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Posted On Tuesday, 10.29.2013 / 1:02 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flyers' defense has been rounding into form

PHILADELPHIA -- While much has been made of the Philadelphia Flyers' inability to generate much offense -- they enter their game Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks 28th in the League with an average of 1.80 goals per game -- their defense quietly has rounded into shape.

After allowing 12 goals in three games against the Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks and Pittsburgh Penguins, all losses, the Flyers have allowed three goals in their past two, wins against the New York Rangers and New York Islanders.

They're 16th in the League in goals-against at 2.70 per game, but that effort will be put to the test Tuesday by the Ducks, who are seventh at 3.17 goals per game.

Posted On Tuesday, 10.29.2013 / 12:12 PM

By Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Hagelin, Talbot eager to help Rangers get win

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Carl Hagelin is tired of watching. He's ready to help the New York Rangers get out of their early-season funk.

The speedy forward was forced to watch the first 10 games, working his way back from offseason shoulder surgery. But there's a strong chance he'll be in the lineup when the Rangers (3-7-0) face the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Tuesday night.

"All I've heard is that everyone that was on the ice is going to take the warmup, and then go from there," said Hagelin, who participated in the optional skate at the Coliseum on Tuesday morning. "I'm just going to prepare myself to play and then if I play, I'll play."

Posted On Tuesday, 10.29.2013 / 12:00 PM

By Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Capuano confident Islanders defensemen can improve

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- There is no doubt Andrew MacDonald and Travis Hamonic make up the New York Islanders' top defensive pairing. They play the most minutes each night and consistently go up against the opposition's top forwards.

But they can't do it alone. That's why the Islanders, who were sloppy in a 5-2 loss on home ice to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, need more from their other four defensemen -- on both ends of the ice -- if they're going to be a force in the Metropolitan Division.

"Those guys are going to play top minutes, none different than [Ryan] McDonagh and [Dan] Girardi," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said of MacDonald and Hamonic, who will receive top minutes again Tuesday night against the New York Rangers at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

"We just collectively back there have to play better. Guys are giving us what they have, [but] we're making mistakes that they see, they know and I've got the confidence in them that it's going to get better. But for us to be successful, we have to have better decisions with the puck on our stick. Our gaps have got to be better, our sticks have got to be better, we've got to defend harder. We've gone through this. I have the confidence they're going to rebound."

Posted On Tuesday, 10.29.2013 / 11:50 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Devils, Brodeur aiming for two-game winning streak

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur will start consecutive games for the first time this season when he steps between the pipes to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday at Prudential Center (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).

Brodeur, who earned his first win of the season on Saturday against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden, is 1-2-2 with a 3.32 goals-against average and .871 save percentage in five appearances. The 41-year-old is just hoping to establish some confidence and rhythm in goal as the Devils seek their first two-game winning streak of the season.

"The expectation on Marty is always pretty high," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "The bar is pretty high with him, but I'm not worried about Marty. I'm worried about building our team game."

Posted On Monday, 10.28.2013 / 10:15 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

MTL @ NYR - 17:09 of the Third Period

At 17:09 of the third period in the Canadiens/Rangers game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that the puck deflected off Alex Galchenyuk's right skate and into the net in a legal fashion. 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 Montreal.

Posted On Monday, 10.28.2013 / 4:40 PM

By Kevin Woodley - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Burrows back Monday for ailing Canucks

VANCOUVER – The return of top-six forward Alexandre Burrows to the Vancouver Canucks lineup for game Monday against the Washington Capitals certainly comes at a time of need.

The Canucks forward group resembled a busy emergency room after losing four forwards on their recent seven-game road trip.

Vancouver lost Dale Weise, David Booth, Jannik Hansen and Jordan Schroeder on their longest trip of the season, and none are ready to return for the first game back home against the Capitals.

Posted On Monday, 10.28.2013 / 4:03 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst / - Melrose Minute

Melrose Minute: Holding judgment on Vanek deal

Without a doubt we had the biggest trade of the season so far Sunday night when the Buffalo Sabres shipped Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders for two draft picks and Matt Moulson. Now everyone is going to rush to judgment on who won the trade, but when you're dealing with draft picks like that, a lot of times it doesn't come out until you see the draft picks play.

A few years ago the Boston Bruins traded Phil Kessel to the Toronto Maple Leafs and one of the draft picks the Bruins got eventually turned into Tyler Seguin. He was unbelievable with Boston at first, particularly when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011, but now Seguin is gone and people are saying maybe Toronto won the deal because Kessel is playing so well. With draft picks, it takes some time.

Posted On Monday, 10.28.2013 / 2:07 PM

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

Pominville helps get Wild's second line going

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Unfortunate circumstances have driven the Minnesota Wild to try a number of different second-line combinations during the early part of the season.

Charlie Coyle started the year as the second-line center with Mikael Granlund playing a wing. An injury to Coyle in the team's second game pushed Granlund to the middle, his natural position, but finding him consistent wings has been a problem. Dany Heatley has played a lot of left wing with Granlund, but is off to the slowest start of his career. In need of a spark, third-line left wing Matt Cooke spent some time with the second group. Nino Niederreiter has bounced between all of the Wild's top-three lines.

Finally, it seems Wild coach Mike Yeo has found a combo with some chemistry by moving veteran right wing Jason Pominville to the second line.

Posted On Monday, 10.28.2013 / 1:53 PM

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

Sabres will have Moulson in lineup against Stars

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres and Dallas Stars each have plenty of drama going on off the ice, but on it there's still a game to be played Monday night.

For the Sabres, newly acquired Matt Moulson was on the ice for the morning skate and will make his debut against the Stars.

"I think that was important that we got somebody that could come in and help us," Sabres coach Ron Rolston said. "When you lose Thomas [Vanek] it's good to get somebody back in the room that has that presence."

Rolston said he anticipates Moulson will take Vanek's spot on their top line with Cody Hodgson at center.

Posted On Monday, 10.28.2013 / 1:36 PM

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

Rangers energized to open MSG against Canadiens

NEW YORK -- It's been a long time coming, but the New York Rangers are ready for their home opener Monday against the Montreal Canadiens. It may have taken a month and nine regular-season games, but the Rangers admitted there was extra energy being home at Madison Square Garden, which underwent the final stages of a $1 billion makeover that necessitated the long road trip.

"I think everybody has been waiting for this day for a long time. It's great to be here," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "We had a good meeting this morning. The guys are ready."

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Quote of the Day

I think when you build a team, you look at pairs, and I think the pair of [Voracek and Giroux] is very good, certainly one of the top pairs in the League.

— Flyers GM Ron Hextall on Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek after giving Voracek a multiyear extension Thursday