Marcus Foligno ready to return to Sabres lineup

The Buffalo Sabres will get forward Marcus Foligno back in the lineup Saturday, when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Foligno, who has five goals and 11 points in 41 regular season games, missed Wednesday’s game against Toronto due to injury but was back at practice on Friday.

“[It was] a reoccurring injury that just kind of got pinched in the game against Philly and it’s all better now,” he said, as per the Sabres’ website.

“The trainers looked after me and it’s something where you just needed to rest it and I’m looking forward to getting back at it tomorrow.”

There was also more good news on the injury front for Buffalo. Henrik Tallinder, out the last six games with an upper-body injury, and Kevin Porter, out since Dec. 23 with a lower-body injury, both skated with the team on Friday, according to the Sabres.

Their returns will have to wait, however. According to the Sabres, both players, who are on injured reserve with Cody McCormick, aren’t expected back this weekend.

Report: Western Michigan leading scorers sign with Blackhawks and Canucks

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The two top scorers on the Western Michigan Broncos have signed with NHL teams, according to ESPN’s John Buccigross.

Forward Matheson Iacopelli, 22, has signed with the Chicago Blackhawks, who drafted him 83rd overall in 2014 out of the USHL. Iacopelli had 20 goals and 16 assists in 40 games this season.

Forward Griffen Molino, meanwhile, will join the Vancouver Canucks organization. Undrafted, the 23-year-old Molino had 15 goals and 18 assists in 40 games this season.

Iacopelli (6-3, 206) and Molino (6-0, 185) were linemates with the Broncos, along with senior Sheldon Dries.

Foley, Golden Knights welcome Raiders to Las Vegas

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Today, the NFL approved the Oakland Raiders’ move to Las Vegas, marking the second professional sports franchise to land in the city in the last nine months.

Golden Knights owner Bill Foley, the man responsible for the first, welcomed the Raiders with open arms.

“On behalf of the entire Vegas Golden Knights family, I would like to welcome and congratulate Mark Davis and the Oakland Raiders on their relocation to the great city of Las Vegas,” Foley said in a release. “It truly is an exciting time to be from Las Vegas. There is only a select group of cities in North America that are home to both an NHL and an NFL franchise and Vegas is now one of them.

“This alone should be a great source of pride for our community and our fans. Las Vegas has always been one of the most popular destination cities in the world and it is now emerging as a premier location for major league professional sports.”

More on when the Raiders will move to Vegas, per the Review Journal:

The Raiders will debut in Las Vegas no later than the 2020 season, when a 65,000-seat domed stadium, to be constructed at an estimated cost of $1.9 billion, is expected to be ready. The site of the new stadium has not been finalized, although the leading location is an empty lot on the west side of Interstate 15, between Russell Road and Hacienda Avenue, across from Mandalay Bay.

The Raiders might very well play regular and preseason games at UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium in 2018 and 2019, possibly playing fulltime at the site during that time frame.

In speaking with the RJ’s Steve Carp, Foley acknowledged the Raiders would provide competition for corporate sponsorship, adding the Golden Knights would have to “work harder” to secure them.

Carp also reached out to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly:

In prepping Vegas for draft, McPhee cites ‘outstanding’ record with CapsRelated:

‘Dialed in’ Hurricanes could add more drama to playoff race

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At first glance, Carolina’s potential playoff push seems like a longshot.

The ‘Canes head into tonight’s action five points back of Boston for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, and would need to leapfrog both the Bolts and Isles just to get there.

BUT!

The ‘Canes have a game in hand on both New York and Tampa Bay, and two on Boston. They also get to play six of their last nine at home, and are currently riding a terrific streak in which they’ve collected 17 of a possible 20 points (7-0-3 in their last 10).

“Guys are playing well, guys are dialed in,” head coach Bill Peters said, per the Raleigh News & Observer. “You’ve got to continue to keep pace. Around the league everyone seems to find a way to win, so you’ve got to keep pace and then hopefully somebody falters.”

Looking ahead, the next 48 hours will decide if this dream becomes a reality. Carolina begins a crucial back-to-back set against the Red Wings tonight, with both games to be played at PNC.

Tonight’s game, you may recall, is the makeup date for the Dec. 19 postponement due to unplayable ice.

As such, the ‘Canes now get a Red Wings team playing its third game in four nights, following Friday’s 2-1 OT loss to Tampa Bay and yesterday’s 3-2 OT win over Minnesota. Veteran Detroit d-man Niklas Kronwall isn’t expected to face Carolina, and the club is unsure if Darren Helm (lower body) can go.

The ‘Canes, meanwhile, are pretty healthy and firing away. Jeff Skinner has a five-game goalscoring streak, Elias Lindholm has points in each of his last 10 contests and Sebastian Aho in each of his last six. The club has also received terrific netminding from Eddie Lack, who has gone 5-1-1 in March with a .931 save percentage.

If they can get a result tonight, attention will be turned to the out-of-town scoreboard. The Isles are at home to the streaking Nashville Predators (6-1-0 in their last seven), and the Bolts host the Blackhawks, who are coming off an embarrassing 7-0 loss in Florida.

The Bruins aren’t back in action until Tuesday, when they host the Preds.

Report: Coyotes majority owner has a ‘potential new partner’

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The Arizona Coyotes’ ownership group may be getting a new member.

According to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, Randy Frankel is a “potential new partner” for majority owner Andrew Barroway.

Frankel, who made his money on Wall Street, is already a part owner of MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays.

Shannon also reported that the Coyotes required a mid-season cash call, to the tune of $20 million, from their ownership group. Arizona has averaged just 13,020 fans at home games this season; hence, the revenue shortfall.

The Coyotes, of course, are trying to get a new arena built in the greater Phoenix area. So far, their efforts have been for naught.

Related: Arizona lawmaker suggests Coyotes pledge more money for new arena