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NHL Buzz: Pacioretty out for Hurricanes against Penguins

Leddy back for Blues; Bastian nearing return for Devils; Kreider doubtful for Rangers on Sunday

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Carolina Hurricanes

Max Pacioretty will not play for the Hurricanes when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; BSSO, ATTSN-PT, ESPN+, SN NOW).

The forward left in the first period of a 6-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday after sustaining a lower-body injury. It is unrelated to his previous Achilles injury that caused him to miss the first 38 games of the season.

"He's not playing today," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "I doubt tomorrow too (against the Vancouver Canucks) just based on taking off today, probably not going to use him tomorrow but I don't think this is anything serious."

Pacioretty has three goals in four games since returning to the lineup.

 

St. Louis Blues

Nick Leddy will return for the Blues whey then host the Tampa Bay Lightning (8 p.m. ET; BSMW, BSSUN, ESPN+, SN NOW).

The defenseman, who has 11 assists in 39 games this season, had missed the past four games with an upper-body injury. He took part in the morning skate Thursday but did not play in a 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames. Leddy practiced in full Friday.

Blues coach Craig Berube also said forward Vladimir Tarasenko skated on his own prior to practice Friday.

Tarasenko, who has 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) in 34 games this season, has missed the past six games after injuring his right hand Dec. 31 in a 5-2 loss against the Minnesota Wild.

He is expected to be reevaluated in four weeks. -- Lou Korac

 

New Jersey Devils

Nathan Bastian could return for the Devils at the Los Angeles Kings (10:30 p.m. ET: BSW, MSGSN, ESPN+, SN NOW).

The forward has been out since injuring his shoulder in a 5-1 win against the Washington Capitals on Nov. 26. He has eight points (three goals, five assists) in 21 games this season.

Bastian returned to practice for the first time Monday. He practiced again Thursday before participating in the morning skate prior to a 6-2 win at the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.

"We've ramped up pretty well everything," New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff said Friday. "It's really just getting enough reps in and getting him comfortable, so you go kind of day to day and we'll see where he's at in the next couple days."

Following the back-to-back games against the Ducks and Kings, the Devils conclude their five-game road trip against the San Jose Sharks on Monday and the Seattle Kraken on Thursday.

Defenseman John Marino is also on the trip and practicing in a noncontact jersey. He has missed the past 10 games with an upper-body injury.

Ruff said Marino is still "a little bit further away" than Bastian.

"Every day he's out there is a step in the right direction," Ruff said. -- Dan Arritt

 

Washington Capitals

Anthony Mantha will return to the lineup for the Capitals against the Philadelphia Flyers (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, NBCSP, ESPN+, SN NOW) after the forward was a healthy scratch the previous two games.

"I can't wait," Mantha said after Washington's optional morning skate. "I need to play how I can play, at my best, and that's exactly what I'll try to do tonight."

Mantha has 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 42 games this season.

"It's obviously always hard when you're getting scratched," Mantha said. "It's not something that's fun or anything like. So I need to build off of it and play my best game tonight and show him that it maybe was a mistake on his part and try to stay in the lineup until the end of the year now."

Laviolette said Saturday that Washington is working on some lineup decisions following its 5-3 loss at Philadelphia on Wednesday, but he would not reveal those decisions. Forwards Dylan Strome and Nicolas Aube-Kubel remained on the ice for extra work following an optional skate along with defenseman Alexander Alexeyev and backup goalie Charlie Lindgren.

Strome has not been a healthy scratch this season. He is third on the Capitals with 31 points (eight goals, 23 assists) in 44 games but has not had a point in four of his past five games. -- Tom Gulitti

 

New York Rangers

Chris Kreider is doubtful to play for the Rangers against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday because of an upper-body injury.

The forward left in the third period of a 4-3 shootout win against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday and did not play in a 2-1 overtime win against the Dallas Stars on Thursday. Coach Gerard Gallant said he doesn't believe it is a long-term injury.

Kreider has 30 points (19 goals, 11 assists) in 42 games this season.

Alexis Lafreniere took Kreider's spot on the top line with Mika Zibanejad and Kaapo Kakko on Thursday and is expected to play there Sunday.

Forwards Artemi Panarin and Vitali Kravtsov, and defenseman Ryan Lindgren did not practice Saturday because of a stomach bug but could play Sunday. Forward Julien Gauthier (upper body) is not expected to play after he was injured against the Stars.

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