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Posted On Tuesday, 03.18.2014 / 1:44 PM

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

Abdelkader injury leads Red Wings to shift Smith

Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader will miss two weeks after cutting his leg against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, the latest addition to a season-long list of walking wounded for the club.

Forward Todd Bertuzzi could return to the lineup after dealing with a lower-body injury. But in the most compelling testament to how depleted Detroit's lineup is, coach Mike Babcock has decided to move defenseman Brendan Smith to left wing in an effort to jump-start the offense when the Red Wings host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

"Why? Because I think it gives us the best chance to win," Babcock said. "With the amount of injuries we have, we feel that gives us the best opportunities."

Posted On Tuesday, 03.18.2014 / 12:48 PM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live previews Roy's return to Montreal

NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, previews a Tuesday night full of action with 24 of 30 teams playing.

The Montreal Canadiens welcome in the Colorado Avalanche and coach Patrick Roy, who won the first two of his four Stanley Cups and became a legend at his position playing for the Habs. We'll look at his top five moments for the franchise and also go out to Bell Centre on the Arena Cam to talk to Arpon Basu, managing editor of

The Philadelphia Flyers host the Chicago Blackhawks on NBCSN in a rematch of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, and we'll get a live report from the Arena Cam at Wells Fargo Center from senior writer Dan Rosen.

Our Slap Shots segment will focus on a question from each of the 12 games scheduled Tuesday.

Posted On Monday, 03.17.2014 / 6:55 PM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

Melrose helps contenders find their 'Pot of Gold'

NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose joined NHL Live to discuss what contending teams need to do to find their "Pot of Gold," in other words what they need to accomplish to get to the ultimate prize of winning the Stanley Cup.

For the St. Louis Blues, who lead the race for the Presidents' Trophy with 99 points, their pot is full and it's now a matter of guarding it.

"The St. Louis Blues are playing great," Melrose said. [Ryan] Miller and [Steve] Ott have really given them another gear and more depth, so the Blues don't have to change a thing. They gotta get over the [Vladimir] Tarasenko [hand injury] without any bumps on the road, but certainly a great team right now playing great."

Posted On Monday, 03.17.2014 / 11:52 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

Hradek returns to NHL Live, Pang previews Jets-Blues

E.J. Hradek is back with Steve Mears to co-host NHL Live at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network. To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, E.J. and Steve will take a look at the Top 5 luckiest goals this season.

NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose also joins the show to help contending teams find their "Pot of Gold," and Darren Pang will be live from Scottrade Center to preview the game between the Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues.

Posted On Sunday, 03.16.2014 / 3:31 PM

By Staff -  / - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

TOR @ WSH - 6:57 of the First Period

At 6:57 of the first period in the Maple Leafs/Capitals game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that Joel Ward's shot deflected off of Jason Chimera's skate and into the Toronto net in a legal fashion. According to Rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal." Good goal Washington.

Posted On Saturday, 03.15.2014 / 3:04 PM

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

Ristolainen back with Sabres, in for Myers

The Buffalo Sabres recalled defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen mus from Rochester of the American Hockey League on Saturday and he will take the place of Tyler Myers against the New York Islanders.

Myers sustained an upper-body injury Friday in a 4-2 road loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Defenseman Alexander Sulzer also was injured following a hit from Jiri Tlusty and will be out at least a week.

Ristolainen was the Sabres' first-round selection (No. 8) in the 2013 NHL Draft. It will be his first NHL action since Nov. 16.

Posted On Friday, 03.14.2014 / 2:24 PM

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

Struggling Red Wings not taking Oilers lightly

The Detroit Red Wings have lost four of five in March, scoring six goals in those four losses. They're also entering a crucial stretch in which 13 of their final 17 games will be against teams that occupied a Stanley Cup Playoff spot entering play Friday.

So a visit from the Edmonton Oilers, against whom the Red Wings have gone 11-0-1 since the start of the 2010-11 season, might be a good way to break out of that slump. But the Red Wings are not taking their opponent likely, especially with the Oilers posting a 3-2-1 record in March.

"It doesn't matter who you're playing, you can't take a night off. In today's day and age in the NHL anyone can beat anyone on any given night. You have to get ready and prepared the same way no matter who you're playing," goaltender Jimmy Howard told "We have got to win games. There's nothing else you can say."

Posted On Friday, 03.14.2014 / 1:34 PM

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

Sundstrom to make NHL debut for youthful Islanders

Forward Johan Sundstrom, who was called up Thursday from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League, and defenseman Kevin Czuczman, who was signed Tuesday after completing his season with Lake Superior State University, each skated with the New York Islanders on Friday.

Sundstrom will make his NHL debut Friday when the Islanders host the San Jose Sharks.

Islanders coach Jack Capuano said Czuczman would play his first game for the Islanders soon. Sundstrom skated on the right wing during practice, alongside Casey Cizikas and Mike Halmo.

"I am very excited," Sundstrom told the Islanders website. "This is why you work so hard every day. Now I have an opportunity here so I am happy to be here and I'll hopefully get some points. I try to be a solid two-way player. I like to be physical and shoot the puck and skate a lot."

Posted On Friday, 03.14.2014 / 12:21 PM

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

Canucks forward Kesler out 'a couple of weeks'

Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler has a sprained knee and is out "at least a couple of weeks," coach John Tortorella said Friday.

Kesler left a 3-2 shootout win against the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday after sustaining the injury in a knee-on-knee collision with Jets forward Jim Slater late in the second period.

"Nothing we can do about that. Upside is that it gives others an opportunity," Tortorella said.

Posted On Friday, 03.14.2014 / 12:21 PM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live checks in on final day of Gretzky camp

NHL Live with Steve Mears and Ken Daneyko, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, previews an eight-game Friday around the League. The marquee matchup of the night involves the Colorado Avalanche visiting the Anaheim Ducks, a game that figures to attract attention as much for the rival coaches, Patrick Roy and Bruce Boudreau, as for the action on the ice.

NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose and NBC Sports analyst Eddie Olczyk join the show for their weekly chat.

Also, on the final day of the Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp, E.J. Hradek will sit down with Rick Tocchet, Hayley Wickenheiser and Wayne Gretzky himself for exclusive interviews.

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Quote of the Day

I'm a hockey player and that's what I love to do. That is what I am here for. Everything else is just a side note.

— Oilers forward Connor McDavid on moving beyond the anticipation of his long-awaited arrival in the NHL