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Posted On Friday, 02.07.2014 / 12:04 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Devils to split up Jagr-Zajac tandem against Oilers

NEWARK, N.J. -- In an effort to jumpstart the offense, New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer will incorporate a few lineup changes Friday against the Edmonton Oilers at Prudential Center.

DeBoer will have Andrei Loktionov centering left wing Dainius Zubrus and right wing Jaromir Jagr against the Oilers. Travis Zajac, who developed good chemistry playing alongside Jagr the past three months, is expected to skate between left wing Patrik Elias and right wing Damien Brunner.

Loktionov was a healthy scratch for six games before being held without a point in the past two games, losses to the Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche. He now moves alongside team scoring leader Jagr (48 points) in a game the Devils desperately need to maintain pace in the Eastern Conference. Loktionov skated with Jagr earlier in the season so they do have some experience together.

"It was tough when you're not playing," Loktionov said. "I can't say how I'm feeling right now but I know Jagr can only help my game."

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.04.2014 / 2:38 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

U.S. tops host Russia to open Five Nations

Center Dylan Larkin, No. 17 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, scored two power-play goals and goalie Blake Weyrick made 19 saves as the United States Under-18 National Team scored a 5-2 victory against host Russia in the opener of the 2014 Five Nations Tournament at Dmitrov Arena in Dmitrov, Russia.

Weyrick is No. 3 on Central Scouting's midterm list of the draft-eligible North American goaltenders. Jack Eichel, a top prospect for the 2015 draft, had a goal and an assist. Sonny Milano, No. 16 on Central Scouting's ranking of North American skaters, and Louie Belpedio also scored for the United States, which seeks its first title at the Five Nations Tournament since 2011.

The Americans opened a 5-0 lead before Russia scored twice in the third period. The U.S. next plays Finland on Thursday at Dmitrov Arena at 6:30 a.m. ET.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.04.2014 / 11:24 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Demko's 27 saves power BC into Beanpot title game

Boston College goalie Thatcher Demko, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top 2014 draft-eligible goaltenders in North America, made 27 saves to help lead the nation's No. 2-ranked team to a 3-1 victory against Boston University on Monday before a packed house in the semifinal round of the 62nd Beanpot Tournament at TD Garden in Boston.

The Eagles (20-4-3), the four-time defending champion, will face Northeastern in the championship game on Monday at TD Garden for the third time in the past four Beanpot finals. BC scored a 6-3 victory against the Huskies in the 2013 Beanpot championship game.

Demko, who even earned an assist on a third-period goal by Johnny Gaudreau, won his sixth straight game and improved to 9-1-2 with a 1.90 goals-against average and .930 save percentage for the Eagles. Boston College received goals by Ryan Fitzgerald (Boston Bruins), Kevin Hayes (Chicago Blackhawks) and Gaudreau (Calgary Flames). The Terriers received their only goal of the game by Robert Baillargeon (Ottawa Senators).

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Posted On Monday, 02.03.2014 / 6:17 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Harrold in for Devils, Giguere in net for Avalanche

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils defenseman Peter Harrold will return to the lineup for the first time in almost two months Monday when his team hosts the Colorado Avalanche at Prudential Center.

Harrold has been out since Dec. 7 when he slid into the goal post during a 4-3 overtime victory against the New York Rangers. Defenseman Anton Volchenkov, who sustained a lower-body injury in the second period of an overtime loss against the Nashville Predators on Friday, will not be in the lineup for the Devils.

Harrold, who missed 25 games with a non-displaced right foot fracture, was activated from injured reserve Monday morning.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 11:17 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Windsor's Ho-Sang named OHL Player of the Week

Windsor Spitfires forward Joshua Ho-Sang, No. 18 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft, on Monday was named the Ontario Hockey League's Player of the Week.

Ho-Sang, whose has a Jamaican father, Chilean mother and Chinese-born great-grandfather, currently is riding a four-game point streak during which he's accounted for four goals and 11 points. Ho-Sang has 23 goals, 62 points and a plus-25 rating in 23 games for this season.

He also had a goal and an assist playing for Team Orr in the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game earlier this month at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 9:34 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Triumphant return for Kingston's Bennett

Kingston Frontenacs forward Samuel Bennett wasted little time picking up where he left off when he rejoined his teammates Sunday for his first game since being tabbed No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft.

Bennett, who missed five Ontario Hockey League games, as well as the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, with a lower-body injury, had a goal and an assist in a 6-1 victory against the Belleville Bulls and was named the game's second star.

The 6-foot-0.25, 178-pound left-shot center is riding a 25-game point streak during which he's totaled 17 goals and 46 points.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.26.2014 / 10:54 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Different atmosphere, same game for Rangers, Devils

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault believes having an opportunity to play consecutive games on the infield ice at Yankee Stadium in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series this week will be a nice change of pace at this point in the season.

The Rangers will face the New Jersey Devils on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC) and the New York Islanders (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS2) on Wednesday.

"I think for the teams, having an opportunity to play outside and in front of great fans is going to be real exciting," Vigneault said. "It's a great time in the schedule; 82 games sometimes can be a little bit challenging."

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Posted On Friday, 01.24.2014 / 1:04 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Capitals' Ovechkin won't play vs. Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin was unable to finish the team's morning skate at Prudential Center on Friday and will miss a second consecutive game against the New Jersey Devils.

Ovechkin missed his third game of the season on Tuesday with an undisclosed lower-body injury in a 2-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators at Verizon Center in Washington. He also missed two games in November while dealing with a shoulder injury.

"He went out onto the ice, [skated two laps] and then went off," Capitals coach Adam Oates said. "I still haven't found out why he went out so fast. I don't know if it was because it was more serious than he thought or not healing. I was hoping he might be able to go [Saturday against Montreal Canadiens], but I don't know."

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Posted On Friday, 01.24.2014 / 12:02 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Devils' Whitney to debut on line with Jagr

NEWARK, N.J. -- Left wing Joe Whitney is expected to make his NHL debut for the New Jersey Devils against the Washington Capitals on Friday at Prudential Center.

Whitney, 25, was recalled from the team's American Hockey League affiliate, the Albany Devils, on Thursday. The team re-assigned forward Reid Boucher to Albany on Wednesday. In 39 games with Albany, Whitney has 16 goals, 36 points and plus-4 rating.

He'll begin the game on the top line with center Travis Zajac and right wing Jaromir Jagr.

"It was tough sleeping last night," Whitney said. "I'm pretty anxious and ready to come to the rink and have a good game. It's a great opportunity for me to play on the top line with two very, very good and smart players, so I'm just going to try and play my game and play it smart and do all the right things out there."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.21.2014 / 12:59 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Devils expect to have Brunner back to face Blues

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils right wing Damien Brunner is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues at Prudential Center.

Brunner, who missed the past 14 games after sustaining a sprained right knee in a loss against the Anaheim Ducks on Dec. 20, was back practicing with the team Monday and participated in the morning skate Tuesday. He will wear a brace to help stabilize the knee as a precaution.

"I'm feeling good," Brunner told NHL.com. "I made a good recovery and put in some good hard work last week when the guys were on the road trip. I feel comfortable to play; there's no pain."

Brunner has eight goals and 13 points in 32 games this season.

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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