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Posted On Saturday, 11.09.2013 / 2:00 PM

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

Thomas activated as Horachek coaches first game

OTTAWA -- Goalie Tim Thomas was activated from injured reserve by the Florida Panthers on Saturday prior to the game against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.

The two-time Vezina Trophy winner led the Panthers onto the ice for the pre-game warm-up. Thomas has won his past nine games at Canadian Tire Centre, all as a member of the Boston Bruins.

Florida interim coach Peter Horachek makes his debut on Saturday. One of the few certainties about his starting lineup is that Jesse Winchester won't be included.

Winchester was suspended for three games Friday for elbowing Boston Bruins forward Chris Kelly in the head in Florida's 4-1 loss at TD Garden on Thursday.

"I didn't know what to expect, really," Winchester said. "It is their ruling. I have to respect it, and live and learn, and move on."

Horachek was promoted from San Antonio of the American Hockey League by Panthers general manager Dale Tallon, who fired coach Kevin Dineen and assistant coaches Gord Murphy and Craig Ramsay on Friday.

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Posted On Thursday, 11.07.2013 / 3:17 PM

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

Canadiens, Senators set to renew intense rivalry

OTTAWA -- The Montreal Canadiens face the Ottawa Senators on Thursday in their first game against an Atlantic Division opponent since opening night.

Montreal has played 15 games, including a dozen against Western Conference teams, without playing a division game since Oct. 1, when they lost their home opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

While the Toronto-Montreal rivalry is the oldest in NHL history, the Canadiens and Senators took their budding rivalry to a new level last spring when Ottawa won their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series in five games in the first modern postseason encounter between the teams.

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said he welcomes the enhanced rivalry against a team that is a two-hour drive from Montreal.

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Posted On Sunday, 11.03.2013 / 12:23 PM

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

Senators hoping to 'dig in' and win against Stars

OTTAWA -- In getting ready to face the Dallas Stars on Sunday, Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean is encouraged that some of his players started "digging in" during their last game, even though the Senators' winless streak reached four in a row.

Ottawa gave up a team-record 57 shots and blew a pair of two-goal leads in a 5-4 shootout loss against the New York Islanders on Friday. The Senators had a 4-2 lead against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday before losing 6-5.

"We didn't cave in and lose the game in regulation, so we got it to overtime and got it to a shootout, so that's what I mean by digging in," MacLean said prior to the game Sunday. "We didn't end up finding a way to lose the game in regulation. We found a way to dig in and at least we got something out of the game. [Sunday] we need to dig in here and find a way to win a game."

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Posted On Friday, 11.01.2013 / 3:02 PM

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

Vanek growing comfortable with Islanders

OTTAWA -- With Thomas Vanek's first game with the New York Islanders under his belt, he is feeling more and more at home with his new team.

Vanek will line up with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo again Friday against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.

Acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday, Vanek did not have a point in a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday in his Islanders debut.

"I've got a wife and three kids, so anytime you throw that in the equation it makes it a little bit harder, but I think this team is really close and they've taken me in and they're making each day more and more comfortable for me," said Vanek, who will play his 600th regular-season game Friday.

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Posted On Sunday, 10.27.2013 / 4:30 PM

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

Stalock gets first NHL start for Sharks

OTTAWA -- San Jose Sharks backup goalie Alex Stalock will make his first NHL start against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday as Antti Niemi finally gets a rest.

Niemi stopped 22 shots Saturday in San Jose's 2-0 win against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre for his second shutout in three games. He has started all 11 games as the Sharks have gotten off to a league-leading 9-1-1 start.

Stalock's three previous games with the Sharks were all relief appearances, including two last season. He missed nearly a year after having surgery to repair a nerve behind his knee that was severed in a minor league game on February 4, 2011, just three days after he won his NHL debut.

San Jose coach Todd McLellan felt that starting Stalock might spur his teammates to summon some extra effort for a strong finish to their eastern swing.

"Time to get him in and this is a great opportunity for him," McLellan said prior to the game Sunday at Canadian Tire Centre. "I'd like to think that our guys will play really hard for him. It might be a good thing for us playing Alex tonight. Back end of a long road trip, back to back, maybe guys will dig in a little bit more and we'll empty the tanks."

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Posted On Friday, 10.25.2013 / 7:46 PM

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

Selanne sits out for Ducks against Senators

OTTAWA -- Teemu Selanne was a scratch for the Anaheim Ducks' game against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Friday.

Selanne, who played in Anaheim's 4-1 loss at the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, is not expected to play games on consecutive days this season. He is four games shy of his 1,400th regular-season NHL game.

Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen made his first career start. He made his NHL debut Sunday with a win in relief of Jonas Hiller.

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Posted On Friday, 10.25.2013 / 1:00 PM

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

Senators look for better showing against Ducks

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators have recent momentum on their side as they get ready to complete their season series against the Anaheim Ducks.

The Senators came up with their strongest effort to date in a 6-1 win Wednesday at the Detroit Red Wings in their first game against former captain Daniel Alfredsson.

Ottawa has won three of its past four games, but the Senators were at low tide when they faced the Ducks on Oct. 13, losing 4-1 in Bobby Ryan's first game back in Anaheim to drop their record to 1-2-2 on their season-opening six-game road trip.

"They took advantage of us not being very sharp," said captain Jason Spezza, who scored twice Wednesday. "We know they lost [Thursday] so they're going to come with a bit of a burr [Friday] too. They're too good a team and good teams always talk about not losing two in a row, so we know they're going to give a good effort, but we feel like we have much better to show them and we hope we can give them a better game [Friday]."

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Posted On Saturday, 10.19.2013 / 4:09 PM

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

Oilers' Hall out of game with knee injury

OTTAWA -- Edmonton Oilers left wing Taylor Hall left his team's game Saturday against the Ottawa Senators in the second period with an injury to his left knee. He will not return.

Hall was called for slashing after he was hit hard by Senators defenseman Eric Gryba at 11:04 of the period. He came out of the penalty box and stayed on the ice briefly before going to the dressing room with 6:42 left in the period.

Hall, the first pick of the 2010 NHL Draft, has three goals and five assists in nine games.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 2:28 PM

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

Senators' Spezza ready for home opener

OTTAWA -- With six road games under his belt, Jason Spezza has had an opportunity to get used to wearing the captain's "C" on his white Ottawa Senators jersey.

On Thursday he gets to trot out his red home jersey as fans at Canadian Tire Centre begin to experience life after longtime captain Daniel Alfredsson when the Senators finally play their home opener, against the New Jersey Devils.

"It'll be special, for sure," said Spezza, who scored a natural hat trick Tuesday in a 4-3 overtime win at the Phoenix Coyotes. "It's the home opener and the first time being announced as captain here so I'm looking forward to it. Like I've said all along, it's a big honor and I'm excited to be able to finally play a home game with the 'C.'"

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Quote of the Day

There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.

— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp