NHL Buzz: Maroon to make Bruins debut against Penguins

Welcome to the NHL Buzz. Each day during the regular season, NHL.com has you covered with all the latest news.

Boston Bruins

Pat Maroon will make his Bruins debut against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+).

The forward was a full participant in practice Friday, skating at right wing on the fourth line with Jesper Boqvist and Jakub Lauko.

“I’m really pumped just to get going here; It’s going to be a good test for myself too,” Maroon said after the morning skate Saturday. “This is a team that’s fighting for a playoff spot. It’s a great game to get into, get me prepared, get me ready for the real stuff.

“I’m going to try to play as many games before [the playoffs]. Obviously, there’s three games remaining. I’m going to try to play all three. It’s up to the coaches, too, depending on what they want and what they want to do. My goal is just to play this game, get through this game first and then try to go from there. So, really excited. Really excited to just get in the locker room with the guys and go on the ice with them.”

Maroon spent the past 10 weeks recovering from back surgery in early February. The Bruins acquired him from the Minnesota Wild on March 8. He had 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) and 60 penalty minutes in 49 games with the Wild this season.

“It’s his first game, [so] he’s got to get some rustiness out of his game,” Boston coach Jim Montgomery said. “That’s why we’re putting him in. Hopefully, he can play all three here before (the playoffs), but that remains to be seen.” — Joe Pohoryles

Colorado Avalanche

Mikko Rantanen could return to the lineup against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; ALT, TSN3).

The forward has missed the past two games because of a concussion.

He was a full participant in practice Friday and skated on a line with Casey Mittelstadt and Valeri Nichushkin.

“Mikko’s probable for tomorrow,” coach Jared Bednar said. “We’ll see in the morning.”

Rantanen has been out since leaving a 6-2 loss at the Edmonton Oilers on April 5 during the second period following a hit from Oilers defenseman Mattias Ekholm.

Rantanen is eighth in the NHL with 102 points (40 goals, 62 assists) in 77 games. Prior to the injury, he had played 161 consecutive games.

Forward Miles Wood likely will miss a third consecutive game because of a lower-body injury.

“‘Woody’ is probably doubtful for tomorrow,” Bednar said. — Ryan Boulding

New York Islanders

Noah Dobson will not play against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Saturday (12:30 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, SN360, TVAS) because of an upper-body injury.

Islanders coach Patrick Roy said the defenseman is day to day.

Dobson, who will miss his first game of the season, was injured in the first period of a 3-2 shootout win against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, when he was limited to three shifts and 1:28 of ice time.

Sebastian Aho will move into Dobson’s spot on the top defense pair and play with Alexander Romanov. Aho will also replace Dobson on the Islanders’ top power-play unit.

Robert Bortuzzo will go into the lineup to replace Dobson and play on the third defense pair with Mike Reilly. Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock will stay together as a defense pair.

“It’s a big piece to our team, but when we lost [Scott] Mayfield, we give opportunity to other guys and we approach it the same way,” Roy said.

Dobson is seventh among defenseman in the NHL with 70 points (10 goals, 60 assists), averaging 24:31 of ice time per game.

The Islanders (37-27-15) have won six games in a row. They are in third place in the Metropolitan Division and can clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday. — Dan Rosen

Toronto Maple Leafs

Timothy Liljegren will return for the Maple Leafs when they host the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, SNO, SNW, SNP, BSDET).

The defenseman, who missed the past eight games because of an upper-body injury sustained March 26 during a 6-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils, practiced Friday for the first time since the injury and skated on a pair with Morgan Rielly.

Liljegren has 23 points (three goals, 20 assists) and has averaged 19:40 of ice time in 52 games.

Forward Max Domi will also play after he was absent from practice Friday because of an undisclosed injury. He had two assists and three shots on goal in 11:34 of ice time in a 6-5 loss to the Devils on Thursday.

Defenseman Joel Edmundson (undisclosed) will not play.

“Nothing to do with his previous injury; just something has popped up that we are being overly cautious with at this point,” coach Sheldon Keefe said. “He still skated today, so nothing we are too concerned about, but everything considered we will give him tonight off.” — Dave McCarthy

Chicago Blackhawks

Connor Murphy played for the first time in nearly three months when the Blackhawks lost 5-1 to the Nashville Predators at home Friday.

The defenseman, who sustained a groin injury during Chicago’s 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Jan. 13, had missed 35 games.

“It’s been too long so it’s nice,” Murphy said before finishing with one shot in 19:05 of ice time. “The last test is just getting in a game and see how it lasts the whole game.”

Murphy practiced with the team last Friday for the first time since sustaining his injury.

“That extra time that he took to rehab properly, we weren’t in a [Stanley Cup] Playoff run where he may be forced into playing a little bit early and sometimes that always exposes the chance for more injury,” Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said. “I think he feels really good right now and we’re happy to have his leadership back.”

Murphy, who has eight points (two goals, six assists) in 44 games, played on a defense pair with Ethan Del Mastro. Del Mastro was recalled from Rockford of the American Hockey League on Thursday and played 18:35 against Nashville in his NHL debut. — Tracey Myers

Washington Capitals

Rasmus Sandin is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season for the Capitals because of an upper-body injury.

The defenseman did not play the past two games and has not skated since being injured on a hit from Ottawa Senators forward Parker Kelly at the end of the first period of a 3-2 overtime loss Sunday.

“Nothing new,” Capitals coach Spencer Carbery said after practice Friday. “Didn’t skate today, so I don’t think he’ll play before the end of the regular season.”

Sandin has 23 points (three goals, 20 assists) and is second on Washington in average ice time per game this season (21:07) in 68 games.

The Capitals (37-31-11) trail the Pittsburgh Penguins by one point for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference and have three games remaining, beginning with hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday (5:30 p.m. ET; MNMT, BSSUN). — Tom Gulitti

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