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Posted On Tuesday, 10.29.2013 / 1:28 PM

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

Stamkos sees winning attitude on Lightning

NEWARK, N.J. -- Steven Stamkos has been doing his job, scoring goals, dishing out assists and helping the Tampa Bay Lightning win games. He was recognized for it by being named the NHL's First Star of the Week on Monday.

Stamkos, though, doesn't want to discuss his contributions (eight goals, nine assists for 17 points) because he can finally talk about what the team is doing to win games, something he wasn't able to do a lot of in the previous two seasons.

The Lightning, who haven't made the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2011, bring a three-game winning streak into Prudential Center on Tuesday to face the New Jersey Devils (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2). They have won eight of their first 11 games in impressive fashion, beating the Chicago Blackhawks (twice), Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild. Their three losses have come against the Boston Bruins (twice) and Pittsburgh Penguins.


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Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 1:38 PM

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

Canucks' Booth back in, determined to improve game

NEWARK, N.J. -- Vancouver Canucks forward David Booth will return to the lineup Thursday against the New Jersey Devils after being a healthy scratch for the first time in his NHL career Tuesday at the New York Islanders.

Canucks coach John Tortorella said he benched Booth in favor of a seventh defenseman against the Islanders because "he's not doing enough to play, plain and simple." Tortorella would not elaborate and said he didn't want to get into a public discussion on it.

When asked Thursday why Booth is back in the lineup, Tortorella again said he didn't want to get into a public discussion.

"I want him to play as best as he can," Tortorella said. "I'm not going to get into specifics."

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Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 1:32 PM

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

Tortorella: No diving, whining on Canucks

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Vancouver Canucks haven't been getting a lot of opportunities to get their slumping power play going and coach John Tortorella has a theory as to why the calls in his team's favor have been so infrequent.

They're tied for the most games played in the NHL with 11, but they're 26th in power play opportunities with 29.

"I know the reputation from the outside looking in, when I wasn't coaching here, everybody outside thought Vancouver dove and did some whining," Tortorella said. "Our team is not going to dive. Our team has already been talked to. We're not going to dive. I don't think there is much whining going on either.

"Now, I'm certainly not trying to accuse the League or the refs of that, but I know there's been a reputation. I've been in the League long enough, and sometimes that hangs around too. I guess it's my chance to say we're going to be an honest team, we're trying to be an honest team, and I hope we get some … calls along the way."


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Posted On Saturday, 10.19.2013 / 6:45 PM

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

Devils without Elias, Brunner against Rangers

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils are without forwards Patrik Elias and Damien Brunner for their game Saturday night against the New York Rangers at Prudential Center.

Elias has the flu, and Brunner is out with an undisclosed injury. Elias did not participate in the morning skate Saturday; Brunner left early and appeared to be clutching his shoulder.

Andrei Loktionov and Rostislav Olesz are playing in place of Elias and Brunner. Loktionov will the start the game centering the third line between Jacob Josefsen and Dainius Zubrus. Olesz will play left wing in Elias' spot on the top line with Adam Henrique and Jaromir Jagr.

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Posted On Saturday, 10.19.2013 / 2:04 PM

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

Vigneault: Schneider 'one of the best … in the League'

NEWARK, N.J. -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault will see a familiar goalie in the opposite net Saturday at Prudential Center as Cory Schneider is scheduled to get the start for the New Jersey Devils.

Schneider and Vigneault were together for the past several seasons with the Vancouver Canucks. They along with Roberto Luongo were part of the NHL's most publicized goaltending controversy in recent history.

Considering the opinion Vigneault offered on Schneider after the morning skate Saturday, clearly he thinks quite highly of his former goalie.

"I think he's one of the best goaltenders in the League," Vigneault said of Schneider. "He's really a student of the game and a great teammate. I'm sure that in time here people in Jersey are going to really appreciate him. He's a great goaltender."

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Posted On Saturday, 10.19.2013 / 1:42 PM

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

Strong defensive play leaves Del Zotto out of lineup

NEWARK, N.J. -- After watching his team put together it's most complete 60-minute, defensive effort of the season Wednesday in a 2-0 defeat of the Washington Capitals, New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said he saw no reason to change the lineup for his team's game Saturday against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

That means defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who sat out the game in Washington with the flu, will be a healthy scratch Saturday in New Jersey. Justin Falk, who played 15 shifts totaling 8:57 in Washington, will be in the lineup and on the third defense pair with John Moore.

