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Posted On Saturday, 12.07.2013 / 1:13 PM

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

Bruins lose Boychuk with back sprain

BOSTON -– The Boston Bruins will be without defenseman Johnny Boychuk for three to seven days, including their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday at TD Garden, general manager Peter Chiarelli said.

Boychuk suffered a back sprain against the Montreal Canadiens after he was hit into the end wall by Max Pacioretty. Boychuk left that game on a stretcher and was taken to a hospital, but he returned to Boston with the team after the game.

"Johnny's doing better," Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the morning skate. "I think we dodged a pretty good bullet there, personally. You know those kind of injuries could have serious consequences. We feared the worst, and I think we got as good news as we could get. When he was down, he couldn't breathe. I guess he couldn't move either. So obviously on the medical side of it, our trainers, the Montreal doctors, did the right thing. They took him off in a stretcher, took him to the hospital and they got him checked out.

"And after the MRI [exam on Thursday], they found no fractures. So a lot of it has been based on him locking up from going into the board, muscle spasm and everything else. So we hope that it'll be a quicker recovery."

Posted On Saturday, 12.07.2013 / 12:48 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flyers' Couturier hopes to continue hot play in Dallas

DALLAS -- Three days after posting his first four-point game in a 6-3 win against the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier is hoping to continue his hot play as he and the Flyers visit the Dallas Stars Saturday afternoon at American Airlines Center. Hoping to continue his hot hand, Couturier is also celebrating his 21st birthday Saturday. So another big game would only enhance the celebration.

Any plans for practice on Friday were halted when Dallas was hit by a major snowstorm, causing power outages and dangerous roads. So instead of skating, the Flyers opted for a workout at their hotel.

"I've seen weather like this in a lot of places, but in the other places they have trucks and vehicles that take care of the roads," Flyers coach Craig Berube told the team web site. "In Dallas they're not prepared for it."

Posted On Saturday, 12.07.2013 / 12:17 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Brodeur, Lundqvist meet again as Rangers host Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- For the 39th time in their rivalry, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur are expected to oppose each other when the Metropolitan Division foes face off Saturday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET).

Lundqvist is 24-9-5 with a 1.69 goals-against average, .933 save percentage and five shutouts in his career against Brodeur. Lundqvist is 0-2-0 with a 3.53 GAA in two starts against the Devils this season; a 4-0 loss to Cory Schneider on Oct. 19 and 3-2 loss to Brodeur on Nov. 12.

In 98 career starts against the Rangers, Brodeur is 48-30-20 with a 2.12 goals-against average, nine shutouts and a .918 save percentage. The 41-year-old will be looking to snap a personal four-game losing streak. The Devils are coming off a 3-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Friday when they generated 11 shots.

Posted On Friday, 12.06.2013 / 6:45 PM

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

Blackhawks, Ducks top teams that could use a win

CHICAGO -- It's a matchup of top teams Friday at United Center (8 p.m. ET, NHLN-US), but the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks are winless in their past two games.

The Ducks (18-7-5) have dropped a pair of games in shootouts, and the Blackhawks (20-6-4) have lost two straight in regulation for the first time this season, including a stinging 4-3 defeat Thursday against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

Minnesota charged back with two late goals in the third period to beat Chicago, after coughing up a one-goal lead early in the final period. The Blackhaws are in the middle of a stretch when they're playing nine games in 15 days, after returning from a seven-game, 14-day road trip.

"We're probably at the high-point of the season in basically the volume of games," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "They're just rolling one to the next. We want to make sure we keep the right focus going into the game ... here we are tonight playing that is rested and they're big and they played us well last year and they're a dangerous team. That's a challenge."

Posted On Friday, 12.06.2013 / 4:40 PM

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

Boychuk set to make season debut for Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes will juggle their lineup Friday when they play the San Jose Sharks.

Forward Zach Boychuk was recalled from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League. He likely will replace Drayson Bowman or Patrick Dwyer, who were injured in a 5-2 win against the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

It will be Boychuk's first NHL game this season after playing with the Hurricanes, Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins last season. This will mark the sixth consecutive season Boychuk has appeared in a game for Carolina. He has eight goals and 20 points in 85 NHL games.

Posted On Friday, 12.06.2013 / 4:04 PM

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

Canucks' Alberts to pick up some of Edler's minutes

VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella didn't sugarcoat how he felt about Andrew Alberts filling in for injured defenseman Alexander Edler after sitting out the past six weeks as a healthy scratch.

"I am worried about it," Tortorella said.

Alberts hasn't played since Oct. 24 and only one of the three games he has played this season came on defense; he filled in as a fourth-line forward in the other two. He played one 37-second shift Oct. 22 and three shifts totaling 1:49 on Oct. 24. Now the Canucks need him to fill some of the team-high 23:26 averaged by Edler, who is out indefinitely after injuring his right knee in a 3-1 win against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.

Tortorella knows that is a lot to ask of Alberts.

"I love the guy. He is a great teammate. He just comes to work every day but he hasn't seen any game looks," Tortorella said. "With so many different looks coming at you, when you don't have those in game situations for as long as it's been, it's a tough spot.”

Posted On Friday, 12.06.2013 / 2:50 PM

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

Flames expect to face an angry Avalanche squad

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames are expecting an ornery Colorado Avalanche club at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday.

The Avalanche are set to square off here less than 24 hours after being on the wrong end of an 8-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

"They'll probably be an [angry] group [Friday], I would think," Flames forward Mike Cammalleri said. "Generally after teams have an outing like that, they feel like they have something to prove to themselves, their coach, their fans, the League, everybody the next night."

Posted On Friday, 12.06.2013 / 1:22 PM

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

Banged-up Red Wings happy to have Bertuzzi back

NEWARK, N.J. -- Center Darren Helm is the latest addition to the growing Detroit Red Wings injury list, but at least they will have one player back in the lineup Friday when they face the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

Right wing Todd Bertuzzi is returning after missing the past six games with an upper-body injury. He will start the game on the first line, with Johan Franzen and Gustav Nyquist.

The Red Wings will be without Helm (shoulder), captain Henrik Zetterberg (back), center Pavel Datsyuk (concussion) and defenseman Danny DeKeyser (shoulder). Helm is missing his first game after playing in 15 straight. An MRI exam Thursday showed fluid in the forward's shoulder.

"I'm excited to be back," Bertuzzi said. "It's not a lot of fun when you're out and all that, but it was out of my control. I feel better and I'm playing with two pretty good players so my job doesn't really change. It's get them the puck, go to the net, get to the hard areas."

Posted On Friday, 12.06.2013 / 12:24 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Devils' Boucher looking forward to playing Red Wings

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils rookie forward Reid Boucher is champing at the bit for an opportunity to play against the team he grew up idolizing while growing up in Lansing, Mich.

The Devils host the Detroit Red Wings on Friday at Prudential Center.

"I live about an hour from Detroit so it was tough to actually get to games, but I watched the Red Wings on TV a lot," Boucher said. "I enjoyed watching guys like Brett Hull and Steve Yzerman. Just a lot of special players who have been winners. That was fun to watch."

Boucher said Hull was his favorite player. Hull played three seasons with the Red Wings near the end of his Hall of Fame career.

"Hull was always my favorite player; I feel like I play like him but obviously am not as good as him," he said. "I probably don't have the shot he had."

Posted On Friday, 12.06.2013 / 11:58 AM

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

Blue Jackets don't expect letdown without Bobrovsky

COLUMBUS -- A team can go one of two directions when a top player goes down with an injury.

Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said he doesn't think his team will go downward after the loss of starting goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky for 4-5 weeks due to a groin strain.

"I'm not worried about [the season] going the other way," he said. "Your team needs to respond under this circumstance. It doesn't really matter who's playing."

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Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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