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Posted On Saturday, 11.02.2013 / 12:24 PM

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

Third line leading offensive charge for Capitals

ARLINGTON, Va. -- As he warmed up ahead of the Washington Capitals' matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers Friday, right wing Joel Ward turned to linemate Jason Chimera and told him he was feeling pretty good.

"You know, I feel pretty good today too," Chimera responded.

The pair combined for four goals and three assists, including Ward's first career hat trick, in Washington's 7-0 victory.

Along with center Mikhail Grabovski, who had three assists of his own Friday, the Capitals' third line has been their most productive trio over the last two weeks. Since joining forces Oct. 19 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Chimera, Grabovski and Ward have combined for 10 goals and 22 points at even-strength.

"We've just been rolling," Ward said. "Chim has been flying and has been getting some big goals for us. Grabo makes good plays, got a great shot and he's got a good stick."

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Posted On Saturday, 11.02.2013 / 12:11 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Kulemin could return for Maple Leafs against Canucks

VANCOUVER -- On a night with no shortage of storylines, it might be easy to overlook Nikolai Kulemin returning from a fractured foot. But the Toronto Maple Leafs could use him against the Vancouver Canucks.

It may have gotten lost amid plans for the retirement of Pavel Bure's No. 10, the contract extension Canucks forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin signed Friday, the return of Mason Raymond to Vancouver, or the similarities between the Maple Leafs goaltending tandem and what the Canucks went through the past two seasons. But with forward Carter Ashton starting a two-game suspension for a hit from behind on Derek Smith of the Calgary Flames on Wednesday, Kulemin is the best option to take his place in a matchup with the Canucks' loaded top line of the Sedin twins with Ryan Kesler.

Assuming Kulemin plays, that is.

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Posted On Saturday, 11.02.2013 / 11:20 AM

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

Lightning, Blues feeling confident after shutouts

TAMPA -- After the Tampa Bay Lightning and the St. Louis Blues each posted a shutout against their respective opponent Friday night, they rested Saturday morning.

The Lightning arrived home from Raleigh, N.C., where they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0. St. Louis made the hop north from Sunrise, Fla., after shutting out the Florida Panthers 4-0. With each team having played the night before, morning skates were optional, with only a handful of players on the ice.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper tapped Ben Bishop to start in net Saturday against the Blues. Bishop stopped all 31 shots he faced against the Hurricanes for his eighth win and first shutout of the season.

The Blues are expected to counter with Jaroslav Halak in net.

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Posted On Friday, 11.01.2013 / 11:06 PM

NHL.com - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

COL @ DAL - 17:33 of the Third Period

At 17:33 of the third period in the Avalanche/Stars game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that Jamie Benn's shot did not completely cross the goal line. No Goal Dallas.

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Posted On Friday, 11.01.2013 / 10:37 PM

NHL.com - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

COL @ DAL - 4:34 of the Third Period

At 4:34 of the third period in the Avalanche/Stars game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that John Mitchell's shot did not completely cross the goal line. No Goal Colorado.

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Posted On Friday, 11.01.2013 / 9:21 PM

NHL.com - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

NYI @ OTT - 14:47 of the Second Period

At 14:47 of the second period in the Islanders/Senators game, video review from the in-net camera supported the referee's call on the ice that Clarke MacArthur's shot completely crossed the goal line. Good Goal Ottawa.

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Posted On Friday, 11.01.2013 / 9:08 PM

NHL.com - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

CBJ @ PIT - 1:35 of the Third Period

At 1:35 of the third period in the Blue Jackets/Penguins game, video review determined that Evgeni Malkin's shot did not completely cross the goal line. No Goal Pittsburgh.

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Posted On Friday, 11.01.2013 / 8:40 PM

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

Varlamov starts for Avalanche; Talbot debuts

DALLAS -- Two days after Semyon Varlamov was arrested on domestic-violence charges in Denver, he started in goal for the Colorado Avalanche on Friday against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

"I just feel it's the right decision," Colorado coach Patrick Roy said after the morning skate. "Why wait? [Varlamov] looks good this morning. We're all aware what happened and we just feel that he's our guy. We have a lot of confidence in him as a goalie. We feel that it's good for him to play [Friday]."

Varlamov appeared in a Denver court Thursday facing charges of second-degree kidnapping and third-degree assault stemming from his arrest Wednesday. He spent Wednesday night in jail but was released after his court appearance Thursday, posting a $5,000 bond. He was told he could travel with the team and was given a restraining order to stay away from his girlfriend.

Varlamov, who did not address the media after morning skate, is 7-1-0 this season with a 1.76 goals-against average and .945 save percentage for the Avalanche, who are 10-1-0.

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Posted On Friday, 11.01.2013 / 8:04 PM

NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Hradek, Mayers debate topics from around the league

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Posted On Friday, 11.01.2013 / 7:36 PM

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

NHL Live: E.J. Hradek's Friday game picks

E.J. Hradek Game Picks Friday November 1st:

Washington Capitals vs Philadelphia Flyers: Flyers

Columbus Blue Jackets vs Pittsburgh Penguins: Penguins

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Carolina Hurricanes: Hurricanes

New York Islanders vs Ottawa Senators: Senators

St. Louis Blues vs Florida Panthers: Blues

Montreal Canadiens vs Minnesota Wild: Wild

Dallas Stars vs Colorado Avalanche: Stars

Detroit Red Wings vs Calgary Flames: Wings

E.J.'s Season Record: 78-40-7

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Quote of the Day

That's a really tough thing to play through; when you finally are thrown out there, the game is fast, intense, every single play matters, you've got to find a way to play through that and make smart plays. So it's a huge testament to [Vermette] and some other individuals in our locker room that are putting their own ego, their own wants and needs aside, and are ready for those opportunities when they do come.

— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on teammate Antoine Vermette, who returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 to score the double-overtime winner in Game 4