NHL Buzz: Stars coach Bowness remains in COVID-19 protocol



Dallas Stars

Rick Bowness will miss the game at the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN+, NBCSCH, BSSW+, NHL.TV) because of NHL COVID-19 protocol, but the coach could rejoin the Stars as early as Wednesday if a second test result comes back negative.

The 66-year-old has been in quarantine in North Carolina since he was pulled before the third period of a 1-0 loss at the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday due to protocol. The Stars said Bowness has since tested negative for the virus and is awaiting results of the second test he took Tuesday.

Assistant John Stevens will coach against the Blackhawks. He replaced Bowness against the Hurricanes.

“I think we all presumed that he was going to be a false positive,” Stevens said. “We Zoomed him in for the meeting today. He’s doing great, feels great. I think he feels bad about not being with the team right now. If you know Rick, that bothers him a lot.”

Goalie Anton Khudobin is expected to start for the Stars. He was added to the COVID-19 protocol list Saturday after a “real weak positive” test, general manager Jim Nill said, and removed Monday after receiving two negative test results.

The Stars (13-13-10) are sixth in the eight-team Discover Central Division. The top four teams will make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. — Tracey Myers


San Jose Sharks

Marc-Edouard Vlasic will not play against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday (10:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, NBCSCN, BSW, NHL.TV), and the defenseman could be out of the lineup for the remainder of the week.

Vlasic sustained an upper-body injury in the first period of a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

“It’s not a head injury,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said Monday. “It’s something he’s dealt with before and it hasn’t been serious, and it’s not necessarily serious now. But it’s a result of him falling in an awkward position.”

Vlasic has scored five points (one goal, four assists) and averaged 17:48 of ice time in 37 games this season.

Boughner said defenseman Christian Jaros likely will replace Vlasic and make his Sharks debut. Jaros has three assists in 11 games with San Jose of the American Hockey League this season.

“He’s got a lot of tools, he looks good in practice and I’m hoping he can jump in and give us some good minutes and play well,” Boughner said. “It’s just another big body (6-foot-3, 222 pounds) and I like that he’s a right-handed shot as well.” — Tracey Myers


Boston Bruins

Jeremy Swayman will make his NHL debut at the Philadelphia Flyers (7 p.m. ET; SN360, NBCSP, NESNplus, NHL.TV).

The goalie backed up Dan Vladar on Monday in 3-2 overtime loss to the Flyers.

“We have five games this week and we don’t know how it’s going to play out with (Jaroslav) Halak,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Tuesday. “Tuukka (Rask) is on the ice but we don’t know when he’s going to be ready. So Swayman is going to get starts anyway, might get more than one.”

Halak was placed on the NHL COVID-19 protocol list Monday, and Cassidy said he was unsure if the goalie would be able to join the Bruins during their three-game road trip, which includes games at the Washington Capitals on Thursday and at the Flyers on Saturday.

Rask has played one period since March 7. The goalie was removed after the first period of a 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders on March 25 and will miss his seventh straight game Tuesday.

Defenseman Kevan Miller will return to the lineup replacing Steven Kampfer. It will be Miller’s first game since Feb. 18 because of a lower-body injury. — Adam Kimelman


Washington Capitals

Jakub Vrana will return to the lineup when the Capitals visit the New York Islanders (7 p.m. ET; MSG+2, NBCSWA, NHL.TV) after the forward was a healthy scratch the past two games.

Vrana, who will replace Richard Panik, is expected to play left wing on a line with Lars Eller at center and Daniel Sprong at right wing. 
Although Washington won each game Vrana did not play (2-1 in overtime at New Jersey Devils on Friday, 5-4 at New Jersey on Sunday), coach Peter Laviolette said he didn’t want Vrana out for too long.

“I thought we played well for a couple games, especially in the first game, but we’ve got to get Jakub back in there and playing,” Laviolette said. “As far as Richard goes, it’s more of an odd man out. It’s not that we’re disappointed with his play, but for somebody to go in, somebody’s got to come out.”

Vrana has scored 10 goals in 35 games this season after scoring an NHL career-high 25 goals in 69 games last season.

“I got a chance to play tonight,” Vrana said. “I am focused on tonight’s game and I am going to go out there and do my best to help the team to win the game.” — Tom Gulitti

Ottawa Senators

Zac Bierk was named goaltending coach Tuesday, replacing Pierre Groulx, who was reassigned to a scouting and development role. 

“Unfortunately, a number of our goaltending performances this season have been underwhelming,” general manager Pierre Dorion said. “I think very highly of Pierre Groulx, he’s as dedicated and tireless a worker as anyone in the organization, but we recently reached a point where we thought a fresh outlook could help return some stability to our crease.”

The Senators are last in the NHL in allowing 3.72 goals per game. Goalie Matt Murray, who hasn’t played since March 10 because of an upper-body injury, is 7-12-1 and his 3.84 goals-against average and .880 save percentage are the worst of his six-season NHL career.

Five goalies have started for Ottawa this season: Murray, Marcus Hogberg, Anton Forsberg and rookies Filip Gustavsson and Joey Daccord.

Bierk has spent the past three seasons as the Arizona Coyotes goaltending development coach. 

The Senators (13-22-4) are in last place in the seven-team Scotia North Division. The top four teams will make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. — Tom Gulitti

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top