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Posted On Tuesday, 12.03.2013 / 2:06 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Maple Leafs without Kadri as Sharks pay visit

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without center Nazem Kadri when they host the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday at Air Canada Centre.

Kadri left the team Tuesday morning following a death in the family. Forward Peter Holland will take his place in the lineup and center the second line between Mason Raymond and Nikolai Kulemin.

With Kulemin playing on the second line, right wing David Clarkson will slide down and play on Toronto's third line. He'll line up with center Trevor Smith and left wing Carter Ashton.

"I know some people perceive it as a demotion and we didn't look at it that way," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "We look at it as trying to add some balance to our lineup and with Trevor Smith playing very well for us, we thought that that would be a boost for Clarkson."

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Posted On Friday, 11.29.2013 / 1:05 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

D'Agostini looking forward to fresh start with Sabres

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres will have a new face in the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night.

Forward Matt D'Agostini, who was acquired off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, will make his Sabres debut. Mikhail Grigorenko will be scratched to make room for him up front.

"[I'm] obviously very excited," D'Agostini said about being picked up by the Sabres. "The thought of someone wanting you. It's just another new story for me, so hopefully I'll get off to a good one tonight."

D'Agostini will be on the second line with center Ville Leino and Sabres captain Steve Ott.

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.27.2013 / 1:36 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sabres' Miller faces Canadiens' Price in top matchup

BUFFALO -- The matchup between the Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday at First Niagara Center features a pair of goaltenders who might represent his country at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Sabres coach Ted Nolan confirmed Ryan Miller would get the start in goal against Carey Price of the Canadiens. Miller was the U.S. starter at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and is vying for a spot on the 2014 roster for Sochi, and Price is in the mix to start for Canada.

"They're both playing extremely well since the beginning of the season," Canadiens forward Daniel Briere said. 'I don't think they see it that way. What's important for both of them, I'm sure, is to get a win, get their team on the winning side. They're both very competitive."

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Posted On Sunday, 11.24.2013 / 4:15 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Red Wings' Datsyuk 'seems to be doing fine'

BUFFALO – The Detroit Red Wings head into their game Sunday against the Buffalo Sabres without center Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk was injured Saturday night after taking an elbow to the head from Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen.

Datsyuk did not travel with the team to Buffalo. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he texted him saying only, "He seems to be doing fine."

No further update on Datsyuk's status was updated.

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Posted On Saturday, 11.23.2013 / 1:25 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Grabovski excited for return to Toronto with Capitals

TORONTO -- When the Toronto Maple Leafs face the Washington Capitals at Air Canada Centre on Saturday night, it will mark Mikhail Grabovski’s first game in Toronto since being bought out by the Maple Leafs in July.

"Oh yeah, he's very excited," Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said about Grabovski playing against his old team. "He told me it's a strange feeling to come back in a different way, different locker room. He's excited. It's nice to see the guy who wants to improve and wants to show how good he is."

Grabovski is third on the Capitals with 19 points, trailing Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. He struggled last season with the Maple Leafs, collecting 16 points in 48 games.

"He's done a great job, he really has," Capitals coach Adam Oates said. "Anytime you make a change, for him coming to a new system, new team, it takes a little while to get going. I think what really helped him was obviously opening night, he had a great night. Since then, he's fit in with his linemates and done a great job."

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Posted On Thursday, 11.21.2013 / 2:05 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Kadri restored to top line in return to Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs will have Nazem Kadri back in their lineup Thursday against the Nashville Predators.

After serving a three-game suspension for an illegal hit on Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, Kadri will play on the top line with James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel.

"It's a little bit tough when guys keep going down. Lines are always changing," Kadri said. "It's not like you can play with the same guys consistently over a few weeks. It seems like we're together for a couple of games, something happens and you've got to mix it up."

In 18 games Kadri has five goals and 14 points, putting him fifth on the team. He joins the team's top two scorers on the first line.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:45 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Islanders' Grabner to sit out against Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders will have some lineup changes when they meet Tuesday at Air Canada Centre.

Thomas Vanek skated with the team during the morning skate but will remain out of action with an upper-body injury. Joining him in the press box will be Michael Grabner, who took line rushes with Vanek and defenseman Radek Martinek but will be a healthy scratch. Grabner has gone 18 games without a goal and without a point in 12 games.

"I had a good talk with him," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "Sometimes when you're squeezing your stick and things just don't seem to go your way, sometimes it's good to take a step back. I normally don't talk about conversations with players that I have with [the media], but [Grabner] is going to be fine for us."

The Islanders enter the game having won just two of their past seven games.

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Posted On Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 12:37 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Holland will play for Maple Leafs after trade

TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs made a trade to help their injury and suspension-addled center position and found a familiar partner to work with -- the Anaheim Ducks.

The Maple Leafs traded minor league defenseman Jesse Blacker along with 2014 third and seventh-round draft picks for forwards Peter Holland and Brad Staubitz. Troy Bodie was sent to the American Hockey League to make room for Holland.

Holland will be in the lineup Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres and will likely be on one of the top two lines.

"He's a big, young, skilled center ice man," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "He's been able to provide offense at the junior level and the American Hockey League level and he's going to get an opportunity to play with some of our better players."

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Posted On Friday, 11.15.2013 / 1:37 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Nolan shifts Sabres' lines for first game of return

BUFFALO -- Ted Nolan's first game as interim coach of the Buffalo Sabres will be one loaded with potential storylines as they host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday.

The Sabres worked through drills during the morning skate after a vigorous practice Thursday. There will be a few notable switches in the team's lineup as Zemgus Girgensons and Ville Leino will play center and Marcus Foligno will return to the wing.

"We want to put these players in a position where they feel comfortable so there's no excuses," Nolan said of the moves.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.12.2013 / 1:46 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sabres hoping for more production from Leino

BUFFALO -- When the Buffalo Sabres host the Los Angeles Kings at First Niagara Center on Tuesday, Sabres forward Ville Leino will be back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the team's 6-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.

"I've been playing around 10 or 11 minutes and not really [on the] power play so you've got to do the best in your time," Leino said. "I could do a little better, do a little more. I've got another chance to go at it [Tuesday]."

Sabres coach Ron Rolston said he'll use Leino on the power play against the Kings.

"He's a guy we'd like to have in our top six," Rolston said. "He's a guy that we need production out of him to create scoring opportunities for us, whether it's 5-on-5 or power play."

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic