NHL Buzz: Varlamov could return for Islanders against Bruins

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Welcome to the NHL Buzz! With the 2020-21 season underway, NHL.com has you covered with all the latest news.

 
New York Islanders

Semyon Varlamov could return to the lineup for the New York Islanders when they play the Boston Bruins at Nassau Coliseum on Monday (5 p.m. ET; NBSCN, SNE, SNW, SNP, NESEN, MSG+, NHL.TV).

The goalie was injured in warmups prior to a 5-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday after getting hit below the mask and above his left shoulder around the collarbone by a shot from forward Cal Clutterbuck.

“Ilya (Sorokin) and ‘Varly’ are both available,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said Monday. ” [Do I] anticipate any changes? I think for the most part, the group that played in that game, got to give them a little bit of a reprieve, I think. Probably a very similar lineup.”

Sorokin made 27 saves on 32 shots in his NHL debut against the Rangers. Cory Schneider was the backup. — Brian Compton

 

Arizona Coyotes

Oliver Ekman-Larsson is day to day with a lower-body injury and will miss at least the next two games, coach Rick Tocchet said Sunday.

The defenseman had three assists in a 5-3 win against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, but he was attended to by trainers after he was hit into the boards by Evander Kane with 10:48 remaining in the third. The Arizona captain did not play a shift following the hit.

“He won’t be making the trip to Vegas, so that’s unfortunate,” Tocchet said. “But we’re going to have to step up right now, so it’s something we’ll deal with.

“He’s a physical player, Kane, and that’s one of those things (where) you finish your check. It’s an unfortunate situation. It’s 5-2 and you hate to see that happen, but it is what it is. There’s nothing you can do about it.”

The Coyotes will play four straight games against the Vegas Golden Knights this week, with the first two being played on the road Monday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, ATTSN-RM) and Wednesday before returning to Arizona for two more on Friday and Sunday.

Tocchet said either Kyle Capobianco, who was a healthy scratch the first two games, or Jordan Gross, who is on Arizona’s taxi squad, would replace Ekman-Larsson on Monday. 

 

Vancouver Canucks

J.T. Miller rejoined the Canucks at practice in Calgary on Sunday and is expected to make his season debut against the Calgary Flames on Monday (9 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN1, SNP, NHL.TV).

Miller, who led Vancouver with 72 points (27 goals, 45 assists) in 69 games last season, missed the first three games of the season because of NHL COVID-19 protocols. He will play on the top line with Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser as well as on the top unit of the power play, which is 0-for-11 so far.

“You want to be out there and you want to help,” Miller said. “I kind of felt a little bit helpless sitting on my couch watching the games, and without an injury it was just weird.”

Miller, who had not skated since Monday, said he used a Peloton bike at home for conditioning but otherwise didn’t disclose specific details about his quarantine or return.

“I was just following my protocol that I was given by the League and the government and was serving quarantine in my house, and then I’ve been cleared, so it’s all I can really control now,” Miller said. “I’m ready to get back at it, and excited for the game (Monday).”

Canucks coach Travis Green said defenseman Quinn Hughes did not practice Sunday for undisclosed reasons but did not update his status for Monday. Hughes leads Vancouver with three assists after he scored 53 points (eight goals, 45 assists) in 68 games last season, when he was voted the runner-up for the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year (Cale Makar of Colorado Avalanche). — Kevin Woodley

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