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Posted On Tuesday, 02.03.2015 / 1:49 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Senators at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Bobby Ryan said he expects a large crowd to be rooting for him when the Ottawa Senators visit the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Tuesday.

The native of Cherry Hill, N.J., is hoping to make it worth their while.

Ryan leads the Senators with 37 points (14 goals, 23 assists).

"I guess I've been trying to round my game into more of a two-way game; that's what they had asked me to do last year," Ryan said. "The points would come but they wanted me to be a little more trustworthy in some situations. I asked for that responsibility and I think I've tightened things up a little more defensively and it has allowed me to be more creative offensively; I've had more opportunities than I'm used to."

Posted On Monday, 02.02.2015 / 1:09 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Panthers at Rangers

NEW YORK -- Brothers Jimmy Hayes and Kevin Hayes will play against each other for the second time this season when the Florida Panthers visit the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Monday.

Kevin Hayes, who followed Jimmy at Boston College, got the best of his brother when the Rangers won 5-2 at the Panthers on Dec. 31. Jimmy, however, scored a goal for the Panthers and was named the game's second star.

"If we get the win that's all that matters," Kevin Hayes said. "But he [Jimmy] is having a good year and doing well but hopefully he doesn't score [Monday]. It's exciting knowing that your older brother, who you spent your whole life with, is on the other team. Growing up he was too old to play with but I admired how he played and went about his life. Thankfully we're both in the NHL."

Kevin Hayes has six goals and 17 points in 44 games for the Rangers. Jimmy Hayes has 13 goals and 20 points in 38 games.

Posted On Monday, 02.02.2015 / 9:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Eichel preparing for Beanpot; McDavid leading Erie

The moment of truth has arrived for Boston University freshman center Jack Eichel, No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings of the top North American players eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft.

The 63rd annual Beanpot Tournament, an event that Eichel said he has dreamed about playing in ever since he began playing hockey, begins Tuesday with a doubleheader at TD Garden in Boston. In the opener, Boston University will play against Harvard at 5 p.m. ET; the second game will see defending champion Boston College against Northeastern at 8 p.m. The winners will meet in the tournament championship Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET, also at TD Garden.

The tournament traditionally pits the Boston area's four Division I hockey programs against each other on the first two Mondays in February, but significant snowfall projected for the Boston region forced the postponement of the semifinals by one day.

Posted On Saturday, 01.31.2015 / 1:21 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Panthers at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Florida Panthers begin a critical three-game road trip against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Saturday.

The Panthers are six points behind the New York Rangers for the second Eastern Conference wild-card position in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They trail the Boston Bruins, who hold the first wild-card spot, by seven points, but have three games in hand.

The Panthers will travel to Madison Square Garden to play against the New York Rangers on Monday and Nassau Coliseum against the New York Islanders on Tuesday before returning home to face the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

"We were on a little bit of a losing streak there and wanted to end that and we did [with a 3-2 win against Columbus on Thursday]," Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad said. "Now it's all about keeping it on track and making sure we get things to start this road trip."

Posted On Friday, 01.30.2015 / 2:02 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Penguins at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, who is being tested for a possible concussion, will not be in the lineup against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Friday.

Ehrhoff, who was injured in a loss against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, was sent back to Pittsburgh to be examined.

"Christian went home to see our doctors so he's back home in Pittsburgh and we'll get an update on him [Saturday]," Penguins coach Mike Johnston said. "We have no results right but he is going through concussion protocol. It hasn't been deemed a concussion but when a player hits his head on the ice or glass, this is the process you need to take."

Posted On Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 1:12 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Maple Leafs at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Toronto Maple Leafs will look to set the tone for a second-half push for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs without the services of captain Dion Phaneuf on Wednesday when they visit the New Jersey Devils.

It will mark the first time in four seasons that Phaneuf (hand) will miss a game because of an injury, one he apparently sustained at some point against the Ottawa Senators on Jan. 21. Maple Leafs coach Peter Horachek said Phaneuf, who has not missed a game because of injury since Dec. 8, 2010, is week-to-week.

The loss of Phaneuf comes at the most inopportune time for Toronto, which also is without defenseman Stephane Robidas (upper body), and has lost six straight games and 14 of its past 17.

Posted On Monday, 01.26.2015 / 9:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

McDavid, Eichel continue to fuel offenses

Erie Otters center Connor McDavid and Boston University center Jack Eichel, the projected top two picks in the 2015 NHL Draft, continued their offensive magic this past weekend for their respective teams.

Eichel scored two goals in two games, including his second overtime goal in three games, to lead the No. 3-ranked Terriers (15-4-4) to a 2-1 victory against the University of Vermont at Gutterson Fieldhouse in Burlington, Vt., on Saturday. It was the third overtime goal of the season for the freshman.

After scoring an empty-net goal in a 4-2 victory against Vermont on Friday, Eichel tipped a point shot by senior Evan Rodrigues off the left post and into the net at 2:56 of overtime to send Boston University to the win on Saturday.

Posted On Thursday, 01.22.2015 / 2:41 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Meier out to prove he can skate with the best

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario -- Halifax Mooseheads forward Timo Meier has had the pleasure of competing alongside many of the finest junior-age players in the world this season.

That string will continue Thursday when he plays left wing on a line with Erie Otters center Connor McDavid for Team Bobby Orr at the 2015 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at Meridian Centre (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, SN, TVA Sports).

Meier skated on a line with Nashville Predators 2014 first-round pick (No. 11) Kevin Fiala with Switzerland at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship and he usually skates with Winnipeg Jets 2014 first-round pick (No. 9) Nikolaj Ehlers on the top line for the Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Posted On Thursday, 01.22.2015 / 2:23 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Bobby Orr, Don Cherry offer high praise for McDavid

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario -- Hall of Fame defenseman Bobby Orr can understand the pressure that generational superstar Connor McDavid has been under the past three seasons.

Orr, who serves as the player agent for McDavid, the No. 1-ranked skater on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of North American prospects eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, discussed his client prior to the 2015 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at Meridian Centre on Thursday (7 p.m ET, NHLN-US, Sportsnet, TVA Sports).

Posted On Thursday, 01.22.2015 / 12:01 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Line combinations set for CHL Top Prospects Game

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario -- What happens when the top two scorers in the Ontario Hockey League and another consistent point producer from the Western Hockey League are called into duty by Don Cherry to work the top line for his team at the 2015 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game?

We'll soon find out since Dylan Strome (28 goals, 80 points) of the Erie Otters will center left wing Jake DeBrusk (23 goals, 43 points) of the Swift Current Broncos and right wing Mitchell Marner (34 goals, 90 points) of the London Knights for Team Cherry at Meridian Centre on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, SN, TVA Sports). They have combined for 87 goals and 216 points this season.

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