NHL

NHL Buzz: Chychrun to make season debut, Schmaltz returns to Coyotes

NHL Buzz: Chychrun to make season debut, Schmaltz returns to Coyotes

Coyotes of Arizona

Jakob Chychrun will make its season debut when the Coyotes visit the Nashville Predators (8 p.m. ET; BSSO, BSAZ, ESPN+, SN NOW).

The defenseman has not played since March 12, when he injured his ankle in a loss to the Boston Bruins. He also had wrist surgery in the offseason.

Nick Schmaltz will also return after an extended absence. The forward has not played since suffering an upper-body injury in the Coyotes’ season opener on Oct. 13, a 6-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Arizona coach Andre Tourigny said Chychrun will be paired Shayne Gostisbeherewhile Schmaltz will play on a line with forwards Clayton Keller and Travis Boyd.

“I don’t want to put too much pressure on them,” Tourigny said. “We are very happy. They are two very good players and we really want to get them back. But at the same time, look [Chychrun]he hasn’t played in eight months, so he needs some time.

“He’s a very good player. He’s important for us. But we’ll take what he gives us. I’m sure it will be a lot, but at the same time, I don’t want to put pressure on him.

“For [Schmaltz], was with us during training camp. He’s been with us in a lot of tweaks, a lot of things that we’ve changed in the system. He’s used to it. So, [we’re] excited to have them both back.” — John Glennon

St. Louis Blues

Colton Parayko will be a game-time decision against the Anaheim Ducks (8 p.m. ET; BSMW, BSW, ESPN+, SN NOW).

The Blues defender has missed the past three games with an upper-body injury, but manager Craig Berube said he is “confident” Parayko will play.

“I think it’s going to come down to a game-time decision, but it’s better,” Berube said. “I want him there all the time, but it comes down to what’s best for him, like long-term and stuff like that. That really plays into the decision, but he’s in a lot better shape. I’m sure he’ll play tonight.” .

Parayko has not played since a 3-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Nov. 14. He has participated in the last two morning skates.

“I would love to play Monday,” Parayko said after Saturday’s morning skate before a 6-2 win against the Ducks. “That’s my goal personally. We’ll target it.

“Not in excess [concerned], especially when we went in and looked at it and everything. Just more caution and safety. … [I feel] great. Much better. I’m very, very close.”

Come in Vladimir Tarasenko he will miss his second consecutive game due to illness.

“He decides where he feels and how he is,” Berube said of Tarasenko. — Lou Korac

Buffalo sabers

Matthias Samuelsson i Zemgus Girgensons all could return for the Buffalo Sabers when they visit the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN2, RDS, MSG-B, SN NOW).

Samuelsson has missed 13 games with a lower-body injury. The defenseman, who signed a seven-year, $30 million contract extension on Oct. 12, skated with Rasmus Dahlin Monday at practice.

“It’s a good sign and I think we’ll most likely see Mattias tomorrow,” coach Don Granato said.

Girgensons was absent from practice Friday and missed Saturday’s game, a 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, with an undisclosed injury. The striker has five points (three goals, two assists) in 17 games.

“I’m feeling great, so now it’s just the docs and trainers to decide about tomorrow,” he said.

He was injured when he took a hit in the second period Wednesday against the Ottawa Senators in a 4-1 loss.

“It was an unfortunate hit,” Girgensons said. “I finished second and then I didn’t feel good. So we took a caution and I just sat out one.”

The Sabers also received good news on forward Kyle Okposo, who has missed four games with a lower-body injury. Okposo, who is the Sabres’ captain, has started skating on his own and is making progress. He has nine points (one goal, eight assists) in 14 games.

“A lot better than a few days ago, so I think we’re trending in the right way,” general manager Kevyn Adams said. “It’s been more days than weeks for Kyle now, so that’s the good news.” — Heather Engel

Toronto Maple Leafs

Ilya Samsonov will travel with the Maple Leafs on their next four-game road trip starting Wednesday at the Minnesota Wild but is not expected to play this week.

The goaltender has missed seven games since suffering a knee injury on Nov. 5 in a 2-1 win against the Boston Bruins.

Samsonov did not participate in Monday’s morning skate before Toronto’s home game against the New York Islanders (7:30 p.m.; SN1, SNE, SNO, SNP, MSGSN2, ESPN+, SN NOW) but is expected to practice Tuesday . He has skated with the Maple Leafs at times in practices and morning skates since the injury.

“He seems to be stepping up in a positive way,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “We kept him off the ice today, but he’ll come on the road and travel with us. At this point, anyway, that’s more about keeping pace with our group. We don’t expect him to be available for us this week .”

Samsonov is 6-2-0 with a 2.23 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in eight games this season.

TJ Brodie he won’t be traveling. The defenseman has not played since Nov. 11 in a 4-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and has missed the past four games with an oblique injury.

“Brodie is not progressing as fast as [the medical staff] would,” Keefe said. “He won’t travel with us.”

Brodie has two assists in 15 games this season. — Dave McCarthy

Washington Capitals

Come in TJ Oshie (lower body) had a full workout with the Capitals for the second straight day, but defense Dmitry Orlov (lower body) did not practice Monday after being a full participant in practice Sunday.

Oshie, who has missed the last 12 games, has returned to skating on the right side on a line with forwards Sonny Milano and Yevgeny Kuznetsov .

Orlov, who has missed the last seven games, was paired Nick Jensen Sunday.

Coach Peter Laviolette wasn’t ready to say Monday whether either player will play in Washington’s next game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TNT, SN ARA).

“I’m going to stay away from confirming anything with those guys,” Laviolette said. “We’re still trying to push these guys back to where they need to be. So I’d rather stay away from commenting one way or the other until we know for sure.”

Laviolette would not say if there are concerns about Orlov missing practice with the Capitals not scheduled to practice Tuesday.

“No, they’re both in the same boat,” he said. “They work every day to come back. So today it’s not there.” — Tom Gullitti





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