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Posted On Tuesday, 02.10.2015 / 1:50 PM

By Alain Poupart - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Ducks at Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Anaheim Ducks will turn to veteran goalie Ilya Bryzgalov when they face the Florida Panthers on Tuesday after placing goaltender Frederik Andersen on injured reserve.

Bryzgalov has struggled since joining the Ducks on Dec. 9, going 1-3-1 with a 3.95 goals-against average and an .859 save percentage but he's coming off his best start of the season. He made 32 saves in regulation and overtime in a 3-2 shootout loss against the Washington Capitals on Feb. 6.

To replace Andersen the Ducks recalled opening-night starting goalie John Gibson from the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League. Gibson went 2-2-0 with a 2.28 GAA and a .927 save percentage in four games with the Ducks before sustaining a groin injury in pregame warmups Nov. 2.

Gibson missed 21 games before being reassigned Dec. 17 to Norfolk, where he is 6-3-2 with a .935 save percentage in 11 games.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said the decision to go with Bryzgalov instead of Gibson was pretty simple.

Posted On Thursday, 02.05.2015 / 1:24 PM

By Alain Poupart - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Kings at Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers will be without captain Willie Mitchell when they face the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday in a battle of teams looking to make a late-season push for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Mitchell, who joined the Panthers as a free agent last July after helping the Kings win the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014, sustained an upper-body injury in a 4-2 victory against the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

To replace the veteran defenseman, Florida recalled Steven Kampfer from the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League.

Kampfer has played in 61 NHL games, but the most recent came March 31, 2012, when he was a member of the Minnesota Wild. The opponent that night also was Los Angeles.

Posted On Thursday, 01.29.2015 / 2:36 PM

By Alain Poupart - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blue Jackets at Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. — Injuries continues to be an issue for the Columbus Blue Jackets, but they'll have veteran center Artem Anisimov back in the lineup Thursday night against the Florida Panthers.

Anisimov will return after missing 23 games because of a torn triceps. Anisimov, who has two goals and four assists in 16 games, hasn't played since Nov. 29 against the Nashville Predators.

"Obviously it gives us depth and it gives us experience down the middle," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "Getting [Anisimov] back, we know what he can bring to this team. He can bring some offensive skill, good penalty killer, lots of different things. [He] plays the game smart positionally, so he's a guy that's relied upon."

This will be the first time all season that the Columbus lineup will include the team's four projected centers.

Posted On Tuesday, 01.27.2015 / 1:16 PM

By Alain Poupart - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Red Wings at Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Detroit Red Wings and Florida Panthers, who were headed in opposite directions before the All-Star break, will play Tuesday at BB&T Center.

The Red Wings will be looking to extend their season-best five-game winning streak when they visit the Panthers, who are trying to end their season-worst four-game skid.

The Panthers also need to win to make up ground in the Eastern Conference standings.

Florida (20-14-10) is ninth in the Eastern Conference, seven points behind the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals. Florida has played four fewer games than Boston and two fewer than Washington.

Detroit (27-11-9) is tied for the second-most points in the Eastern Conference with the New York Islanders, although New York has a game in hand.

"When you look at that over the break, we're seven points back now," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "Even though we've got four games in hand, we've got to win those games. We've got to make sure we're battling hard. The next 10 games are real big. We've got to battle hard, we've got to stay in that race. If we're going to be a playoff team, we've got to make sure we're winning some hockey games."

Posted On Saturday, 01.17.2015 / 1:19 PM

By Alain Poupart - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Oilers at Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Edmonton Oilers will be looking for that elusive road victory Saturday night when they face the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center, and they also will be looking for some scoring from somebody other than red-hot Benoit Pouliot.

Pouliot has scored Edmonton's past five goals over the past three games, including a 4-2 loss against Florida on Sunday, and road losses against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.

Since returning after missing 16 games because of a broken foot, Pouliot has seven goals in seven games. He has six goals during a four-game goal streak.

"Sometimes that happens when a player gets injured and gets some time from the game and mentally he's refreshed," Oilers coach Todd Nelson said after the morning skate. "He's playing a solid two-way game, but the most noticeable thing is that he’s hungry around the net and he's going to the net hard and he's creating traffic. But also he's following his shot to the net or if there's a shot to the net he goes to the net and stops and tries to bang in rebounds, and he's really tenacious on the puck."

Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 2:00 PM

By Alain Poupart - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Avalanche at Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers will play at home Thursday for the first time in 2015 and look to rebound from a disappointing ending to what otherwise was a successful road trip.

The Panthers will face the Colorado Avalanche at BB&T Center fresh off a six-game road trip on which they went 4-2-0. The trip featured Florida's first three-game winning streak of the season, but ended with an 8-2 loss against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

To make matters worse, problems with a charter plane caused the Panthers' return home Wednesday to be delayed four hours.

The game against Colorado begins a five-game homestand sandwiched around the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game.

"We feel good," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said after the morning skate. "We had a good loose practice this morning to get ready for tonight. We finished 4-2 on a tough road trip that we played real well on for the most part. We're looking forward to tonight's game and the next two games and then we get a nice break after that. Hopefully we can carry the momentum and play real well at home."

Posted On Wednesday, 12.31.2014 / 10:06 AM

By Alain Poupart - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Rangers at Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Brothers Jimmy Hayes and Kevin Hayes will face each other in the NHL for the first time Wednesday when the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers play New Year's Eve for the second consecutive season.

Jimmy Hayes is second on the Panthers with 10 goals, including three in the past three games.

Kevin Hayes, who followed Jimmy at Boston College, is tied for 11th among NHL rookies with 13 points. He had a goal Monday in Rangers' 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars.

That defeat snapped New York's eight-game winning streak, their longest in 40 years.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.30.2014 / 7:13 PM

By Alain Poupart - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canadiens at Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Florida Panthers coach Gerard Gallant will be facing his former team for the first time Tuesday when the Montreal Canadiens come to BB&T Center for their traditional holiday visit.

Gallant was an assistant coach for the Canadiens the past two seasons before being hired by the Panthers on June 21.

"It'll be good," Gallant said after the Panthers' optional morning skate. "The coaching staff and the staff over there, I know them real well, and some of the players. Obviously it's nice to see those people back, good people I had a great time with."

Posted On Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 1:34 PM

By Alain Poupart - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Capitals at Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The surging Florida Panthers will have forwards Aleksander Barkov and Scottie Upshall back in the lineup Tuesday when they face the Washington Capitals at BB&T Center.

Upshall missed the past nine games because of an ankle injury; Barkov, the second pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, missed six games with a hand injury.

"It's been a few weeks and I'm feeling good," Upshall said after the morning skate. "I've been practicing, had some good skates and I feel ready. It's nice to jump back in the mix, especially when the team is playing good."

Posted On Saturday, 12.06.2014 / 12:45 PM

By Alain Poupart - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sabres vs. Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. — Center Dave Bolland, one of the Florida Panthers’ most significant free-agent acquisitions of the summer, could make his return to the lineup Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres.

Coach Gerard Gallant said Bolland, who hasn’t played since Oct. 17 because of a lower-body injury, was a game-time decision for the matchup at BB&T Center.

"He’s played [four] games for us this year and that’s not enough," Gallant said. "We want him healthy and playing the way he can play. It might take a little while because he’s missed so much time, but he’s a character guy that’s a leader and competitor and he’s a bit of a dirty player, too. You like that."

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Quote of the Day

We don't know how long Carey will be out, but for us, it's business as usual.

— Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien on goaltender Carey Price, who is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury
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