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Posted On Monday, 10.21.2013 / 1:20 PM

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

Avalanche using Penguins as a measuring stick

PITTSBURGH -- Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia natives Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon will face each other for the first time at Consol Energy Center on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2, RDS2).

More importantly, two of the NHL's top teams, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Colorado Avalanche, will meet for the first time this season in a measuring-stick game for both teams.

Each team enters with a 7-1-0 record. The Avalanche are one point behind the San Jose Sharks at the top of the Western Conference standings, while the Penguins stand alone atop the Eastern Conference.

Forward Matt Duchene, who leads Colorado with nine points (three goals, six assists), said the game will be about more than Crosby vs. MacKinnon.

"This [Pittsburgh] has been one of the premier teams in the NHL," Duchene said. "They get a lot of media attention and a lot of attention from fans. We're a team that hasn't been good for the past few years and has previously been forgotten about until recently. We're starting to hopefully bring the glory days back to the Avalanche and we want to be one of those teams.

"I think if we can come out and have a win, everyone's going to sit back and say, 'Whoa, the Avs are for real.'"

Posted On Monday, 10.21.2013 / 1:12 PM

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

Sharks' Burns to sit out vs. Red Wings

The San Jose Sharks will play the Detroit Red Wings on Monday without top-line right wing Brent Burns.

Burns was hit in the mouth during the Sharks' game Saturday against the Calgary Flames. Burns is tied for third on the team with four goals.

"Brent won't play [Monday]," Sharks coach Todd McLellan told "He got hit in the teeth -- well, he doesn't have teeth, I guess in the gums -- the other night and they are bothering him right now. He'll be out [Monday] and hopefully he's ready to go when we get to Boston [for a game Thursday]."

Posted On Monday, 10.21.2013 / 12:41 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst / - Melrose Minute

Melrose Minute: Smith scoring was just matter of time

Anyone who follows hockey saw something special Saturday when Mike Smith became the 11th goalie ever to be credited with an NHL goal. Few things are as exciting or as rare in hockey as when a goalie takes a shot at the open net, but I've got to say, I'm not surprised Smith scored a goal. I'm surprised it took him this long.

I coached Smith in Tampa Bay and I saw up close how good he is with the puck. He probably shoots the puck as hard as two-thirds of his team and he just handles it great. Now Smith has dialed his puck handling back of late. When he first came into the NHL he kind of over-handled the puck, but he could handle it so well that it makes him very dangerous when he has his opportunities.

When you play Mike Smith, you talk about that before the game. You talk about his puckhandling ability and how he can pass the puck so you're not lazy on a change. Smith is a guy that can accurately throw the puck from his net up to the far blue line, and if he's facing a lazy team on a bad change he'll create a breakaway on that pass. Some goalies have a great glove hand; he's a great puckhandler with great shooting ability. That's one of his weapons.

Posted On Monday, 10.21.2013 / 12:32 PM

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

Red Wings shuffle lines for game vs. Sharks

In the wake of a 5-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday, Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock will have a few different line combinations and defense pairings heading into his team's game Monday against the San Jose Sharks.

Tomas Tatar will rejoin the lineup and skate at right wing on Stephen Weiss' line, along with Daniel Cleary. Justin Abdelkader will return to the top line with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, and Daniel Alfredsson will go back to playing with Johan Franzen and Todd Bertuzzi.

On defense the Wings will be missing Jonathan Ericsson, whose wife went into labor Sunday. Xavier Ouellet, called up from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League, will take his place and make his NHL debut.

Posted On Monday, 10.21.2013 / 11:50 AM

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

Sharks recall Hamilton, McCarthy

The San Jose Sharks on Monday recalled forwards Freddie Hamilton and John McCarthy from their American Hockey League team, the Worcester Sharks.

To make room, forward Matt Pelech has been returned to Worcester.

Hamilton had one goal in two games with Worcester. If he plays Monday against the Detroit Red Wings, it would mark the NHL debut of the 2010 fifth-round pick (No. 129).

McCarthy was a minus-2 in two games for the Sharks earlier this season.

Posted On Monday, 10.21.2013 / 10:48 AM

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

Red Wings recall Helm from AHL

The Detroit Red Wings on Monday recalled forward Darren Helm and defenseman Xavier Ouellet from the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Helm had no points in two games, but it was his first game action of any kind since Jan. 25. He missed most of last season with a back injury and then strained his groin just before the start of training camp.

The last time Helm was healthy was the 2011-12 season when he had nine goals and 17 assists in 68 games, but that season ended when he sustained torn ligaments in his forearm from a skate cut in the first game of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Posted On Sunday, 10.20.2013 / 1:34 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Injuries force Jets to find new third defense pairing

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets picked up a badly needed 4-3 shootout win on home ice Friday against the St. Louis Blues, but the victory came with a cost.

The Winnipeg blue line lost its third pairing Friday, forcing the Jets to skate with four defensemen for much of the third period. Dustin Byfuglien skated a career-high 31:37 in picking up the workload after the Jets lost rookie Jacob Trouba and Mark Stuart to injuries.

Trouba left the game on a stretcher after falling face-first into the end boards while attempting to hit Blues defenseman Jordan Leopold. Trouba was released from a Winnipeg hospital late Friday night and is expected to miss a month with a neck sprain. Trouba's partner, Mark Stuart, exited the game in the third period after crashing into the Winnipeg net.

Jets coach Claude Noel will dress Paul Postma and Adam Pardy, a recall from the St. John's IceCaps of the American Hockey League on Saturday, in place of Stuart and Trouba.

Posted On Sunday, 10.20.2013 / 1:20 PM

By Craig Merz - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Battle of backups likely as Canucks visit Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS -- The game Sunday night between the Vancouver Canucks and the Columbus Blue Jackets is expected to feature the backup goalies as the starters are rested in the second of back-to-back games for both teams.

Curtis McElhinney will make his Blue Jackets debut after watching 2013 Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky play the first seven games, including Saturday night's 4-1 loss at the Washington Capitals, a fourth defeat in a row to drop Columbus to 2-5.

Eddie Lack, whose only appearance was a 5-4 overtime win vs. the Calgary Flames on Oct. 6 in the Canucks' third game, would replace Roberto Luongo. The Canucks (5-3-1) lost 4-3 in a shootout at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday afternoon.

Posted On Saturday, 10.19.2013 / 10:39 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

CGY @ SJS - 12:41 of the First Period

At 12:41 of the first period in the Flames/Sharks game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Brad Stuart's shot was batted into the net by the glove of Tyler Kennedy. According to Rule 67.6 "a goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who bats or directs the puck with his hand into the net." No goal San Jose.

Posted On Saturday, 10.19.2013 / 9:28 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

NSH @ MTL - 1:35 of the Third Period

At 1:35 of the third period in the Predators/Canadiens game, the official located behind the goal line signaled goal. After the referee's huddled, they determined that Lars Eller's shot did not cross the goal line. Video review was inconclusive in determining whether or not the shot crossed the goal line, therefore the referee's group decision that the puck did not completely cross the goal line stands. No goal Montreal.

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Quote of the Day

That group is not satisfied until we win a Stanley Cup. When we do win that Stanley Cup, I don't think we'll be satisfied then either. We're going to want another one. We have the group to do it. We have all the pieces. We just need to put them together.

— Ducks forward Ryan Kesler after signing a six-year extension with Anaheim this past July