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Posted On Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 1:38 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

McDavid, Crouse headline Top Prospects Game roster

Top 2015 NHL Draft prospect Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League will play for Team Orr at the 2015 CHL/NHL Top Prospects game, which will be played Jan. 22 in St. Catharines, Ontario at Meridan Centre, home of the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League.

The Top Prospects Game features 40 of the top players eligible for the 2015 draft playing in the Canadian Hockey League. NHL Central Scouting coordinates the rosters, with input from all 30 NHL teams.

"The CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is an event that all NHL scouts and general managers circle on their calendars," Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr said. "The 40 players competing in this game were chosen by our 30 NHL clubs and provides a unique opportunity for them to evaluate top CHL talent for the 2015 NHL Draft. This is also a unique opportunity for the players, who can take advantage of the spotlight to promote their play in this exciting and highly competitive single-game best-on-best contest."

The Top Prospects Game will be televised by NHL Network in the United States, and Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 1:10 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Lightning at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers won the first two games of their current four-game homestand, but Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, it will be the first game against a team above them in the standings.

The Flyers are 3-0-2 in their past five, including back-to-back wins against the New Jersey Devils last Thursday and the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. They enter play Tuesday five points behind the New York Rangers for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

The Lightning have lost four of their past five, including a 4-2 defeat at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday, but have the third-most points in the conference.

"They're a fast team, they make decisions quick," Flyers forward Wayne Simmons said. "Their [defensemen] get up in the rush."

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Posted On Saturday, 12.13.2014 / 11:26 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Hurricanes at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- Carolina Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said his lineup Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers is a game-time decision based around the status of forward Jiri Tlusty.

Tlusty sustained an upper-body injury in the Hurricanes' 2-1 loss Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"He'll warm up and we'll know after that," Peters said. "We'll go 11 [forwards] and seven [defensemen] if he can't go. We'll know as soon as warm-ups are done. He'll be honest with us. We'll put our best lineup out there and go from there. ... He's an offensive guy who plays on our power-play unit. He'll cause us to shuffle the deck but we're prepared to do that if we have to."

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Posted On Thursday, 12.11.2014 / 1:35 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Devils at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The New Jersey Devils have alternated wins and losses the past five games, so forward Mike Cammalleri was blunt when he talked about what his team needed as it starts a three-game road trip Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center.

"We need a winning streak here," Cammalleri said after the Devils' morning skate. "We'd love to get that going here right now."

Cammalleri will have a chance to help the Devils put a winning streak together; he'll return to the lineup after missing two games with a strained gluteus muscle.

"It's really nice to be out there," he said. "Been a couple games here. Nice to be back."

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Posted On Friday, 11.28.2014 / 11:24 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Rangers at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh will return to the lineup Friday against the Philadelphia Flyers, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said.

"Talked to the doctors this morning, talked to [head athletic trainer] Jim Ramsay when he got up this morning and he's good to go," Vigneault said.

McDonagh has not played since sustaining a separated shoulder Nov. 1 against the Winnipeg Jets.

"He's definitely a big part of our defensive group," Vigneault said. "I'm not exactly sure how much we'll play him today. We're playing three games in four [days] … we'll see how he does. We'll see how he feels. He's definitely a big part of our defensive group. We'll see how he's feeling [as the game goes on]. But he's 100 percent and he's ready to go."

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Posted On Saturday, 11.22.2014 / 12:48 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blue Jackets at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers likely will use seven defensemen Saturday against the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets.

Defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who sat out the Flyers' 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday because of a lower-body injury sustained Wednesday against the New York Rangers, took part in the morning skate and said he felt well enough that he could play Saturday if needed.

"Feels good," Del Zotto said. "Each day has gotten better and better. Yesterday I went out for a little skate and today it feels better."

Coach Craig Berube said he would make a final decision on the roster after warm-ups.

"I don't know what I'm doing [with the lineup]," Berube said. "Have to see how Del Zotto is tonight. He felt good. Just want to make sure tonight if he's OK. I'll make that decision after warm-ups."

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Posted On Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 5:27 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Wild at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- When the Minnesota Wild signed forward Thomas Vanek in July, the hope was he could boost their offense and their chances of competing for a top-three spot in the Central Division.

It hasn't quite worked out that way; Vanek has one goal and 10 points in 17 games. On Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers, Vanek will play left wing on a line with center Charlie Coyle and right wing Jason Zucker. Coyle will be the fifth center Vanek has played with.

"I think for me it's to find not even a line, but just another guy I can play with," Vanek said. "Right now it's been a rotating door for myself. I've played with [Zucker] a little bit here and there and I feel me and him have a little bit [of chemistry]. Him and Charlie have something. I think I can complement those two guys and we'll see how it goes. With [Charlie's] speed and power, maybe we've got something there."

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Posted On Friday, 11.14.2014 / 3:40 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blue Jackets at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The early story for the Columbus Blue Jackets has been the number of players coming out of the lineup, mostly because of injuries.

Friday against the Philadelphia Flyers they'll get two players back, as defenseman Jack Johnson returns from a three-game suspension and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky was activated off injured reserve.

Johnson will play his usual big-minute role while Bobrovsky will serve as the backup to Curtis McElhinney.

"It's big for us, getting a player like Jack back in the lineup," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said after the morning skate. "Leadership, his physical presence, his talent; they're things that will help our hockey team. There's lots of things you miss not having Jack. The way that he plays the game, big and heavy and down low being able to shut down plays."

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Posted On Saturday, 11.08.2014 / 2:40 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Avalanche at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers defensemen Braydon Coburn, who has not played since sustaining a lower-body injury opening night against the Boston Bruins, will return Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche, likely on a pairing with Luke Schenn.

"Today was good," Coburn said after the morning skate. "For me, just to practice with the team, we had a good pregame skate out there. I feel good. … My foot's feeling good; that's the main indicator for me. That's how we gauge it."

The Flyers had the option of allowing Coburn to sit out for an extra few days because after Saturday they don't play again until Nov. 14. However, Flyers coach Craig Berube said if Coburn was ready, he was going to play.

"I think it's important that if he's ready to go and wants to play, he gets a game in and it's over with," Berube said. "… He's ready to go, I want him in there."

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Posted On Thursday, 11.06.2014 / 2:00 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Panthers at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- As Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad took the ice at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday, he had a bit of a flashback.

It was a little more than four months ago that Ekblad was here for a much different purpose, the 2014 NHL Draft, when the Panthers selected him with the first pick.

"I kind of remember [where I sat]," Ekblad said after the Panthers optional morning skate. "Off to the side there. I pointed it out to one of the guys."

Since that day in late June, Ekblad has emerged as one of the Panthers' top defensemen. He has one goal and four points in 10 games, and he's averaging 21:41 of ice time per game, fourth on the Panthers and second among NHL rookies.

Not bad for the youngest player in the League, who won't turn 19 until February.

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I've never seen anything like that. The great thing is I don't know how many times guys bailed me out where they had to score to keep it alive and they did every time. It was amazing. It's not the way we draw it up, to go 20 rounds here, but obviously it's a big win.

— Florida goalie Roberto Luongo after the Panthers defeated the Capitals in the longest shootout in NHL history on Tuesday
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