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Posted On Tuesday, 12.03.2013 / 1:37 PM

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

Panthers to scratch Kulikov against Senators

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, a former first-round pick who recently has been the subject of trade rumors, will be a healthy scratch Tuesday when the Florida Panthers play host to the Ottawa Senators at BB&T Center.

The move comes after a series of costly turnovers in recent games, the latest an errant pass in his zone that led to a Pittsburgh Penguins goal in a 5-2 loss Saturday.

"I think that's a good thing for a lot of players," Panthers coach Peter Horachek said. "They have to go through this process. They have to be accountable to their teammates, and when we decide that it's best for him, sometimes it's good just to sit back and see it. And you come back with a whole new approach to the game. Nobody wants to be in that situation, but sometimes it's just necessary."

The 14th selection in the 2009 NHL Draft, Kulikov, 23, has three points and a minus-9 rating this season, his fifth in the League. Kulikov said he was surprised by the decision.

"I don't think I've been playing bad enough to get thrown out of the lineup," Kulikov said. "But it's a coach's decision. I'm disappointed. That's the only way to describe it. I'm going to work hard to get back in the lineup."

Posted On Tuesday, 12.03.2013 / 1:19 PM

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

Dubinsky back, wants Blue Jackets to show urgency

COLUMBUS -- Columbus Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky returns from injury Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning hoping to stabilize a team that hasn't won two games in a row since late October.

"It's nice to get back in the lineup and try to help this team get back on track and find some consistency and string some wins together," he said.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.03.2013 / 12:51 PM

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

No goals yet, but Capitals' Green gaining confidence

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Based solely on statistics, Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green is mired in a slump.

Through 24 games, the 28-year-old is in search of his first goal, the longest season-opening drought of his nine-year career.

Green has come up empty on all 62 shots on goal, the most taken by any player in the League without scoring this season. It's certainly not the norm for the player who has led all defensemen in goals in three of the past five seasons and whose 91 goals since 2007-08 rank second among NHL defensemen.

Coach Adam Oates could tell Green was perhaps forcing things in an attempt to get off the schneid, which was negatively affecting him in other areas.

"I think when a guy gets in a so-called slump, and for him, it was just because he hasn't got a goal," Oates said. "To me, first thing I said was, 'That's not a slump.' Goals will come. For me, it's his touches and his decisions. If you're pressing to get a goal, you're going to skate in opportunities you're not supposed to skate at and not wait for it at the right time. I felt like just his reads were a little off."

Posted On Tuesday, 12.03.2013 / 10:56 AM

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

Broken jaw sidelines Canucks' Burrows 4 weeks

Vancouver Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows broke his jaw in the team's 3-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.

Burrows had successful surgery Monday and is expected to miss four weeks.

Burrows sustained the injury when he was hit by defenseman Christopher Tanev's clearing attempt. He stayed in the game and wound up playing 18:47 over 29 shifts.

"Alex is a big part of our team and it's a big loss, but we'll come together and he'll be back soon," goaltender Roberto Luongo said.

Posted On Monday, 12.02.2013 / 4:11 PM

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

Kings seeking offense against Blues

The Los Angeles Kings have been struggling, but will a visit from the St. Louis Blues provide the remedy?

Winners of one of their past five, the Kings on Monday welcome the Blues to Staples Center, where St. Louis has lost eight consecutive games.

Los Angeles has scored seven goals during its 1-1-3 stretch and comes off a 2-1 home loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

Ben Scrivens, who continues to lead the NHL with a .944 save percentage and is second with a 1.52 goals-against average, will start.

Jaroslav Halak opposes him for the Blues. Halak was scheduled to get the day off Friday against the San Jose Sharks but ended up playing the final two periods after starter Brian Elliott gave up four goals on 12 shots in the first period.

