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Posted On Friday, 11.15.2013 / 2:00 PM

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

Ericsson back for Red Wings, Green out for Capitals

DETROIT -- Jonathan Ericsson isn't cherry-picking his return to the Detroit Red Wings starting lineup.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound defenseman will make his return to Detroit's top defense pairing Friday night at Joe Louis Arena against the high-powered Washington Capitals, who are led by superstar Alex Ovechkin (14 goals, seven assists).

After missing 10 games with a shoulder subluxation, Ericsson is ready to get back on the ice with defense partner Niklas Kronwall.

"We'll keep him under 30 minutes and obviously he's a real good defender for us and can pass the puck [and has] huge size," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said following Detroit's optional morning skate. "It gives us one more high-end guy to get the puck going and be a better team. The forwards need the puck and he can do that plus play against real good players."


Posted On Friday, 11.15.2013 / 1:37 PM

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

Nolan shifts Sabres' lines for first game of return

BUFFALO -- Ted Nolan's first game as interim coach of the Buffalo Sabres will be one loaded with potential storylines as they host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday.

The Sabres worked through drills during the morning skate after a vigorous practice Thursday. There will be a few notable switches in the team's lineup as Zemgus Girgensons and Ville Leino will play center and Marcus Foligno will return to the wing.

"We want to put these players in a position where they feel comfortable so there's no excuses," Nolan said of the moves.

Posted On Friday, 11.15.2013 / 1:32 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flu bug continues to leave Ducks in tough spot

RALEIGH -- The Anaheim Ducks are fighting through a bout with the flu.

One day after a 5-1 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Ducks had a light showing at their optional morning skate prior to their game Friday against the Carolina Hurricanes. Defenseman Francois Beauchemin and forward Corey Perry made brief appearances on the ice, while Teemu Selanne, Mathieu Perreault and Bryan Allen stayed at the team hotel.

"There's a lot of game-time decisions," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "There's three more guys sick who stayed back so we don't know what's going on. We might be short."

Goaltender Viktor Fasth, who missed 13 games with a lower-body injury, may start in goal against Carolina. He was in the visitor's net for the morning skate.


Posted On Friday, 11.15.2013 / 1:23 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Sharks' Boyle on fire in contract year

San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle was undervalued going into most fantasy drafts this season. His average draft position in Yahoo leagues was 107th overall and 21st among blueliners.

When he missed time due to injury early on, many owners were especially down on his value. Some even bailed on him, making him temporarily available in shallow leagues.

With the 37-year-old facing unrestricted free agency next summer, the clock began to tick for him to perform -- both in fantasy and reality.

Posted On Friday, 11.15.2013 / 1:11 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Senators stick with Anderson to face Bruins

OTTAWA -- Despite allowing five goals in his previous start, Craig Anderson will be in net again for the Ottawa Senators on Friday against the Boston Bruins at Canadian Tire Centre.

In his first start since Nov. 3, Anderson stopped 26 of 31 shots Tuesday in a 5-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. He missed three games because of a sore neck, the result of a goalmouth collision with Dallas Stars rookie Valeri Nichushkin.

Robin Lehner led Ottawa to three straight wins while Anderson was sidelined. Lehner was named the NHL's First Star of the Week on Monday after posting a 1.33 goals-against average and .958 save percentage in wins against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Montreal Canadiens and Florida Panthers.

After making the point that "Craig's the No. 1 goalie," Senators coach Paul MacLean joked about how he arrived at the decision to come back with Anderson against Boston.

"It came up heads?" MacLean said after Ottawa's morning skate.

Posted On Friday, 11.15.2013 / 1:08 PM

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

Letang, Martin expected to play for Penguins

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators enter Friday with three-game losing streaks. One of the teams will snap its skid when they meet at Consol Energy Center.

After averaging 3.13 non-shootout goals per game through its first 15 games, Pittsburgh's offense has slowed considerably, scoring one goal in each of its past three games. The Penguins haven't scored an even-strength goal in their past three games and will attempt to avoid extending that drought against the NHL's 25th-ranked defense.

"We have to stay to our game plan and stay to our systems and stick to the little things and keep working," Penguins forward James Neal said. "That's the only way to get through it."


Posted On Friday, 11.15.2013 / 12:42 PM

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

Rangers' Nash skates with contact at practice

New York Rangers All-Star wing Rick Nash skated Friday without a no-contact jersey, his first full-contact practice since suffering a concussion on Oct. 8 that has forced him to miss 15 games.

No word has been given regarding when Nash might return to the New York lineup, but he skated with the second power-play unit as well as on the Rangers' fourth defensive pairing alongside Michael Del Zotto, who will be a healthy scratch for New York's game against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

Center Dominic Moore, who has missed seven games with a strained oblique muscle, will return to the lineup Saturday against the Canadiens and Nash will travel with the Rangers to Montreal, marking his first team trip since sustaining his head injury. With Moore back in the lineup, Brandon Mashinter will be a healthy scratch. Justin Falk will make his fourth appearance of the season, his first since Oct. 19, replacing Del Zotto.

Posted On Friday, 11.15.2013 / 12:36 PM

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

Red Wings' Eaves clears waivers, assigned to AHL

The Detroit Red Wings announced Friday on Twitter that forward Patrick Eaves has cleared waivers and will be assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League. Eaves was waived Thursday in an effort to provide cap relief.

Eaves was in his fifth season in Detroit after stints with the Ottawa Senators and Carolina Hurricanes. The Red Wings also sent forward Jordin Tootoo to the AHL this week.

After starting the season with an injury, Eaves has only played in three games in 2013-14, collecting no points and averaging less than 10 minutes of ice time per game.


Posted On Friday, 11.15.2013 / 12:04 PM

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

Devils' Elias expects to play vs. Kings

NEWARK, N.J. -- Even though New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer called it a game-time decision, Devils forward Patrik Elias said he expects to be back in the lineup Friday against the Los Angeles Kings after missing the past six games because of back spasms.

Elias hasn't played since Oct. 29 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has seven points in 10 games this season.

Elias admitted that his back "still bothers me, but not to the point where I'll sit out."

Stephen Gionta also said he's good to go for the game against the Kings. He's missed the past two games with a sore foot.


Posted On Friday, 11.15.2013 / 11:14 AM

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

NHL Live looks at Nolan's return to Sabres

The weekend is upon us but before that NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will get you ready for your hockey Friday. The red-hot Washington Capitals face the Detroit Red Wings, at 7 p.m. on NHL Network, and we'll get a live report on our NHL Arena Cam from Capitals radio voice John Walton.

Ted Nolan will coach his first game as the Buffalo Sabres interim coach against the division rival Toronto Maple Leafs. We'll go out to Buffalo on our Arena Cam and talk to Buffalo News reporter Mike Harrington to preview this matchup.

Also, we'll have another edition of the Faceoff Presented by Tirerack where EJ and Jamal Mayers go head-to-head and debate three current topics in the NHL. The Buffalo Sabres' recent house-cleaning will surely be discussed in addition to other hot-button issues. We'll also have plenty of game previews on this busy Friday night including a look at the Minnesota Wild in search of a ninth win in their last 11 games, as they take on the Florida Panthers.

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.

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Quote of the Day

He's only 17 but he can see the ice so well and he moves the puck and goes to the open ice all the time, so I just think he's a player that is ready to play in the NHL. I'm really looking forward to coaching someone like this.

— U.S. National Junior Team coach Ron Wilson on Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft