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Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 2:32 PM

By Jerry Brown - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Flames at Coyotes

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Coyotes get one forward back but will be without their captain Thursday against the Calgary Flames.

Forward Shane Doan won't play after he was hit by a slap shot from Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday. Doan gutted through two periods, scoring the game-tying goal in the second, before finally leaving in the third of a 3-2 loss.

Center Martin Hanzal returns after missing the past four games with an upper-body injury sustained in a 6-3 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 3. Hanzal tied a career high with four points against Columbus.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 2:00 PM

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

At the Rink: Avalanche at Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers will play at home Thursday for the first time in 2015 and look to rebound from a disappointing ending to what otherwise was a successful road trip.

The Panthers will face the Colorado Avalanche at BB&T Center fresh off a six-game road trip on which they went 4-2-0. The trip featured Florida's first three-game winning streak of the season, but ended with an 8-2 loss against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

To make matters worse, problems with a charter plane caused the Panthers' return home Wednesday to be delayed four hours.

The game against Colorado begins a five-game homestand sandwiched around the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game.

"We feel good," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said after the morning skate. "We had a good loose practice this morning to get ready for tonight. We finished 4-2 on a tough road trip that we played real well on for the most part. We're looking forward to tonight's game and the next two games and then we get a nice break after that. Hopefully we can carry the momentum and play real well at home."

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Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 1:52 PM

By Corey Long - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Oilers at Lightning

TAMPA -- As the Tampa Bay Lightning return home for a three-game stretch leading into the All-Star break they will have to rely on their depth again.

Lightning forward Tyler Johnson and defenseman Victor Hedman were both injured in a 7-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. Johnson, who leads the team with 46 points (17 goals, 29 assists), returned to the ice Thursday morning wearing a no-contact jersey and he could return to the lineup before the break.

"Tyler is improving, he's a tough kid," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "He's a lot closer to return than [Hedman]."

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Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 1:41 PM

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

At the Rink: Canadiens at Senators

OTTAWA -- Ten points back of the last Stanley Cup Playoffs berth in the Eastern Conference after a 1-2-1 road trip, the Ottawa Senators are a long shot to make the postseason.

If there's an opportunity to cut into that deficit, it starts Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens as the Senators will play 12 of their next 16 games at home.

"Each game is two points is the focus that we're going to take," Senators coach Dave Cameron said. "It is usually a bit of a homer's League, so that usually comes into play. But to keep this team from getting too far outside itself, we just look at each time is two points and see how we have to play to do that and let the chips fall where they may."

The Senators are 8-5-4 at Canadian Tire Centre and 9-12-4 on the road. The Senators lost ground in the playoff race as they managed just one win against non-playoff teams on their road trip.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 1:40 PM

By Connor Mellas - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Rangers at Bruins

BOSTON -- Winners of four straight games, the Boston Bruins look to stay hot against the New York Rangers, who are coming off a 3-0 loss to the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Islanders.

The major topic of conversation concerning the Bruins remains the future of breakout rookie David Pastrnak. Since his recall from Providence in the American Hockey League, the 18-year-old has played a key role, logging top-line minutes and scoring two goals in each of his past two games to help the Bruins defeat the Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Following the game Thursday, the Bruins must decide whether to keep Pastrnak and burn the first year of his entry-level contract, or send him back down to the AHL. So far, no decision has been reached.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 1:26 PM

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

At the Rink: Wild at Sabres

BUFFALO -- The Minnesota Wild and Buffalo Sabres are both looking to end lengthy losing streaks at First Niagara Center on Thursday.

The Wild are winless in six consecutive games and goaltending has been a problem during Minnesota's losing streak. The Wild acquired goalie Devan Dubnyk from the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday in exchange for a 2015 third-round pick. Dubnyk will make his Wild debut against the Sabres.

"He looked good in the morning," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "That's not necessarily a great indicator, but I think we're just excited. I know from playing against him that I really do believe this is a guy that can come in and be successful here."

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Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 12:55 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Veteran forward Gomez rekindling old magic with Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Scott Gomez was close to working in television this season as an analyst for the MSG Network. Instead he's centering one of the New Jersey Devils top-two lines and has been producing at better than a point-per-game pace since the calendar turned to 2015.

"He's been, for a lot of people, a pleasant surprise," Devils forward Patrik Elias said.

Gomez met with producers from the MSG Network prior to the season at the suggestion of Ken Daneyko, who is in his first season as Devils television color commentator. Gomez was interested in what they had to say about a potential role as an analyst on Devils games.

"I had a decision to make," Gomez said. "They gave me a month to make a decision. They were awesome about it but I still knew I could play, so I thanked them for thinking of me."

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Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 12:08 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game blog

Islanders' Halak, Penguins' Fleury named to roster

New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will serve as injury replacements at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game to be played Jan. 25 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus (5 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Halak and Fleury will replace injured goalies Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators and Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings.

Halak, who will be making his first All-Star appearance, is 23-8-0 with a 2.22 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and four shutouts. Fleury, who is making a second All-Star appearance, is 22-7-4 with a 2.16 GAA, .926 save percentage and League-leading six shutouts.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 10:28 AM

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

Top prospects Eichel, Hanifin to meet again

The Green Line Rivalry returns to the campus of Boston University when the Terriers play host to Boston College before an expected capacity crowd at Agganis Arena on Friday (7 p.m. ET).

In addition to the rematch, the game also includes a few high-profile 2015 NHL Draft-eligible prospects going head-to-head. Boston University freshman center Jack Eichel (6-foot-2, 196 pounds) is considered a top-two choice in the 2015 NHL Draft slated June 26-27 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.

Boston College freshman defenseman Noah Hanifin (6-3, 203) is considered by many to be the top defenseman off the board at the draft. He is most certainly a top-five choice.

Both players represented the United States at the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. The United States finished fifth in the tournament following a 3-2 loss to Russia in the quarterfinal round.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 1:12 AM

By David Satriano - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Canadiens power play gets going

The Montreal Canadiens had lost two games in a row and their power play had one goal in the past seven games (1-for-21). After a slow start Wednesday, the Canadiens scored three power-play goals to rally for a 3-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Montreal was 0-for-4 on the power play entering the third period before scoring three man-advantage goals in a 3:53 span to pull out the victory. Max Pacioretty had two of the goals, and P.K. Subban the other. Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher, Tomas Plekanec, Sergei Gonchar and Andrei Markov made up a power-play unit that clicked.

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Quote of the Day

I mean, hockey had to change the rules because of Marty, and that's impressive. I got two Stanley Cup rings because of the guy. Look at the banners of [Scott Niedermayer, Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko] and Marty is right up there when you think about the New Jersey Devils; he was part of the core group and he'll go down as one of the greatest goalies ever.

— New Jersey Devils center Scott Gomez on former teammate Martin Brodeur, who will announce his retirement Thursday