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Posted On Thursday, 12.05.2013 / 1:01 PM

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

Cooper wants goal-starved Lightning to stick with it

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning open a two-game homestand Thursday when the Ottawa Senators visit Tampa Bay Times Forum, and if the visitors are bringing any gifts, the Lightning hope it is in the form of a few scoring opportunities.

Tampa Bay has been shut out in consecutive games and three times in five games. Excluding an empty-net goal by Tyler Johnson against the Philadelphia Flyers on Nov. 27, the Lightning are scoreless in 135 minutes. Add to this the power play, which still ranks eighth in the NHL but is 4-for-46 in the past 15 games, and it is clear that the Lightning are enduring a significant power outage.

"Hopefully we can turn that around tonight," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We're going to have to do that soon because there are too many teams that have closed the gap and are starting to pass us now.

Posted On Thursday, 12.05.2013 / 12:57 PM

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

Penguins' Malkin out; Crosby hits milestone

PITTSBURGH -- Evgeni Malkin will miss the Pittsburgh Penguins' game Thursday against the San Jose Sharks at Consol Energy Center with a lower-body injury.

Malkin left midway through Pittsburgh's morning skate and is listed as day-to-day. He is one point behind Sidney Crosby in the NHL scoring race with 37 points and on a season-high nine-game point streak (four goals, 15 assists).

"[Malkin's] month of November, at least from the media's aspect, was maybe the least spectacular month of anyone's career," Bylsma said. "There was a lot of heat, pressure and question marks for the first 20 games of that month.

"He quietly put up multi-point games and assist games during that month and played maybe his best games against Anaheim, where he didn't get a point. He certainly caught fire near the end of the month."

Posted On Thursday, 12.05.2013 / 12:41 PM

By Alain Poupart - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Jets minus Kane again; Kulikov back in for Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Winnipeg Jets will play a second consecutive game without left wing Evander Kane on Thursday night against the Florida Panthers, but he should be back in the lineup before too long.

Kane, who was injured in a 2-1 loss against the Philadelphia Flyers this past Friday, will be evaluated on a daily basis after tests didn't reveal any structural damage.

"We didn't see anything there that would cause us to be alarmed," Jets coach Claude Noel said before his team's optional skate Thursday. "He's just day-to-day. He's got to work his way through this. He won't be a player in tonight's game, but we'll just take it one day at a time."

With Kane sitting out, the Jets beat the New York Rangers 5-2 Monday to improve to 3-1-0 on their season-long six-game road trip, which concludes Saturday with a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Posted On Thursday, 12.05.2013 / 12:21 PM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

Canucks' Kesler talks Heritage Classic on NHL Live

There are 10 games on the Thursday schedule and NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will go inside of the League's historic rivalries as the Montreal Canadiens get set to welcome in their Original Six rivals the Boston Bruins.

We'll also go out on our Arena Cam to preview important matchups including the San Jose Sharks at Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers at Buffalo Sabres and Dallas Stars at Toronto Maple Leafs.

Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler will call in to promote the 2014 Tim Hortons Heritage Classic against the Ottawa Senators and to talk about the team's play this season.

In addition, NHL Insider Darren Pang joins the show on the Arena Cam at Scottrade Center to talk about the St. Louis Blues hosting the New York Islanders and Kevin Weekes will provide the scoop on who's hot and who's cold in the game between the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks.

Remember to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask you to pick the game of the night.

Posted On Thursday, 12.05.2013 / 10:12 AM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Giroux performs well with Olympic audience

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux picked the right night to have a strong game.

Giroux, hoping for a spot on Canada's roster for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, had a goal and an assist, four shots on goal and won 16 of 25 faceoffs -- including eight of 11 in the defensive zone -- in the Flyers' 6-3 defeat of the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.

Watching in person was Canada executive director Steve Yzerman, as well as Detroit coach Mike Babcock, who will reprise his role as Canada's Olympic coach.

Giroux was invited to Hockey Canada's summer evaluation camp but had to skip it while recovering from surgery to repair severed tendons in his index finger sustained in a summer golf outing. However, Yzerman told the Philadelphia Daily News on Wednesday that Giroux's absence from the summer camp wasn't being held against him.

"We would have liked him to come," Yzerman said. "But he was busy rehabbing. That's fine. That doesn't make a difference."

Posted On Wednesday, 12.04.2013 / 9:37 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

MTL @ NJD - 19:23 of the Third Period

At 19:23 of the third period in the Canadiens/Devils game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that David Desharnais' stick was below the level of the crossbar when he deflected the puck into the net. According to Rule 60.5 "The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick. If the puck makes contact with the stick below the level of the crossbar and enters the goal, this goal shall be allowed". Good goal Montreal.

Posted On Wednesday, 12.04.2013 / 6:50 PM - NHL Live blog

Senators' Turris on 2014 Heritage Classic

Ottawa Senators forward Kyle Turris joined NHL Live to discuss participating in the 2014 Tim Hortons Heritage Classic. Turris will play against the Vancouver Canucks at BC Place, not far from where he grew up.

"I'm ecstatic," Turris said. "It's going to be really neat. It's going to be so much fun. To be able to play in front of family and friends is going to be something I'll never forget."

Posted On Wednesday, 12.04.2013 / 6:48 PM - NHL Live blog

Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist talks new contract

NHL Live was joined by New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist after signing a new seven-year contract with the Rangers.

Once the contract was signed, Lundqvist was excited and thankful that both sides got it done.

"It was an easy decision for me to stay in New York," Lundqvist said. "I'm just really happy.

"It's a big deal. It's about my future. It's the most important contract of my career. It's hard not to think about it, but when it came down to game time, it was not a distraction. But it feels really good to have it over, to move forward here and to get an opportunity to stay a Ranger."

Posted On Wednesday, 12.04.2013 / 4:19 PM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

Henrik Lundqvist to join NHL Live

The New York Rangers signed franchise goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to a lucrative seven-year contract extension on Wednesday, and on NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, we'll have Lundqvist on as a guest and welcome NHL insider Darren Dreger to talk about what the extension means for the Rangers going forward.

Wednesday Night Rivalry returns on NBCSN as the Detroit Red Wings host the Philadelphia Flyers at 8 p.m. ET, and we'll check in on our Arena Cam with Pierre McGuire, who will be "Between the Glass" for this rematch between teams that met for the Stanley Cup in 1997.

USA Hockey announced its selection camp roster for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship and Don Lucia, the coach of the U.S. National Junior Team, will join the show to discuss what he's looking for from the group that will go to Malmo, Sweden later this month.

Ottawa Senators forward Kyle Turris will also make an appearance to discuss Senators hockey and give us a look ahead at the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic against the Vancouver Canucks.

Remember to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask you to pick the game of the night.

Posted On Wednesday, 12.04.2013 / 2:34 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Giordano to return to Flames' lineup

CALGARY -- Calgary's captain is set to return.

The Calgary Flames will have defenseman Mark Giordano back in the lineup when they host the Phoenix Coyotes at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday.

"He'll be in the lineup," coach Bob Hartley said. "When you wear the 'C' not only are you a great player but you're a special person. Our best leader is coming back to our group and we're going to play him."

Giordano has missed the past 18 games with a broken ankle sustained in a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 21. He had seven assists and nine points in eight games and was averaging more than 25 minutes of ice time per game before the injury.

The Flames went 5-11-2 in Giordano's absence.

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