The Winnipeg Jets are getting one of their top scorers back.
Forward Patrik Laine will return to the lineup Tuesday night against the Buffalo Sabres. The winger left Thursday night's game against the Capitals in the first period after blocking a shot from Michal Kempny.
Laine did not play in Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Oilers.
— Ken Wiebe (@WiebeAthletic) February 28, 2020
After the Jets' 3-0 win over the Capitals, coach Paul Maurice confirmed to reporters Laine did not suffer a fracture. The Winnipeg Sun's Scott Billeck reported Monday that the 21-year-old's swelling "had come down."
Patrik Laine update: Probably put him in the morning skate tomorrow and see how he feels. Bruised and swelling has to come down. #NHLJets
— Scott Billeck (@ScottBilleck) March 2, 2020
The injury occurred off a faceoff deep in the Jets' zone less than two minutes into the game. The puck went back to Kempny at the point, and the defenseman fired a one-timer that went off the inside of Laine's left skate. The Finn immediately went down and struggled to skate off the ice. He was seen in pain on the bench and ended up heading down the tunnel.
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The fourth-year winger ranks third on the team in goals (26) and points (59). Entering Tuesday's games, Winnipeg is tied in points with Nashville for the second wild-card spot.
The Jets have been hit hard by the injury bug. Center Bryan Little was ruled out for the rest of the season almost two weeks ago with a perforated eardrum, joining fellow forwards Adam Lowry and Mathieu Perreault on injured reserve.
The good news, per The Athletic's Ken Wiebe: Perreault and Lowry did skate in non-contact jerseys Monday.