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Posted On Friday, 10.04.2013 / 1:53 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Jets hoping to come out firing against Kings

WINNIPEG -– The Winnipeg Jets' fresh legs will meet an opponent in the Los Angeles Kings that is playing its second game in 24 hours when the teams meet Friday night at MTS Centre.

The Kings opened their season Thursday night on the road by grinding out a come-from-behind 3-2 shootout win against the Minnesota Wild. Winnipeg opened its season Tuesday with a third-period rally of its own in taking a 5-4 win against the Edmonton Oilers.

Only four Kings participated in the team's morning skate after a late arrival in Winnipeg from Minnesota. Jets right wing Blake Wheeler watched the Los Angeles-Minnesota game on television, and he expects the Kings to attempt to slow down a quick Jets team, especially with L.A. playing on consecutive nights.

"From our side, we've got to come at them and try to make them skate with us," Wheeler said after the Jets' morning skate.

Winnipeg plays eight of its next nine games at home and needs a strong month to establish itself as a legitimate player in the Western Conference, especially after posting a 13-10-1 home record last season that ranked 21st in the League. Jets coach Claude Noel is interested to see how his team fares against an opponent that plays a very conservative game. In his third season at the helm in Winnipeg, Noel has made a stronger commitment to defensive play a major priority in 2013-14.

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Posted On Friday, 10.04.2013 / 1:50 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live previews MacKinnon-Jones showdown

Nathan MacKinnon vs, Seth Jones, Part I, is Friday night as the top pick in the 2013 NHL Draft faces off with the No. 4 pick, and NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have that game between the Colorado Avalanche and Nashville Predators covered. We'll also have NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose on to give his Mullet of the Week.

Also on Friday, we'll have our first edition of the weekly "College Hockey Report." Boston College star Johnny Gaudreau will be joining us to preview the Eagles' season, which begins next week.

Plus, Daniel Briere of the Montreal Canadiens will be on the show as he prepares to face the Philadelphia Flyers for the first time this season tomorrow night at the Bell Centre. Hard to believe, but Briere was once placed on waivers while making less than $1 million dollars. All 30 teams passed on him before he went on to Buffalo and became a star with the Sabres. Now, he has begun his 15th season in the NHL and first with the Canadiens.

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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Posted On Friday, 10.04.2013 / 1:22 PM

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

Islanders depending on rookies Nelson, Donovan

NEWARK, N.J. -- New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano said he was asking for just one thing from rookies Brock Nelson and Matt Donovan on Friday at Prudential Center.

"To play like experienced guys," Capuano said Friday morning in advance of the Islanders' season opener against the New Jersey Devils.

Sounds like a lot, especially for a pair of rookies who between them have a total of four games of NHL experience and just one in nearly 18 months. Donovan played three games late in the 2011-12 season and Nelson made his NHL debut in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals last season against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I know that those guys are going to make mistakes, and it's a game of mistakes, but I want them to play confident, I want them to play poised," Capuano said. "They're here to help us win hockey games. If we didn't think it was that situation then they wouldn't be here."

Donovan will open the game on the third defense pair with Brian Strait, while Nelson will be the third-line left wing, skating with Peter Regin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.

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Posted On Friday, 10.04.2013 / 1:18 PM

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

Scott to replace McCormick in Sabres' lineup

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres will have a different look to their lineup for their home opener Friday against the Ottawa Senators.

With Ville Leino out indefinitely with a cracked rib, rookie Johan Larsson takes his spot on a line with Steve Ott and Tyler Ennis.

Buffalo's fourth line will see things get a bit beefier as Cody McCormick will sit out in favor of 6-foot-8 John Scott. Coach Ron Rolston said he wanted to give Scott a chance to play after he sat out the team's 2-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.

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Posted On Friday, 10.04.2013 / 12:55 PM

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

Hurricanes eager to get season started

RALEIGH, N.C. -- While the Detroit Red Wings already have played a game -- a 2-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday -- the Carolina Hurricanes will be among the final teams to begin the regular season when the puck drops Friday here at PNC Arena.

The Hurricanes will have plenty to prove, coming off a 13th-place finish in the Eastern Conference last season. Carolina coach Kirk Muller said his team is itching to start after a week-long layoff since the final preseason game.

"These guys are programmed to practice one or two days, then play a game," Muller said. "Once the season started [for other teams] and they were watching games, you could see them getting a little anxious. It's nice that it's finally here and they're mentally prepared for a big season."

Here are the projected lineups for the game Friday between the Red Wings and Hurricanes:

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Posted On Friday, 10.04.2013 / 12:51 PM

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

Tyutin out for Blue Jackets' opener

Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards told reporters following the team's morning skate Friday that veteran defenseman Fedor Tyutin would not be available for the team's season opener at home against the Calgary Flames on Friday.

Tyutin has been out since sustaining a lower-body injury during practice Wednesday. David Savard will fill Tyutin's spot in the lineup and will skate alongside Nikita Nikitin.

Richards said the choice for Tyutin's replacement ultimately came down to Savard or Tim Erixon, the 22-year-old acquired last season from the New York Rangers in the trade that sent Rick Nash to New York.

In the end, Savard won out.

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Posted On Friday, 10.04.2013 / 12:47 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Marc Staal healthy, readily available

Marc Staal's career was in jeopardy after he sustained a severe eye injury in March, but Thursday was a breath of fresh air in the defenseman's ongoing recovery.

The 26-year-old's confidence was on full display in his return to regular-season action in the New York Rangers opener -- and fantasy owners would be wise to take notice.

Staal was not drafted on average in Yahoo Fantasy leagues, largely because of the uncertainty surrounding his health. While he made a one-game comeback attempt during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Washington Capitals, there were still lingering effects of his career-threatening injury.

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Posted On Friday, 10.04.2013 / 9:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst / - Weekes on the Web

Weekes: Teams needing fast starts; breakout players

After all the waiting through the summer and training camp, the 2013-14 NHL season is finally here. And while many fans are just happy to have meaningful hockey to watch, the first week of the season can actually be pivotal for certain teams and players.

If you get off to a good start, you're feeling good about your team. It's just the vibe, just a feeling. Any athlete will tell you, especially one in a team sport, that there's nothing like getting on the plane or bus after a victory. Taking that feeling early, knowing how you got that victory, makes all the difference in the world going forward.

Enjoying that feeling right out of the gate is important.

This holds especially true for the New York Rangers, who are going to play their first nine games on the road during the last stage of the renovation at Madison Square Garden. That's going to be a huge challenge, but it's possible for them to enjoy great success on that brutal trip. Just look at the Chicago Blackhawks last year.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 8:30 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

CGY @ WSH - 1:02 of the Second Period

At 1:02 of the second period in the Flames/Capitals game, video review confirmed the referee's call on the ice that the puck never crossed the goal line between the posts. No goal Washington.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 8:27 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

LAK @ MIN - 1:04 of the First Period

At 1:04 of the first period in the Kings/Wild game, video review confirmed the referee's call on the ice that Kyle Brodziak's shot deflected off Matt Cooke's skate and into the net in a legal fashion. The determining factor was that the speed of the puck propelled it into the net and that Cooke's skate only redirected it. According to Rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal." Good goal Minnesota.

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Quote of the Day

He's a special guy. Obviously we are lucky to have him. Just his talent, I'm not surprised anymore. You get to see this guy every practice, and you know what he's able to do. Obviously, it's pretty special for a guy that young to score a hat trick in playoffs, this type of a game too. Really happy for him.

— Predators goalie Pekka Rinne on Filip Forsberg, whose hat trick led Nashville to a Game 5 win vs. Chicago on Thursday