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Posted On Saturday, 10.18.2014 / 1:54 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Avalanche at Canadiens

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Thrust right into the action Thursday against the Ottawa Senators after being recalled from the American Hockey League, Calvin Pickard will make his first NHL start Saturday for the Colorado Avalanche.

Pickard will be in goal for the Avalanche at Bell Centre against the Montreal Canadiens after relieving Reto Berra early in Colorado's 5-3 loss in Ottawa.

Berra sustained a neck injury in a goalmouth collision with Senators center Kyle Turris at 2:46 of the first period. He is day-to-day and will not dress Saturday.

Pickard, who joined the Avalanche on Thursday, stopped 23 of 27 shots and was tagged with the loss in his first game in the League. He was called up from Lake Erie of the AHL after No. 1 goalie Semyon Varlamov was placed on injured reserve because of a groin injury.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.16.2014 / 1:27 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Bruins at Canadiens

BROSSARD, Quebec -- After opening their 2014-15 schedule with four straight road games, the Montreal Canadiens finally get to play in front of their fans at Bell Centre on Thursday against the Boston Bruins (7:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, SN360).

Despite a 7-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, the Canadiens are off to a 3-1-0 start after beginning the season with wins against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers.

Montreal has allowed the first goal in each of its past three games and has trailed at some point in every game. The Canadiens were down 3-0 in the third period Saturday in Philadelphia, but they rallied to tie it before winning in a shootout.

"We haven't had good starts in the last couple of games," center Lars Eller said. "We have to turn that around and I think last season that was a bit of a trademark for us, that we really always had good starts, so there's no excuses for that. We've got to come out hard, especially at home, and set the tone."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.20.2014 / 2:50 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Richards, St. Louis lend Cup know-how to Rangers

MONTREAL -- It has been 10 years since Brad Richards won the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The New York Rangers center and linemate Martin St. Louis are enjoying passing along that shared experience to their current teammates.

"This whole playoff it's been fun to do that," Richards said Tuesday in the wake of New York taking a 2-0 series lead against the Montreal Canadiens in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Final. "When I was in Tampa, Marty also, we didn't really have a clue what we were doing. We were first time through it, we were leaning on other people, older people, asking them all the questions, which I think is a lot easier when you're younger.

"Now you know all the things that can happen, and it's a lot harder. But it's fun to try to gather the group and talk about things. This group has come together so much and they ask a lot of questions. They make fun of us a lot too for doing that, but it's fun to try to help out that way."

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Posted On Saturday, 04.12.2014 / 12:38 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Senators' Zibanejad to miss final two games

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators forward Mika Zibanejad will not play either of the final two games of the regular season, including Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Ottawa coach Paul MacLean shed no new light on why Zibanejad was sent to a hospital Thursday at the end of the Senators' 2-1 shootout win against the New Jersey Devils.

Zibanejad assisted on Mike Hoffman's second-period goal Thursday but did not play after his second shift of the third period.

"Well, he was here today and he still has to have further tests going into next, so he's still out of the lineup," MacLean said after Ottawa held an optional morning skate prior to their last game of the season at Canadian Tire Centre.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 1:57 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Devils sticking with Schneider against Senators

OTTAWA -- New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider will make his fifth straight start Thursday against the Ottawa Senators.

Both teams have been eliminated from contention for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. New Jersey's faint hopes were dashed Wednesday when both the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets became the final Eastern Conference teams to secure playoff spots.

"You invest six months of work into a team and into a group and when you don't accomplish what you set out to accomplish it's tough, it's like the air getting let out of a balloon," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said after the team's morning skate at Canadian Tire Centre. "I don't have another description for it."

Three-time Stanley Cup champion Martin Brodeur was disappointed about New Jersey missing the playoffs for a second straight season after leading the Devils to the Final in 2012, where they lost to the Los Angeles Kings in six games.

"I didn't miss the playoffs once in 16 years, 17 years, when I started and now it's been three times out of four years so definitely it gets frustrating a little bit," Brodeur said. "You don't have many chances to win Stanley Cups at my age so you want to at least get into the dance, and now three out of four years we haven't done that here."

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Posted On Friday, 04.04.2014 / 2:04 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Spezza back as Senators face must-win vs. Montreal

OTTAWA -- The Montreal Canadiens have an opportunity to enhance their bid for home-ice advantage in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday against the Ottawa Senators, who will have captain Jason Spezza back in the lineup.

As a bonus, Montreal can deal an all-but-final blow to Ottawa's playoff hopes and exact a measure of revenge for its first-round loss to the Senators last spring.

"It's not something we've really talked about," Canadiens forward Daniel Briere said. "You know it's always big games against Ottawa. Rivalries get created in the playoffs, mostly, so there's some hatred between the two teams, and it's a good thing for us at this point. There's only five games left, but we don't want to let ourselves go and just coast through the last five games.

"A game like tonight, knowing that it's going to be intense, knowing that these guys are fighting for their lives, we'll have to be ready. If we're not, we're going to get outplayed, so it's a good thing to have a game like this tonight."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.02.2014 / 12:43 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Senators' Spezza out for second straight game

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza will not be in the lineup Wednesday against the New York Islanders (7 p.m. ET, TSN).

Spezza took part in the morning skate at Canadian Tire Centre, but will miss his second consecutive game after sitting out Ottawa's 2-1 shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.

The 30-year-old center sustained a lower-body injury during the third period of the Senators' 6-3 win against the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

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Posted On Monday, 03.31.2014 / 12:34 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Senators' Spezza, Cowen out vs. Hurricanes

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza and defenseman Jared Cowen will miss the game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.

Spezza and Cowen each sustained lower-body injuries Sunday during Ottawa's 6-3 win against the Calgary Flames.

The Senators play the third of a five-game homestand Monday, their third game in four days. They host the New York Islanders on Wednesday to begin another run of three games in four days, closing out the homestand against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday followed by a game Saturday against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

"We're trying to keep as many guys healthy as we can to get through the games, but we anticipate by the weekend that we should have both of them available," Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said of Spezza and Cowen. "I think they're both probable for the Islanders game, but at the same time it's probably more realistic for the weekend against Montreal."

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Posted On Sunday, 03.30.2014 / 4:30 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Lehner gets start for Senators against Flames

OTTAWA -- Robin Lehner will start in goal for the Ottawa Senators against the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

Lehner will make his eighth start in nine games despite Craig Anderson's 46-save effort Friday in Ottawa's 5-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Anderson had not started since Mar. 10, when he sustained an upper-body injury in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Nashville Predators.

The Senators, who host the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, began a five-game homestand Friday and are in the midst of a stretch of six games in nine days.

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Posted On Friday, 03.28.2014 / 12:58 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Goaltender Anderson returns for Senators

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators right wing Bobby Ryan underwent successful surgery in Montreal on Thursday to repair a sports hernia, coach Paul MacLean revealed after practice on Friday.

"He should be fine to train any way that he needs to this summer, and that's an important part of getting it done now," MacLean said.

Senators goaltender Craig Anderson will make his first start in eight games against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

Anderson backed up Robin Lehner for Ottawa's past two games against the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning after missing the previous five games because of an upper-body injury he sustained on March 10.

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