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Posted On Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 2:34 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blackhawks' Teravainen debuts, Bickell close to return

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks steadily are getting healthier as the regular season winds down.

They got forward Brandon Saad back from an upper-body injury Sunday against the Nashville Predators and forward Bryan Bickell is getting close to returning from an upper-body issue.

Bickell joined the Blackhawks for the morning skate Tuesday at United Center, prior to playing the Dallas Stars, and hopes to return to the lineup later this week. He'll make the upcoming three-game road trip and be reassessed at some point during it.

"I'm excited for that," Bickell said. "I wish I was playing now, but [the] reason I'm not playing is to get better. There are a long couple of months coming up [in the Stanley Cup Playoffs], and I need to be 100 percent to help out this team."

Posted On Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 2:10 PM

By John Manasso - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Predators' Jones to miss first game of season

NASHVILLE -- Rookie defenseman Seth Jones, who was the only member of the Nashville Predators to play in every game this season, will miss his first game, due to concussion-like symptoms, Tuesday when the Predators host the Colorado Avalanche at Bridgestone Arena.

Jones sustained the injury Sunday in a 2-0 win against the Chicago Blackhawks when he was on the receiving end of a hard body check along the boards. He logged a season-low 5:48 of ice time and did not return. In his place will be Michael Del Zotto. Del Zotto was a healthy scratch for two of the past three games and played 3:13 in the one he did play when Nashville dressed seven defensemen.

Nashville also has a game Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres but it is unlikely Jones will play in that game either.

Coach Barry Trotz said the Predators would be careful with Jones, the fourth pick of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 2:06 PM

By Staff -  / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Coyotes' Smith day-to-day with lower-body injury

The Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday announced goaltender Mike Smith is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

To replace him on the roster the Coyotes recalled goaltender Mark Visentin from the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis.

Smith was injured in the third period of the Coyotes' 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers when Rangers forward Derick Brassard fell on him. Smith left the game favoring his right leg.

"[Smith] saw the doctor [Tuesday] morning," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett told reporters in Pittsburgh. "He's right now listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Had some tests done [Tuesday] morning. We're going to get the results sent back to our doctors and he'll be evaluated by our doctors when we get home."

Posted On Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 2:02 PM

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

Maple Leafs could get Bernier back in goal

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs may have goalie Jonathan Bernier back against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.

Bernier has been out since March 13 when he left the game against the Los Angeles Kings with a strained groin. The Maple Leafs have lost five in a row in regulation without him. He joined goalies James Reimer and Drew MacIntyre at the morning skate and was the first one off, indicating he may get the start against the Blues.

"It would be huge," Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul said about Bernier. "He's been great for us all year and he's one of the better goalies in the League this year. He's pretty much given us a chance to win every game he's played in this year. It'd be big for us."

When asked if Bernier was ready to play, Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said they were waiting to hear from the medical staff if he was ready to go.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 1:49 PM

By Staff -  / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Price starts for Canadiens, Myers back for Sabres

The Montreal Canadiens didn't get much time to pat themselves on the back after ending the Boston Bruins' 12-game win streak with a 2-1 shootout win Monday.

The Canadiens had to travel home from Boston and are right back at it Tuesday when they host the Buffalo Sabres. They likely will have some lineup juggling to do as well.

Fourth-line forwards Dale Weise and Travis Moen were lost to injury in the first period Monday. Weise was hurt on a first-period hit by Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller and Moen was hurt during a subsequent fight with Miller. Neither returned to the game.

Forward Lars Eller, scratched Monday, could find his way back into lineup, as could forwards George Parros and Ryan White.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 1:39 PM

By Staff -  / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Panthers look to finish season strong

The credo for Florida Panthers is maintaining their focus entering their game Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. The Panthers return home following a 1-3-0 Western trip that ended Sunday with a 6-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

Florida has lost three straight and is 6-14-1 in its past 21 games, while allowing 3.81 goals per game during that stretch. In light of the struggles, interim coach Peter Horachek is counting on his team to end the season on a high note.

"I think it's important for a lot of the young players, and players going forward, that they have a strong finish, that they want to have a strong finish, that there's a focus as a team that we play well going down the stretch," Horachek said following the Panthers' morning skate. "I think it's important for us to play the way we need to play. It's important that we don't lose focus, that we don't lose our way.

"I think leadership on this team is very important moving forward."

Posted On Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 1:10 PM

By Craig Merz - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Callahan latest Red Wings rookie to debut

COLUMBUS -- Left wing Mitch Callahan appears set Tuesday to become the eighth Detroit Red Wings player this season to make his NHL debut when the Red Wings face the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Callahan was called up Monday from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League, while rookie center Landon Ferraro was sent down.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock hedged in committing to play Callahan in the key Eastern Conference showdown at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets trail the Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs by two points for one of the Eastern Conference wild-card spots into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We'll see what's available here [Tuesday], but that's my plan," Babcock said after the morning skate. "He's got some goals in the minors. He's a tough kid. He seems to know how to play. He's a good penalty killer. We're going to watch him, give him an opportunity and see how he does."

Callahan said he was told he would be in the lineup.

"As of right now it looks like I am," he said. "I don't want to jinx anything."

Posted On Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 1:06 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Hurricanes believe playoffs remain possible

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Coming off a 3-2 road win against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, the Carolina Hurricanes are clinging to the fringe of Stanley Cup Playoff contention in the Eastern Conference. And as long as they are, coach Kirk Muller expects to see Carolina's best.

"There's a lot of fight left in our guys," Muller said. "Our basic message from the Olympics on has been, 'One game at a time.' With the exception of one or two games we feel like we've been playing really good hockey. There's still an avenue to make [the playoffs]. And as long as there is, let's keep slugging it out."

Posted On Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 12:58 PM

By Adam Vingan - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Capitals' Ovechkin stuck in even-strength drought

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Goal-scoring droughts of any kind are unfamiliar to Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin.

The 28-year-old remains comfortably atop the NHL goal-scoring leaderboard with 46, but it has been a while since he padded that total 5-on-5.

Since returning from the 2014 Sochi Olympics Ovechkin has scored one even-strength goal: The game-winner in Washington's 5-4 victory against the Florida Panthers on Feb. 27.

Ovechkin has gone the past 12 games without a goal at even strength. If he does not score one against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, he will match his career-long drought of 13 set during his rookie season of 2005-06, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Posted On Monday, 03.24.2014 / 3:25 PM

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

Sharks can clinch; McLellan wants focus on Flames

CALGARY -- The San Jose Sharks hope to clinch a 10th consecutive Stanley Cup Playoff berth when they play the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday.

The Sharks need a single point against the Flames to earn their way in.

San Jose would also clinch if: the Phoenix Coyotes lose to the New York Rangers in regulation; the Winnipeg Jets defeat the Dallas Stars in regulation; or both the Coyotes and Stars lose in overtime or a shootout.

"You like to see that little 'x' beside your name in the standings," Sharks forward Patrick Marleau said. "We need to play well, but we also need to get that next win to get that."

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Quote of the Day

That group is not satisfied until we win a Stanley Cup. When we do win that Stanley Cup, I don't think we'll be satisfied then either. We're going to want another one. We have the group to do it. We have all the pieces. We just need to put them together.

— Ducks forward Ryan Kesler after signing a six-year extension with Anaheim this past July