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Posted On Saturday, 02.21.2015 / 2:17 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Red Wings at Stars

DALLAS -- The Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars each need a victory, which makes the game at American Airlines Center on Saturday between the former Central Division rivals an intriguing matchup.

Detroit (32-14-10) is 1-2-1 in its past four games and will be without defenseman Kyle Quincey (lower body). Jakub Kindl, who has missed the past 20 games with an elbow injury, will replace Quincey in the second defensive pairing alongside Danny DeKeyser.

Kindl played two games for Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League earlier this week on a conditioning assignment before being recalled on Friday.

"We just want him to get in there and get playing, get his confidence back," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said of Kindl. "He's a real good puck mover. He can shoot the puck and he's just got to work on being good defensively."

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Posted On Saturday, 02.21.2015 / 2:14 PM

By Sean Farrell - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blue Jackets at Canadiens

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens have been getting more shots on goal lately, but that hasn't meant more goals.

Montreal, which has had 44 and 39 shots on goal in its past two games, hosts the Columbus Blue Jackets at Bell Centre on Saturday.

The Canadiens lost 3-2 to the Florida Panthers on Thursday in a shootout, the fourth straight game they have scored two goals. Montreal has not scored more than three goals in any of its past seven games.

Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher scored each Montreal goal from in tight Thursday, and forward Lars Eller said they will have to get in on Columbus goalie Curtis McElhinney.

"We've just got to get more on the inside," Eller said. "We are getting a lot of shots from the outside. We've got to be in front of the net to take the goalie's eyes away and get rebounds, get dirty goals like the ones Gallagher got last game. We all have to get on the inside and battle at the crease. That's where it's start."

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Posted On Saturday, 02.21.2015 / 2:08 PM

By Chris Stevenson - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Panthers at Senators

OTTAWA -- The Florida Panthers can take over the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot for the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a win against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday.

The Panthers, with 64 points, are one behind the Boston Bruins, who are off Saturday. They are looking for their second three-game winning streak of the season. The only other time they won three in a row was Jan. 8-11 on a swing through Western Canada.

The Panthers are coming off wins against the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens.

"I think we've got a great chance," Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell said. "We're trying to get into that position. We've been battling. You know how you got through stretches? I feel like we're playing good hockey right now.

"There's a sense of urgency getting into the last 25 games here, trying to collect as many points as we can."

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Posted On Saturday, 02.21.2015 / 1:03 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Hurricanes at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Coach Bill Peters doesn't hide the fact that the Carolina Hurricanes will likely be sellers at the NHL Trade Deadline on March 2.

The Hurricanes will play the New Jersey Devils, another team that could unload a few high-profile veterans at the deadline, at Prudential Center on Saturday.

"It's an unfortunate thing that we're sellers; nobody is hiding from that fact, and we put ourselves in this situation and we have to live with it," Peters said following the Hurricanes' morning skate. "You can tell the mood around the room isn't what it was. It's not as upbeat because there's a lot of uncertainty. A lot of guys are wondering what their future holds, so that's understandable and that's human nature."

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Posted On Saturday, 02.21.2015 / 12:50 PM

By Mike Brophy - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Jets at Maple Leafs

TORONTO – Joffrey Lupul is looking forward to getting back on the ice with the Toronto Maple Leafs when they play the Winnipeg Jets at Air Canada Centre on Saturday.

Lupul missed 11 games, played in six and then sat out the past four with an undisclosed injury. All told, Lupul has missed 26 games because of injury this season and is glad to be back.

"I'll be playing unless I slip on some ice or something," Lupul joked after the optional morning skate. "It feels a lot better. It is something we tried to push through, but obviously once the season started to go the way it did, it was an injury that needed some rest. It feels a lot better now."

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Posted On Saturday, 02.21.2015 / 12:17 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Predators at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette said he enjoyed the five seasons he spent coaching the Philadelphia Flyers, a tenure that included a trip to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final.

