NHL Buzz: Foligno could play for Bruins after lower-body injury
Nick Foligno could return for the Bruins against the Washington Capitals (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, HULU, TVAS, NHL LIVE) after the forward missed five games with a lower-body injury.
“We intend to play him,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “He just has to get through the warm-up, give us the green light, which I think is just a formality now.”
Foligno was injured Jan. 8 when the Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Cal Foote fell on his leg in a collision around the net.
Cassidy said Wednesday Foligno would be a game decision
“Foligno is progressing,” Cassidy said. “He felt good today after training. Let’s see how he is. We have to get ‘Fliggy’ up to speed.”
Foligno will replace the striker Oskar Steen if erased. He scored six points (one goal, five assists) in 23 games. – Amelie Benjamin
Columbus Blue Jackets
Jakub Voracek will return to the Blue Jackets roster and play against his former team, the Philadelphia Flyers (7 p.m. ET; NBCSP, BSOH, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).
The forward missed two games under the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. He said he received a call at 11:30 p.m. ET Wednesday that he cleared the protocol and arrived in Philadelphia at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday.
“When I went to bed [Wednesday] I didn’t think I was going to play, so it was kind of sad for me in my head,” Voracek said. “I tried to figure out how to get out as quickly as possible because I wanted to skate in the morning.
Voracek played 10 seasons for the Flyers before being traded to the Blue Jackets for the forward Cam Atkinson July 24.
He said the emotions of returning to Philadelphia would likely not hit him until just before the game started.
“I think it’s all going to build up, I would say before the puck drops,” he said. “It’s going to be weird playing against my friends. But I’ve done it in the past. When I was traded from Columbus [to Philadelphia], it was the same for me when we played Columbus in 2011. We’ll see how the fans react. But it’s always good to be back in Philadelphia, for sure.”
Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said he expects Voracek to have extra motivation for his return to the lineup in Philadelphia.
“I hope his energy and passion is contagious for our group,” Larsen said. “We know what Jake brings to our team. I’m sure he’ll have some rust here, he’s been out due to protocol, but we’re happy to have him back in our roster.”
Voracek is second on the Blue Jackets with 25 points (one goal, 24 assists) in 34 games. –Adam Kimelman
Cam Atkinson will face his former team for the first time when the Flyers take on the Blue Jackets.
The forward played his first 10 NHL seasons with the Blue Jackets before being traded to the Flyers for forward Jakub Voracek on July 24.
Atkinson leads the Flyers with 15 goals in 39 games and his 29 points are second behind Claude Giroux (31 points).
“I don’t know if it quite hit me yet,” Atkinson said. “There will definitely be some emotion there, but I feel like it will probably be more emotional when we get to Columbus. I know all those guys there, who have been with the organization for a long time. . It’s not just hockey when it comes to friendship and that kind of stuff. It’s going to be interesting.”
Atkinson said he hopes the emotions of the night will add further motivation to the Flyers, who have gone nine straight games without a win (0-6-3).
“I know the boys are going to push a little harder for me tonight,” he said. “They’re going to see my best. What better way to win than to face your old team?” –Kimelman
Nikolaj Ehlers will miss at least the next three games with a lower-body injury.
The forward won’t play the Nashville Predators Thursday (8 p.m. ET; BSSO, TSN3, ESPN+, NHL LIVE), Boston Bruins Saturday or Pittsburgh Penguins Sunday.
Ehlers was injured when he was taken to his knees by the Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov in a 4-3 overtime loss on Tuesday. Orlov was suspended for two games by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Wednesday,
Ehlers has 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists) in 34 games.
Forward throws Blake Wheelerwho hasn’t played since December 10 with a knee injury, is close to a return but is doubtful for Thursday.
“Hopefully sooner rather than later,” Wheeler said Wednesday. “I’m going to have to make contact in training before I go into a game. I haven’t had a lot of bumps in the past week yet. So until that happens it’s hard to get straight into a game when you haven’t necessarily touched in five weeks.”
Wheeler has 17 points (one goal, 16 assists) in 22 games. –Tim Campbell
St. Louis Blues
Pavel Buchnevich was removed from the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and will return to the Blues roster at the Seattle Kraken on Friday (10 p.m. ET; ROOT-NW, BSMW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).
The forward has 35 points (14 goals, 21 assists) in 34 games, tied with forward Vladimir Tarasenko for second for the Blues. Buchnevich missed two games. He trained on Wednesday, skating with his regular teammates Tarasenko and Ivan Barbaschev.
“I think he’s ready to go,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “I thought he looked good. We’ll have another practice tomorrow, which will be good. I think he did a good job today.”
Tarasenko and forwards Brayden Schenn and David Peronand defender Colton Parayko each was removed from COVID-19 protocol on Monday and played out a 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators.
Defender Scott Perunovitch (undisclosed) remains day-to-day but skated before practice on Wednesday. — Lou Korac