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Posted On Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 3:11 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2014 Top Prospects Game blog

Brayden Point to replace Samuel Bennett

Kingston Frontenacs center Samuel Bennett, an A-rated skater on the NHL Central Scouting's December players to watch list for the 2014 NHL Draft, will not participate in the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, Sportsnet) after sustaining a lower-body injury.

Moose Jaw Warriors center Brayden Point will replace Bennett on Team Orr roster the Top Prospects Game, which will be played in Calgary at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Point, a 5-foot-9.5, 160-pound forward, has team-highs of 19 goals and 42 points in 44 Western Hockey League games.

Posted On Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 2:28 PM

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

Injured Leafs forward Bolland hopes to start skating

TORONTO – The recovery for injured Toronto Maple Leafs forward Dave Bolland is going well and the hope is he'll return to skating with the team this week.

"Bolland will hopefully start skating with us after these two games. Thursday is the target date," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "He's had to travel to Montreal to have a new boot specifically designed to relieve pressure around where his injury, the incision, the repair, was done and that boot is supposed to be made available to us after this weekend. Hopefully he'll join our hockey club for practice on Thursday and then that's the road to recovery. The plan is for him to make the road trip with us and practice a week from Monday."

Posted On Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 1:53 PM

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

Flyers' Downie to sit against Rangers

NEW YORK -- When the Philadelphia Flyers face off against the New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, they'll do so with forward Steve Downie watching from the press box. With the right wing struggling of late, coach Craig Berube decided Downie will be a healthy scratch.

"His intensity level is not where it needs to be shift to shift," Berube said following Philadelphia's optional skate.

Downie has dealt with a concussion and an upper-body injury since being traded to Philadelphia on Oct. 31 in a trade that sent Maxime Talbot to the Colorado Avalanche. He has been held without a point in his past nine games and took two penalties in a 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday afternoon. He was also on the ice for Valtteri Filppula's winning goal, which was scored 66 seconds after Jakub Voracek scored in the second period to tie the game 3-3.

"I just have to come to work and work hard every day. It is what it is," said Downie, who hinted that he might still be dealing with injuries. "I feel good. I'm definitely not feeling great. It comes down to playing hard. I have to find that game again."

Posted On Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 1:46 PM

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

Hornqvist back in Predators lineup

NASHVILLE – Nashville Predators right wing Patric Hornqvist will return to the lineup Sunday against the Minnesota Wild at Bridgestone Arena after missing two games with an upper-body injury.

Hornqvist ranks fourth on the Predators in goals with nine in 41 games. As a net-front presence, he's also an integral part of the Predators' power play. Without Hornqvist, Nashville has not scored on its past five chances with the man advantage.

Overall, the Predators' power play, ranked seventh in the NHL, has struggled of late. Over the past six games, the unit has connected just once on 11 chances.

In a 2-1 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, the Predators had a power play over the final 1:36 of overtime but could not convert. Predators coach Barry Trotz said at that late juncture in the game the ice was very choppy. As a result, the players had trouble controlling the puck, which allowed Senators' penalty killers to pressure the Predators and prevent them from getting off too many good chances.

Posted On Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 1:34 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars after elusive win against Islanders

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars are currently on a five-game winless streak, which is rare territory in recent history. In fact, the Stars haven't lost six in a now in regulation since the 1995-96 team was outscored 28-13 in a six-game skid between Dec. 5 and Dec. 15, 1995.

The downturn started with a 6-4 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 2 at American Airlines Center. The Stars' last win was Dec. 31 when they defeated the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 to end 2013 on a high note.

In addition to the loss to the Canadiens, the Stars fell 5-1 to the Detroit Red Wings on Jan. 4 to end a five-game homestand at 2-2-1. During a recent three-game road trip through New York City, Dallas lost 7-3 at the New York Islanders on Monday, 1-0 at the New Jersey Devils on Thursday and 3-2 at the New York Rangers on Friday at Madison Square Garden.

Posted On Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 1:24 PM

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

Brodeur backing up again for Devils, mulling future

TORONTO – New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur will be playing the role of backup to Cory Schneider for the third consecutive game Sunday night, and it has him thinking about his future.

Brodeur, 41, has not been a backup goalie during his 20-season career spent entirely with the Devils and it has him considering what happens next.

"My heart is," Brodeur told reporters about playing one more season. "My body could be a different story. We'll see. I'll see what the best scenario is for me if it's back in New Jersey or somewhere else. But right now, my heart is here to try and finish strong and prove that I can still be a big impact in hockey games."

Posted On Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 1:02 PM

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

Leafs dealing with illness, winless streak

TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs have more than a four-game winless streak and the New Jersey Devils to contend with Sunday at Air Canada Centre. They're also battling illness.

According to Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle, forwards Tyler Bozak and Jerry D'Amigo, defensemen Mark Fraser and Tim Gleason, and goalie James Reimer all missed the morning skate with some kind of sickness.

"There's either a flu bug or food poisoning," Carlyle said. "There's just too many of them under the weather and having the same symptoms. We don't quite have a finger on exactly what it is. We think that there's people that weren't skating this morning that will be available to us tonight."

Posted On Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 10:09 AM

By Adam Vingan - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Capitals winning with flair for the comeback

ARLINGTON, Va. – As the Washington Capitals began to establish themselves as Stanley Cup contenders several seasons ago, they did so with a penchant for late-game dramatics.

Since the 2008-09 season, no team has more wins when trailing in the third period than the Capitals' 49, according to Elias Sports Bureau. That trend has continued this season. Washington leads the NHL with nine such victories, the most recent coming Friday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Down 2-1 after Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel scored less than a minute into the third period, the Capitals rallied with goals from forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Joel Ward to win 3-2, their second straight victory.

"Aside from a handful of games, we feel like we can win every single game," defenseman Karl Alzner said. "Doesn't matter if we're playing great or just okay, we always have that feeling where [Alex Ovechkin] can break out and score three goals or [Backstrom] can set up 10 guys. We have that feeling that we can win every game."

Posted On Saturday, 01.11.2014 / 10:54 PM

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

Red Wings' Alfredsson out vs. Kings

Detroit Red Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson is out of the lineup Saturday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

Alfredsson missed the game due to back spasms, according to the team. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told the Detroit Free Press he might also miss the game Sunday against the Anaheim Ducks.

Posted On Saturday, 01.11.2014 / 10:21 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

ANA @ PHX - 11:16 of the Third Period

At 11:16 of the third period in the Ducks/Coyotes game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that the puck deflected off Martin Hanzal'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 Phoenix.

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Quote of the Day

Yeah, I guess so. That empty-netter was pretty lucky, but I'll take it.

— Senators forward Mike Hoffman when asked if his two-goal game was a good way to celebrate his 26th birthday
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