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Posted On Monday, 12.09.2013 / 3:49 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Islanders place Bouchard on waivers

ANAHEIM -- The New York Islanders are stuck in a nine-game winless skid (0-7-2) and have lost a team-record nine straight on the road. So it certainly got their attention when three-time 50-point scorer Pierre-Marc Bouchard was placed on waivers Monday.

"When you lose as many as we have in a row, I think it's the business we're in," Thomas Vanek said. "Obviously there's a lot of good guys here but sometimes you have to make tough decisions. [Bouchard] was a good guy. I only got to know him for a little bit here. It's definitely not his fault that he's gone. I think it's more ours. I think anytime someone leaves it's on the team."

Islanders coach Jack Capuano wouldn't comment on personnel matters. New York reportedly is making room to recall center Ryan Strome, the leading scorer in the American Hockey League. Strome on Monday became the third player in the past 20 years to be named the AHL's player of the week in consecutive weeks.

Posted On Monday, 12.09.2013 / 3:43 PM

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

Previous trip to Ottawa changed Flyers' season

OTTAWA -- The Philadelphia Flyers were in a bad way the last time they came to Canadian Tire Centre, but facing the Ottawa Senators proved to be just what they needed to start their climb back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

Steve Mason got his first Philadelphia shutout in a 5-0 win against Ottawa on Nov. 12 as the Flyers, who got off to a 4-10-1 start, won consecutive games for the second time this season.

Philadelphia went on to record points in seven straight games (6-0-1) during a span that featured a pair of three-game winning streaks, including one that began with a 5-2 win against Ottawa on Nov. 19.

"We dug ourselves out of a hole and put ourselves in the picture," Flyers right wing Steve Downiesaid. "We're not near where we want to be but we definitely made strides. We've just got to keep improving every day, and try to get a couple more wins and get back in there."

Posted On Monday, 12.09.2013 / 1:54 PM

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

Penguins facing lineup adjustments against Jackets

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will be forced to further adjust their lineup when they face the Columbus Blue Jackets at Consol Energy Center on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Brooks Orpik was placed on injured reserve Monday with a concussion sustained against the Boston Bruins on Saturday, while James Neal has been suspended for five games following a phone hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Monday Orpik is "doing quite well."

Orpik was injured in the first period Saturday during an altercation with Bruins forward Shawn Thornton, who faces an in-person disciplinary hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety. The date for the hearing has yet to be determined.

"We saw him leave the ice [on a stretcher] so it was pretty scary in that regard," Bylsma said. "He’s up and moving around just fine. I don't have [knowledge of] any type of other symptoms that he’s having at this time."

Posted On Monday, 12.09.2013 / 11:17 AM

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

Penguins place Orpik on IR, recall Dumoulin

The Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday placed defenseman Brooks Orpik on injured reserve with a concussion, and recalled defenseman Brian Dumoulin from their American Hockey League affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Orpik was injured Saturday during an incident with the Boston Bruins' Shawn Thornton. Orpik was removed from the ice on a stretcher and was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was alert and conscious. Orpik returned from the hospital and will travel with the team back to Pittsburgh.

Thornton will have an in-person supplementary disciplinary hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety for his actions.

Orpik has one goal and six assists in 31 games and is fourth on the team with an average ice time of 21:30 per game.

Posted On Sunday, 12.08.2013 / 5:54 PM

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

Rangers' Staal sidelined with sore neck

NEW YORK -- Defenseman Marc Staal will not play Sunday due to a sore neck as the New York Rangers host the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. Staal was forced to leave the Rangers' 3-2 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday after a hit from rookie forward Reid Boucher.

Rangers' coach Alain Vigneault revealed that the neck issues were causing Staal to have "some symptoms," but would not elaborate on whether or not Staal was dealing with the same concussion issues that forced him to miss 35 games in 2011-12. Staal also missed 27 regular season games last season following a scary eye injury caused by a deflected puck.

Posted On Sunday, 12.08.2013 / 5:48 PM

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

Bruins call up two from Providence in wake of injuries

TORONTO – The Boston Bruins will have a couple of new faces in their lineup when they face theToronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Sunday night.

Forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Fraser were recalled from Providence of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis after injuries to forwards Chris Kelly and Loui Eriksson in their 3-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday put them out of action. The team placed Kelly on long-term injured reserve and defenseman Adam McQuaid on injured reserve.

“He’s a very smart player. He makes great plays and he’s got great speed also,” Bruins forwardPatrice Bergeron said of Spooner. “He is a young player and I think he’s learning to become a professional, and also a great player on both sides of the rink. I think that’s something we preach strong here in Boston.”

Posted On Sunday, 12.08.2013 / 5:36 PM

By Kevin Woodley - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Canucks recall Weber from Utica

VANCOUVER – Two days after coach John Tortorella said he was worried about defenseman Andrew Alberts stepping into the lineup after six weeks as a healthy scratch, the Vancouver Canucks recalled defenseman Yannick Weber from the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League.

Alberts played his first game since Oct. 24 and just his fourth of the season Friday against thePhoenix Coyotes in place of Alexander Edler, who is out indefinitely with a right knee injury. But Alberts, who has played two of his four games as a forward this season, finished with just six minutes and 33 seconds of ice time and only played one shift after the second period of the 3-2 overtime win.

Posted On Sunday, 12.08.2013 / 4:00 PM

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

Blackhawks activate Kostka from injured reserve

CHICAGO -- Defenseman Michael Kostka was activated from injured reserve by the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

The 28-year old Kostka missed the Blackhawks' past 23 games with a fractured foot and had one assist in two games with Rockford of the American Hockey League during a conditioning stint.

Prior to getting injured, Kostka had one goal -- the first of his NHL career -- in the two games he played for the Blackhawks. He made his NHL debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs last season, playing 35 games and finishing with eight assists and 27 penalty minutes.

Posted On Sunday, 12.08.2013 / 1:45 PM

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

Shaw returns for Blackhawks against Panthers

CHICAGO -- There was some good news on the injury front for the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday morning.

Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell both participated in the team's optional morning skate prior to facing the Florida Panthers on Sunday night. Shaw will play against the Panthers, but Bickell still has a ways to go in his recovery from a lower-body injury.

"First time on the ice there today [for Bickell]," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "It was good to see him out there but we'll get a better indication, I guess, [when he's] out there with everybody."

Posted On Sunday, 12.08.2013 / 1:02 PM

By Kevin Woodley - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Tortorella's message to Canucks: Stay aggressive

VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Canucks won't change their lineup against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday night, but coach John Tortorella is still trying to change his team's mentality.

Tortorella was upset his team sat on a 2-0 third period lead against the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday, blowing the lead midway through the period and giving away a point to a Pacific Division rival they are chasing before rallying to win 3-2 in overtime.

It was the fifth time in the past seven home games that the Canucks failed to hang onto a lead in the third period. And while he made it clear the team was not guilty of sitting back with the lead in the other four losses, Tortorella still sees room for improvement.

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