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At the Rink blog
Posted On Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 1:39 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Panthers' Gilbert to miss rest of season

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Veteran defenseman Tom Gilbert's first season with the Florida Panthers is over.

Gilbert, who signed in late September after going to training camp on a professional tryout, underwent sports hernia surgery in Philadelphia on Thursday.

Gilbert had played in all of Florida's first 73 games, totaling three goals, 25 assists and a minus-5 rating. His average ice time of 21:20 is second on the Panthers behind defense partner Brian Campbell, who is averaging 27:17.

"He's been dealing with it for a while and playing through it, having to take therapy and medicine," Panthers interim head coach Peter Horachek said after morning skate in preparation for a game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. "It was to a point where something needed to done."

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Posted On Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 1:21 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Coyotes' Ribeiro, Morris remain scratches vs. Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Phoenix Coyotes coach Dave Tippett will make some changes from the lineup he used for a 3-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, but center Mike Ribeiro and defenseman Derek Morris aren't part of them.

Ribeiro and Morris will be healthy scratches for the second straight game as the Coyotes prepare to play the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Thursday. Phoenix has a three-point cushion over the Dallas Stars for the second Western Conference wild-card position in the Stanley Cup Playoffs while the Devils are five points out of wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Defenseman Connor Murphy, who was recalled from Portland of the American Hockey League on Wednesday, will play for Brandon Gormley, and forward Lauri Korpikoski will be back in the lineup following a two-game absence after he took a puck to the face in the morning skate Monday at Madison Square Garden. Forward Paul Bissonnette, who played against Pittsburgh, will return to the press box as a healthy scratch.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 1:12 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Iginla settled in with Bruins after tumultuous year

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins are home Thursday for a Stanley Cup Final rematch with the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

Right wing Jarome Iginla is scheduled to skate in his normal spot on a line with center David Krejci and Milan Lucic. It's a trio that has played together since the first day of training camp.

What a difference a year makes.

One year ago today Iginla was on his way from the Calgary Flames to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a trade that ended his lengthy run in Alberta and seemingly made the Penguins the odds-on favorite to win the Stanley Cup. Iginla and the Penguins finished their season in the Eastern Conference Final against the Bruins. Ironically, Iginla had picked Pittsburgh rather than Boston when Flames general manager Jay Feaster asked the player to waive his no-trade clause.

It's been a hectic and emotional year since Iginla left Calgary. After the Penguins opted not to bring him back, Iginla signed a one-year contract with Boston in the summer and has scored a team-high 28 goals and emerged as a key cog for a team that's challenging for the Presidents' Trophy. Along the way Iginla has made return trips to Pittsburgh and Calgary and had to adapt to life in a new organization for the second time in a year.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 1:10 PM

By Wes Crosby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Penguins' Zatkoff gets start against Kings

PITTSBURGH -- Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff will start for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

Zatkoff, who was drafted in the third round (No. 74) by the Kings in 2006, has gone 12-2-1 since beginning the season 0-2-0. The Penguins have lost eight of their past 11 games in which No. 1 goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has started. He'll go Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"We started the season with [Zatkoff] and you can look at his first game, and people wondered if he could play," Bylsma said. "He played a second game, I think it was a loss to the [New York] Islanders and you still have those questions. Right now, you look at the wins he's got this year, it's pretty impressive.

"He's played well for us. He's played strong for us. He's won hockey games for us."

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Posted On Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 1:00 PM

By Lonnie Herman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Lightning's Cooper sees Callahan as important piece

TAMPA -- It was an optional morning skate for both teams prior to the Tampa Bay Lightning meeting the New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Times Forum on Thursday, and Lightning coach Jon Cooper was in a reflective mood as he spoke about how his first full season at the helm has changed him.

There have been exceptional ups and downs that Cooper has dealt with, the loss of forward Steven Stamkos to injury for 45 games and the deadline trade of forward Martin St. Louis among others. But the Lightning have maintained an even keel throughout.

"I'm the same person with the same beliefs," Cooper said. "I'm just more experienced now. I guess that's the difference. I'm still the same coach and I have the same feel. I don't know if I would change one thing I've done in the past -- except for maybe the last 20 shootout shooters (the Lightning have gone 0-for-15 in the shootout of late). It's just the experience: life experience and NHL experience. That's what I've really gained about this whole thing."

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 2:55 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Ducks aiming higher after clinching playoff spot

CALGARY -- The Anaheim Ducks clinched a second consecutive Stanley Cup Playoff appearance to little fanfare.

Their sights are set higher.

The Ducks, who kick off a three-game Western Canadian road trip against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday, trail the San Jose Sharks by four points but hold three games at hand in the race for a Pacific Division title.

"We're disappointed we didn't clinch it sooner," said Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau, whose Ducks clinched after the Dallas Stars lost 4-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. "We haven't played well the last 15 games. You take the previous 55 games and you'd think that we would've clinched it sooner. Nobody said anything today [about clinching].

"I don't want to sound like we're bragging, but we should be in the playoffs from what our first 55 games were. Hopefully we're just not going to get into the playoffs. Hopefully we're going to win the division and do some damage."

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 1:47 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Rangers forward Kreider out with hand injury

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider will not play Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers after sustaining a hand injury. He will not accompany the Rangers on their four-game road trip following the game.

Kreider sustained the injury Friday in a 3-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He had one assist in two games after that before being shut down.

The injury will be evaluated in the next few days, according to coach Alain Vigneault, who did not rule out surgery.

"We're still in the process at this time of evaluating our course of action here," Vigneault said. "We will know here in the next couple of days."

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 1:43 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Burrows will play against Wild for desperate Canucks

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- At the conclusion of practice Tuesday, Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella said Henrik Sedin and Alexandre Burrows would not travel for a quick two-games-in-two-nights road trip to Minnesota and Colorado.

What a difference 24 hours makes.

Though nothing changed with Sedin, Burrows not only was on the flight to the Twin Cities, but he will be in the lineup Wednesday when the Canucks play the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

"He skated this morning," Tortorella said. "He is in."

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 8:05 PM

By Wes Crosby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Penguins' Malkin out 2-3 weeks with foot injury

Evgeni Malkin
Center - PIT
GOALS: 23 | ASST: 49 | PTS: 72
SOG: 191 | +/-: 10
PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin will miss 2-3 weeks with a foot injury.

Malkin was injured while in front of the net in his first shift against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. Malkin did not practice Monday, which was said to be due to a day off for the Penguins' Olympians except forward Chris Kunitz.

Bylsma said Malkin will not need surgery.

A past winner of the Hart, Art Ross and Conn Smythe trophies, Malkin did not participate in Pittsburgh's morning skate before its game Tuesday against the Phoenix Coyotes and was replaced by forward Brandon Sutter on the second line between forwards Jussi Jokinen and James Neal.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 3:17 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Oilers' Scrivens moves on from historic game

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens is not one to live in the past.

Scrivens stopped all 59 shots he faced Jan. 29 against the San Jose Sharks, setting an NHL record for most saves in a regulation shutout.

Scrivens will start Tuesday when the Oilers play the Sharks. It's the first time the teams have met since his record-setting effort.

"Honestly, it was a fun game to play in, but that game is behind us," Scrivens said. "We have a game [Tuesday] and I'm not going to be thinking about games in the past, whether it was last night or the last time we played them. It's a game that happened in the past. I'm moving forward."

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Quote of the Day

I don't know how he does it. I don't know how he gets his body parallel with the player and pulls it through his legs like that. I know he's tried it a couple times in practice and it's never worked, so how he does it in a game, it's incredible.

— Capitals defenseman Mike Green on teammate Alex Ovechkin's highlight-reel goal against the Devils on Saturday