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Posted On Friday, 01.03.2014 / 3:45 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Ducks staying with Silfverberg on top line

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks had a good thing going on their top line for a long stretch, but coach Bruce Boudreau figures it's time to change and send a message.

Boudreau replaced Dustin Penner with Jakob Silfverberg at left wing before the new year and said that will be the case again when Anaheim plays the Edmonton Oilers on Friday at Honda Center.

Penner skated on the second line with Mathieu Perreault and Teemu Selanne at the morning skate. Penner has one point in his past nine games, which led to Boudreau scratching him Dec. 31.

"We'd love him to be more consistent. And that's our goal, is to get him to be more consistent," Boudreau said. "We've talked a lot, me and Dustin, and seen video, and he knows what he has to do to be on top of his game. I know he wants to. He is really a studious player and he wants to be as good as he can all the time. Sometimes it hasn't been there."

Posted On Friday, 01.03.2014 / 3:35 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Germany forces deciding relegation game vs. Norway

Leon Draisaitl scored two goals, including the game-winner midway through the third period, to rally Germany to a 4-3 victory against Norway in Game 2 of the relegation round at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship at Malmo Isstadion, in Malmo, Sweden.

The victory sets up a one-game showdown Sunday in the best-of-3 series that will determine which team will remain in the top division at the 2015 WJC. The loser will be relegated to the Division I tournament. 

Game time is 6 a.m. ET.

Posted On Friday, 01.03.2014 / 3:24 PM

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

Wideman ready to return to Flames' lineup

CALGARY -- After missing 16 games with a broken hand, Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman will make his return to the lineup Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Despite missing over a month of action, nerves aren't settling into the veteran of over 600 NHL games.

"Butterflies? No," he said. "You definitely have to get your head back around getting prepared for a game. When you're not playing there's different preparation the morning of. I'm just trying to focus on getting ready for [Friday]."

Wideman sustained the injury blocking a shot late in the Flames’ 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 27. He's not sure what to expect in terms of workload after his lengthy layoff.

"I have no idea what the plan is there," said Wideman, who is averaging 26:14 of ice time this season. "I think for me it's going to be just trying to get the first couple shifts pretty short, try to get my legs under me, try to get my wind and get used to the speed again. The worst thing that can happen is getting caught out there for a long [shift] early on."

Posted On Friday, 01.03.2014 / 1:10 PM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

Olczyk recaps Winter Classic on NHL Live

NHL Live with E.J. Hradek and Butch Goring, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, get hockey fans set for a four-game night with the help of Chicago Blackhawks and NBC analyst Eddie Olczyk, who will preview the Blackhawks' game against the New Jersey Devils while also recapping the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and the thrilling 3-2 shootout win by the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Detroit Red Wings before over 100,000 fans at Michigan Stadium.

Barry Melrose will be on hand to give out his Mullet of the Week, and E.J. and Butch will present their weekly power rankings.

Posted On Friday, 01.03.2014 / 12:55 PM

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

Rangers’ Callahan in; Pens’ Malkin, Letang remain out

PITTSBURGH -- Ryan Callahan will return to the New York Rangers' lineup against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday at Consol Energy Center after missing nine games with a knee injury.

Callahan was expected to miss 4-6 weeks after spraining his left knee against the Nashville Predators on Dec. 10, but he said he does not feel any lingering effects from the injury and is prepared to play Friday.

"I think it's hard to tell [how long it will take to recover] when it's that far out, but rehab went how it's supposed to. I don't think it's too far ahead of schedule," Callahan said. "It's hard to sit out and watch your team, and I say this every time, you're working to get back out there with the guys and it doesn't matter how many times or how many games you've played, when you've been hurt, you've been rehabbing and you get a chance to come back you're happy to get back out there."

With Callahan back in the lineup, the Rangers are fully healthy. The same cannot be said for Pittsburgh.

Posted On Thursday, 01.02.2014 / 8:56 PM

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

Stars forward Whitney out again

DALLAS -- Dallas Stars forward Ray Whitney is out for a second straight game Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens.

