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Posted On Thursday, 12.19.2013 / 11:10 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live features Pietrangelo, World Juniors chat

It's an 11-game Thursday and NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will set up the night's action. We'll go out to Scottrade Center on our Arena Cam prior to the St. Louis Blues' game against the Montreal Canadiens to talk with Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo about the matchup and his season so far.

The 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden, is right around the corner and analyst Craig Button will join us from the Toronto studio to talk about some of the game's top prospects who will take part in the tournament.

Caitlin Cahow, a former U.S. Olympian and part of the official U.S. President's delegation for the 2014 Sochi Olympics closing ceremonies, will be in studio. Also, author and former goaltender Randi Druzin dishes about her new book "Between the Pipes" and shares her favorite NHL goaltenders.

Remember to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask you to pick the game of the night.

Posted On Thursday, 12.19.2013 / 10:32 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Green Slapshots™

Sustainability upgrades come to Detroit's Clark Park

The NHL and the Detroit Red Wings Foundation on Monday unveiled extensive renovations and upgrades to Detroit's Clark Park Coalition recreation center as part of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Legacy Initiative.

With additional support from DTE Energy, Johnson Controls and York, the donation of resources and materials to Clark Park's outdoor rink was funded and spearheaded by the League and the Red Wings Foundation. The enhancements made to the Clark Park rink, the only regulation-size outdoor rink in the metropolitan Detroit area, included the donation of a Zamboni ice resurfacing machine to replace the facility's current 35-year-old machine. Other improvements include lighting upgrades at the rink and parking lot, an upgraded rink refrigeration system, snow removal equipment for its ice hockey and skating programs, a new ice surface and rink boards, new bicycle racks provided by Disenos Ornamental Iron and facelifts to its recycling program provided by CleanRiver and NHL Green.

"These donations build upon a decade of meaningful partnership and investment by the NHL and Detroit Red Wings into the lives of youth in Southwest Detroit," Clark Park Coalition president Steve Tobocman said. "This current investment really paves the way to ensure that hockey can continue to be a critical component of our efforts to reach and develop kids living in poverty in this diverse Detroit community for years to come."

The Clark Park Coalition provides year-round sports programming for more than 1,200 boys and girls. It has been a member of the NHL's Hockey is for Everyone initiative for more than 10 years, providing support and programming opportunities for children of diverse backgrounds to play hockey.

"We've seen how successful Hockey is for Everyone has been in this community and how important Clark Park is to this area," NHL Chief Marketing Officer Brian Jennings said. "We are proud to announce the beneficiary of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic legacy initiative is Clark Park Coalition."

The Detroit Red Wings Foundation is an affiliate of Ilitch Charities, which provides funding for community initiatives that promote the growth of hockey.

"The Red Wings Foundation is thrilled to be a part of a meaningful initiative like this that gives youth in our community a great place to play hockey, stay healthy and active, and build values like teamwork, respect and integrity," Ilitch Charities chairman and Ilitch Holdings president and CEO Christopher Ilitch said. "It's particularly special to us because Clark Park is just a couple of miles from the Wings' home ice and our players and coaching staff enjoy visiting and engaging with youth hockey players here."

Posted On Wednesday, 12.18.2013 / 11:30 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live talks father/son matchup, Stadium Series

It's time for another Wednesday Night Rivalry, as the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the New York Rangers, and NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, has the action previewed as analyst Pierre McGuire will join us from the Arena Cam at Madison Square Garden.

We'll also hear from Rangers assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson, a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Penguins whose son, defenseman Philip Samuelsson, just made his NHL debut for Pittsburgh. Ulf's son and Philip's younger brother Henrik Samuelsson is also expected to go to Sweden for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship as a member of the U.S. squad.

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler and forward Kyle Palmieri will join the show to discuss the strong play of the team this season and its upcoming 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game against California rival the Los Angeles Kings.

Remember to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask you to pick the game of the night.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 2:23 PM

By Staff -  / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Gudbranson back, Huberdeau a question for Panthers

Defenseman Erik Gudbranson will return to the lineup for the Florida Panthers after missing a game because of a cut from a skate blade, while forward Jonathan Huberdeau remains questionable for the team's game Tuesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.

George Richards of the Miami Herald reported Gudbranson is in the lineup. Huberdeau, who blocked a shot off his foot two games ago and also missed Florida's win Sunday in Montreal, remains a game-time decision.

Richards also reported that although Tim Thomas joined the morning skate partway through, Scott Clemmensen will make his third straight start in net. Clemmensen has stopped 40 of 43 shots to win his past two starts after starting the season with losses in his first five appearances.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 2:14 PM

By Staff -  / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Islanders searching for offensive spark

The New York Islanders enter their game Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning in search of offense they hope will end a 3-14-3 slide that's landed them at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division.

