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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 3:43 PM

By Rick Sadowski  - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Star forwards sitting as Avalanche host Blackhawks

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche and Chicago Blackhawks will each be without a star forward when they play Tuesday at Pepsi Center.

Avalanche center Matt Duchene will miss his first game because of an oblique injury and Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa will miss his third straight game because of a lower-body injury.

The encouraging news for the Avalanche is coach Patrick Roy said Tuesday morning that Duchene might be able to play Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings, which would be sooner than expected. He was injured this past Saturday against the Florida Panthers.

Roy said Duchene probably would make the two-game road trip that starts Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 3:40 PM

By Derek Van Diest - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Oilers' Yakupov, Blue Jackets' Murray in initial meeting

EDMONTON -- The top two picks of the 2012 NHL Draft face each other for the first time Tuesday when Nail Yakupov (No. 1) and the Edmonton Oilers host Ryan Murray (No. 2) and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"I guess you can look at it like that," Murray said. "But I think it's more Columbus Blue Jackets versus the Edmonton Oilers, to tell you the truth."

Murray, 20, is in his rookie season, having missed the abbreviated 2012-13 NHL season due to a shoulder injury suffered in junior hockey with the Everett Silvertips. The smooth-skating defenseman has two goals and two assists in 20 games.

Yakupov, 20, is in his second season with the Oilers. He has three goals and three assists in 20 games.

Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 2:35 PM

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

Wings to dress seven defensemen against Predators

With forwards Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss still sidelined by groin injuries, the Detroit Red Wings are expected to go with seven defensemen Tuesday when they host the Nashville Predators at Joe Louis Arena.

Brendan Smith, who had been out with a shoulder injury and last played Nov. 2, will return to the lineup.

Alfredsson will miss his third straight game, while Weiss will miss his fifth in a row. reported Weiss probably also will miss the game Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

"I got through practice and I felt pretty good,'' Weiss said. "It's just a matter of getting a couple more in to get the conditioning back and hopefully I'll be ready to go. … Hopefully sometime this weekend, maybe Saturday or Sunday. I would like to play [Tuesday], but it's not my call.''

Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 2:11 PM

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

Sabres send three to AHL, Zadorov to junior team

BUFFALO -- Not only did the Buffalo Sabres go through a culture change off the ice last week, they're now experiencing it on the ice as well.

The Sabres announced prior to facing the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday that they had assigned defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and left wing Johan Larsson to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. Center Mikhail Grigorenko was sent to the AHL, on a 14-day conditioning assignment. The team also sent defenseman Nikita Zadorov to the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.

Only 19-year-old center Zemgus Girgensons, the 14th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, survived the youth purge.

The oldest of the four players is Larsson, who is 21. The others are teenagers [Ristolainen and Grigorenko are 19 and Zadorov is 18]. The message from interim coach Ted Nolan was simple: The Sabres are too young to compete at the highest level in the NHL and they need more of a seasoned, veteran group.

Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 2:03 PM

By James Murphy - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Canadiens hope getting back to basics helps offense

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The Montreal Canadiens aren't having a lot of trouble keeping the puck out of their net this season, as Carey Price has been stellar between the pipes and the team defense has helped hold opponents at bay.

The problem for the Canadiens lately has been they can't seem to find a way to get the puck in their opponent's net. Montreal is allowing 2.05 goals-against per game, which is third-best in the NHL entering games Tuesday. But it ranks 21st in goals-for with 2.43 per game, and has just three goals in its past three games.

Despite Price stopping 77 of the past 79 shots he's faced in his previous two starts, he lost both games and coach Michel Therrien decided it's time to switch up the forward lines in an attempt to spark his offense and hopefully ease the pressure on Price. The Canadiens welcome one of the hottest teams in the NHL to the Bell Centre on Tuesday in the Minnesota Wild, who are riding a four-game win streak and are 8-1-1 in their past 10 games.

Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:45 PM

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

Islanders' Grabner to sit out against Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders will have some lineup changes when they meet Tuesday at Air Canada Centre.

Thomas Vanek skated with the team during the morning skate but will remain out of action with an upper-body injury. Joining him in the press box will be Michael Grabner, who took line rushes with Vanek and defenseman Radek Martinek but will be a healthy scratch. Grabner has gone 18 games without a goal and without a point in 12 games.

"I had a good talk with him," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "Sometimes when you're squeezing your stick and things just don't seem to go your way, sometimes it's good to take a step back. I normally don't talk about conversations with players that I have with [the media], but [Grabner] is going to be fine for us."

The Islanders enter the game having won just two of their past seven games.

Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:44 PM

By Matt Sitkoff - Contributor / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live talks Stadium Series with Ducks' Etem

Rick Nash returns to the New York Rangers' lineup to face the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, and NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have a live update from Madison Square Garden with Rangers radio analyst Dave Maloney. We'll also check in with Darren Pang from Buffalo to preview the St. Louis Blues' game against the Buffalo Sabres.

Tickets are now on sale for the 2014 Coors Light Stadium Series game in Los Angeles and we'll talk to Anaheim Ducks forward and California native Emerson Etem about that game against the Los Angeles Kings and the Ducks' recent play.

Remember to submit your #AskDano questions for Ken Daneyko through Twitter via @NHLNetwork, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask you to pick the game of the night.

Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:32 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Rangers' Nash back in fold

Rick Nash's return is here, and the fantasy implications are huge.

Nash, a perennial 30-plus goal scorer with 300-plus shot capability, will be back in the lineup Tuesday when the New York Rangers host the Boston Bruins (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN). The 29-year-old sustained a concussion on Oct. 8 in San Jose and had been sidelined ever since.

In three games this season, Nash compiled three points (one power-play point), five penalty minutes and nine shots on goal. Even after missing 17 games due to injury, he still has three-quarters of the season left to get his production back up to speed and pay dividends for your team.

Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:17 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Rangers coach Vigneault understands Bruins rivalry

NEW YORK -- Coach Alain Vigneault was not at the helm last season when the New York Rangers were eliminated by the Boston Bruins in a five-game Eastern Conference Semifinal series. But he admitted to harboring his own personal feelings for the defending Eastern Conference champions.

"I don't need to have played for the Rangers to have a dislike for Boston," Vigneault said after New York's morning skate. "I got that on my own."

As coach of the Vancouver Canucks, who dismissed him following last season's first-round playoff sweep at the hands of the San Jose Sharks, Vigneault and his team lost to the Bruins in seven games in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. That series was an intense one for all parties involved, but Vigneault didn't feel any need to remind his players of their respective histories with Boston.

"I think everybody is aware of the New York-Boston rivalry. It's a good one," Vigneault said. "It's intense and it's going to be that way [Tuesday]."

Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:16 PM

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

Senators' Ryan enjoys rare Philadelphia homecoming

PHILADELPHIA -- It's a quick homecoming for Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan, but it's a homecoming nonetheless and his first in more than three years.

Ryan will play Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center for the first time since Oct. 21, 2010, when he visited here with the Anaheim Ducks. Wells Fargo Center is a 20-minute drive from his hometown of Cherry Hill, N.J.

Ryan estimated he'll have 40-50 friends and family members in the stands.

"Obviously when you can have family, friends and people you grew up with in the stands it means more to you," Ryan said Tuesday. "I don't spend much time here anymore, a couple of weeks in the summer is about it, but it's still home, it's where I grew up, so it's always nice. It's a big homecoming."

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[Stamkos] is a great teammate and a great leader, that's why he's got the 'C'. He brings that tremendous work ethic to the rink and he's one of the top players in the game. I know if I put the passes where they are supposed to be, there's a very good chance he's going to put it in the back of the net.

— Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin on linemate Steven Samkos
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