But Laviolette also knows from experience how vocal Flyers fans can be toward the opposition. Though his tenure was mostly successful, he said he's ready for just about anything when he returns to Wells Fargo Center for the first time since being fired after three games last season.

"You never know what to expect when you come back," Laviolette told the Predators website Friday. "Certainly for me, the fans here were always really supportive of me and the teams we always had here. The building was great. But you never know what the reaction is going to be."

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Posted On Friday, 02.20.2015 / 6:05 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Rangers at Sabres

BUFFALO -- The New York Rangers will give rookie goalie Mackenzie Skapski his first NHL start when they face the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.

Skapski's debut comes a night after the Rangers lost 5-4 in a shootout to the Vancouver Canucks.

"We've played a lot of hockey lately, including a back-to-back, and after talking to Benoit [Allaire] and [Jim Schoenfeld] and [Jeff Gorton], who know him well, they all said it was a good thing to give him a start," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "He's been playing really well in Hartford, and back-to-back it just felt like the right thing to do."

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Posted On Friday, 02.20.2015 / 4:19 PM

By Derek Van Diest - Correspondent / - 2015 NHL Trade Deadline blog

Oilers hoping for contract extension with Petry

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish has been negotiating with defenseman Jeff Petry in an effort to sign him to a contract extension and prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

However, if the two sides are unable to agree to a contract before the NHL Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. ET on March 2, it is expected Petry will be traded.

"We really challenged him on a one-year contract [this past offseason]," MacTavish said Friday. "He's clearly met that challenge and he's on a level that he hasn't been at before. I give Jeff a lot of credit for that. As for what the course of action is going forward, I've had many conversations over the last four weeks with Wade Arnott, Jeff's representative, as you might imagine. They have all been constructive conversations but I'm just going to leave it at that and we'll see what happens going forward."

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Posted On Friday, 02.20.2015 / 4:05 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2015 NHL Trade Deadline blog

Flames' Glencross has focus set on helping team

CALGARY -- A day after sparking speculation that his time with the Calgary Flames is drawing to an end, forward Curtis Glencross put his focus on helping the Flames win Friday against the visiting Anaheim Ducks.

"That's something where I'm not even thinking about that right now," Glencross said after the morning skate. "It's an important game for us tonight, and at the end of the day we need to get two points tonight and move on. Our main focus tonight is about tonight's game. You never know what happens. That's not up to me; it's up to [management]. We'll see what happens.

"As of right now, it's something where I'm a Calgary Flame and I'm going to go out there and help my team as much as I can to get two points."

On Thursday, Glencross confirmed he had submitted a list of teams he would accept a trade to and that he is unhappy with his recent role with the Flames.

"If the right opportunity comes along and the management asks me to do that kind of thing, that's where we're at," Glencross said, according to the Calgary Herald.

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Posted On Friday, 02.20.2015 / 3:28 PM

By Derek Van Diest - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Wild at Oilers

EDMONTON -- Devan Dubnyk will look to continue dominance over his former teammates Friday when the Minnesota Wild play the Edmonton Oilers.

Prior to being acquired in a trade by the Wild, Dubnyk defeated Edmonton three times while a member of the Arizona Coyotes this season.

Dubnyk is 4-0-0 with a 0.98 goals-against average and .966 save percentage in four games against the Oilers this season.

"They're playing well; Dubnyk has been playing well for them," Oilers coach Todd Nelson said. "But we're going to approach the game the same way. We want to keep things simple, we want to get shots on net, we have to get traffic in front. When a team is playing well with a good goaltender, you have to generate shots, put them on net and make the goalie work."

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Quote of the Day

I watched many times this year the series between the Russians and Canada in 1972, and he was a dominating player there. After I watched the tapes, I respect him a lot more because he turned the series around. He was the guy. In that time, he was the best in the world. It’s a big honor for me to tie him.

— Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr on scoring the 717th goal of his career to tie Phil Esposito for fifth on the NHL's all-time goals list after a 4-3 win vs. the Lightning on Sunday