Winchester missed the past four games because of a lower-body injury sustained in a 4-1 loss against the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 21. Winchester, signed as a free agent this summer after he spent all of 2012-13 playing in Europe, was one of Florida's most productive forwards earlier this season.
He had a run of five points in six games (three goals, two assists) before serving a three-game suspension for an elbow to the head of Boston Bruins center Chris Kelly.
"He works hard in all three areas of the rink," Panthers interim coach Peter Horachek said after the morning skate Saturday. "He's not afraid to go into the hard areas. He's pretty good on the walls. That's one of the areas before I got here that he was one of the players who were doing what they needed to do and living up to their responsibilities. He's a good kid, he works hard, and he's kind of a workhorse that people can follow and use as an example."
BOSTON – Had Boston Bruins forward Jarome Iginla managed to score on his wide-open chance in the second period Friday, the Bruins' comeback would've kicked in gear sooner and their 3-2 win against the New York Rangers might've been less of a nail-biter.
Instead, Iginla's bullet from the high slot went wide and made a bigger noise on the glass than on the score sheet.
"I was pretty excited to get a one-timer in that position and it's what you're hoping for," Iginla said after the Bruins' optional morning skate Saturday. "I got a great pass from [Chris Kelly]. And I hit it hard, I just missed the net. I was probably a little too eager. But I try to get open for those and I'll try to get a few more of those."
The Wild announced Tuesday that Parise was expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a contusion on his left foot, but Parise skated the next two days and was declared ready to go after getting through warm-ups Friday.
Bailey has no goals and two assists since Oct. 25. He sat with coach Jack Capuano on Thursday to discuss his recent play. Capuano said that the decision has more to do with Bailey putting too much pressure on himself in lieu of any wake-up call. Bailey has four goals and 10 points in 25 games this season.
"I don’t talk too much about our meetings with players, but I’ll tell you this: the conversation we spent together [Thursday] was good with him," Capuano said. "And I don’t know if it’s so much of a wake-up call, but just a player to me that puts so much pressure on himself just has to relax a little bit more and just play the game, the way that he played against [the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs] and the way that he started this year. Josh is fine. I have a lot of confidence that he'll bounce back."
Haula, 22, is tied for second on Iowa with 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 18 games.
Forward Mike Rupp has been designated as a non-roster player and will leave the team for personal reasons. Michael Russo of the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune reported Rupp had a death in the family and will be away for a few days. Rupp has played in two games for the Wild after missing most of the season with a lower-body injury.
DALLAS -- After holding Tyler Seguin out of practice the past two days with what was termed a muscle issue, the Dallas Stars center returned for the morning skate on Friday and by all accounts will play against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Seguin, who leads the Stars with 12 goals and is second to captain Jamie Benn with 23 points, will return to his normal place centering the top line alongside Benn and rookie Valeri Nichushkin, the Stars' top pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.
"[He] just had a little bit of muscle issue so we decided to rest him," Ruff said of Seguin.
That number was the final margin in the Oilers' 7-0 victory on Nov. 19 - game that still burns in the minds of the Blue Jackets.
"We were embarrassed when we went into Edmonton," Blue Jackets left wing Blake Comeau said. "Everybody remembers that."
Columbus (9-13-3) coach Todd Richards said the defeat was personal.
"As coaches we're able to remember some games," he said. "If this happened two months ago, three months ago you'd still remember it. Maybe as a player it becomes something you don't remember as well but because it was so recent it should be in our players' minds."
The Hurricanes will be without defenseman Andrej Sekera, who is out with an upper-body injury and awaiting an MRI, coach Kirk Muller said. With 13 points, Sekera is second on the team in scoring and first among Carolina defensemen.
"[I'm] obviously very excited," D'Agostini said about being picked up by the Sabres. "The thought of someone wanting you. It's just another new story for me, so hopefully I'll get off to a good one tonight."
Yeah, it was a pretty special moment for me. Today was my Dad's [55th] birthday. I have a lot of family in town, so it was a special moment for me to score my first one today. A win definitely would have capped it off, but you can't have everything.
— Sabres rookie Jack Eichel after scoring a goal in his National Hockey League debut
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