illness. The forward skated on the left wing of a line with David Kampf and Ilya Mikheyev and hopes to return Saturday.

“Tough couple of days,” Ritchie said. “Luckily, no COVID. I had multiple tests that were negative. Just one of those seasonal things, I think, and I was knocked out for couple days.”

Toronto was scheduled to play the Calgary Flames on Thursday but the game was postponed after 19 Flames players, three coaches and nine staff members were placed in protocol. — Kevin Woodley

 

Edmonton Oilers

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol Friday.

The forward is third on the Oilers with 22 assists and 25 points in 28 games this season.

Duncan Keith was placed into protocol later Friday. The defenseman was activated from injured reserve Tuesday after not playing since Nov. 23 because of a lower-body injury. He has one goal and four assists in 20 games.

Edmonton coach Dave Tippett and forward Ryan McLeod were placed in protocol Tuesday.

The Oilers play at the Seattle Kraken on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, SN 360, SN 1, CITY, TVAS2, ROOT-NW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

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