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Posted On Friday, 01.16.2015 / 1:00 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Jets at Blackhawks

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks shouldn't be caught off-guard when they play the Winnipeg Jets at United Center on Friday.

After losing to them in Chicago in each of their first two games, including a 5-1 defeat Dec. 23, the Blackhawks ought to know just how improved the Jets are this season. Winnipeg, which pushed its point total to 54 with a 2-1 win at the Dallas Stars on Thursday, is four points behind the Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues in the Central Division and appears headed for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"They're an entirely different team, I think," said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, who is from Winnipeg. "We'll give them credit. They played well the two times we played them but we know we have to be a lot better than we've been in games against that team. The respect factor in this next one really has to be there."

That hasn't always been necessary.

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Posted On Friday, 01.16.2015 / 12:48 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canucks at Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Vancouver Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis will return to the lineup Friday against the Carolina Hurricanes after missing 22 games with a serious hip injury.

"We've been testing it in practice for the last month and with the team the last week, so I feel really confident," Hamhuis said. "I'm just going to approach the game with a simple focus. I've been out for a while but I have full confidence in my legs."

Hamhuis sustained the injury Nov. 20 against the Anaheim Ducks when his skate caught a rut, and his abductor muscle tore away from the hip. After a difficult rehab the veteran defenseman has made a point of attending meetings and participating with the team to stay sharp.

"Developing the physical part is one thing; being sharp mentally is another part that's probably just as important or more important," Hamhuis said.

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Posted On Friday, 01.16.2015 / 11:30 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live has Capitals coach Trotz back in Nashville

NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will get fans set for the six games on the Friday schedule.

Barry Trotz returns to Nashville as coach of the Washington Capitals, and we'll welcome in Nashville Predators play-by-play voice Peter Weber via the Arena Cam at Bridgestone Arena at 6:15 p.m. to get his thoughts on the matchup. The game will air on NHL Network in the U.S. at 8 p.m.

The Chicago Blackhawks host the Winnipeg Jets, and Blackhawks analyst Eddie Olczyk joins us from the Arena Cam at United Center at 6 p.m. to preview this battle of Central Division teams.

First place in the Metropolitan Division is on the line when the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders face off. We'll get the scoop from Islanders broadcaster Chris King via the Arena Cam at Nassau Coliseum at 5:40 p.m.

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Posted On Friday, 01.16.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Friday Four: Penguins' Malkin no longer under radar

Each Friday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be bringing you his Friday Four in his Weekes on the Web blog. He will be blogging about four players, teams, plays, trends or really four of whatever in the NHL that have caught his eye.

A Hart Trophy candidate, a team that is deeper than I initially thought, a team that continues to roll by now faces some adversity, and the curious case of a championship team is all in this week's Friday Four:

1. EVGENI MALKIN

The interesting thing for me is I think a lot of times Malkin will defer a little bit when Sidney Crosby is healthy, and go into full superhero mode when Sid is hurt because he knows he is needed. This season, I find Malkin is just playing at his elite level all the time.

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Posted On Friday, 01.16.2015 / 12:27 AM

By David Satriano -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Dubnyk, Ortio worth a look in net

Much has been made of goalie Devan Dubnyk's fantasy impact after his trade to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday. In his first start, he did not disappoint.

Dubnyk, whose fantasy ownership increased to 28 percent in Yahoo leagues, had a favorable start against the offensively challenged Buffalo Sabres and made 18 saves for his second shutout of the season, a 7-0 victory. He is 10-5-2 with a 2.58 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage.

Even when Niklas Backstrom (32 percent owned) and Darcy Kuemper (54 percent owned) are healthy, Dubnyk is the better option for Minnesota and has the superior numbers. The Wild have a favorable upcoming schedule with home games against the Arizona Coyotes and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Minnesota also has three games with the Edmonton Oilers remaining. While with the Coyotes, Dubnyk defeated his former team three times this season.

-- If you missed out on Dubnyk, here's another option: Calgary Flames goalie Joni Ortio.

Ortio (5 percent owned) won his second game in as many starts, 4-1 against the Coyotes. He made 27 saves after his 36-save shutout against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 11:09 PM

NHL.com - 2014-2015 Situation Room blog

TOR @ SJS - 12:20 of the First Period

At 12:44 of the first period in the Toronto Maple Leafs/San Jose Sharks game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play at the San Jose net that began at the 12:20 mark. Video review supported the referee's call on the ice that the puck did not cross the goal line. No goal Toronto.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 11:06 PM

NHL.com - 2014-2015 Situation Room blog

TOR @ SJS - 9:10 of the First Period

At 9:10 of the first period in the Toronto Maple Leafs/San Jose Sharks game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play at the Toronto net. Video review determined that Patrick Marleau's shot completely crossed the goal line. Good goal San Jose.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 8:44 PM

NHL.com - 2014-2015 Situation Room blog

MTL @ OTT - 1:46 of the Second Period

At 1:46 of the second period in the Montreal Canadiens/Ottawa Senators game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play at the Ottawa net. The referee informed the Situation Room that Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty made incidental contact in the crease with Senators goaltender Craig Anderson before the puck crossed the goal line. This is not a reviewable play therefore the referee's call on the ice stands - no goal Montreal.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 8:18 PM

NHL.com - 2014-2015 Situation Room blog

VAN @ PHI - 1:21 of the Second Period

At 1:24 of the second period in the Vancouver Canucks/Philadelphia Flyers game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine Radim Vrbata's shot at 1:21. Video review determined that Vrbata's shot crossed the Philadelphia goal line before the puck deflected off the back bar in the net. According to Rule 38.6 "In the event that a video replay shows a goal was scored prior to the play being stopped, the Video Goal Judge will inform the Game Timekeeper and Official Scorer of the time and the amount of playing time left to be reset on the game clock and penalty time clocks (if applicable)." Therefore the game clock is reset to show 18:39 (1:21 elapsed time) and good goal Vancouver.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 7:26 PM

NHL.com - 2014-2015 Situation Room blog

MIN @ BUF - 5:13 of the First Period

At 5:13 of the first period in the Minnesota Wild/Buffalo Sabres game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play at the Buffalo net. Video review determined that the net was in the proper position when the puck crossed the goal line in a legal fashion. According to Rule 78.4 "The goal frame shall be considered in its proper position when at least a portion of the flexible peg(s) are still inside both the goal post and the hole in the ice". Good goal Minnesota.

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Quote of the Day

The fans love it, and it looked like they were having fun. It was great to see this city [Columbus]. They had been waiting a couple years for this game. They did it right.

— Lightning captain Steven Stamkos after the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday