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Posted On Saturday, 11.23.2013 / 1:13 PM

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

Alfredsson out, Nyquist fills new role for Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson will miss his fifth straight game Saturday with a groin injury. His presence would have contributed in more ways than one when Detroit faces the Ottawa Senators, the team for whom Alfredsson played the previous 17 seasons.

In his absence, Gustav Nyquist has seized a prime opportunity to find a spot on the Red Wings roster. Playing his first game of the season after being called up from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League, Nyquist looked at home Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes. On a line with fellow Swedes Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen, Nyquist scored two goals, including the game-winner, in a 4-3 win against the Hurricanes.

Alfredsson has played at times with Zetterberg and Franzen and was impressed by Nyquist's performance with his new linemates.

"[Gustav] is confident and poised with the puck. He's quick and makes good plays," Alfredsson said Saturday. "Playing with Z and Franzen, he fit in extremely well. He made plays and found open spots. You could tell he was excited. Playing the way he did, he brought energy and made plays."

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Posted On Friday, 11.22.2013 / 10:07 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live: A busy Friday and a special anniversary

Five games on the Friday schedule prepare us for a busy weekend of NHL action, and NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will get you set.

We'll check in on our arena cams from Consol Energy Center, where Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports on the Pittsburgh Penguins hosting the New York Islanders, and Verizon Center for the game between the Washington Capitals and Montreal Canadiens. writer Corey Masisak joins us to discuss this week's Super 16 power rankings, and NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose will call in as well to discuss the current plight of Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella and hand out his Mullet of the Week.

North Dakota captain Dillon Simpson also checks in as part of this week's College Hockey Report. Simpson and his teammates take on Boston University on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. on NBCSN.

Our Flashback Friday feature will go back 10 years to celebrate the inaugural Heritage Classic, when the Edmonton Oilers hosted the Montreal Canadiens.

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.

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Posted On Thursday, 11.21.2013 / 3:38 PM

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

Adam, McNabb to make season debuts for Sabres

Eight days after being hired as interim coach of the Buffalo Sabres, Ted Nolan is starting to put his imprint on the team, which has gone 1-2-0 since he took over.

Buffalo's roster shakeup started in earnest Tuesday when rookies Rasmus Ristolainen and Johan Larsson were assigned to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League and Nikita Zadorov was returned to his junior team, the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.

The Sabres planned to send Mikhail Grigorenko to the AHL for a conditioning assignment, but it was rejected by the NHL so Grigorenko will be back in the lineup Thursday as the Sabres take on the Philadelphia Flyers.

He'll be joined by Luke Adam and Brayden McNabb, both of whom have previous NHL experience but will be making their season debuts for Buffalo on Thursday. Adam made his mark with the Sabres in 2011-12 when he had 10 goals and 20 points in 52 games, but played four games last season.

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Posted On Thursday, 11.21.2013 / 2:08 PM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

Tavares discusses Stadium Series game on NHL Live

The Boston Bruins host the St. Louis Blues on Thursday in a big Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference matchup on NHL Network at 7 p.m. ET, and NHL Live will get you ready for that puck drop and the other games scheduled, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network. We'll also fire up our Arena Cam in Winnipeg and talk to Eddie Olczyk about the Chicago Blackhawks' seven-city, 13-day circus trip, which continues against the Winnipeg Jets.

Tickets are on sale now for the Coors Light Stadium Series games at Yankees Stadium involving the New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils, and we'll talk to Islanders captain John Tavares about this great event. We'll also get NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes, who played for all three teams, about what to expect for a goalie playing outdoors.

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.

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Posted On Thursday, 11.21.2013 / 1:48 PM

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

Nyquist up for Red Wings; Skinner back for Canes?

Gustav Nyquist, recalled Thursday by the Detroit Red Wings from their American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, will skate on the second line Thursday night against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes.

Nyquist is tied for fourth in the American Hockey League with 21 points in 15 games.

"It feels great, obviously, very excited to get in again [Thursday] and it's going to be a fun game to be a part of," Nyquist said. "I'm just going to try to play my game. We all know that we're in need of a win here as a team and obviously we've lost a few in a row up here and at home as well. So that's something we want to change."

Nyquist had three goals and three assists in 22 regular-season games in 2012-13, and two goals and three assists in 14 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

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Posted On Thursday, 11.21.2013 / 1:01 PM

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

Special significance to Berube-Nolan matchup

When the Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers meet Thursday at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia it will be matchup of two teams already on their second coaches of the 2013-14 season.

Though that's notable in itself, there's another reason the meeting of Ted Nolan of the Sabres and Craig Berube of the Flyers stands out. According to the Flyers, this marks the first time two First Nations coaches have run opposing benches.

"It's huge," Nolan said following the Sabres' practice Thursday. "I was pretty happy when I heard Craig Berube was the head coach here. It's really big in First Nation territory back home in Canada. The word spreads quite quick so I'm sure there's a lot of people that are extremely proud and will be watching this game, and think it's really good for the next generation of young kids to see that also. We do have a lot of talented kids out there who just need a little break."

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 4:48 PM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Jones, Galchenyuk still under Olympic consideration

Nashville Predators general manager David Poile, who holds the same role for the United States for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, said he and his staff have trimmed their targeted group of defensemen to 12, and that Predators' 2013 first-round pick Seth Jones is among that group.

"He absolutely does," Poile said in an interview Tuesday with Sportsnet's Fan 590 radio when asked if Jones had a chance of making the team. "We're going to take eight defensemen and we're down to approximately 12 and [Jones] is one of them."

Jones, the fourth pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, has two goals and six assists in 20 games and leads all rookie defenseman with an average ice time of 24:04 per game. He has spent most of the season on the Predators' top pair with Shea Weber, although he recently was pushed back to second pair with Kevin Klein.

Jones also was one of 18 defensemen invited to USA Hockey's National Team Orientation Camp in August.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 2:35 PM

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

Wings to dress seven defensemen against Predators

With forwards Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss still sidelined by groin injuries, the Detroit Red Wings are expected to go with seven defensemen Tuesday when they host the Nashville Predators at Joe Louis Arena.

Brendan Smith, who had been out with a shoulder injury and last played Nov. 2, will return to the lineup.

Alfredsson will miss his third straight game, while Weiss will miss his fifth in a row. reported Weiss probably also will miss the game Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

"I got through practice and I felt pretty good,'' Weiss said. "It's just a matter of getting a couple more in to get the conditioning back and hopefully I'll be ready to go. … Hopefully sometime this weekend, maybe Saturday or Sunday. I would like to play [Tuesday], but it's not my call.''

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 9:40 AM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Koivu to captain Finland's Olympic team -- but which?

A Koivu will captain Finland at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Which Koivu, however, is unknown.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Tuesday that Anaheim Ducks forward Saku Koivu or his younger brother, Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu, will be named captain of the Finnish Olympic team.

"It's a question between the Koivu brothers as to who will be the captain," Finland Olympic coach Erkka Westerlund told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "I've known Mikko since he was this high [holding his left hand four feet off the ground]. … He's a strong leader on our team. He knows what he wants. He can help the teammates play better."

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Posted On Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 5:41 PM

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

Emelin to make season debut for Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin will make his season debut Saturday at Bell Centre against the New York Rangers. The Russian defenseman has been out seven months since undergoing reconstructive knee surgery following a collision with Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins on AprIL 6.

Emelin had the procedure to repair the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee in May. Until the injury, Emelin was enjoying a breakout season in Montreal, establishing career highs in assists (nine), points (12) and plus-minus (plus-2) in his second NHL season.

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Quote of the Day

We have to develop into a good team. We have to develop the pieces now that are a little more evident and in place to become a good team. It's not there yet.

— Sabres coach Dan Bylsma on new Buffalo players working together