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Posted On Saturday, 02.09.2013 / 11:49 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Devils seeking revenge in weekend series with Pens

NEWARK,N.J. -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma used the word "interesting" to describe the weekend home-and-home his team has with the New Jersey Devils starting Saturday afternoon at Prudential Center.

Only one point separates the Penguins from the Devils in the Atlantic Division standings and New Jersey has a game in hand. These two teams also played each other last weekend with Pittsburgh winning 5-1, so it'll be three games in nine days between the division rivals.

"You don't often have these situations where you see a team back-to-back," Bylsma said Saturday morning. "It's more like a college weekend than pro, but I think it makes for interesting hockey. It's a rivalry game anyway and you're going to play them six straight periods so that will make for an interesting storyline throughout these two games."

Devils coach Peter DeBoer likes the concept of seeing one team so often in such a short span. Even if it is the streaking Penguins, who have won five straight.

"I think it's good in that it's fresh in your mind what worked and what didn't work, and particularly with us what didn't work last game and what we have to correct," DeBoer said. "The job is to execute and make sure we don't make the same mistakes."

Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 12:46 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Lightning turn focus to defense after hot start

NEWARK, N.J. -- After scoring 37 goals over the first seven games of the season, the Tampa Bay Lightning have been held to three in the past two games.

It's no surprise that they were 6-1 and now they're 6-3 after losses to the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers.

"We can't expect to score five or six goals a game," Lightning center Steven Stamkos told "You take the run as long as possible, it was fun, but you realize this League is very tight checking and it's tough to score goals. We maybe fell victim of expecting to score goals."

Posted On Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 6:45 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Rangers' Girardi to sit vs. Devils

NEWARK -- New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi will miss his first game of the season Tuesday night. The team said he's "banged up" and lists him as day-to-day.

Stu Bickel, who had been playing forward, will move back and take Girardi's place on the blue line when the Rangers take on the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

In addition, Rangers rookie forward Chris Kreider will make his return to the lineup after missing the last five games, including four in a row while dealing with bone chips in his ankle.

Kreider will start the game on a line with the recently acquired Darroll Powe and rookie call-up J.T. Miller, who is making his NHL debut.

Girardi, who played in all 82 games last season and 120 in a row, has missed only two games in the last five-plus seasons. He did not practice Monday, but the team said he was simply taking a "maintenance day." Girardi was on the ice for the morning skate Tuesday, but when the Rangers came out for warmups prior to the game he was not with them.

Girardi has two assists and is a minus-3 in eight games this season.

Ryan McDonagh, Girardi's normal defense partner, was paired with Anton Stralman in warmups. Marc Staal and Michael Del Zotto remained together with Bickel and Matt Gilroy making up the third pair.

Henrik Lundqvist is starting in net for the Rangers opposite the Devils' Martin Brodeur.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

Posted On Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 1:14 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Rangers' Miller 'excited, anxious' to make NHL debut

NEWARK, N.J. -- J.T. Miller was talking fast.

Maybe that's how he normally is, or maybe he was just amped up and moving at a faster pace, knowing that in just a matter of hours he would be making his NHL debut.

The New York Rangers recalled Miller and Brandon Mashinter from the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. Miller, the Rangers' first-round pick in 2011, will likely play center on the fourth line Tuesday at Prudential Center against the New Jersey Devils.

Mashinter will be sent back down to the Whale, Rangers assistant coach/general manager Jim Schoenfeld told

"I'm just excited right now, anxious, just ready to play obviously," said Miller, who expects to have at least 10 friends and family members at the game Tuesday. "I've been looking forward to it since I was a little kid. I just want to go out there and try to get into the game as soon as possible. I think that will help me the most."

Posted On Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 1:11 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Powe gives Rangers flexibility, PK presence

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New York Rangers acquired forward Darroll Powe on Monday because coach John Tortorella was concerned with the inconsistent play from the middle of the lineup.

One thing Powe has displayed in his 294 career NHL games is consistency.

He can score some goals (28 in his career), but he's more of a third-line grinder, shot-blocker and penalty-killer who can play all three forward positions -- traits Tortorella is hoping translate well to the Rangers to give the team more versatility in their bottom six.

