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Posted On Wednesday, 11.26.2014 / 1:53 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Hurricanes at Panthers

The Florida Panthers will be without forward Scottie Upshall against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, according to the Miami Herald, one of several lineup changes.

Upshall will be out at least a week with an apparent ankle injury, the Herald reported. The Panthers will also scratch forward Jimmy Hayes and defenseman Colby Robak.

Forwards Tomas Fleischmann and Vincent Trocheck and defenseman Dylan Olsen will reenter the lineup to fill those voids.

Goalie Roberto Luongo is expected to get the start as the Panthers seek their first win in three games. They lost 4-1 at home Monday to the Minnesota Wild after returning from a four-game road trip against Western Conference teams.

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.26.2014 / 1:52 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Capitals at Islanders

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin practiced Wednesday morning and said he's good to go against the New York Islanders.

Ovechkin skated with regular center Nicklas Backstrom and wing Tom Wilson during the morning skate, one day after leaving practice with an upper-body tweak. When the skate was finished, coach Barry Trotz said he expects Ovechkin to play tonight, according to the Washington Post.

"I feel good," Ovechkin said after practicing in video the Capitals posted on their website. "One part of my body didn't feel great [Tuesday]. It's better today, so I'm in."

A healthy Ovechkin and his Capitals are turning their attention to the Islanders, who are currently tied atop the Metropolitan Division with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"It's like a playoff mentality right now for us," Ovechkin said. "They're playing well right now, and it's going to be a huge opportunity for us to check how good we are, and how we can handle the pressure."

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.25.2014 / 5:36 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Flames at Ducks

Calgary Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller returns to Anaheim on Tuesday when the Flames play the Anaheim Ducks attempting to break an 18-game regular-season losing streak at Honda Center.

Hiller spent the first seven seasons of his NHL career with Anaheim, where he was 162-110-32 with a 2.51 goals-against average and .916 save percentage. Hiller won 29 games last season to help the Ducks to the best record in the Western Conference and the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, where they lost to the Los Angeles Kings in seven games. Hiller was benched in favor of Frederik Andersen to start the playoffs. He regained the No. 1 spot because of an injury to Andersen before the Ducks turned to John Gibson against the Kings.

Signed by the Flames to a two-year contract on July 1, Hiller is 9-5-1 with a 2.45 GAA, .914 save percentage and one shutout in 15 games (14 starts). He is hoping for a positive reaction in his return to Anaheim.

"I always enjoyed being here," Hiller told the Flames website. "The fans were great to me, and there was always support. The Ducks made a name for themselves in California and it was nice to be a part of that. It's definitely going to be a little more special, but in the end I'll just try to focus on the game and hopefully play as good as I can."

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Posted On Monday, 11.24.2014 / 3:36 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Wild at Panthers

Goalie Niklas Backstrom will start for the Minnesota Wild on Monday when they conclude a three-game road trip against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center.

The Wild had a four-game winning streak snapped Saturday at the Tampa Bay Lightning. Goalie Darcy Kuemper had a 1.60 goals-against average during the win streak, but Backstrom will make his first start since Nov. 16, when he was pulled after allowing three-period goals in an eventual 4-3 Minnesota win against the Winnipeg Jets.

Backstrom is 5-0-1 with a 1.95 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in six career starts against the Panthers.

"We've got to make sure that we're keeping him involved and giving him the opportunity to show he can come in and win hockey games," coach Mike Yeo told the Wild website. "This was something that was on the schedule and we had aimed for, but it wasn't just an easy decision, not because of [Backstrom], but because of Kuemper."

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Posted On Monday, 11.24.2014 / 12:07 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live welcomes Mike Rupp in studio

NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek is on the air at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network.

Mike Rupp, who has played in 610 NHL games with the New Jersey Devils, Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild, Phoenix Coyotes, New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets, will join us in studio to discuss his career.

NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose also joins the show to share his coaching moves of the week, and discuss the passing of legendary NHL and international coach Pat Quinn.

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Posted On Friday, 11.21.2014 / 1:22 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Stars center Spezza to join NHL Live

NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will talk to Dallas Stars center Jason Spezza after he signed a four-year contract extension on Friday.

Barry Melrose will join us to hand out his Mullet of the Week, and we'll also count down our Top 10 plays of the week and give our weekly power rankings.

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Posted On Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 11:32 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Cale Morris added to U.S. Junior Select Team

Chicago Steel goaltender Cale Morris was the final member chosen for the United States Junior Select Team that will compete in the 2014 World Junior A Challenge in Kindersley, Saskatchewan, Dec. 14-20.

The U.S. has won five of the past six tournaments with the exception of 2011, when it won a bronze medal. Canada West defeated Canada East in the 2011 gold medal match.

Morris, a native of Larkspur, Colo., is in his second season in the United States Hockey League. He is 5-3-1 with a 3.07 goals-against average and .907 save percentage. The 18-year-old has won each of his past four starts, and four of his five victories this season have come on the road. Morris, who is eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, last season was one of the youngest goalies in the USHL and finished 13-5-1 with a 2.93 GAA, three shutouts and a .910 save percentage for the Steel.

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Posted On Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 11:08 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live previews 11-game Thursday

NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, sets up an 11-game Thursday by going out to Bell Centre via Arena Cam to welcome in Darren Pang who will analyze the St. Louis Blues matchup with the Montreal Canadiens.

The Toronto Maple Leafs try to snap a losing streak against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and we'll check in via Arena Cam at Air Canada Centre with Darren Dreger on the latest happenings with the Maple Leafs.

Recent Foster Hewitt Memorial Award winner Pat Foley will join the show to preview the Chicago Blackhawks annual "Circus Trip," which starts Thursday night against the Calgary Flames.

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.19.2014 / 12:08 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live previews Rangers-Flyers

NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will welcome Eddie Olczyk in the studio Wednesday.

The New York Rangers host the Philadelphia Flyers in the latest edition of Wednesday Night Rivalry, and NBCSN analyst Pierre McGuire will join us via the Arena Cam at Madison Square Garden at 6 p.m. to preview this matchup.

Chase DeLeo of the Portland Winterhawks will appear on the show at 6:15 p.m. for the Prospect Report segment and to promote Portland's game to be televised Friday on NHL Network.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.18.2014 / 6:35 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Blackhawks forward Richards reflects on long career

Chicago Blackhawks center Brad Richards played in his 1,000th NHL game Sunday. He was a guest of NHL Live to discuss the milestone and the season to date.

Playing on a line with Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg, Richards had two assists and five shots on goal in Chicago's 6-2 win against the Dallas Stars at United Center. He was honored in a pregame ceremony and presented a silver stick by the Blackhawks.

"I love playing the game," Richards said. "To be able to play in the NHL and still be around the game, you guys get to see it and talk to people, this game is the greatest with the great people you meet. My whole life has revolved around it and I owe everything to hockey."

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Quote of the Day

I don't know how he does it. I don't know how he gets his body parallel with the player and pulls it through his legs like that. I know he's tried it a couple times in practice and it's never worked, so how he does it in a game, it's incredible.

— Capitals defenseman Mike Green on teammate Alex Ovechkin's highlight-reel goal against the Devils on Saturday