WINNIPEG -- The team that played a role in triggering the Winnipeg Jets' latest slump makes a return appearance Friday at MTS Centre.
The Florida Panthers, who beat the Jets 5-2 at BB&T Center on Dec. 5, arrived from Ottawa at 3 a.m. Friday looking to move their winning streak to six games when they play the struggling Jets.
The Panthers’ early-morning arrival meant they did not hold a morning skate at MTS Centre. Florida is on a 7-1-0 run after a 4-2 come-from-behind win against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. A four-game Canadian road trip ends here before the Panthers return home for a five-game homestand. The five-game winning streak is their longest since March 2012.
NEW YORK -- The rivalry between the New York Rangers and New York Islanders has always been one of the NHL's most intense, and that doesn't figure to change Friday night at Madison Square Garden as each team is in dire need of points.
The Rangers have gotten off to a 1-3-2 start to their franchise-record nine-game homestand. The Islanders haven't won in regulation since Nov. 12 and find themselves in last place in the Metropolitan Division with 25 points in 35 games. Each team will look to turn things around against its heated rival in a preview of the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game set for Jan. 29 at Yankee Stadium.
"It's always fun to play these games. They're always heated, they're always close," Islanders forward Matt Martin said. "There's no better place to get two points than in Madison Square Garden."
This is the second game this season between these regional rivals, who met Oct. 29 at Nassau Coliseum in a game the Rangers won 3-2. For players who are new to the history of these two teams, that game was an eye-opener.
"People have been talking about it [the rivalry] since I got here. I didn't really realize how serious it was until the first game at the Coliseum. It was pretty crazy. The intensity level was just ratcheted up that much more. It kind of had a playoff feel to it," said forward Cal Clutterback, acquired in a trade with the Minnesota Wild over the summer.
The pair were taken 10 picks apart in the 2011 NHL Draft, Strome fifth and Miller 15th, and have spent much of their lives facing off on every conceivable stage: the Ontario Hockey League, under-17 World Hockey Challenge, IIHF World Under-18 Championship, and World Junior Championship. They last met three weeks ago in an American Hockey League game between Strome's Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Miller's Hartford Wolf Pack. Strome scored twice in Bridgeport's 3-2 win.
Friday at Madison Square Garden the pair will face off for the first time in an NHL game.
"It will be a little different. This game is a little different from the other levels we've played at," said Miller, who was called up Thursday by the Rangers after a two-game stint with Hartford. "We just know each other because we've played against each other for so many years, going back to U.S.-Canada games so many times with the national team."
Getzlaf was receiving treatment stemming from the facial injury he sustained Tuesday, when he went face-first into the corner boards thanks to a shove by Detroit Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey, who was called for boarding and issued a game misconduct.
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau confirmed Getzlaf will not miss any time because of his facial injury.
"I wasn't nervous when he went in [to the boards] until I saw his face when he came out," Boudreau said of Getzlaf, who was bleeding after making contact with the boards. "He's a very tough player. He doesn't stay down because of injury. When he's along the boards or getting hit I have a lot of faith that he's old-school tough."
The Capitals have three healthy goaltenders, Braden Holtby, Michal Neuvirth and Philipp Grubauer, leaving coach Adam Oates to make a judgment call. Grubauer, who played in four straight prior to Washington's loss Tuesday night to the Philadelphia Flyers, will get the start in net against Carolina.
"Grubauer has been good," Oates said. "We've got three goalies, so we have to make some decisions. We've played Carolina twice and didn't have the best results, so we will change it up a little bit and put a fresh guy in there."
NEWARK, N.J. -- It's been almost 26 years since Teemu Selanne and Jaromir Jagr played against each other for the first time. The last NHL meeting between the two legends and future members of the Hockey Hall of Fame could take place Friday at Prudential Center.
Selanne, 43, is retiring at the end of the season and the New Jersey Devils and Anaheim Ducks won't play against each other again in the regular season. The only way the game Friday won't be the last time Selanne and Jagr play against each other is if the Devils and Ducks make the Stanley Cup Final or one of them gets traded.
There's no way the Ducks trade Selanne and it seems remote that 41-year-old Jagr would be available at the NHL Trade Deadline on March 5 because he's the Devils' leading scorer and the team figures to be in a race for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Anaheim leads the Pacific Division with 53 points, and the Devils are two points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the final automatic playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division.
"You never want to let go of heroes," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I think both of them doing great is good for the game. Both very popular players, both well loved by the home fan bases and across the League, quite frankly. I'm glad they're both playing well."
The Canucks (20-11-6) make their first visit to United Center on Friday (8 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN) to face the Blackhawks (25-7-5), who won the first game between the teams this season 2-1 on Nov. 23 at Rogers Arena.
"I don't think it's changed, especially when we went in there [in November] and it was a heck of a game there," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said following Chicago's morning skate. "Last time we were in there and last year's games were very competitive. I still think that every game it brings back memories quickly."
NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils expect to have two veteran players back in their lineup soon. The question is whether it's before the NHL's three-day break for Christmas or after.
Forward Ryane Clowe (concussion) and defenseman Bryce Salvador (non-displaced stress fracture in foot) participated in the morning skate Friday in advance of the Devils' game against the Anaheim Ducks at Prudential Center. Neither will play against the Ducks, but Clowe and Salvador have not been ruled out for New Jersey's upcoming road games Saturday against the Washington Capitals and Monday at the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Devils bring a two-game winning streak into their game Friday; the Ducks have won six in a row and are 9-1-2 in their past 12.
"As close as possible here now," Clowe said. "That will be the next step, get back in the game. I communicated with the coach and GM about how I felt and I think they wanted me to get in a couple more practices, maybe a little more contact, and I guess a little bit of extra patience at this point is not a big deal."
Laugh at the funniest moments of the season. WATCH NOW ›
It's a big milestone for me and I'm happy to help my team with lots of good teammates. It's fun.