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Posted On Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 3:23 PM

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

Smid faces former teammates in Battle of Alberta

CALGARY -- Ladislav Smid doesn't need a reminder that the Edmonton Oilers are coming into Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.

The date was already circled on his calendar.

Traded from Edmonton to the Calgary Flames just eight days ago, Smid is thrilled to be facing his former Oilers teammates so soon.

"I'm really excited for this game," he said. "You obviously have to get it going here at home. It's always fun to get out there in the Battle of Alberta and especially for me. It's going to be a little bit different since I'm part of the Flames now."

Calgary acquired Smid and Olivier Roy in exchange for prospects Roman Horak and Laurent Brossoit on November 8th, just the second time ever a trade has been completed between the two franchises.

Posted On Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 3:04 PM

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

Morris, Michalek remain out for Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Much of the Phoenix Coyotes' early-season success can be traced to a strong effort from the defense corps. But the depth of the blueline is being tested as two main cogs will be on the sidelines when Phoenix plays host to the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday.

Derek Morris (lower body) is expected to miss his fifth straight game and Zbynek Michalek was injured in the 5-4 shootout loss against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday and won't play Saturday. The Coyotes recalled rookie Connor Murphy from Portland of the American Hockey League Friday and he is expected to make his NHL debut against the Lightning.

Even with the injuries, the Phoenix defense continues to produce. Michael Stone had the first two-goal game of his career against the Blackhawks as the Coyotes collected three of four points in tough road stops against the St. Louis Blues and Chicago.

Posted On Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 2:35 PM

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

Gustavsson in net, Alfredsson questionable for Wings

Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson will make his first appearance in goal since Oct. 23 when he leads the Detroit Red Wings onto the ice Saturday night against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.

Gustavsson hasn't played since he came on in relief of Jimmy Howard during a 6-1 home loss to the Ottawa Senators, and he hasn't started since Oct. 17, when he completed a run of three in a row while starter Jimmy Howard was injured. Gustavsson won all three games and was voted the NHL's First Star of the Week.

He went on the injured list on Nov. 1 with a neck problem.

"I'm looking forward to it," he told the media after the morning skate, according to "It's a chance for me to keep working on my game and try to help the team get some wins."

Posted On Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 2:26 PM

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

Rangers' Nash targeting Tuesday or Thursday return

MONTREAL -- New York Rangers forward Rick Nash, out with a concussion since Oct. 8, skated for the eighth straight day and with his team for the third time in as many days.

Nash again was symptom-free after taking contact for a second straight day but will not play Saturday when the Rangers play the Canadiens and try to earn their first win in Montreal since March 17, 2009.

Following the game-day skate at Bell Centre, Nash told the media he is shooting for a return to game action either Tuesday against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden or on the road Thursday against Dallas Stars.

"Hopefully one of the games Tuesday or Thursday for sure, as long as there's no setbacks," Nash said. "Everything's been positive and pushing it every day. It's four weeks of not doing too much so it takes some time to get the legs back and I think as of right now it's just conditioning, get the legs back in shape and make sure symptoms don't pop up."

Posted On Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 2:23 PM

By John Manasso - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Predators' Stalberg excited to play former team

NASHVILLE -- Since signing a free-agent contract with the Nashville Predators in July, things have not worked out exactly the way Viktor Stalberg would have liked.

Entering his first game against his old team, the Chicago Blackhawks, on Saturday at Bridgestone Arena, Stalberg has one goal and one assist in 13 games to go with a minus-4 rating. Nashville tied the Florida Panthers last season for fewest goals and expected big things from Stalberg, 27, who scored 22 goals in his last full season and netted nine last year.

The game comes as Nashville has lost four straight by an aggregate 17-2 score while Chicago has not lost in regulation since Oct. 26, a span of eight games.

"You've got to deserve your ice time, deserve everything you get out there," said Stalberg, who averages 13:06 per game in time on ice, which ranks 11th among 15 Predators forwards this season. "I might have taken that for granted at the start. Obviously the last couple of games have been tough for us, but you've got to do everything you can to get back on track and start producing."

Posted On Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 1:31 PM

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

Muller faces off against former coach Hitchcock

ST. LOUIS -- When St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock looks across at the opposition's bench Saturday, there will be a familiar face guiding the Carolina Hurricanes.

Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller played for Hitchcock at the tail end of his 19-year career and will be opposing his former coach. It will be the third time the two have faced each other (each owns one victory), but with the Hurricanes in the midst of their best stretch of the season [4-0-1 in the past five games], Hitchcock was asked if the Hurricanes are reflective of their coach when he was a player.

"Depends which one you get," Hitchcock said. "The one in New Jersey? No. The one in Dallas? Probably a lot."

Posted On Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 12:43 PM

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

Islanders' Nabokov back in net against Red Wings

The New York Islanders will have Evgeni Nabokov in goal Saturday when they play host to the Detroit Red Wings at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Rookie Kevin Poulin has started each of the past three games, a 4-2 road loss Sunday to the Montreal Canadiens, a 3-1 home victory Tuesday against the Nashville Predators, and a 3-2 loss Thursday to the Los Angeles Kings in which the Islanders couldn’t hold a 2-0 third-period lead.

Posted On Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 12:37 PM

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

Holland will play for Maple Leafs after trade

TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs made a trade to help their injury and suspension-addled center position and found a familiar partner to work with -- the Anaheim Ducks.

The Maple Leafs traded minor league defenseman Jesse Blacker along with 2014 third and seventh-round draft picks for forwards Peter Holland and Brad Staubitz. Troy Bodie was sent to the American Hockey League to make room for Holland.

Holland will be in the lineup Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres and will likely be on one of the top two lines.

"He's a big, young, skilled center ice man," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "He's been able to provide offense at the junior level and the American Hockey League level and he's going to get an opportunity to play with some of our better players."

Posted On Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 12:55 AM

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

Alfredsson late scratch for Red Wings

DETROIT -- Daniel Alfredsson was a late scratch Friday night for the Detroit Red Wings because of a groin injury.

The 40-year old took warm-up prior to the game against the Washington Capitals at Joe Louis Arena but was scratched as a precautionary measure. His absence left the Red Wings with 17 skaters.

"I had no idea what was going on there. I came up after warm-up and evidently he had some groin tightness and so [trainer Piet Van Zant] scratched him," coach Mike Babcock said after a 4-3 shootout loss. "Obviously, you'd like to have enough players but it worked out good, our rotation was fine. That wasn't an issue. That had nothing to do with the game."

Posted On Friday, 11.15.2013 / 9:48 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

BOS @ OTT - 5:05 of the Third Period

At 5:05 of the third period in the Bruins/Senators game, the Situation Room initiated a review because the puck entered the Ottawa net. The referee informed the Situation Room that he had blown the whistle prior to the puck crossing the goal line therefore this is not a reviewable play. No goal Boston.

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