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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 2:11 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sabres send three to AHL, Zadorov to junior team

BUFFALO -- Not only did the Buffalo Sabres go through a culture change off the ice last week, they're now experiencing it on the ice as well.

The Sabres announced prior to facing the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday that they had assigned defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and left wing Johan Larsson to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. Center Mikhail Grigorenko was sent to the AHL, on a 14-day conditioning assignment. The team also sent defenseman Nikita Zadorov to the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.

Only 19-year-old center Zemgus Girgensons, the 14th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, survived the youth purge.

The oldest of the four players is Larsson, who is 21. The others are teenagers [Ristolainen and Grigorenko are 19 and Zadorov is 18]. The message from interim coach Ted Nolan was simple: The Sabres are too young to compete at the highest level in the NHL and they need more of a seasoned, veteran group.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 2:03 PM

By James Murphy -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Canadiens hope getting back to basics helps offense

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The Montreal Canadiens aren't having a lot of trouble keeping the puck out of their net this season, as Carey Price has been stellar between the pipes and the team defense has helped hold opponents at bay.

The problem for the Canadiens lately has been they can't seem to find a way to get the puck in their opponent's net. Montreal is allowing 2.05 goals-against per game, which is third-best in the NHL entering games Tuesday. But it ranks 21st in goals-for with 2.43 per game, and has just three goals in its past three games.

Despite Price stopping 77 of the past 79 shots he's faced in his previous two starts, he lost both games and coach Michel Therrien decided it's time to switch up the forward lines in an attempt to spark his offense and hopefully ease the pressure on Price. The Canadiens welcome one of the hottest teams in the NHL to the Bell Centre on Tuesday in the Minnesota Wild, who are riding a four-game win streak and are 8-1-1 in their past 10 games.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:45 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Islanders' Grabner to sit out against Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders will have some lineup changes when they meet Tuesday at Air Canada Centre.

Thomas Vanek skated with the team during the morning skate but will remain out of action with an upper-body injury. Joining him in the press box will be Michael Grabner, who took line rushes with Vanek and defenseman Radek Martinek but will be a healthy scratch. Grabner has gone 18 games without a goal and without a point in 12 games.

"I had a good talk with him," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "Sometimes when you're squeezing your stick and things just don't seem to go your way, sometimes it's good to take a step back. I normally don't talk about conversations with players that I have with [the media], but [Grabner] is going to be fine for us."

The Islanders enter the game having won just two of their past seven games.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:44 PM

By Matt Sitkoff -  NHL.com Contributor /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live talks Stadium Series with Ducks' Etem

Rick Nash returns to the New York Rangers' lineup to face the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, and NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have a live update from Madison Square Garden with Rangers radio analyst Dave Maloney. We'll also check in with Darren Pang from Buffalo to preview the St. Louis Blues' game against the Buffalo Sabres.

Tickets are now on sale for the 2014 Coors Light Stadium Series game in Los Angeles and we'll talk to Anaheim Ducks forward and California native Emerson Etem about that game against the Los Angeles Kings and the Ducks' recent play.

Remember to submit your #AskDano questions for Ken Daneyko through Twitter via @NHLNetwork, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask you to pick the game of the night.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:32 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Rangers' Nash back in fold

Rick Nash's return is here, and the fantasy implications are huge.

Nash, a perennial 30-plus goal scorer with 300-plus shot capability, will be back in the lineup Tuesday when the New York Rangers host the Boston Bruins (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN). The 29-year-old sustained a concussion on Oct. 8 in San Jose and had been sidelined ever since.

In three games this season, Nash compiled three points (one power-play point), five penalty minutes and nine shots on goal. Even after missing 17 games due to injury, he still has three-quarters of the season left to get his production back up to speed and pay dividends for your team.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:17 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Rangers coach Vigneault understands Bruins rivalry

NEW YORK -- Coach Alain Vigneault was not at the helm last season when the New York Rangers were eliminated by the Boston Bruins in a five-game Eastern Conference Semifinal series. But he admitted to harboring his own personal feelings for the defending Eastern Conference champions.

"I don't need to have played for the Rangers to have a dislike for Boston," Vigneault said after New York's morning skate. "I got that on my own."

As coach of the Vancouver Canucks, who dismissed him following last season's first-round playoff sweep at the hands of the San Jose Sharks, Vigneault and his team lost to the Bruins in seven games in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. That series was an intense one for all parties involved, but Vigneault didn't feel any need to remind his players of their respective histories with Boston.

"I think everybody is aware of the New York-Boston rivalry. It's a good one," Vigneault said. "It's intense and it's going to be that way [Tuesday]."

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:16 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Senators' Ryan enjoys rare Philadelphia homecoming

PHILADELPHIA -- It's a quick homecoming for Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan, but it's a homecoming nonetheless and his first in more than three years.

Ryan will play Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center for the first time since Oct. 21, 2010, when he visited here with the Anaheim Ducks. Wells Fargo Center is a 20-minute drive from his hometown of Cherry Hill, N.J.

Ryan estimated he'll have 40-50 friends and family members in the stands.

"Obviously when you can have family, friends and people you grew up with in the stands it means more to you," Ryan said Tuesday. "I don't spend much time here anymore, a couple of weeks in the summer is about it, but it's still home, it's where I grew up, so it's always nice. It's a big homecoming."

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:05 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flyers hope to recapture road success at home

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers know the only way to make the success they had on their recent road trip matter is if they find a way to recreate it on home ice. That starts Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators.

The Flyers won their most recent game at Wells Fargo Center 4-2 against the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 9, but they're 3-7-0 at home and have been outscored 29-15. They're 3-0-1 in their past four games, but that includes a 2-0-1 road stretch against the Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins and Winnipeg Jets.

"It's really important for teams to play good at home and obviously that hasn't been the case this year," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. "It's going to be a pretty good crowd [Tuesday] and we'll need to get them going as soon as possible."

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 11:58 AM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Nash to return to Rangers' lineup

NEW YORK -- All-Star forward Rick Nash confirmed after the morning skate that he will be in the lineup for the New York Rangers on Tuesday night as they take on the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN).

It will mark Nash's first game since sustaining a concussion on Oct. 8 against the San Jose Sharks.

Nash missed 17 games with the injury and admitted he was curious to see how he would respond to his first game action in over a month.

"I'm excited. Kind of a controlled emotion. It's been a long six weeks, so I'm excited to get in there," Nash said after the morning skate. "I think the first everything is going to take a while, whether it's a hit, a shot, a pass, making different plays. It was a long time off, so it's going to take some time."


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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 9:40 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Koivu to captain Finland's Olympic team -- but which?

A Koivu will captain Finland at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Which Koivu, however, is unknown.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Tuesday that Anaheim Ducks forward Saku Koivu or his younger brother, Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu, will be named captain of the Finnish Olympic team.

"It's a question between the Koivu brothers as to who will be the captain," Finland Olympic coach Erkka Westerlund told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "I've known Mikko since he was this high [holding his left hand four feet off the ground]. … He's a strong leader on our team. He knows what he wants. He can help the teammates play better."

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Quote of the Day

I definitely think going back down helped me, I had a lot of confidence down there, I played a lot of minutes and I think that helped me a lot. With the 37 games up here, that gave me experience as well. I know what it takes to play in the NHL and now it's time for me to show that I'm capable of being a full-time NHL player.

— Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl on finishing the 2014-15 season in juniors after playing 37 games with Edmonton to begin the season