Out of the 16 goals the Islanders have scored in their past 11 games (1-7-3), 11 are from the top line of Thomas Vanek, John Tavares and Kyle Okposo. The second unit of Michael Grabner, Frans Nielsen and Josh Bailey is struggling. Grabner has no goals in 30 straight games. Nielsen has none in his past 12 after scoring 10 in his first 22. Bailey hasn't scored in 23 games.

Coach Jack Capuano kept his lines intact during the morning skate. Ryan Strome, who will play in his second NHL game, will center the Islanders' third line. Strome was recalled from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League last week after leading the AHL in points (33) and assists (24) with the idea that he'll add scoring punch. Although he went scoreless Saturday in his debut, Strome believes that it's a matter of time before the goals begin to arrive.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 1:08 PM

By Staff -  / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Hutton, Predators chase fourth consecutive win

Carter Hutton will make a fourth consecutive start in goal for the Nashville Predators as they try to extend their winning streak to four games Tuesday in a game against the Central Division-leading Chicago Blackhawks.

Hutton has stopped 97 of 101 shots (.960 save percentage) in leading the Predators to wins over the New York RangersDallas Stars and San Jose Sharks.

Marek Mazanec, the NHL's Rookie of the Month for November, wasn't feeling well Tuesday morning but was expected to dress as Hutton's backup against the Blackhawks, who lead the overall League standings with 53 points and also have the No. 1-ranked offense at 3.64 goals per game.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 10:54 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live talks to hockey author Jody Anderson

There are 12 games on the Tuesday schedule and NHL Live with Bill Pidto and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will get you set up for a night full of hockey.

Eddie Olczyk will join us on set to discuss who's hot and who's cold in the League.

In addition, hockey mom and writer Jody Anderson joins us from the Arena Cam at Xcel Energy Center prior to the Minnesota Wild hosting the Vancouver Canucks to talk about her new book, "Hockey Moms Aren't Crazy!"

Posted On Monday, 12.16.2013 / 10:58 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

Flyers forward talks 'Hartnell Down' on NHL Live

Four games on the NHL schedule get the week started and NHL Live with Bill Pidto and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET Monday on NHL Network, will have you covered. Steve Mears will be in Minnesota with Dave Starman for the latest from the U.S. selection camp for the upcoming IIHF World Junior Championship.

Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Hartnell has penned a children's book entitled "Hartnell Down" and the new author will call in to talk about the book and the recent play of his resurgent team.

In the latest segment of Behind the Bench with Barry Melrose, our NHL analyst will discuss the best and worst coaching moves of the week.

Posted On Monday, 12.16.2013 / 9:40 AM

By Staff -  / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Penguins recall Samuelsson, Zolnierczyk

Defenseman Philip Samuelsson, a second-round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2009 NHL Draft and son of two-time Stanley Cup winner Ulf Samuelsson, was recalled by the team Monday from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.

The Penguins also recalled forward Harry Zolnierczyk. Both could be available for Pittsburgh's game Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

Samuelsson has six assists, a plus-3 rating and 35 penalty minutes in 26 AHL games this season. The Penguins are battling numerous injuries on their blue line that have sidelined Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik, Rob Scuderi and Paul Martin.

Posted On Sunday, 12.15.2013 / 2:00 PM

By Staff -  / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flames stick with Ramo in net against Rangers

The Calgary Flames will start Karri Ramo in goal for the second consecutive game Sunday against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Ramo stopped 27 shots in the Flames' 2-1 overtime victory against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

Ramo has 131 saves on 138 shots in his past six games. He is 4-1 in his past five, allowing only a goal in each of his victories. For the season he is 6-5-1 with a .907 save percentage and a 2.67 goals-against average in 14 games.

"It's a progression rather than a change," coach Bob Hartley told the Flames' official website. "I think for him, it was important that he got a feel back for the league, size of the rinks, the shooters.

"We have two great students in net. They work very hard with [goalie coach] Clint [Malarchuk], they watch tape, they look at other team's lineup, they work on the ice. It's nice. Plus I think our total team game is getting better also."

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Quote of the Day

I first met him when I was 19 years old and he coached me for 13 consecutive years. I don't know how many athletes who have had that pleasure. Al Arbour was a man that left us not only feeling like champions, but left us with a lot of great memories that we can carry on through life.

— Islanders Hall of Fame defenseman Denis Potvin on former coach Al Arbour, who passed away Friday at the age of 82