"With Powe it's a guy that can kill penalties, has played in the League, does a lot of little things on the boards, certainly adds to our depth in a lot of different situations where I can move people around," Tortorella said Tuesday morning from Prudential Center, where the Rangers will face the New Jersey Devils for the first time this season at 7 p.m. ET. "So, we're happy to get him."

Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 7:02 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Gretzky wonders how he'd do against today's stars

LAS VEGAS -- Is Doc Brown from "Back to the Future" anywhere to be found? Can the DeLorean still get up to 88 mph?

If yes, Wayne Gretzky has a request: He'd like to go back in time to figure out a way to stop his aging process, because as much as The Great One loved playing in his generation, he would have loved the chance to play in today's NHL.

"Mike Bossy and Brett Hull were probably the two purest goal scorers I ever saw in my career and I got excited to play against them because I wanted to see, 'Do I belong on the same sheet of ice as they are on?'" Gretzky, 52, told Tuesday from his annual fantasy camp. "That's why I would have loved to compete against a guy like Zdeno Chara, go head-to-head against Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin."

Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 3:55 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Gretzky gives new Blues owner thrill of a lifetime

LAS VEGAS -- St. Louis Blues owner Tom Stillman initially thought a friend was playing a joke on him, but he knew that couldn't be the case because the name and number that came up on his phone was one that he had saved in his contacts folder.

Wayne Gretzky.

The Great One was indeed calling the new owner of the Blues to invite him to be his guest at the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp.

"It's maybe the most surreal experience I've had since I got involved with the Blues," Stillman told Tuesday morning before playing in his first game at the Fantasy Camp. "Really, I can remember times when people used to leave phone messages for me saying it was Wayne Gretzky, ha ha, but it was him and he was asking me to come to the event, saying that they were planning to wear Blues uniforms this year so they'd like me to come.

"When the Great One calls, what are you going to do? You're going to go. This is the hockey fantasy camp of fantasy camps."

Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 3:04 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Chelios catching the coaching bug with Red Wings

LAS VEGAS -- Chris Chelios calls his role with the Detroit Red Wings an internship.

"Basically, I'm learning how to coach," Chelios told Tuesday from the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp.

Chelios, who turned 51 last week, works primarily with the defensemen for the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit's American Hockey League affiliate. His title is Advisor to Hockey Operations, but he sees himself as an on-ice coach, a helping hand to first-year coach Jeff Blashill.

"I spend three or four days a week there, go on the ice with them, work with the young defensemen," Chelios said. "It's been great. I'm really enjoying it.

"It's one thing to play and it's another to get behind the bench and coach. There's a lot to it. It's been a great experience for me."

Chelios has been working for the Red Wings since he officially retired from the National Hockey League on Aug. 31, 2010. He spent the 2010-11 season mentoring under general manager Ken Holland and assistant general manager Jim Nill, but quickly learned he didn't belong in the front office.

Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 1:33 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Leetch talks Rangers' scoring issues, Cup pressure

LAS VEGAS -- Despite the instant success of the New York Rangers' top line of Rick Nash, Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik, ex-Ranger Brian Leetch is not convinced that trio has to stay together in order for the team to win.

"I like the way they had it split up to start with, Nash and Richards together, Gaborik and [Derek] Stepan with [Ryan] Callahan," Leetch, a part-time Rangers' analyst on the MSG Network, told on Tuesday. "I really liked that. But when you're having trouble scoring and everyone isn't firing on all cylinders, it's a pretty good luxury to throw those three guys together.

"The fact that they had some immediate success also helps, but I liked the first set up. I think that's ideal. Obviously, [Chris] Kreider is a wild card there."

Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 1:17 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

McSorley: Oilers' depth key to success now and then

LAS VEGAS -- In addition to all the world-class talent the Edmonton Oilers had in the 1980s, Marty McSorley said there also was a push from the superstars to make sure the depth players were winning their own battles.

"Wayne [Gretzky] and Mark [Messier] stressed the fact that we weren't going to win without our third and fourth lines making a difference," McSorley told Tuesday from the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp. "You have to outplay the other team's third and fourth lines. They really stressed the fact of that."

McSorley said the same thing will have to come true if the current version of the Oilers is going to reach its potential as a consistent contender for the Stanley Cup.

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