"In our first five games we had one game where I was pleased with how our six [defensemen] had played and that was the L.A. game," Vigneault said, referring to the Rangers' 3-1 defeat of the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 7. "The three after that I could have taken any defensemen out and they all deserved it. Nobody was playing really well then. They gave up 20 goals in three games. Michael was sick; we went into Washington and played our best game of the year as far as a group of six defensemen. Nobody deserved to come out. Everybody played well. That's why I'm sticking with the same six guys."

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Posted On Saturday, 10.19.2013 / 1:10 PM

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

Devils looking to turn things around against Rangers

NEWARK, N.J. -- Ryane Clowe is out. Patrik Elias is sick and doubtful to play Saturday against the New York Rangers. Damien Brunner is a gametime decision as he deals with what coach Peter DeBoer called "some nagging stuff." Oh, and the New Jersey Devils are the only team in the NHL without a win so far in the 2013-14 season.

The players in the Devils' dressing room are doing all they can not to stay positive. They think they can start working their way out of this mess Saturday at Prudential Center.

"We can't [feel sorry for ourselves]. We need a win," Devils center Travis Zajac told NHL.com. "That's got to be our focus. No matter who is in the lineup we have to be ready to play. Everyone has injuries. You look at the Rangers, they've got guys out. That's going to happen throughout the year. We have to make sure we're prepared and ready with whoever is in the lineup."

He's right about the Rangers. They won't have Rick Nash (concussion), Ryan Callahan (broken thumb) or Carl Hagelin (rehab from shoulder surgery) in the lineup Saturday.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 1:16 PM

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

Penguins ignoring Flyers' record

PHILADELPHIA -- One can look at the Philadelphia Flyers and their 1-6-0 record and come to the conclusion that they're playing poorly and the record reflects that. Someone else can look at the Flyers, see that they blew a third-period lead and lost to the Vancouver Canucks two nights ago and think they are primed for a breakout.

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma falls into the latter category. He isn't preparing to face a struggling team Thursday at Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US); he's expecting to face a dangerous one that played better in a loss Saturday at the Detroit Red Wings and nearly beat the Canucks on Tuesday.

"I don't look at the Flyers' record as an indication of the quality of opponent or what we're going to see [Thursday] at all," Bylsma said. "They do have some injuries, but they have key players in, good players in, a special teams that is good and dangerous with what they bring. That's what we expect from them. Especially early on in the season, when you get off to a 1-3, 1-4, whatever it is, the limelight is on you but I still think they're a very good team and that's what we're focused on, not what their record is."


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Posted On Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 12:16 PM

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

Giroux sees flashes of 2010 in current Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers are 1-6-0, and while captain Claude Giroux knows his team hasn't been great, he can't quite figure out why they haven't been able to win more games since Craig Berube took over as coach 10 days ago.

Giroux said it reminds him of another time when the Flyers were struggling for results yet confident in how they were playing.

"What's going on right now makes me think of when we played Boston in the [2010 Stanley Cup] Playoffs," Giroux said, referring to the series against the Bruins three years ago. "We were down 3-0 [in the series] but we were talking to ourselves and were like, 'How the [heck] are we down 3-0? We should be up 3-0.' We just stayed with it and came back to win the series.

"You know, it's a long season. If you think about it we still have 75 games left. That's a lot of games."


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Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 2:13 PM

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

Canucks hoping to find identity during road trip

PHILADELPHIA -- Since he got the job in June, Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella has been talking about establishing an identity, about making the team tougher to play against.

Through six games it has shown up in spurts, Henrik Sedin told NHL.com, but Tortorella and the Canucks' captain think the team really can hone in on establishing that identity and staying consistent with it on its seven-game road trip, which begins Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center.

"Yeah, I think it's an important couple of weeks for me to understand them because you are with one another, doing things together as a team, both on and off the ice in this length of a trip," Tortorella said. "It's for both ways, me to understand them and them to understand me, and really to confine yourselves with one another to build this. I think it's a good time."

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