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Posted On Saturday, 01.18.2014 / 12:39 PM

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

Sabres' Foligno returns to face brother, Blue Jackets

After sitting out the Buffalo Sabres' 4-3 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday with an injury, forward Marcus Foligno will be back in the lineup in time to play against his brother Nick as theColumbus Blue Jackets visit First Niagara Center.

Marcus Foligno and Sabres defenseman Henrik Tallinder returned to practice Friday and participated in Buffalo's optional skate Saturday, although Taliinder remains out with an upper-body injury that has kept him out of the past six games.

Marcus Foligno would not share the nature of his injury but admitted that it is something he has been dealing with for a while.

"Just a recurring injury that got pinched in the game against Philly [Jan. 14]," Foligno said after skating Friday. "It's all better now. The trainers looked after me. Just something I needed to rest. It's never going to go away until the summertime. It's just something I've got to keep a close eye on."

Posted On Saturday, 01.18.2014 / 11:17 AM

By Lonnie Herman - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Niemi expected back in crease against Lightning

TAMPA -- In preparation for an afternoon puck-drop, the San Jose Sharks and the Tampa Bay Lightningopted against morning skates Saturday.

Antti Niemi is expected to start in goal for the Sharks after backup Alex Stalock shut out the Florida PanthersThursday.

Forward Logan Couture skated with San Jose on Friday, his first time on the ice since undergoing hand surgery Wednesday. He's expected to miss at least two more weeks.

The Lightning also had a key injured player on the ice this week as Steven Stamkos participated in a full team skate on Thursday, his first since breaking his right tibia more than two months ago. Thursday also saw Tampa Bay assign defenseman Andrej Sustr to the American Hockey League. The move was necessitated by the return of injured veteran defenseman Sami Salo, who played Thursday in a 2-1 shootout loss to the New York Islanders.

Here are the projected lineups for the Sharks and Lightning:

Posted On Friday, 01.17.2014 / 3:50 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blackhawks will have Seabrook, Hossa vs. Ducks

CHICAGO -- Brent Seabrook and Marian Hossa will each play for the Chicago Blackhawks when they face the red-hot Anaheim Ducks on Friday night at United Center (8 p.m. ET, NHLN).

After both missed Chicago's practice on Thursday, they joined teammates on the ice Friday for the Blackhawks' morning skate. Seabrook missed practice Thursday with an illness and Hossa was held out for a "maintenance day," according to Chicago coach Joel Quenneville.

The Ducks (36-8-5), who have won eight straight games and 18 of their last 19, made a couple moves Friday. They sent defenseman Luca Sbisa and goalie John Gibson to Norfolk of the American Hockey League, with Sbisa's trip a two-game conditioning assignment following a torn tendon in his right hand that's sidelined him for 24 games.

Posted On Friday, 01.17.2014 / 2:30 PM

By Staff -  / - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Virtanen aces Top Prospect testing

Calgary Hitmen forward Jake Virtanen was the top performer of the 40 skaters at the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

According to data released by Sport Testing, Virtanen had the highest overall grade from the on-ice testing, which was performed Tuesday, the day before the Top Prospects Game.

Among the highlights for Virtanen was his top time in the 30-meter forward sprint at 3.92 seconds, as well as the top time in the 30-meter backward sprint, 4.55 seconds.

Virtanen, a 6-foot-0.75, 208-pound right wing, is ranked ninth by NHL Central Scouting in its midterm ranking of North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft.

Posted On Friday, 01.17.2014 / 1:14 PM

By Craig Merz - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blue Jackets may be minus Tyutin against Capitals

COLUMBUS -- The anticipated reunion of five members of the Russian team for the 2014 Sochi Olympics could be minus one if Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin is not sufficiently recovered from the flu Friday to play against the Washington Capitals.

"We haven't ruled him out," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "He was feeling better last night. He woke up this morning and wasn't feeling better. We'll take a look at him later. We'll make the call then. It's not looking good that he'll play."

Defenseman Dalton Prout, recalled Thursday from a conditioning reassignment to the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League, would replace Tyutin, who has four goals and 15 assists and is minus-1 in 43 games.

"If (Tyutin) isn't playing we're all going to be chipping in and contributing playing against their top guys," Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson said.

Posted On Friday, 01.17.2014 / 12:40 PM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live previews clash between Ducks, Blackhawks

The Anaheim Ducks have won eight in a row and 18 out of 19, but they face a challenge Friday night in the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, and NHL Live at 5 p.m. ET with Steve Mears and Ken Daneyko will get fans ready for a regular-season game that figures to have the atmosphere of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We'll go out to the United Center on our Arena Cam and welcome in analyst Eddie Olczyk to preview the contest.

NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose will examine the shootout and give out his Mullet of the Week. And St Cloud forward and Los Angeles Kings prospect Nic Dowd will join us for the College Hockey Report.

Posted On Friday, 01.17.2014 / 12:34 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Ducks' Bonino severely undervalued

The scorching-hot Anaheim Ducks are the talk of the NHL, but Nick Bonino is still being overlooked.

That needs to change.

The Ducks have won 18 of their past 19 games and have yet to lose in regulation in 22 home games this season (20-0-2). Their top-line combo of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry is currently tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins' duo of Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz for the NHL's most productive point pair (35 common goals).

But as integral as Anaheim's front-liners have been to its historic stretch, the team's depth scoring has made it unbeatable of late, especially at home. That's where Bonino's value truly lies.

Posted On Friday, 01.17.2014 / 3:00 AM

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

Rangers, Islanders lead resurgence in Metropolitan

After every Metropolitan Division team except for the Pittsburgh Penguins got off to a tough start, we're seeing a major shift lately. A number of teams in that division have shown some real signs of life, and it could be the New York Rangers who are making the biggest push as we head into the Olympic break.

The Rangers have been a lot better. To me, it all starts with Henrik Lundqvist. Cam Talbot has been amazing and Hank in his last few games has been outstanding. There are parts of his game that he has really built on and he's starting to gain some momentum. If he's able to play like that, it covers some of the mistakes that we've seen from the Rangers.

Staying in the New York area, let's give the New York Islanders some love. How about John Tavares? You want to talk about a guy who has worked and willed himself to become a better player. He's that guy. To me, he's playing on an MVP-type level. Also, Kyle Okposo's game has come a very long way. He's become a top-tier power forward this season. He's put in a lot of work in the offseason and now he's got more of a blend between being a skill player and still being a big-body power forward. Add Thomas Vanek to that line, and you have a trio that people aren't talking about enough.
Posted On Thursday, 01.16.2014 / 11:26 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

VAN @ PHX - 8:52 of the Third Period

At 8:52 of the third period in the Canucks/Coyotes game, video review confirmed the referee's call on the ice that Henrik Sedin used his glove to direct the puck into the Phoenix net. According to Rule 67.6 "a goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who bats or directs the puck with his hand into the net" . No goal Vancouver.

Posted On Thursday, 01.16.2014 / 11:19 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

BOS @ DAL - 15:46 of the Third Period

At 15:46 of the third period in the Bruins/Stars game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that Milan Lucic's stick was at or below the level of the crossbar when it deflected the punk into the Dallas net. According to Rule 38.4 (vi) "The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick in relation to the crossbar. If the puck makes contact with the portion of the stick that is at or below the level of the crossbar and enters the goal, this goal shall be allowed". Good goal Boston.

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