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Posted On Monday, 01.20.2014 / 7:58 PM

By Jerry Brown - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Coyotes' Hanzal out vs. Maple Leafs with injury

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Phoenix Coyotes center Martin Hanzal, who is tied for the team lead with 14 goals, will not play against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday due to a lower-body injury.

Hanzal, who had the game-winning goal and an assist in the Coyotes' 3-2 win against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, has missed three straight morning skates, but he was able to play Thursday in a 1-0 win against the Vancouver Canucks and Saturday against the Devils.

Tim Kennedy will center the second line for Phoenix, between Radim Vrbata and Lauri Korpikoski. Rob Klinkhammer returns to the Phoenix lineup after sitting the past two games as a healthy scratch.

Posted On Monday, 01.20.2014 / 5:28 PM

By Eric Gilmore - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Russell, Jones return for Flames

SAN JOSE -- The Calgary Flames will have defenseman Kris Russell and forward David Jones back in the lineup Monday night against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center.

Russell has missed 13 games with a knee injury while Jones was out for eight with an eye injury.

"Anytime you get hurt it's brutal," Jones said after the Flames' morning skate. "I think this one just lagged on. I think we were a little too optimistic about how quickly it was going to turn around. That's the most frustrating part about it. I was thinking I'd be able to play the next day. My vision just wasn't getting any better. It was a little scary there for a while. I was worried that it was going to be worse than it was. Fortunately now it's 100 percent. It's nice to be back."

To make room for Russell on the active roster, the Flames placed forward Mike Cammalleri on injured reserve. He has missed the past four games with a concussion.

Posted On Monday, 01.20.2014 / 3:39 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

PHI @ NYI - 17:02 of the Third Period

At 17:02 of the third period in the Flyers/Islanders game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that the puck deflected off Kyle Okposo's skate and into the net in a legal fashion. According to Rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal." Good goal Islanders.

Posted On Monday, 01.20.2014 / 2:38 PM

By Staff -  / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Forward Helm returns for Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings center Darren Helm will return to the lineup Monday against the St. Louis Blues.

Helm had been sidelined by a groin injury. He missed 11 games and played Dec. 30 against the Nashville Predators before sitting out another seven.

"I've felt good the last couple of days," Helm said following the morning skate. "I've skated hard, no problems, so tonight's the next test.

"I'm just going to try and do what I did last time and the time before that, just play my game. There's nothing special I need to do, just make sure I'm taking short shifts. I'm going to be a little rusty out there so I can't be doing too much."

Helm has seven goals and 11 points in 16 games.

"Obviously, he hasn't played in a long time," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I don't know if it's going to take him some time or not. When he's going he's a real impactful player for us. I don't know how many minutes he can handle tonight but it's good to have him back."

Posted On Monday, 01.20.2014 / 2:19 PM

By John Manasso - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars' Nichushkin scratched for second straight game

NASHVILLE – Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff will hold rookie right wing Valeri Nichushkin out for a second straight game Monday when the team visits the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

Nichushkin, the 10th pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, will return to the lineup Tuesday when the Stars host the Minnesota Wild, Ruff said.

With nine goals and 13 assists, Nichushkin is 10th among NHL rookies in points and sixth on the Stars. He has averaged 15:11 of time on ice per game in 46 games, but Ruff cut back on that when Nichushkin expressed to the coach that he had become fatigued.

"I think because of where his energy level has been I'm not going to play him in back-to-back games," Ruff said. "He'll go back in tomorrow."

Nichushkin went without a point in his five previous games before he was scratched Saturday at Minnesota. In the past four, he has not played more than 12:48 and logged only 9:56 on Jan. 12 against the New York Islanders.

Posted On Monday, 01.20.2014 / 2:16 PM

By Jerry Brown - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Coyotes' Szwarz rebounds after stint in minors

GLENDALE, Ariz. – A return to the minor leagues after a player's first shot at the NHL can be a deflating experience that results in a lingering negative effect.

