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Posted On Friday, 10.25.2013 / 1:56 PM

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

Panthers' Bergenheim eager to finally get back on ice

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Almost 18 months after his last game with the Florida Panthers, forward Sean Bergenheim will make his long-awaited return Friday against the Buffalo Sabres.

Bergenheim hasn't played in an NHL game since Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Panthers and New Jersey Devils, missing all of last season and the first 10 games this season because of abdomen, groin and hip issues.

"It's been a while, but I don't feel that it's been that long," Bergenheim said after the Panthers' morning skate. "When I look at how many months it's been since I played, I don't feel that on the ice. I don't feel it's been that long. I'm really happy to be back. For sure, I missed this.

"I'm not nervous right now, but I'm sure I'll get some butterflies before the game here. … [I'm] just feeling really good and ready. That's the feeling I have right now."


Posted On Friday, 10.25.2013 / 1:46 PM

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

Blues hope team-bonding trip pays off

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues have gone a full week without playing a game while the rest of the NHL is flying past them in games played.

Other than the New York Rangers (eight games), everyone else in the League has played at least two more games than the seven by the Blues, who got an unusual early quirk in the schedule.

So instead of practicing and lounging around St. Louis and having some training camp-type practices, the team was able to get away for a few days for some rest, relaxation and a few workouts on the eastern coast of Charleston, S.C.

A little bit of everything was involved, from golfing to fishing, guys getting away to see a movie, shopping at some of Charleston's finest stores and good old-fashioned team bonding.

As the Blues (5-1-1) get set to play in back-to-back games this weekend (Friday against the Vancouver Canucks and Saturday at the Nashville Predators), players said the time spent together was beneficial.


Posted On Friday, 10.25.2013 / 1:00 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Senators look for better showing against Ducks

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators have recent momentum on their side as they get ready to complete their season series against the Anaheim Ducks.

The Senators came up with their strongest effort to date in a 6-1 win Wednesday at the Detroit Red Wings in their first game against former captain Daniel Alfredsson.

Ottawa has won three of its past four games, but the Senators were at low tide when they faced the Ducks on Oct. 13, losing 4-1 in Bobby Ryan's first game back in Anaheim to drop their record to 1-2-2 on their season-opening six-game road trip.

"They took advantage of us not being very sharp," said captain Jason Spezza, who scored twice Wednesday. "We know they lost [Thursday] so they're going to come with a bit of a burr [Friday] too. They're too good a team and good teams always talk about not losing two in a row, so we know they're going to give a good effort, but we feel like we have much better to show them and we hope we can give them a better game [Friday]."

Posted On Friday, 10.25.2013 / 12:32 PM

By Wes Crosby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Penguins' Letang to make season debut

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins enter the weekend owners of the NHL's sixth-best defense, allowing 2.22 goals per game. Pittsburgh will look to improve its defense further by adding All-Star defenseman Kris Letang to its lineup Friday.

Letang will make his season debut Friday against the New York Islanders at Consol Energy Center after missing the Penguins' first nine games with a lower-body injury. He will skate on Pittsburgh's top defensive pairing with Rob Scuderi and its top power-play unit.

"Rob is a stay-at-home defenseman. He has a good first pass," Letang said. "He reads the play really well, defends against the best player every year and has done a pretty good job at it, so it's going to be fun for me to play with him."

Posted On Friday, 10.25.2013 / 12:06 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Clarkson's return can boost your team

David Clarkson's 10-game suspension has been served. Now, he can go back to serving fantasy owners with top-notch category coverage.

The Toronto Maple Leafs power forward will be in the lineup Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets in what will be his first regular-season game with his new team. Clarkson, who signed a seven-year contract with the Maple Leafs in free agency, can finally put the preseason incident that led to his suspension behind him.

If you were one of the wise fantasy owners to select Clarkson in the late rounds of your draft and store him on your bench, this 29-year-old should give your team an immediate lift. On the flip side, if you chose to play it safe and leave Clarkson on the waiver wire, the clock is ticking.

Posted On Friday, 10.25.2013 / 9:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes: Teams we should be talking about

There are plenty of great storylines to follow early in the 2013-14 NHL season. A number of teams and players have been getting lots of attention, and deservedly so, for their great performances so far. But there are a couple of teams in particular who I actually think might not be getting enough attention.

I was thinking about this Saturday when I spoke to Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks after his team's 6-3 win against the Calgary Flames. Joe was telling us on "Hockey Night in Canada" how impressed he was by that Flames team. Two nights later, Calgary scratched out a big victory in Los Angeles against the Kings.

Calgary started its current five-game road trip 1-3-0, so the question is, "Are they for real?" You know what? I think that their approach is for real. Sean Monahan, their first-round pick, has been awesome. But more than anything they're a team that competes hard and plays an honest game. They're starting to believe in themselves. It was doom and gloom in Calgary last season, but now these guys are having some success. They're starting to believe in themselves. Much of the focus early this season has been on the Colorado Avalanche and their incredible turnaround. But the Flames are also worth a look.

Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 10:50 PM

NHL.com - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

CGY @ DAL - 3:36 of the Third Period

At 3:36 of the third period in the Flames/Stars game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that the net was not displaced when Jamie Benn's shot crossed the goal line. According to Rule 78.4 "The goal frame shall be considered in its proper position when at least a portion of the flexible peg(s) are still inside both the goal post and the hole in the ice". Good goal Dallas.

Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 9:33 PM

NHL.com - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

WPG @ NSH - 13:49 of the Second Period

At 13:49 of the second period in the Jets/Predators game, video review determined that Anthony Peluso's shot completely crossed the goal line. Good goal Winnipeg.

Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 9:16 PM

NHL.com - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

NYR @ PHI - 5:36 of the Third Period

At 5:36 of the third period in the Rangers/Flyers game, video review determined that J.T. Miller propelled the puck into the net with a distinct kicking motion. According to Rule 49.2 "A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who uses a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net.". No goal New York Rangers.

Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 8:56 PM

NHL.com - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

CHI @ TBL - 10:36 of the Second Period

At 10:36 of the second period in the Blackhawks/Lightning game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that Marian Hossa's stick was below the level of the crossbar when he deflected the puck into the net. According to Rule 60.5 "The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick. If the puck makes contact with the stick below the level of the crossbar and enters the goal, this goal shall be allowed". Good goal Chicago.

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It's not just going to happen on its own. We have to have guys commit to the areas we need to improve on. We're going to be better than last year but there is still a long way to go. But I really like the pieces and where we're headed.

— Sabres forward Tyler Ennis on the progress of Buffalo's rebuilding process