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Posted On Saturday, 10.19.2013 / 3:42 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Islanders, Hurricanes finding consistency up front

While their teams were mired in respective early-season three-game losing streaks, Carolina Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller and New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano preached patience. Neither coach felt compelled to make major changes during that time and both teams rewarded that patience with wins Thursday.

After the Hurricanes beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 and the Islanders topped the Edmonton Oilers by the same score, the two teams will face off Saturday on Long Island. The consistency both coaches were praising, even during their losing skids, primarily was regarding new forward combinations installed at the beginning of the season.

Capuano made his mark early this season by breaking up the combinations of captain John Tavares and Matt Moulson as well as emerging forwards Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo. Bailey and Okposo were an explosive pair late last season but both have found success on new lines. Okposo has been skating on the top line with Tavares and speedster Michael Grabner while Bailey has found chemistry on the second line with Frans Nielsen and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. That line opened the scoring Thursday against Edmonton and has provided a spark for the Islanders.

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Posted On Friday, 10.18.2013 / 12:44 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Jets expect to have Kane in lineup against Blues

Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel anticipates forward Evander Kane will be in the lineup Friday against the St. Louis Blues, the team announced through its official Twitter account.

Kane suffered an apparent leg injury in practice on Wednesday and his status had been in question.

Kane will take the pregame warm-up and the team then will make a final decision on his status for the game; however, Kane said he's ready to play.

"I wouldn't say it's 100 percent by any means, but [it is] good enough to play," said Kane, who said the injury is not knee-related. "As long as I can stand up out there I'll play."

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Posted On Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 4:28 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

New-look Predators pose challenges for Kings

Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter admits he has a healthy respect for Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz. Both men are among the longest-tenured and most-respected bench bosses in the NHL, having each coached in over 1,000 games. A picture of consistency since being named Nashville's first head coach in 1998, Trotz has proven himself a formidable foe, even for a Stanley Cup-winning coach like Sutter.

That chess match between these two should be on full display as the Kings visit Nashville Thursday night.

"I don't like coaching against him. He's a good coach," Sutter said Thursday. "Part of the challenge in this League is there are probably about seven, eight really experienced guys that are pretty successful guys, and he's one of them."


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Posted On Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 3:42 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Injuries force Maple Leafs to rely on young players

It may be early in the 2013-14 season, but Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle already is no stranger to being pressed into shaking up his lineup.

Forward Nikolai Kulemin and defenseman Mark Fraser already were nursing injuries when top-line forward James van Riemsdyk encountered back spasms that forced him from the lineup for the Leafs' game Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild.

That back issue again will keep van Riemsdyk out of the game Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes

It's forced Carlyle to be inventive from week to week with his lineup.
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Posted On Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 1:18 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Dubnyk returns to Oilers net

After sitting out the past two games, Edmonton Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk will return as the team's starter Thursday against the New York Islanders.

Edmonton has gone 0-2-1 to start its season-long, six-game road trip, and Dubnyk has come under fire for his lack of stability in the crease.

"He hasn't played as well as we'd hoped," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said Thursday. "I talked to him this morning and he's ready to go out and battle."

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.16.2013 / 7:12 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Lightning recall Connolly from Syracuse

The Tampa Bay Lightning recalled forward Brett Connolly from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, the team announced Wednesday.

Connolly, 21, had one assist in three games with the Crunch and in the preseason was tied for the team lead with four goals in five games.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.16.2013 / 12:18 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Rangers without Del Zotto against Capitals

It appears from the defensive pairings at Wednesday's morning skate that the New York Rangers will be without defenseman Michael Del Zotto for Wednesday night's game against the Washington Capitals.

Del Zotto had the flu and didn't travel with the team to Washington on Tuesday, at which time coach Alain Vigneault said it was doubtful he would play.

Justin Falk, who made his season debut for the Rangers on Saturday against the St. Louis Blues, was on the ice and is likely to take Del Zotto's place in the lineup.


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Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 4:55 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Panthers' Bjugstad returns, Thomas close to returning

The Florida Panthers confirmed that towering center Nick Bjugstad will make his 2013-14 season debut against the Nashville Predators in Music City on Tuesday. Bjugstad suffered a concussion during training camp that forced him to miss the season's first six games. The Panthers went 2-4-0 in those games.

During the morning skate in Nashville, the 6-foot-6 Bjugstad skated on a line with Krys Barch and Tomas Kopecky. In 11 games last season, the 21-year-old Minnesota native collected one goal, no assists and a minus-8 rating.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 4:00 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Howard remains out for Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard, who bruised his glove hand in a 5-2 win Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers, spent extra time working with goaltending coach Jim Bedard before revealing that he was doubtful to play Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

In his stead, backup Jonas Gustavsson will get the start in consecutive days, something he hasn't done since March 10-11, 2012, when he was a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Gustavsson looked sharp making his first start of the season Monday against the Boston Bruins. He made 28 saves, including all three he faced during a third-period 5-on-3 Boston power play, in a 3-2 Detroit win. Tuesday will be Gustavsson's first home start of the season.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 3:08 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blue Jackets' Calvert expected to miss six weeks

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert will miss approximately six weeks after having surgery Tuesday to repair an abdominal injury, the team announced.

Calvert had the procedure performed by Dr. William Myers as the Vincera Institue in Philadelphia.

The 23-year-old left wing, who had been placed on injured reserve Monday, had no points and a plus-1 rating in three games; considered a speedy, tenacious forechecker, he had nine goals and seven assists in 42 games last season.

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Quote of the Day

I think everybody wanted the puck tonight. Everybody wanted to be part of the solution and it reflected on the way we played. It's tiring when you have to chase the puck but tonight was one of those nights where everyone really wanted to make a play and wanted to have an impact on the game.

— Rangers forward Martin St. Louis after a 2-0 win against the Flyers
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