But Phoenix Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said forward Jordan Szwarz took his recent six-game trip to the Portland Pirates with the right mindset. He worked on the areas of his game that required improvement and prepared for a return trip to the NHL. He's getting rewarded for it since coming back to the Coyotes.

Szwarz was part of a fourth line that produced two goals in a 3-2 win against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. Szwarz scored his third League goal and required 11 stitches in the second period after Reid Boucher's skate blade cut his chin.

"When guys get their first taste and then they go back to the minors, it's tough. But when they come back they're a different player," Tippett said. "It's all part of the process. You just have to take it the right way."

Posted On Monday, 01.20.2014 / 1:29 PM

By Wes Crosby - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Martin, Neal could return for Penguins

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will likely be the healthiest they've been in nearly two months when they face the Florida Panthers on Monday at Consol Energy Center.

Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said three injured Penguins will return against Florida but did not specify which three. He said the returning players will give the Penguins eight healthy defensemen, indicating Paul Martin, who has missed 23 games with a broken tibia, will return.

Although Martin was paired with Brooks Orpik at the morning skate, Bylsma said Martin will be eased into the lineup.

"He's been out for a long time, an extended period of time. He wasn't able to walk for a good portion of that time period," Bylsma said. "When he gets back in the lineup, it's going to be a progression of what he brings.

"He's not going to jump back in and play a shutdown role."

James Neal, Chuck Kobasew and Jayson Megna also participated in line drills during the morning skate. Neal, who missed the game against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday with an upper-body injury, skated alongside linemates Evgeni Malkin and Jussi Jokinen.

Posted On Monday, 01.20.2014 / 11:57 AM

By Staff -  / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Nilsson gets rare start as Islanders face Flyers

When the New York Islanders close out a home-and-home series against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday, goaltender Anders Nilsson will make his first NHL start in more than a month. He last suited up for the Islanders on Dec. 9 in a 5-2 road loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

Nilsson was reassigned to the American Hockey League in December when Evgeni Nabokov returned from an injury and went 2-6-1 since going back to Bridgeport. He was brought back up Jan. 6 after Nabokov sustained a lower-body injury against the Dallas Stars.

Posted On Monday, 01.20.2014 / 11:00 AM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Ovechkin excited for Sochi Olympics

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was a guest on NBC's Today Show live from Rockefeller Center in New York City on Monday to discuss his selection to represent Russia at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"I'm very excited," Ovechkin told NBC's Carson Daly."It's a big honor for me, for my country."

Ovechkin will be making his third Olympic appearance and was the first Russian to carry the Olympic Torch in a ceremony at Olympia, Greece on Sept. 29, 2013. In the 2006 Turin Olympics, Russia lost the bronze medal game to the Czech Republic. Four years later in Vancouver, Russia fell in the quarterfinals to Canada, the eventual gold-medal winner

This year, the games will be played in Ovechkin's home country, where there will be extra incentive to win gold.

"Everybody wants to win a gold medal, especially when playing at home," Ovechkin said. "I'm sure every hockey player, every fan in Russia, wants us to win. But it's going to be hard because every team has a strong team. It's going to be a battle."

Posted On Sunday, 01.19.2014 / 4:45 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Lightning's Hedman injured, out against Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman injured his right ankle in a 5-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday and did not return. He was ruled out Sunday against theCarolina Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes appeared to emerge healthy after their 3-2 win against the Florida Panthers on Saturday night. Goaltender Anton Khudobin made his seventh straight start, but coach Kirk Mullerdidn't tip his hand on his starter Sunday. Backup goalie Justin Peters has not played since a Dec. 27 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and will get the call against the Lightning.

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Quote of the Day

It seems like I'm kind of making it a little difficult on myself here the last two games.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after tying the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with an assist on Duncan Keith's goal with 26.6 seconds left against the Anaheim Ducks Friday
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