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Posted On Friday, 12.20.2013 / 1:00 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Devils' Clowe, Salvador closing in on returns

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils expect to have two veteran players back in their lineup soon. The question is whether it's before the NHL's three-day break for Christmas or after.

Forward Ryane Clowe (concussion) and defenseman Bryce Salvador (non-displaced stress fracture in foot) participated in the morning skate Friday in advance of the Devils' game against the Anaheim Ducks at Prudential Center. Neither will play against the Ducks, but Clowe and Salvador have not been ruled out for New Jersey's upcoming road games Saturday against the Washington Capitals and Monday at the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Devils bring a two-game winning streak into their game Friday; the Ducks have won six in a row and are 9-1-2 in their past 12.

"As close as possible here now," Clowe said. "That will be the next step, get back in the game. I communicated with the coach and GM about how I felt and I think they wanted me to get in a couple more practices, maybe a little more contact, and I guess a little bit of extra patience at this point is not a big deal."

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.18.2013 / 12:52 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Devils get Gionta back as they host Senators

Stephen Gionta will return to the New Jersey Devils' lineup Wednesday after missing the past 11 games with a sprained right ankle.

Gionta skated as the center on the fourth line between Steve Bernier and Cam Janssen during the Devils' morning skate at Prudential Center in advance of their game against the Ottawa Senators. He has two assists and is a minus-5 in 21 games this season.

Janssen is in the lineup despite leaving practice early Tuesday with an apparent right leg injury.

Martin Brodeur will start for the Devils after making 33 saves in a 3-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. That performance came on the heels of Brodeur allowing five goals in a 5-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Dec. 10.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.12.2013 / 5:35 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Blue Jackets GM has eye on Finnish players

NEW YORK -- Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen is quietly doing extra work away from his day job scouting players who are on the bubble for Finland's Olympic team.

Kekalainen was named Finland's assistant general manager in late October. The Finns have won the silver medal (2006) and two bronze medals (1998 and 2010) since NHL players started participating in the Olympics in 1998.

"I've gone to see the players we need to see," Kekalainen told NHL.com. "We obviously don't have the deep depth chart of Canada or Team USA. We only have four defensemen that play in the NHL now. It's not like we have to scout 50 NHL players to make a decision on who is going to play. There are going to be a certain number of guys that we're pretty sure that they're going to be on the team and then there are a handful of guys that we have to make decisions on. We're concentrating on those guys, watching those guys more. I watch a lot of video, but I've seen everybody live too."

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Posted On Friday, 12.06.2013 / 1:22 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Banged-up Red Wings happy to have Bertuzzi back

NEWARK, N.J. -- Center Darren Helm is the latest addition to the growing Detroit Red Wings injury list, but at least they will have one player back in the lineup Friday when they face the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

Right wing Todd Bertuzzi is returning after missing the past six games with an upper-body injury. He will start the game on the first line, with Johan Franzen and Gustav Nyquist.

The Red Wings will be without Helm (shoulder), captain Henrik Zetterberg (back), center Pavel Datsyuk (concussion) and defenseman Danny DeKeyser (shoulder). Helm is missing his first game after playing in 15 straight. An MRI exam Thursday showed fluid in the forward's shoulder.

"I'm excited to be back," Bertuzzi said. "It's not a lot of fun when you're out and all that, but it was out of my control. I feel better and I'm playing with two pretty good players so my job doesn't really change. It's get them the puck, go to the net, get to the hard areas."

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.04.2013 / 1:34 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Canadiens' Therrien praises Subban's defensive game

NEWARK, N.J. -- For the second time in three days Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien offered effusive praise when talking about P.K. Subban's defensive play.

That's news, because not more than a few weeks ago Therrien was reluctant to use Subban late in close games because he didn't seem to trust his defensive play.

"Big time," Therrien said when asked if Subban's defensive play is a reason why the Canadiens have been one of the NHL's best defensive teams of late, yielding two or fewer goals in 11 straight games. "I would say to you big time.

