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NHL injury news: Ekman-Larsson out for Coyotes; Laine, Matheson updates

NHL Injury News

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - JANUARY 14: Oliver Ekman-Larsson #23 of the Arizona Coyotes skates with the puck during the NHL game against the San Jose Sharks at Gila River Arena on January 14, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Sharks defeated the Coyotes 4-3 in an overtime shoot-out. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Checking in on some injury news around the NHL.

Ekman-Larsson will not travel with team to Vegas

Not that there is ever a good time to be without your captain and top defenseman, but this is a really unfortunate timeframe for the Arizona Coyotes to be without Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Coach Rick Tocchet announced on Sunday that Ekman-Larsson is out with a lower-body injury and is currently listed as “day-to-day.” He will probably miss around five days, which means he will not make the trip with the team to Vegas where the Coyotes will play on Monday (NBCSN) and Wednesday.

Ekman-Larsson was injured on Saturday night when he was hit by San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane.

Here is a look at the play.

The trouble for the Coyotes is on Monday night they will be starting a four-game stretch against a Vegas Golden Knights team that has looked great in its first two games and should be a Stanley Cup contender this season. Playing four straight games against that team is never going to be a picnic. It is going to be an even bigger challenge without your best player.

The Coyotes went 1-0-1 in their opening two-game set with the Sharks. Ekman-Larsson had three assists in those games.

Laine leaves practice early, status uncertain for Monday

The good news for the Winnipeg Jets is they were back at practice on Sunday. The bad news is forward Patrik Laine could not finish due to an undisclosed injury.

Jets coach Paul Maurice said that Laine “couldn’t warm up right,” and had to exit the session. He went on to say that at this point he is not even going to consider him as “day-to-day” yet and that they will need to see how is on Monday.

The Jets will play the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Monday night.

Laine had two goals and an assist in the Jets’ season opening 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames.

Matheson out “longer term” for Penguins

Mike Matheson was a surprise scratch for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday afternoon, and it was initially believed to be a coaching decision after the veteran defenseman struggled in his first two games with the team.

Not the case.

Coach Mike Sullivan announced after the Penguins’ 4-3 shootout win over the Washington Capitals that Matheson is going to be sidelined “longer term” with an undisclosed upper-body injury.

Matheson was a significant part of the Penguins’ offseason when he was acquired in a trade with the Florida Panthers for veteran forward Patric Hornqvist. He is signed for six more years with a salary cap hit of more than $4 million per season.

On Sunday Matheson was replaced by Juuso Riikola on the Penguins’ defense.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.