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Posted On Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 7:27 PM

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

Blackhawks put Handzus on injured reserve

The Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday placed forward Michal Handzus on injured reserve, retroactive to Oct. 25, and recalled forward Alex Broadhurst from the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.

Handzus, 36, has three points (one goal) in nine games with the Blackhawks. He has missed the past eight games with an upper-body injury.

Posted On Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 7:04 PM

NHL.com - NHL Live blog

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

E.J. Hradek Game Picks Thursday November 14th:

Columbus Blue Jackets vs Boston Bruins - Bruins

Los Angeles Kings vs New York Islanders - Kings

Anaheim Ducks vs Tampa Bay Lightning - Lightning

Phoenix Coyotes vs Chicago Blackhawks - Blackhawks

Colorado Avalanche vs St. Louis Blues - Blues

Dallas Stars vs Calgary Flames - Flames

San Jose Sharks vs Vancouver Canucks - Canucks

E.J.'s Season Record: 99-59-17

Posted On Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 4:16 PM

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

Canucks hoping for better play from top line

VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks will get some forward depth back during the next two games.

David Booth returns Thursday against the San Jose Sharks from a groin injury and conditioning stint in the American Hockey League, while Jannik Hansen (shoulder) returned to practice Wednesday and is eligible to come off long-term injured reserve Sunday against the Dallas Stars. And Dale Weise (knee) may join him after skating with the team for the first time Thursday.

"You have to get hit to feel comfortable but I am close," Weise said. "I'll practice Saturday and if that feels good, maybe Sunday. If not then Tuesday [against the Florida Panthers] I think I will be back."

Posted On Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 3:06 PM

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

Flames pair mark milestones against Stars

CALGARY -- Eight years ago Dennis Wideman's only goal was to stay in the NHL for an entire season with the St. Louis Blues.

He's since managed that and then some.

Just a week shy of the anniversary of his first NHL game, Wideman will suit up for career game No. 600 when the Calgary Flames host the Dallas Stars at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

"I was hoping I would get a full year in when I first came in," said the Flames defenseman, who was 22 when he made his NHL debut. "That was about it. That was my goal at that point, just trying to stay, let alone play as many as I have now."

Posted On Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 2:50 PM

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

Kings goalie Quick out with groin strain

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick has a grade-2 groin strain, according to Kings coach Darryl Sutter.

The Kings had sent Quick back to Los Angeles on Wednesday for further examination and an MRI test showed the injury.

Sutter said Quick can begin rehabilitating the injury immediately, but said there was no timetable for him to return.

In his absence, the Kings called up Martin Jones from their American Hockey League affiliate to back up Ben Scrivens, who will start Thursday against the New York Islanders.

Posted On Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 2:29 PM

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

Hanzal, Vrbata returning to Coyotes' lineup

CHICAGO -- The Phoenix Coyotes will get two of their most important players back Thursday at United Center against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Top center Martin Hanzal (illness) and second-line right wing Radim Vrbata (lower body) will return to the lineup after going through a full morning skate.

Hanzal missed one game, a 3-2 overtime win Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues, while Vrbata missed the past two games. Defenseman Derek Morris, who has missed the past three games with a lower-body injury, went through the skate but will not play.

"It gives us a little more depth at the forward position," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "They're two guys who we put in our top-six forwards, so you take two of them out together, that's a big hole. [Hanzal] touches so many parts of the game for us at center ice and Vrbata's been, for the last couple years, our leading goal scorer. They're both valuable players who can hopefully jump back in and contribute."

Morris also is getting closer to returning.

Posted On Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 2:13 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Colaiacovo calls return to Blues 'too good to be true'

ST. LOUIS -- When the situation presented itself for Carlo Colaiacovo, it was a no-brainer for the veteran defenseman to go back to familiar territory.

Colaiacovo, 30, was on the ice for the morning skate Thursday with the St. Louis Blues after settling immigration paperwork, passing his physical and then making his one-year, $550,000 one-way contract official. Colaiacovo played for the Blues from 2008-12 after being acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs along with Alexander Steen for Lee Stempniak.

Jordan Leopold is sidelined two months with ligament damage to his right index finger, so the Blues felt compelled to bring in a veteran presence and one that they were familiar with rather than go with a younger American Hockey League player to fill the void as a seventh defenseman.

When things intensified Monday, Colaiacovo didn't waste any time deciding what to do.

Posted On Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 1:14 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Bruins' Johnson to get rare start in goal

BOSTON -- Those hoping the goaltending matchup Thursday at TD Garden would pit last season's Vezina Trophy winner against one of the prime candidates for that award this season will be half-pleased when the Boston Bruins host the Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

Blue Jackets star goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who was voted the best goaltender in the NHL last season, will start for his team. But Tuukka Rask, who woke up Thursday leading the League in save percentage (.948), will get a rare night off and let Chad Johnson make a start.

Johnson hasn't played since Nov. 2, a 3-1 road loss to the New York Islanders. That night the Bruins were outshot 34-27 and it was one of the most-criticized performances of the season by coach Claude Julien. So this time around the Bruins will try to support Johnson better.

Posted On Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 12:34 PM

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

NHL Live previews Ducks-Lightning, talks to Brodeur

Thursday is a big night in the NHL as the top team in the Eastern Conference, the Tampa Bay Lightning, plays the top team in the Western Conference, the Anaheim Ducks. NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will break down what makes each team run. The Chicago Blackhawks and Phoenix Coyotes, two top teams in the West, square off and we'll fire up our Arena Cam in Chicago to preview the game with Eddie Olczyk.

New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur has won his past three games while giving up only two goals and he will join the show to talk about his hot play and expectations for the rest of the season.

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 between the #NHLAnaheimDucks and #NHLLightning.

Posted On Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 12:30 PM

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

Poulin back in net for Islanders against Kings

Kevin Poulin will make his third straight start in net for the New York Islanders when they host the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

Poulin is 1-1-0 in his past two games, but stopped 32 of 33 shots in a 3-1 defeat of the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.

The Islanders also will have center John Tavares in the lineup. Tavares had sat out practice Wednesday to receive treatment for what Newsday reported to be a hip injury sustained during the game against Nashville on Tuesday.

Ben Scrivens will start in goal for the Kings; it will be his first start since Oct. 29. With Jonathan Quick out indefinitely with a groin injury, Scrivens likely will see most of the action for the final three games of Los Angeles' trip, which after Long Island takes the Kings to New Jersey and Madison Square Garden for a game against the New York Rangers.

Here is how both teams' lineups could look Thursday:

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Quote of the Day

I'm going into this with an open mind. This is a very young player (23) with a tremendous, tremendous amount of upside.

— Rangers coach Alain Vigneault on Emerson Etem's potential