Here are the projected lineups for the Blues and Kings:

Posted On Monday, 12.02.2013 / 2:24 PM

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

Back spasms sideline Flyers' Lecavalier vs. Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Philadelphia Flyers will be without leading goal-scorer Vincent Lecavalier on Monday against the Minnesota Wild. The veteran has back spasms which began during the third period of the Flyers' 3-2 shootout win Saturday at the Nashville Predators.

Lecavalier, who leads the Flyers with nine goals, finished the game Saturday and scored the deciding goal in the shootout. But with four games left on their road trip, the team thought it best to give Lecavalier the night off. Brayden Schenn is expected to take over Lecavalier's second-line center spot.

"We're losing a very good centerman," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "Brayden Schenn has played a lot of center and it's a good opportunity for him to slide in there. He's played center pretty well his whole life."

Posted On Monday, 12.02.2013 / 2:00 PM

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

Jets' Kane (lower body) out; Albert makes NHL debut

NEW YORK -- Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane will not play Monday against the New York Rangers after sustaining a lower-body injury early in the second period of a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday. In Kane's absence, John Albert, who was recalled Sunday from the Jets' American Hockey League affiliate in St. John's, will make his NHL debut.

"It's day-to-day. [Evander] won't be in the game tonight. So we'll just take it from there," Jets coach Claude Noel said, making clear what he expected from Albert in his first NHL game. "He just needs to be able to hold his own. He has to trust the way he plays. He's been good on faceoffs, he's been good on penalty kills. He's a guy who plays with speed. He just needs to earn the trust of the coaches and the staff."

Posted On Monday, 12.02.2013 / 1:26 PM

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

Rangers give Talbot second consecutive start

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers goaltender Cam Talbot got a text message from his coaching staff Sunday that simply read "Be ready."

The 26-year-old, who has a 6-1-0 record and leads the NHL entering action Monday in goals-against average (1.49) and save percentage (.944), suspected the text meant he would be starting consecutive games for the first time in his brief NHL career. But at the time he wasn't sure.

He's sure now after coach Alain Vigneault revealed Monday that Talbot will start in net for the Rangers against the Winnipeg Jets. It's the first time goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has sat out consecutive games since February 2011. But Vigneault downplayed any talk of a controversy.

"Cam has played extremely well right now. He's got a lot of confidence in his abilities and for tonight's game I just thought that was the right call," Vigneault said. "Henrik is definitely the No. 1 goaltender on this team. He's proven that over the years he's one of the best if not the best in the National Hockey League. But for tonight's game I feel the best thing for us is to go with Cam."

Posted On Monday, 12.02.2013 / 1:06 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Canadiens' focus on defensive play has paid off

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The New Jersey Devils have historically been a team known for their ability to slow the play down and shut down the opposition, no matter their offensive strength.

But of late, it is their opponents Monday night, the Montreal Canadiens, who have been the defensive juggernauts.

The Canadiens enter the game Monday at Bell Centre having allowed two goals or fewer in 10 straight games, riding a 7-1-2 record over that span.

"We're focusing on playing solid defensively and taking time and space away. It's the same thing with any team," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "Right now we have a healthy lineup and there's a healthy internal competition. I think it's good. But we want to be a team that dictates the game, and this is what we've been doing. The guys, with their work ethic, are doing a good job at it."

Posted On Sunday, 12.01.2013 / 6:16 PM

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

Stars' Seguin out with concussion-like symptoms

DALLAS -- Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin, who leads the team with 12 goals, will miss the game Sunday night against the Edmonton Oilers due to concussion-like symptoms. Seguin, who joined Dallas in a July 4 trade with the Boston Bruins, had been called a game-time decision earlier in the day by Stars coach Lindy Ruff.

Seguin had missed two practices earlier in the week with what was termed a muscle issue, but he appeared to be fine in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday at American Airlines Center.

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Quote of the Day

It's not just going to happen on its own. We have to have guys commit to the areas we need to improve on. We're going to be better than last year but there is still a long way to go. But I really like the pieces and where we're headed.

— Sabres forward Tyler Ennis on the progress of Buffalo's rebuilding process