"He's still a threat offensively. He's still a threat on the power play. We give him different responsibilities defensively playing against good players around the League and he's shown a lot of leadership the way he's preparing himself and approaching the game. Definitely defensively he's been really, really, really good."

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.04.2013 / 12:43 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Devils' Boucher to make NHL debut vs. Canadiens

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils forward Reid Boucher will make his NHL debut Wednesday against the Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. ET, TSN, RDS) after being recalled by the club earlier in the day. Boucher skated on a line with Patrik Elias and Steve Bernier during the morning skate.

The Devils also placed Ryan Carter (leg) on injured reserve, retroactive to Nov. 30.

Boucher leads the Albany Devils, New Jersey's American Hockey League affiliate, with 10 goals in 21 games. He is second on the team with 18 points. He had been particularly hot of late with a goal in five straight games.

"I was hoping that a call would come soon; I wasn't expecting a call," Boucher said. "I was just trying to do what I could down there, play the best I could. I have been producing a lot the last couple of games so I was hoping it would come."

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:16 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Senators' Ryan enjoys rare Philadelphia homecoming

PHILADELPHIA -- It's a quick homecoming for Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan, but it's a homecoming nonetheless and his first in more than three years.

Ryan will play Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center for the first time since Oct. 21, 2010, when he visited here with the Anaheim Ducks. Wells Fargo Center is a 20-minute drive from his hometown of Cherry Hill, N.J.

Ryan estimated he'll have 40-50 friends and family members in the stands.

"Obviously when you can have family, friends and people you grew up with in the stands it means more to you," Ryan said Tuesday. "I don't spend much time here anymore, a couple of weeks in the summer is about it, but it's still home, it's where I grew up, so it's always nice. It's a big homecoming."

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:05 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flyers hope to recapture road success at home

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers know the only way to make the success they had on their recent road trip matter is if they find a way to recreate it on home ice. That starts Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators.

The Flyers won their most recent game at Wells Fargo Center 4-2 against the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 9, but they're 3-7-0 at home and have been outscored 29-15. They're 3-0-1 in their past four games, but that includes a 2-0-1 road stretch against the Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins and Winnipeg Jets.

"It's really important for teams to play good at home and obviously that hasn't been the case this year," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. "It's going to be a pretty good crowd [Tuesday] and we'll need to get them going as soon as possible."

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Posted On Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 6:56 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sill to make NHL debut with Penguins

NEWARK, N.J. -- Pittsburgh Penguins rookie center Zach Sill is making his NHL debut Saturday night at Prudential Center against the New Jersey Devils. The Penguins recalled Sill from Wilkes Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on Friday.

Sill, 25, has four points (one goal, three assists) and 25 penalty minutes in 13 AHL games this season. He played two preseason games with the Penguins in September before returning to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for a fifth season. He was signed by the Penguins as an undrafted free agent on July 14, 2009.

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Posted On Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 5:42 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Fleury in net back-to-back for Penguins

NEWARK, N.J. -- Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury will be back in the net Saturday against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

Fleury made 17 saves in a 4-1 win against the Nashville Predators on Friday at Consol Energy Center.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said he's going with Fleury on back-to-back nights because his workload hasn't been too heavy despite the fact he's started four straight games and 16 of 19 the Penguins have played this season.

Fleury has an 11-5-0 record with a 2.00 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. He has the 17th most saves in the NHL and is tied for fifth in starts and sixth in appearances.

"We've given up five scoring chances, seven scoring chances, and going back to the Columbus game [Nov. 2] only four scoring chances," Bylsma said. "That really has played into some of the decisions. We're going to see [backup Jeff] Zatkoff play some games here because of the number of games, but we really felt like this is a good opportunity to get Marc-Andre in back-to-back situations."

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Quote of the Day

Great players need great players to play with. That's why we'll have a training camp and we'll find who the best two guys are suited to play with Stamkos.

— Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness on Steven Stamkos' potential linemates for the 2014-15 season