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Posted On Tuesday, 11.05.2013 / 3:12 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Coyotes after improvement despite fast start

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes are off to their best start in more than a decade, but even with a four-game winning streak and the NHL's most potent defense, coach Dave Tippett is still tinkering with his lineup and looking for more production.

After allowing 50 shots and needing 48 saves from goalie Mike Smith to pull out a 3-2 shootout win against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, Tippett juggled his defense pairings at the morning skate Tuesday, splitting up Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Zbynek Michalek for the first time this season.

Turnovers and defensive zone coverage remain a concern for the Coyotes, who have allowed 46 goals in their first 15 games and been forced to come from behind in several of them. The Coyotes face the equally hot Vancouver Canucks in another big Pacific Division matchup Tuesday at Jobing.com Arena.


Posted On Tuesday, 11.05.2013 / 2:05 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Canadiens' Desharnais healthy scratch against Blues

MONTREAL -- A situation that has been brewing all season came to a head Tuesday with Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien making center David Desharnais a healthy scratch for their game against the St. Louis Blues.

Desharnais has one assist in 15 games this season, and dating back to last season he has one goal and eight assists in his past 32 regular season and Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"It's never easy to make a decision like this," Therrien said. "The principle is to always make it so a player is at his best, but when we don't see results decisions need to be made."

Desharnais, 27, is in the first of a four-year, $14 million contract he signed in March, one he earned with a 60-point season in 2011-12. But last season was a down year for him with 28 points in 48 games, and he is in the midst of the worst slump of his NHL career.

Posted On Tuesday, 11.05.2013 / 2:01 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Oilers, Panthers welcome returning players

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The struggling Edmonton Oilers will get a couple of key players back when they face the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

Veteran forward Ryan Smyth returns after missing five games because of a groin injury and goalie Devan Dubnyk will make his first start since Oct. 24.

Dubnyk appeared in relief of Jason LaBarbera against the Phoenix Coyotes on Oct. 25 but left after 39 seconds due to an ankle injury.

The Oilers have lost their past five games, including back-to-back shutouts against the Toronto Maple Leafs (4-0) and Detroit Red Wings (5-0). They face a Florida team also in the midst of a five-game losing streak.

Posted On Tuesday, 11.05.2013 / 1:58 PM

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

NHL Live previews homecomings for Seguin, Halak

It's a busy Tuesday in the NHL with nine games on the schedule and NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, with E.J. Hradek and special guest Dave Maloney will get you ready for the night on the ice.

Tyler Seguin returns to Boston for the first time since being traded in the offseason and we'll talk to the Dallas Stars forward from our NHL Arena Cam. Also we'll get a live pregame report for the Stars and Boston Bruins from ESPNBoston.com's Joe McDonald from TD Garden and give you a peek into warm-ups in our Ice Pass.

Another player is facing his former team as St. Louis Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak returns to Montreal and Arpon Basu, Managing Editor of LHN.com, will be live from the Bell Centre to preview that inter-conference matchup against the Montreal 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.

Posted On Tuesday, 11.05.2013 / 1:49 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Oilers' Fedun perseveres to reach NHL debut

SUNRISE, Fla. -- A little more than two years after sustaining a nasty leg injury in a preseason game, defenseman Taylor Fedun will make his NHL debut when the Edmonton Oilers face the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

Fedun, who sat out the entire 2011-12 season after sustaining a broken right femur against the Minnesota Wild on Sept. 30, 2011, was called up Monday from the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League.

"From that moment on, this was what I've been looking toward for the last couple of years now," Fedun said after the Oilers' morning skate. "It's a pretty special feeling to finally be here. The nerves are definitely going to be present, but quite frankly I'd be a little more worried if they weren't present. I think that'll be a good thing. Just get out there and just play the game. I'm excited."

Posted On Tuesday, 11.05.2013 / 1:44 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Coyle back for Wild against Flames

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- As it turns out Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo's prognosis of Charlie Coyle's setback Friday was correct after all.

After missing 11 games with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee, Coyle returned Friday against the Montreal Canadiens. But a substantial amount of what Coyle termed as "just soreness" returned after the game and Coyle didn't play Sunday against the New Jersey Devils. Following the Wild's morning skate Sunday, Yeo said the knee had been re-injured against Montreal but classified Coyle as day-to-day.

Coaches are known for not always being upfront when it comes to injuries, but in this case day-to-day was spot-on. Coyle will return to the lineup Tuesday when the Wild play the Calgary Flames at Xcel Energy Center. He'll be the right wing on the Wild's top line, alongside Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu.

"A couple days off was really good," Coyle said. "I'm feeling a lot better about myself. It feels great right now. I'm ready to go."

Posted On Tuesday, 11.05.2013 / 1:38 PM

By Craig Merz -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

McElhinney back in net for Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS -- There is no goaltending controversy brewing for the Columbus Blue Jackets, just a chance for reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky to hit the reset button according to coach Todd Richards.

As such, Curtis McElhinney will make consecutive starts for the first time this season when the Blue Jackets host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. McElhinney stopped 24 of 26 shots in a 3-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

"McElhinney's game was good, both his last two games that he's played have been good," Richards said. "The other thing is it gives [Bobrovsky] a couple of days to work on his game."

Bobrovsky, who has a 2.79 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage in 11 games, compared to 2.00 and .932, respectively, when he was named the League's best goalie last season, has been doing extra work with goaltender coach Ian Clark to clean up his game.


Posted On Tuesday, 11.05.2013 / 1:22 PM

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

Hurricanes activate Dvorak from injured reserve

Radek Dvorak was activated from injured reserve Tuesday by the Carolina Hurricanes, who likely will use him Tuesday night against the visiting Philadelphia Flyers.

Dvorak missed the past three games with a lower-body injury.

In 11 games Dvorak has two goals, but his most recent one was the game-winner Oct. 6 in a 2-1 victory against the Flyers.


Posted On Tuesday, 11.05.2013 / 1:12 PM

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

Stars looking forward to seeing Bruins' Eriksson

BOSTON -- There's understandable hype around Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley returning to face the Boston Bruins as members of the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

Seguin and Peverley were integral parts of the Bruins' teams the past three seasons, including the Stanley Cup championship season of 2010-11.

But the game also will be the first opportunity for the Stars to face their former teammate Loui Eriksson, who was the centerpiece of the package Dallas sent to Boston for Seguin and Peverley. Eriksson will be in the lineup after missing five games with a concussion.

"For me, four years with him was great," Stars captain Jamie Benn said of Eriksson. "We know Loui's such a great player. He brought a lot to this team and it was tough to see him go."

Posted On Tuesday, 11.05.2013 / 1:02 PM

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

Ovechkin to return to Capitals' lineup

ARLINGTON, Va. -- After missing the Washington Capitals' weekend back-to-back games with an upper-body injury, right wing Alex Ovechkin will return to the lineup Tuesday against the New York Islanders.

"I feel fresh and I feel, before I get hurt, really good," Ovechkin said. "Of course you don't want to miss two games but it happens and I'm back and I'm pretty happy."

Ovechkin, who will skate on Washington's top line with center Nicklas Backstrom and left wing Martin Erat, has not played since a 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 28. In the first period of that game Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler tripped Ovechkin as he broke toward the goal, which sent him crashing into Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo. Ovechkin seemed to favor his shoulder as he skated away from the collision.

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Quote of the Day

There's standards that this team is going to play to and there are expectations. We're going to hold these guys accountable to high standards.

— Coach Dave Lowry on Canada's junior team, the defending IIHF World Junior champions