Whitney, who sat out a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday due to illness, participated in the morning skate Thursday but was scratched.

Posted On Thursday, 01.02.2014 / 8:54 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Semifinals: Sweden vs. Russia; Canada vs. Finland

The semifinal round of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship will take the spotlight Saturday when Sweden plays Russia and Canada battles Finland at Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden.

The survivors will meet in the gold-medal game slated for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET (NHLN-US). The bronze-medal game is scheduled for 9 a.m. ET on Sunday.

Canada is making its 16th consecutive appearance in the tournament semifinals. Sweden is making its eighth straight semifinal-round appearance, and this will mark the fourth straight for Russia. Finland failed to advance to the medal round at the 2013 WJC, and this is only the second time in eight years the country will have a chance to play for a medal.

A new champion is guaranteed Sunday since Russia beat the United States, the defending gold medalist, 5-3 in the quarterfinal round Thursday. In other quarterfinal action Sweden defeated Slovakia 6-0; Canada defeated Switzerland 4-1; and Finland defeated Czech Republic 5-3.

Here is a closer look at the semifinal matchups Saturday:

Posted On Thursday, 01.02.2014 / 8:01 PM

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

Backes out, Stewart in for Blues vs. Kings

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Blues captain David Backes will miss his third straight game Thursday night against the Los Angeles Kings with an undisclosed upper-body injury.

Backes was injured late in the third period Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks and will miss his fifth game in the past eight. Backes is second on the Blues with 16 goals and tied with Jaden Schwartz with 30 points behind Alexander Steen (36) and T.J. Oshie (33).

Chris Stewart, who took a puck to the mouth in the first period against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, was in the lineup Thursday night.

Posted On Thursday, 01.02.2014 / 7:54 PM

By Matt Sitkoff - Contributor / - NHL Live blog

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

E.J. Hradek Game Picks Thursday January 2nd:

Nashville Predators vs Boston Bruins - Bruins

Chicago Blackhawks vs New York Islanders - Blackhawks

Carolina Hurricanes vs Washington Capitals - Hurricanes

Winnipeg Jets vs Ottawa Senators - Senators

Buffalo Sabres vs Minnesota Wild - Wild

Montreal Canadiens vs Dallas Stars - Stars

Los Angeles Kings vs St. Louis Blues - Kings

Philadelphia Flyers vs Colorado Avalanche - Avalanche

Columbus Blue Jackets vs Phoenix Coyotes - Coyotes

Edmonton Oilers vs San Jose Sharks - Sharks

E.J.'s Season Record: 179-104-40

Posted On Thursday, 01.02.2014 / 5:03 PM

By Eric Gilmore - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Dubnyk starts for Oilers, Yakupov back in lineup

SAN JOSE -- The last time Edmonton Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk started a game was Friday, when he had a 27-save shutout against the Calgary Flames at ScotiaBank Saddledome.

Six days and three games later, Dubnyk will try to continue that momentum Thursday against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center.

"You're not going to have that feeling rolling off like we played last night, obviously," Dubnyk said after the Oilers' morning skate. "It's not going to have that. But at the same time that's the last game I played. When the puck drops [Thursday], I'll just be working off that good feeling. I had some good days in practice. Just continue that confidence. You can't think too much because every game's different. You don't know how the game's going to go. Anytime you can use any sort of advantage to your favor, and this is an opportunity to do that, I'll certainly try."

Ilya Bryzgalov started the past two games for Edmonton, a 4-3 shootout loss against the Philadelphia Flyers and a 4-3 overtime road loss against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Dubnyk will face a Sharks team that is 14-1-3 at home and will be trying to get back on track after a 6-3 road loss against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.

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Quote of the Day

Yeah, I guess so. That empty-netter was pretty lucky, but I'll take it.

— Senators forward Mike Hoffman when asked if his two-goal game was a good way to celebrate his 26th birthday
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