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Posted On Friday, 11.14.2014 / 3:24 PM

By Staff -  / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Islanders at Panthers

The New York Islanders will look to win their fifth straight game when they visit the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., on Friday.

A victory against the Panthers would also tie a franchise record of winning 11 of the first 16 games of the season. The Islanders won 11 of their first 16 four times before (1976-77, 1982-83, 1987-88, 2001-02).

Left wing Josh Bailey, who missed eight games with a hand injury, was activated off injured reserve Thursday and will be back in the lineup against the Panthers, according to the team's website.

"I'm excited," Bailey said. "It felt like a lot longer than it was. It was three weeks. I got to be a part of everything, watch every game and stay in shape the whole time being able to skate. It could have been a worse injury. It's never easy to watch your team play, but I'm happy they did well and I want to get in and contribute."

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Posted On Friday, 11.14.2014 / 1:30 PM

By Staff -  / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blackhawks at Red Wings

DETROIT -- Pavel Datsyuk returns to the Detroit Red Wings lineup after missing the past two games with a sore groin.

Detroit (7-3-5) plays the Chicago Blackhawks (9-6-1) at Joe Louis Arena on Friday.

Datsyuk has five goals and five assists for 10 points in eight games after missing the first five games of the season with a separated shoulder.

"He was playing great when he left, and anytime you get leg injuries or groin injuries, to me, it's not like a shoulder if your legs are going and you come back," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "So we'll see what happens here tonight."

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Posted On Friday, 11.14.2014 / 11:35 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

Hall of Famer Chelios promotes new book on NHL Live

NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, talks to Hall of Fame defenseman Chris Chelios, who is promoting his new book, "Chris Chelios: Made In America." Chelios joins us at 5:30 p.m. via the Arena Cam at Joe Louis Arena where two of his former teams, the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, face off as one of six games on the Friday schedule. Blackhawks analyst Eddie Olczyk will also appear to preview the matchup.

NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose will call in at 6:40 to give his "Staying Power Rating" for some of the surprise teams early this season.

We'll also have our regular Friday segments: the top-10 plays of the week and power rankings.

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Posted On Friday, 11.14.2014 / 11:19 AM

By Staff -  / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

World Junior exhibition schedule announced

Before the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship captures the fancy of every hockey fan worldwide, the RBC Road to the World Juniors pre-tournament tour of exhibition games will take place in eight cities over five days.

The exhibition schedule from Dec. 19-23 will include cities outside the two tournament host cities, Toronto and Montreal.

"Toronto and Montreal will be the center of the junior hockey world this December, but we're thrilled to be able to take the excitement of the World Juniors to other communities before the first puck drops on Boxing Day (Dec. 26)," executive director of the 2015 IIHF WJC Pat McEleney said in a statement. "The RBC Road to the World Juniors will be the perfect kick-off to the biggest and best World Junior ever."

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Posted On Thursday, 11.13.2014 / 5:23 PM

By Staff -  / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Stars at Kings

The Dallas Stars signed forward Ales Hemsky to a three-year, $12 million contract on July 1 shortly after acquiring linemate Jason Spezza from the Ottawa Senators. The hope was the reunion would provide a spark to Hemsky's game and give the Stars a formidable top six.

In the Oct. 9 opener against the Chicago Blackhawks, Hemsky skated with Spezza on the second line. Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center, he could be a healthy scratch if forward Cody Eakin returns from an upper-body injury.

"[Hemsky] is going to be a game-time decision," coach Lindy Ruff told the Stars website. "We don't know if Eakin is going to be ready. I've asked him to put in a little extra work."

Hemsky has one assist in 15 games. During a 14-game pointless streak he has 19 shots on goal, with eight coming in one game. Ruff said he believes there's "a lot of frustration in his game" because he hasn't finished on his scoring opportunities.

"It just doesn’t go in and you have to stick with it," Hemsky said. "You just have to focus on your effort, work hard. If you aren't scoring you just have to do different things. You want to be a positive factor, helping scoring-wise."

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Posted On Thursday, 11.13.2014 / 3:26 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Sting center Zacha suspended two games by OHL

Sarnia Sting center Pavel Zacha, an A-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list, was suspended two games by the Ontario Hockey League on Thursday for an incident that occurred in a loss to the Niagara IceDogs on Nov. 8, according to the OHL website.

Zacha, who has seven goals, nine points and a plus-2 rating in his first season with the Sting, was given a match penalty for a slew foot that took place six minutes into the game against the IceDogs. Zacha will be eligible to return to the lineup on Nov. 20 against the Windsor Spitfires.

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Posted On Thursday, 11.13.2014 / 12:19 PM

By Staff -  / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

Bruins' Khokhlachev recalled on emergency basis

The Boston Bruins on Thursday recalled forward Alex Khokhlachev from Providence of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis. He will be available to play Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens.

Khokhlachev, 21, has five goals and six assists in 12 AHL games this season. He made his NHL debut last season, with two penalty minutes and two shots on goal April 13 against the New Jersey Devils.

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Posted On Thursday, 11.13.2014 / 12:02 PM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

Maple Leafs' Holland, referee McCreary on NHL Live

NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, previews the big Central Division game Thursday between the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center. Blues analyst Darren Pang joins the show at 6:15 p.m.

The Hockey Hall of Fame enshrines its 2014 class on Monday. Longtime referee Bill McCreary is among the inductees, and we'll speak to him by phone at 5:40 p.m.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Peter Holland, who has goals in three straight games, will also be on the program at 5:20 p.m.

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.12.2014 / 6:55 PM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

Faulk discusses keys to Hurricanes turnaround

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk was a guest of NHL Live to discuss the team's current hot stretch.

The Hurricanes are 5-0-1 since starting the season 0-6-2 and host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.

"I think we're just playing together as a team," Faulk said. "We've kind of had the system in place since the start of training camp, but I think we're starting to understand it and come together more. When we have 20 guys that show up and compete for 60 to 65 minutes every night, good things have been happening for us. We've been pretty happy with the month so far."

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.12.2014 / 6:45 PM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

Flames' Giordano on surprising start, chemistry

Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano joined NHL Live to discuss his strong start to the season and the surprising success of the Flames, who are 9-6-2 and in third place in the Pacific Division.

"It's been a good start," Giordano said. "As a team I think we're playing a high pace style of play and moving the pucks forward. The defensemen on our team pressure the puck so much on the back check that we can jump in as D-men when there's turnovers. That's been huge for me and [T.J. Brodie], but as well as our other D. [Kris Russell] and [Dennis Weidman] and [Ladislav Smid] have been really good at moving the puck up the ice and jumping in.

"It's been tough in the NHL these days to score off the rush so you need that second wave and I think we've done a good job of it this year."

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Quote of the Day

It's a date that's been circled on my calendar, so it's kind of nice to have it here and get it over with (Thursday). This is a little bit of the closing of the book on the move. That's kind of how I'm looking at it.

— Stars forward Jason Spezza on returning to Ottawa for the first time to face the Senators