Welcome to the NHL Buzz. Throughout the 2020-21 season, NHL.com will have you covered with the latest news
Tampa Bay Lightning
Steven Stamkos will not play against the Nashville Predators on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; BSSO, BSSUN, ESPN+, NHL.TV) because of an undisclosed injury.
“He’s not playing tonight and he’s probably doubtful for Tuesday night (against Nashville),” coach Jon Cooper said. “We probably won’t see him on the rest of the road trip, and then we’ll have more answers when we come back to Tampa.”
Stamkos left a 6-4 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday 1:46 into the third period after playing one shift.
Stamkos has scored 34 points (17 goals, 17 assists) in 38 games this season. He has missed two games: Feb. 11 because of a lower-body injury and Feb. 13 while in NHL COVID-19 protocol.
“We’re hopeful he’s going to be back here soon,” Cooper said. “A lot of this is precaution, too. When you’re on the road, it’s a little bit different than being at home. So we’re just taking it slowly and like I said, hopefully all will be good by the time we get back to Tampa.”
The Lightning host the Florida Panthers on Thursday following their two-game set against the Predators. — Robby Stanley
Jake Gardiner will return to the lineup against the Detroit Red Wings (7 p.m. ET; BSSO, BSDET+, NHL.TV).
The defenseman has not played since March 7 because of a back injury.
Gardiner has seven assists in 17 games this season.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will not play at the Calgary Flames (10 p.m. ET; NHLN, CBC, SN, NHL.TV) and could remain out until next weekend because of an upper-body injury.
“With ‘Nuge,’ we just feel like he’s better if we give him tomorrow (off) and then we have a few days and we’ll give him the rest he needs,” coach Dave Tippett said.
Nugent-Hopkins was injured in a 4-2 win at the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday after he took a high hit from Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot with 4:53 remaining in the third period. The forward did not play in a 3-1 win at Ottawa on Thursday.
Nugent-Hopkins has scored 28 points (12 goals, 16 assists) in 40 games.
“You can’t replace Nuge, so it’s going to be a good test for our whole lineup,” defenseman Tyson Barrie said. “He’s so poised with the puck and makes little plays and is always in the right spots defensively. He’s a big piece of this team and it sucks to see him out, but hopefully, it’s a quick one and it gives other guys a chance to step up and create opportunities for themselves.”
The Oilers are scheduled to host the Vancouver Canucks on Monday and Wednesday and visit the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.
“We’re hoping he’ll be ready to go next weekend,” Oilers general manager Ken Holland said. — Derek Van Diest
Toronto Maple Leafs
William Nylander will be out a minimum of seven days because of NHL COVID-19 protocol, coach Sheldon Keefe said Friday.
The forward did not play in a 3-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday because of his exposure to a possible positive COVID-19 case from outside the team.
Nylander has scored 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) in 39 games this season.
“From what I’ve heard, all the tests have come back negative so that’s a great sign,” forward Mitchell Marner said. “We’re all trying to do our parts by wearing masks and keeping our distance.”
The Maple Leafs host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, SNO, SNP, TVAS2, NHL.TV). — Mike Zeisberger