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Posted On Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 1:56 PM

By Louie Korac - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Kings at Blues

ST. LOUIS -- The Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues will have ample time to get re-acquainted.

When the teams collide Tuesday at Scottrade Center, it will be the first of two meetings spanning three days. They will match up again Thursday at Staples Center.

And after facing one another twice in the past three years in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, both teams have gotten to know the other quite well.

Since the Blues (20-8-2) swept the Kings (15-10-6) and won all four regular season meetings in 2010-11, St. Louis has gone 2-7-2 against L.A. in four seasons, including a 1-0 shootout loss in L.A. on Oct. 16.

"They've got our number," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said of the Kings. "As small as the gap's been, they've been better, and it's our job to play catch-up. Everybody knows even as well as we've played, the first time we played them in L.A. early in the season, we still didn't score a goal. Those are things we've got to address and have an honest conversation. Every time we play them, they're good hockey games. They're really well-played. They feel like playoff games. I think the players' heightened sense of urgency on both sides is there. Quite frankly, they're fun to play in and they're fun to coach in. You get such a true assessment on your own personnel.

"I think this is more about energy. What's their energy going to be like the last game of a road trip (L.A. is 1-2-1 on a five-game trip)? Are they going to be enthused and put in (the effort)? What's our energy going to be like knowing we go on the road right after? I think this game's all about energy."

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 1:34 PM

By Alain Poupart - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Capitals at Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The surging Florida Panthers will have forwards Aleksander Barkov and Scottie Upshall back in the lineup Tuesday when they face the Washington Capitals at BB&T Center.

Upshall missed the past nine games because of an ankle injury; Barkov, the second pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, missed six games with a hand injury.

"It's been a few weeks and I'm feeling good," Upshall said after the morning skate. "I've been practicing, had some good skates and I feel ready. It's nice to jump back in the mix, especially when the team is playing good."

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 1:10 PM

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

At the Rink: Lightning at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers won the first two games of their current four-game homestand, but Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, it will be the first game against a team above them in the standings.

The Flyers are 3-0-2 in their past five, including back-to-back wins against the New Jersey Devils last Thursday and the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. They enter play Tuesday five points behind the New York Rangers for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

The Lightning have lost four of their past five, including a 4-2 defeat at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday, but have the third-most points in the conference.

"They're a fast team, they make decisions quick," Flyers forward Wayne Simmons said. "Their [defensemen] get up in the rush."

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 12:23 PM

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

At the Rink: Ducks at Maple Leafs

TORONTO – It will be a battle of two the NHL's hottest teams when the Toronto Maple Leafs and Anaheim Ducks play at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday.

The Maple Leafs have won five straight games and are 8-1-1 in their past 10. The Ducks have won seven straight and are 8-2-0 in their past 10.

Making the game more interesting is how four Maple Leafs, Joffrey LupulPeter HollandDaniel Winnik and Stephane Robidas, all played for the Ducks. Also, Toronto coach Randy Carlyle coached the Ducks for seven seasons and guided them to the Stanley Cup in 2006-07.

Holland, Anaheim's first pick (No. 15) in 2009, has started to blossom as a dependable two-way center since he was traded to the Maple Leafs on Nov. 16, 2013. He said playing his former team has special meaning.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 11:04 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

U.S. junior coach Osiecki joins NHL Live

NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, continues to preview the U.S. selection camp for the World Junior Championship. U.S. coach Mark Osiecki will be on at 5:40 p.m.

There are 11 games on the schedule Tuesday, featuring the Chicago Blackhawks hosting the Minnesota Wild. We'll go out to United Center and welcome in Blackhawks analyst Eddie Olczyk via Arena Cam to discuss the matchup.

The St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings renew their rivalry at Scottrade Center, where Blues analyst Darren Pang will join us via Arena Cam for a preview.

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Posted On Monday, 12.15.2014 / 7:33 PM - 2014-2015 Situation Room blog

OTT @ BUF - 9:43 of the First Period

At 9:43 of the first period in the Ottawa Senators/Buffalo Sabres game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play at the Ottawa net. Video review determined that Chris Stewart's stick was above the height of the crossbar when he deflected the puck into the Senators net. According to Rule 60.5 "An apparent goal scored by an attacking player who strikes the puck with his stick carried above the height of the crossbar of the goal frame shall not be allowed. The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick." No goal Buffalo.

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Posted On Monday, 12.15.2014 / 6:36 PM - NHL Live blog

Wild's Suter: Blackhawks 'a good challenge for us'

Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter joined NHL Live after he was named the NHL's "Second Star" for the week ending Dec. 14.

Suter's five points led all defensemen and tied for second in the League last week to help the Wild gain four out of a possible six points. His three assists in a 5-4 comeback win against the New York Islanders on Dec. 9 matched a career high for points in one game. He leads the League in average ice time (29:27) and is third on the Wild in scoring with 18 points (goal, 17 assists) in 26 games.

"I think it's going well," Suter said of the Wild's season to date. "I think we've been inconsistent. I think if we want to grow as a team I think we have to get some consistency in our game. But for the most part we've been going in the right direction."

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Posted On Monday, 12.15.2014 / 5:36 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Capitals honor Central Scouting's Al Jensen

Al Jensen, who has served as the head goalie scout the past 14 years at NHL Central Scouting, was honored as one the top 40 players in the history of the Washington Capitals during a commercial break midway through the first period Saturday at Verizon Center.

Jensen was introduced to the fans in the company of his daughters, Leah and Shannon.

"Al Jensen started with NHL Central Scouting in 2001," Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr said. "Al is responsible to identify, evaluate and rank goaltenders each year for the NHL Draft. Throughout the NHL, the scouting fraternity and amongst his Central Scouting colleagues, Al's opinions on goaltenders is well respected and often sought after. He is very thorough, conscientious and always an ultimate professional in performing his unique and valuable role with Central Scouting for the benefit of the 30 NHL clubs."

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Posted On Monday, 12.15.2014 / 4:47 PM

By Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Devils at Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Barring a meeting in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the New Jersey Devils will play their final game at Nassau Coliseum on Monday against the New York Islanders.

That means Long Island native Keith Kinkaid has one last chance to play at the arena where he watched games growing up. His wish is about to be granted.

Kinkaid, who was raised about 30 minutes east of the Coliseum in Farmingville, N.Y., will start in goal for the Devils, who are playing their sixth game in 10 days. The Islanders are moving to Barclays Center in Brooklyn next season.

"My whole life I was going to Islander games," said Kinkaid, whose father is a former season-ticket holder. "It's fun to actually be able to play [at Nassau Coliseum].

"It's always been my dream to play on that ice and play on any NHL ice. It's a dream come true to play on the ice I grew up watching all the time. It's going to be a fun atmosphere. This place can get loud. I'm very excited."

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Posted On Monday, 12.15.2014 / 4:24 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Capitals won't release Burakovsky to Sweden

Forward Andre Burakovsky will remain with the Washington Capitals and not be released to play for Sweden at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, the Capitals announced Monday.

Burakovsky is tied for fifth among rookies in assists (nine) and points (13) in 26 games for the Capitals in his first professional season. The 19-year-old was the 23rd pick of the 2013 NHL Draft.

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Quote of the Day

[He's] real confident with the puck now, getting it off his stick quick and no second-guessing. We need that. He's such a good guy in the room. He works so hard. That's the big thing. For not a big man, he just fights for every puck and when he scores, the guys appreciate that even more.

— Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice on Mathieu Perreault, who scored two goals in win against Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday