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Posted On Friday, 01.02.2015 / 5:30 PM

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

At the Rink: Canadiens at Devils

Keith Kinkaid faces another tall order Friday in his fourth NHL start.

The New Jersey Devils rookie goaltender should have some reinforcements in front of him.

Kinkaid will start at Prudential Center against the Montreal Canadiens, who have won four straight and seven of eight, and are one of seven teams in the League with at least 50 points.

Kinkaid is 1-0-2 in his first three starts, which have all gone to the shootout. He's seen elite competition already in the Chicago Blackhawks, New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning, all of whom join the Canadiens in the aforementioned 50-point category.

"I actually skated with him one time in the summer. I think he's from the area. He's a great goalie," Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty said Friday of Kinkaid. "Every goalie in this League is capable of putting up big games and he's no different from anyone else. But we just try to worry about our game and not worry about who we're facing."

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Posted On Friday, 01.02.2015 / 1:48 PM

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

At the Rink: Flyers at Hurricanes

Forward Jeff Skinner (flu-like symptoms) will not play for the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday against the Philadelphia Flyers, but center Jordan Staal is back in the lineup after missing the game Wednesday because of precautionary reasons.

Staal returned Monday after missing three months with a broken leg. He had an assist and played 19:01 in a 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, but was rested Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins because he felt pain in his leg. He will center a line Friday with Eric Staal and Elias Lindholm, one coach Bill Peters expects to match against Philadelphia's top line of Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Matt Read.

When asked about how the Hurricanes' lineup dynamic changes with a healthy Jordan Staal, Peters told the Hurricanes website, "Night and day."

"It gives you a match-up center and allows Eric to be a winger," Peters said. "He's a big man, but he spends a lot of time in the offensive zone too. He's a strong man on faceoffs. This is a good faceoff team we're playing against. Giroux and [Sean] Couturier take a lot of them. Now we have a guy who can answer that."

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Posted On Thursday, 01.01.2015 / 2:51 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Toews sets outdoor game scoring record

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- With assist on Brandon Saad’s goal, Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews has the most points (2-3—5, 3GP) in NHL outdoor-game history.

Toews, the Chicago captain, received the primary assist on Chicago's second goal, which was started with a pass from Marian Hossa and finished with a relatively easy conversion by Saad. The goal, at 3:15 of the second period, tied the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at National Park on Thursday.

Toews has played in two other outdoor games: the 2009 Winter Classic at Wrigley Field and the 2014 Stadium Series Game at Soldier Field

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Posted On Thursday, 01.01.2015 / 1:49 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Winter Classic starts on time

WASHINGTON -- The Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals got the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Thursday underway on time in front of a capacity crowd at Nationals Park.

The game-time temperature was 43.3 degrees Fahrenheit. The teams are scheduled to switch sides midway through the first period because of the glare from the sun at third-base end of the ice.

Rock icon Billy Idol performed prior to the start of the game, opening with his hit "Rebel Yell." A flyover took place while the U.S. Army Chorus performed the Star-Spangled Banner.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.01.2015 / 1:42 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Teams to switch ends midway through first period at Winter Classic

Washington, D.C. -- The 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic started on time Thursday, but the NHL decided that the team's would switch ends midway through the first period to minimize any advantage gained from the elements, particularly the glare from the overhead sun.

The Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks will switch the goals being defended at the first whistle after the 10-minute mark of the first period.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.01.2015 / 2:13 AM

By Staff -  / - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Quarterfinal pairings set at WJC

The quarterfinal round of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship will be played Friday in Montreal and Toronto after Canada, Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic won on the final day of preliminary-round games.

The United States (2-1-0-1, eight points), the runner-up in Group A, will open quarterfinal play against Russia (1-1-0-2, five points) at Bell Centre in Montreal at 1 p.m. ET (NHLN-US). Russia, third in Group B, defeated the United States in the quarterfinals at the 2014 WJC in Malmo, Sweden.

Sweden (4-0-0-0, 12 points), which rolled through Group B, will face Finland (1-0-1-2, four points) at 3 p.m. ET at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Finland, which beat Germany to finish fourth in Group A, defeated Sweden in the championship game last year.

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.31.2014 / 1:09 AM

By Staff -  / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Roy gets assist, Oshie scores again

Derek Roy hadn't scored a point for the Nashville Predators since Nov. 22. It took him 4:37 to get one in his first game with the Edmonton Oilers.

Roy (1 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, C), who was traded to the Oilers on Monday, assisted on a first-period goal by Matt Hendricks in a 3-2 shootout win against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

Roy, who left the game briefly in the first period, played 14:53 primarily with Teddy Purcell and Nail Yakupov at even strength. Roy had 2:32 of power-play time.

The 31-year-old had 28 points in 42 games as recently as the 2012-13 season, but he provides little in the peripheral categories and position eligibility. Roy, who had 10 points (one goal) in 26 games with Nashville (none in his last six), maybe can get a scoring boost if he winds up playing with Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle at some point.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.30.2014 / 4:37 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Canada's Comrie to start in goal vs. United States

Goalie Eric Comrie will start for Canada against the United States on Wednesday (4 p.m. ET, NHLN-US,, Hockey Canada announced Tuesday.

Comrie, a Winnipeg Jets prospect, made 17 saves in a 4-0 Canada victory against Germany on Saturday. It has been his only action of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship so far; Zachary Fucale (Montreal Canadiens) started Canada's other two games.

"We like both of our goalies and I thought Zach played well last night," Canada coach Benoit Groulx said Tuesday, according to Yahoo Sports. “But I also think Eric deserves a chance to play tomorrow. We really feel good about both goalies so we don't look further ahead. It's tomorrow [first] and then we’ll address [the rest] after."

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.30.2014 / 3:03 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Rosters named for USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

Kyle Connor of the Youngstown Phantoms and teammates Brock Boeser and Thomas Novak of the Waterloo Black Hawks, highlight a list of 40 prospects invited to compete in the 2015 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at the Mystique Community Ice Center in Dubuque, Iowa, on Jan. 13.

The roster announcement was made Tuesday by the United States Hockey League in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting. Connor, Boeser and Novak are regarded as A-rated skaters on NHL Central Scouting's players to watch list and potential first-round picks at the 2015 NHL Draft.

Boeser, a 6-foot, 192-pound right wing, is tied for fourth in the USHL with 31 points (16 goals, 15 assists) in 23 games. Connor, a 6-1, 182-pound left wing/center, is tied for seventh with 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists). Novak, a 6-foot, 180-pound center, is third on the Black Hawks with 19 points (three goals, 16 assists).

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Posted On Monday, 12.29.2014 / 6:02 PM

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

Wild forward Granlund out four weeks

Minnesota Wild center Mikael Granlund had successful surgery to repair a fractured left wrist, the Wild said Monday. He is expected to make a full recovery and return in about four weeks.

Granlund was injured in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday on a hit from Winnipeg's Dustin Byfuglien. Granlund was placed on injured reserve Sunday.

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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.

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