Posted On Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 3:44 PM

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

Kings' Brown switched to right wing

Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown doesn't have a goal or a point in his past eight games. In a move to change his fortunes Brown was shifted from left wing to the right side at the Kings' morning skate Thursday.

Brown's last goal was Jan. 13 when he scored the winner against the Vancouver Canucks. Since then the Kings are 2-5-1, and their offense has slipped precipitously. They've scored 13 goals in that eight-game stretch and have one goal or fewer in four straight.

The Penguins held an optional skate Thursday, so predicting the lineup is difficult. However, the Penguins have won three of their past four, including a 3-0 defeat of the Buffalo Sabres on Monday, so it's likely coach Dan Bylsma keeps the same lineup.

There will be one change, however, as Jeff Zatkoff will start in goal. Zatkoff was selected by the Kings in the third round (No. 74) of the 2006 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 3:03 PM

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

Flyers forward Rinaldo returning to lineup

Philadelphia Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo has one goal and one assist in 44 games, but could his return to the lineup be the spark the team has been missing?

Rinaldo last played Jan. 8, when he sustained a sprained ankle. In the three weeks he's missed, the Flyers went 3-5-2. He'll be back in the lineup Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks, likely playing on the fourth line.

The Flyers originally thought Rinaldo would be out more than a month.

"Six weeks definitely wasn't for me, so I cut it in half," he said.

With four games in the next seven days, the Ducks will turn to Frederik Andersen in goal Thursday. It will be the rookie's first start since Jan. 18.

Here are the projected lineups:

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Posted On Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 2:43 PM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Red Wings' Franzen to miss Olympics

Sweden Olympic hockey coach Par Marts said Thursday that Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen will not play for the team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Franzen currently is on injured reserve due to concussion issues. He originally sustained a concussion during a game Dec. 15 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He returned Sunday against the Florida Panthers after missing 16 games, but on Monday was returned to IR due to a recurrence of the concussion issues.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 11:38 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live recaps Rangers-Islanders, talks to Scrivens

Yankee Stadium hosted its second game in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series when the New York Rangers defeated the New York Islanders 2-1 on Wednesday night, and Thursday's edition of NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will look back at that exciting finale in the Bronx.

A special edition of the "E.J. 5" will look back at one of the most amazing goaltending performances turned in Wednesday by Ben Scrivens of the Edmonton Oilers, who stopped all 59 shots by the San Jose Sharks in a 3-0 victory. Scrivens will join us by phone to talk about the game.

We'll also look ahead to a 10-game Thursday that is highlighted by an Original Six rivalry renewed, as the Montreal Canadiens visit the Boston Bruins at 7 p.m. on NHL Network. Analyst Billy Jaffe will join us from the Arena Cam out at TD Garden to preview the game.

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, 01.30.2014 / 10:36 AM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Quintal, Whitmore to serve on Olympic panel

Stephane Quintal of the NHL Department of Player Safety and Kay Whitmore of NHL Hockey Operations will be part of the four-man panel overseeing discipline for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Quintal, who serves as Director of Player Safety, has been with the NHL since 2011. He spent 16 seasons in the NHL, playing 1,037 games with the Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Winnipeg Jets, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks.

Whitmore serves as the League's director of hockey operations and goaltender equipment and has worked for the NHL since 2004. He played 14 seasons professionally, including 155 games in nine seasons with the Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, Bruins and Calgary Flames.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 3:50 PM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Stamkos skates, still hoping for pre-Olympic return

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos often has said he'd like to play at least one game with the team prior to playing for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

However, on Tuesday he said that was the best-case scenario, and he would still consider playing in the Olympics even without an NHL warmup.

"The objective is to play a game," Stamkos said after skating with his teammates Tuesday in Toronto. "That's something I would really love to do. But if that's not the case there's going to be another discussion about whether I'm still going to be on that [Olympic] team. We haven't had that. It's more like we'll cross that bridge when we need to."

Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman, who also serves as executive director of Canada's Olympic team, said much the same.

"If he gets a chance to play in a game, if he's cleared to play, great," Yzerman said. "If not, then depending on what the doctor says and how he feels, is he good to go for the first game of the tournament? He's the only one who really knows that once the doctors give him the green light to play."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 1:09 PM

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

Kessel, van Riemsdyk expected in Maple Leafs lineup

Toronto Maple Leafs forwards Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk each took part in the morning skate Tuesday after missing parts of practice Monday and appear set to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday at Air Canada Centre (7 p.m. ET, TSN).

Jonathan Bernier will start in goal for the Maple Leafs, who are looking to snap a two-game losing streak that followed six consecutive wins. It will be Bernier's first career appearance against the Lightning. Toronto is seven points behind second-place Tampa Bay in the Atlantic Division.

The Lightning will counter with Ben Bishop, whose 26 wins are tied for third in the NHL, one behind Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks and three behind League-leader Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 12:38 PM

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

Red Wings put Franzen back on IR

After one game back, Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen on Tuesday was placed on injured reserve due to a recurrence of concussion issues.

Franzen had an assist in 16:45 of ice time Sunday against the Florida Panthers, his first game after missing 16 with a concussion sustained during a game Dec. 15 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"Any time it's a head injury -- we've been through it a number of times -- they're hard things," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told reporters after the team's morning skate Tuesday. "Obviously [Franzen] thought he was ready and then found out he wasn't.

"He'll be out a few [games] for sure, anyways, and he continues to work with doctors at U-M [University of Michigan]; they'll figure out when he’s available."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 10:56 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

Messier to talk Stadium Series, ice center on NHL Live

NHL Live with Bill Pidto, E.J. Hradek and Kevin Weekes, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, previews an 11-game Tuesday around the League while also checking in on the New York Islanders' practice at Yankee Stadium in preparation for their 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game Wednesday against the rival New York Rangers.

Florida Panthers goalie Tim Thomas makes his big return to face the Boston Bruins at TD Garden for the first time, and we'll welcome in Bruins radio voice Dave Goucher from our Arena Cam to discuss the big night.

In addition, NHL great Mark Messier joins us to talk about the Stadium Series and his new venture, the Kingsbridge National Ice Center.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.28.2014 / 10:14 AM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Islanders' Vanek to captain Austria Olympic team

Thomas Vanek will be the captain for Austria's team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The announcement was made Tuesday by Austria coach Manny Viveiros.

"Vanek is a star player for us and also in the NHL," Viveiros said. "That's enough to make him captain. He is a role model for all young players in Austria."

The 30-year-old New York Islanders forward became the highest-drafted Austrian-born player in NHL history when the Buffalo Sabres selected him with the fifth pick of the 2003 NHL Draft.

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Quote of the Day

It's something that you don't really envision starting this way, but when you put the work in you don't feel like it's unwarranted. You definitely don't envision it unfolding this way, but you do think you can be successful at this level.

— Senators goalie Andrew Hammond, who defeated the Jets on Wednesday to improve to 6-0-1 since making his first NHL start on Feb. 18