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Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 2:12 PM

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

Stajan returns for Flames; Connauton debuts for Stars

DALLAS -- The Calgary Flames and the Dallas Stars will make several changes to their respective lineups for their game Thursday here at American Airlines Center.

For Calgary, Matt Stajan will return to the ice for the first time since Oct. 3, while for Dallas defenseman Kevin Connauton will make his NHL debut with Alex Goligoski a healthy scratch.

Stajan has missed the Flames' past eight games with a leg injury but likely will be on a line with Curtis Glencross and Lee Stempniak against the Stars.

"The old linemates will be reunited: Stajan, [Glencross and Stempniak], three guys that have pretty good chemistry together. I'm expecting a big game out of those three guys," Flames coach Bob Hartley said after the morning skate.

With Stajan back on the ice, Sven Baertschi likely will be scratched. Calgary captain Mark Giordano, who missed a 4-2 loss at the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday with an undisclosed injury, again will be a game-time decision.

"He's going to be a game-time decision again [Thursday]. I can't say more right now," Hartley said.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 2:05 PM

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

Lundqvist: Injury occurred in Rangers' second game

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said Thursday he sustained an injury in the team's second game of the season that's he battled ever since.

Lundqvist won't be in uniform Thursday when the Rangers visit the Philadelphia Flyers, but he was on the ice earlier in the day for a 30-minute workout, during which he took shots from Mats Zuccarello, Carl Hagelin and Justin Falk.

Lundqvist said afterward he's "feeling better." He apparently was hurt at some point during a 3-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 7. Lundqvist declined to specify what the injury was.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 1:44 PM

By Lonnie Herman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blackhawks give Khabibulin start against Lightning

TAMPA -- It was almost 10 years ago that Nikolai Khabibulin led the Tampa Bay Lightning to a Stanley Cup, and since then the Chicago Blackhawks goaltender has played one game in Tampa against his former team. On Thursday he gets to play his second.

"We wanted to get Khabibulin a game on this road trip and I thought Tampa would be the right one," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "After all, he does have some history here."

He certainly does. Especially the last few moments of Game 7 of the 2004 Final, when he made a diving save on Calgary Flames defenseman Jordan Leopold to preserve the win and give the Lightning the Cup.

"I still think about that save," Khabibulin said, "but less and less as time goes by. Sometimes it pops up, kind of like, 'What if?'"

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Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 1:38 PM

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

Canucks' Booth back in, determined to improve game

NEWARK, N.J. -- Vancouver Canucks forward David Booth will return to the lineup Thursday against the New Jersey Devils after being a healthy scratch for the first time in his NHL career Tuesday at the New York Islanders.

Canucks coach John Tortorella said he benched Booth in favor of a seventh defenseman against the Islanders because "he's not doing enough to play, plain and simple." Tortorella would not elaborate and said he didn't want to get into a public discussion on it.

When asked Thursday why Booth is back in the lineup, Tortorella again said he didn't want to get into a public discussion.

"I want him to play as best as he can," Tortorella said. "I'm not going to get into specifics."

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Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 1:32 PM

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

Tortorella: No diving, whining on Canucks

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Vancouver Canucks haven't been getting a lot of opportunities to get their slumping power play going and coach John Tortorella has a theory as to why the calls in his team's favor have been so infrequent.

They're tied for the most games played in the NHL with 11, but they're 26th in power play opportunities with 29.

"I know the reputation from the outside looking in, when I wasn't coaching here, everybody outside thought Vancouver dove and did some whining," Tortorella said. "Our team is not going to dive. Our team has already been talked to. We're not going to dive. I don't think there is much whining going on either.

"Now, I'm certainly not trying to accuse the League or the refs of that, but I know there's been a reputation. I've been in the League long enough, and sometimes that hangs around too. I guess it's my chance to say we're going to be an honest team, we're trying to be an honest team, and I hope we get some … calls along the way."


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Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 1:31 PM

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

Palmieri, Lovejoy likely scratches for Ducks

MONTREAL -- The Anaheim Ducks likely will have a slightly different look from the team that lost 4-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs when they face the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

Right wing Devante Smith-Pelly appears as though he will make his season debut in the place of Kyle Palmieri, who would be a healthy scratch for the first time this season. Smith-Pelly was called up Tuesday from the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League, where he had two goals in six games.

Palmieri has one goal and one assist in eight games for the Ducks, but played three shifts in the third period of the Ducks' game Tuesday in Toronto.

Also expected to draw back into the Ducks lineup is defenseman Mark Fistric, in place of Ben Lovejoy. Fistric has been scratched seven straight games, but Lovejoy played a season-low 12:35 Tuesday and was limited to four shifts in the third.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 1:30 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Playoff hero Krug sees role expand

Torey Krug's breakout performance for the Boston Bruins in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs made him a household name.

Now the rookie blueliner's power-play role not only has carried over to his first full NHL season, but also expanded.

But what's even more stunning is how long it's taking fantasy owners to notice.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 1:25 PM

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

Injuries a big part of early season for Wild, Hurricanes

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A number of injures on the blue line have forced the Minnesota Wild to shuffle their defensive pairs heading into their game Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes at Xcel Energy Center.

The team announced Wednesday that Jonas Brodin, hit in the face by a dump-in attempt by Gabriel Bourque during a game Tuesday against the Nashville Predators, sustained a broken cheekbone on the play. He will not play against Carolina, but Wild coach Mike Yeo indicated Brodin could be back sooner than initially expected.

"I would suspect we could get him back on the ice [Friday] and hopefully back in the lineup soon," Yeo said.

Brodin, who is tied for the NHL lead among defensemen with three goals, also averages more than 24 minutes of ice time per game. His spot on the Wild's top pairing with Ryan Suter will fall to Jared Spurgeon, who held that spot for the first handful of games last season before Brodin established himself as one of the League's best young defensemen.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 1:02 PM

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

Boyle, Brown on ice with Sharks

BOSTON -- The San Jose Sharks will play the second game of their five-game road trip Thursday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US) against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.

They're expected to have one new face in their lineup for the game, but they had a familiar face join them for their morning skate for the first time in a little while.

Mike Brown, who was acquired in trade with the Edmonton Oilers on Monday, is expected to make his Sharks debut Thursday, according to coach Todd McLellan. Defenseman Dan Boyle, who has missed three games with an upper-body injury and didn't travel with the team for the start of the road trip, skated with the Sharks on Thursday. McLellan said Boyle won't play against the Bruins, but there was no holding Boyle back from accelerating his recovery.


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Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 12:52 PM

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

Wild's Coyle takes part in morning skate

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild center Charlie Coyle, out since Oct. 5 with a sprained knee, took part in his first morning skate since the injury Thursday as the Wild prepared for their game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Xcel Energy Center.

Wild coach Mike Yeo said Coyle skating with the team Thursday was another positive step in Coyle's rehabilitation of the injury sustained against the Anaheim Ducks in Minnesota's second game of the season.

"It's a good first step. I don't think he's too far away," Yeo said. "We've held our head above water with him out, but we haven't exactly dominated this last little stretch. But that's a big loss for us and we're anxious to get him back."


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Quote of the Day

I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride. I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers organizations and owners for providing me the opportunity to play the sport I love for so many years. I could have never played for so long or accomplished all that I have without the unwavering love and support from my wife, Heather, our three sons, Ryan, Lucas, and Mason, and my parents.

— Martin St. Louis after announcing his retirement from the NHL on Thursday