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Posted On Tuesday, 12.03.2013 / 2:00 PM

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

No clowning as Blackhawks return from 'Circus Trip'

CHICAGO -- Five days after the Chicago Blackhawks won a memorable 11-round shootout against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center, the Central Division opponents will meet again Tuesday night at United Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).

The Blackhawks (20-4-4) will host the Stars (12-9-4) in their first game since going a franchise-best 6-1-0 during their annual November "Circus Trip," when their arena hosts the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Just like last season, when the Blackhawks ran through the Western Conference with little trouble in the 48-game regular season, they aren't clowning around. Chicago has won six in a row, is 15-3-2 in the past 20 games, and leads the NHL with 44 points through 28 games.

"I thought we had a real good trip, [with] every game played the right way," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we stabilized a situation that was getting a little bit out of hand with goals against, and I thought we were rock solid in all zones defensively and we had a lot of offense because of that. I love that consistency with the four lines and how we're playing."

Posted On Tuesday, 12.03.2013 / 1:37 PM

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

Panthers to scratch Kulikov against Senators

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, a former first-round pick who recently has been the subject of trade rumors, will be a healthy scratch Tuesday when the Florida Panthers play host to the Ottawa Senators at BB&T Center.

The move comes after a series of costly turnovers in recent games, the latest an errant pass in his zone that led to a Pittsburgh Penguins goal in a 5-2 loss Saturday.

"I think that's a good thing for a lot of players," Panthers coach Peter Horachek said. "They have to go through this process. They have to be accountable to their teammates, and when we decide that it's best for him, sometimes it's good just to sit back and see it. And you come back with a whole new approach to the game. Nobody wants to be in that situation, but sometimes it's just necessary."

The 14th selection in the 2009 NHL Draft, Kulikov, 23, has three points and a minus-9 rating this season, his fifth in the League. Kulikov said he was surprised by the decision.

"I don't think I've been playing bad enough to get thrown out of the lineup," Kulikov said. "But it's a coach's decision. I'm disappointed. That's the only way to describe it. I'm going to work hard to get back in the lineup."

Posted On Tuesday, 12.03.2013 / 1:19 PM

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

Dubinsky back, wants Blue Jackets to show urgency

COLUMBUS -- Columbus Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky returns from injury Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning hoping to stabilize a team that hasn't won two games in a row since late October.

"It's nice to get back in the lineup and try to help this team get back on track and find some consistency and string some wins together," he said.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.03.2013 / 12:51 PM

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

No goals yet, but Capitals' Green gaining confidence

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Based solely on statistics, Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green is mired in a slump.

Through 24 games, the 28-year-old is in search of his first goal, the longest season-opening drought of his nine-year career.

Green has come up empty on all 62 shots on goal, the most taken by any player in the League without scoring this season. It's certainly not the norm for the player who has led all defensemen in goals in three of the past five seasons and whose 91 goals since 2007-08 rank second among NHL defensemen.

Coach Adam Oates could tell Green was perhaps forcing things in an attempt to get off the schneid, which was negatively affecting him in other areas.

"I think when a guy gets in a so-called slump, and for him, it was just because he hasn't got a goal," Oates said. "To me, first thing I said was, 'That's not a slump.' Goals will come. For me, it's his touches and his decisions. If you're pressing to get a goal, you're going to skate in opportunities you're not supposed to skate at and not wait for it at the right time. I felt like just his reads were a little off."

Posted On Tuesday, 12.03.2013 / 10:56 AM

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

Broken jaw sidelines Canucks' Burrows 4 weeks

Vancouver Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows broke his jaw in the team's 3-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.

Burrows had successful surgery Monday and is expected to miss four weeks.

Burrows sustained the injury when he was hit by defenseman Christopher Tanev's clearing attempt. He stayed in the game and wound up playing 18:47 over 29 shifts.

"Alex is a big part of our team and it's a big loss, but we'll come together and he'll be back soon," goaltender Roberto Luongo said.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.03.2013 / 10:24 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

Kings-Ducks Stadium Series game focus of NHL Live

There are nine games on the NHL schedule Tuesday, highlighted by the Anaheim Ducks hosting the Los Angeles Kings in a preview of a Coors Light Stadium Series game, and NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have Kings great Luc Robitaille, the team's president of business operations, on the show.

With the Kings and Ducks set to unveil their Stadium Series jerseys Tuesday, we'll also talk to film and TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer, one of the biggest Kings fans in Hollywood, on the rivalry between these teams and what figures to be a magic moment coming up Saturday, Jan. 25, when they meet at Dodger Stadium.

The Nashville Predators are celebrating their 15th year of existence and we'll go out on our Arena Cam prior to their game with the Vancouver Canucks to talk to one of their alumni, Cliff Ronning.

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 Monday, 12.02.2013 / 9:40 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

NJD @ MTL - 2:46 of the Third Period

At 2:46 of the third period in the Devils/Canadiens game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that Damien Brunner's shot did not completely cross the goal line. No goal New Jersey.

Posted On Monday, 12.02.2013 / 7:42 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2013 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Weight, Karmanos linked by Detroit, Stanley Cup

DETROIT -- There’s a special bond between Detroit native Doug Weight and Peter Karmanos Jr., who is such a large part of the amateur hockey scene there.

Karmanos founded the Compuware hockey organization, and Weight played with and against those teams growing up.

Years later, the duo was reunited when the Carolina Hurricanes acquired Weight from the St. Louis Blues late in the 2005-06 NHL season. Weight had 13 points in 16 regular-season games then 16 in 23 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help the Hurricanes win their only Stanley Cup.

Posted On Monday, 12.02.2013 / 6:48 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2013 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame blog

OHL experience led Karmanos to Hurricanes

DETROIT -- Peter Karmanos Jr. is best known today as the owner of the Carolina Hurricanes.

But if it weren’t for his success in the Ontario Hockey League, he might never have bought into the NHL to begin with.

Karmanos, who founded the Compuware hockey organization in Detroit, reached across the Detroit River to purchase the Windsor Spitfires in 1984.

Posted On Monday, 12.02.2013 / 6:43 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2013 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Doctor's suggestion led Weight to Hall of Fame career

DETROIT -- Growing up in Detroit, Doug Weight likely would have found his way onto a hockey rink eventually. But a suggestion from the family physician paved the way to a career that landed him in the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.

Weight told reporters that when he learned to walk he was bowlegged, and at the suggestion of a doctor, his father put him into hockey.

“I was in these braces when I was 2 years old and couldn’t walk,” Weight said. “I was bowlegged. [My father] started putting me on the ice to strengthen my legs on a suggestion from a doctor.”

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Quote of the Day

[Stamkos] is a great teammate and a great leader, that's why he's got the 'C'. He brings that tremendous work ethic to the rink and he's one of the top players in the game. I know if I put the passes where they are supposed to be, there's a very good chance he's going to put it in the back of the net.

— Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin on linemate Steven Samkos
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