NHL Buzz: Oshie week to week for Capitals with lower-body injury

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Washington Capitals

T.J. Oshie is week to week for the Capitals because of a lower-body injury.

The forward limped to the bench after blocking a shot off his right foot from Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser 6:38 into the third period of a 3-2 overtime loss Wednesday but did not miss a shift after that.

Oshie scored a hat trick in a 7-5 win at the Ottawa Senators on Monday and is fourth on the Capitals with six points (four goals, two assists) in seven games.

The Capitals are also without center Nicklas Backstrom, who is on long-term injured reserve with a left hip injury. Backstrom has resumed skating but has yet to practice with Washington and is ineligible to play until Nov. 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers. 

Washington hosts the Arizona Coyotes on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, BSAZ, TVAS, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). –Tom Gulitti


Minnesota Wild

Mats Zuccarello was placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol by the Wild on Thursday and is not expected to play at the Seattle Kraken (10 p.m. ET; ROOT-NW, BSN, BSWI, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

The forward leads the Wild with seven points (three goals, four assists) in six games this season.

Forward Rem Pitlick was also placed in protocol; he has one assist in one game this season.

Forwards Connor Dewar and Kyle Rau, and defenseman Jon Lizotte were recalled from Iowa of the American Hockey League.

New York Islanders

Semyon Varlamov said he is feeling “100 percent” and could make his season debut for the Islanders at the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

The goalie did not participate in training camp and started the season on injured reserve due to what coach Barry Trotz called “soreness.” 

“I’m feeling great right now,” Varlamov said Thursday. “I’m ready to go and ready to play a game. I didn’t expect it was going to take so long to recover from last year. I had some issues I had to address in the summer, and I didn’t expect that. Everything is behind me right now and I’m feeling good and I’m ready to play.”

Varlamov went 19-11-4 with a 2.04 goals-against average, .929 save percentage and seven shutouts in 36 games (35 starts) last season.

He did not play Game 1 of the Stanley Cup First Round against the Pittsburgh Penguins due to what Trotz called “a little strain.” Varlamov lost Games 2 and 3, and Ilya Sorokin started the remainder of the series, which New York won in six games. Varlamov started Games 2 through 6 of the Stanley Cup Second Round against the Boston Bruins and all seven games of the Stanley Cup Semifinals against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Sorokin has two straight shutouts and has not allowed a goal in 141:27.

“He could go in in Nashville, he could go in Montreal (next Thursday) or we could wait until next week,” Trotz said of Varlamov. “We’ll make a decision on where he is with our goaltending coaches and myself [Friday] and we’ll let that goaltender know and he’ll play in Nashville, and then we’ll decide from there. That’s how we’re operating here.” — Brian Compton


New York Rangers

Kaapo Kakko could return for the Rangers against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, BSOH, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

The forward practiced Thursday after missing the past four games with an upper-body injury sustained in a 3-1 win at the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 16.

Kakko has no points in three games this season.

Forward Ryan Reaves, who sustained a lower-body injury in a 5-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on Monday, is not expected to play.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Max Domi could return for the Blue Jackets against the New York Rangers on Friday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, BSOH, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

The forward missed the past four games with a rib fracture sustained against the Seattle Kraken on Oct. 16. He was expected to be out 2-4 weeks.

Domi has scored four points (one goal, three assists) in two games, and was tied with forward Oliver Bjorkstrand (two goals, two assists) for the Columbus lead at the time of his injury.

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