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Posted On Friday, 10.11.2013 / 5:38 PM

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

Coyotes go for back-to-back wins vs. Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The team Phoenix Coyotes coach Dave Tippett saw Thursday against the Detroit Red Wings is the one he hopes he brought with him to Wells Fargo Center for a game Friday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Coyotes got a pair of third-period goals to beat the Red Wings 4-2 at Joe Louis Arena and snap a two-game losing streak.


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Posted On Friday, 10.11.2013 / 3:24 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Devils seeking first win of season in Calgary

CALGARY -- Though the New Jersey Devils are still seeking their first win of the season as they visit the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday night, coach Peter DeBoer doesn't think the team's situation is as dire as it's been made out to be.

DeBoer's Devils (0-1-3) have earned points in three of four games this season. Getting two in Calgary would be a reward for the coach.

"I don't think the picture is as bleak as I've read it is," DeBoer said. "I think we've done some good things. We're close to getting some wins and some points. It'd be nice to get a first one, I think. It would take a little bit of pressure off."


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Posted On Friday, 10.11.2013 / 2:36 PM

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

Stars wary of long layoff as they prepare for Jets

WINNIPEG -- After losing two straight, the Winnipeg Jets open a season-long six-game homestand against the well-rested Dallas Stars Friday night at MTS Centre.

The Jets (2-2-0) dropped their second consecutive game, a 2-1 loss against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. The Stars (1-1-0) have not played since last Saturday, when they defeated the Washington Capitals, 2-1.

After 14 years in the former Pacific Division, the Stars will play their first divisional matchup as a member of the new Central Division. Dallas leads the all-time series between the teams 11-2-1.

Dallas coach Lindy Ruff is wary of his team's six-day layoff.

"Those one-on-one compete situations that are hard to simulate in practice. That [is what] you've got to be ready for," Ruff said after the Stars' morning skate at MTS Centre. "Teams that have played more games are usually into those combat situations. To play a couple of games and then sit around for [six] days, I think it always hurts a team."

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Posted On Friday, 10.11.2013 / 1:55 PM

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

Panthers hoping to make home opener memorable

SUNRISE, Fla. -- After starting the regular season with four consecutive road games, the Florida Panthers finally have their home opener Friday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Panthers returned home with a 1-3-0 record following a 7-2 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night. With the back-to-back games, the Panthers did not have a morning skate on Friday.

The game Friday night comes almost exactly 20 years after the first home game in franchise history, a 2-1 loss to the Penguins on Oct. 12, 1993. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise, the Panthers are planning festivities throughout the season starting with a special "throwback" night Friday.

Original Panthers captain Brian Skrudland and first draft pick Rob Niedermayer will be on hand for the special occasion.


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Posted On Friday, 10.11.2013 / 1:43 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blackhawks tinkering with forward lines

CHICAGO -- Joel Quenneville is pleased overall with the play of his forwards, but the Chicago Blackhawks coach appears set to shake up his bottom six group going into a game Saturday night at United Center against the New York Islanders.

Fourth-line center Marcus Kruger skated at left wing on the third line in the team's morning skate, with Brandon Saad, who started the season on the left side of that unit, flipping over to the right side. Rookie Joakim Nordstrom took line rushes in Kruger's usual spot centering the fourth line, with Ben Smith, who had been getting looks at right wing on the third line, manning Nordstrom's right side.

"We're just trying some things," Quenneville said. "Whether we're looking for a little bit more from different lines or we're trying to say who might be better with one another, I think we're just trying some things. It's not that we don't like the way things are going. We're just trying to maybe have a different look and maybe it will be improved."

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Posted On Friday, 10.11.2013 / 1:32 PM

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

Penguins to give Zatkoff first NHL start vs. Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. -- More than seven years after being drafted by the Los Angeles Kings, goalie Jeff Zatkoff is set to make his NHL debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Zatkoff, 26, got the word Thursday night that he would be in net for the Penguins for their game against the Florida Panthers on Friday.

"Obviously excited, first one," Zatkoff said after the Penguins' morning skate. "Been waiting for this for a while, but once the game starts it's another game, another two points that we need to get in the standings."

Marc-Andre Fleury started the Penguins' first three games, all victories, but Pittsburgh faces a back-to-back set against the Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning.

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Posted On Friday, 10.11.2013 / 1:20 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Khudobin could steal time from Ward

For much of the past decade, Cam Ward has been the main man in the crease for the Carolina Hurricanes.

But don't look now. He has someone in his rearview mirror making a legitimate push for playing time.

That goaltender is Anton Khudobin, a 27-year-old from Kazakhstan who is one of the few fantasy goalie options worth your time on the waiver wire market in deep leagues. He signed a one-year deal with Carolina after serving as the backup to Tuukka Rask with the Boston Bruins last season.

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Posted On Friday, 10.11.2013 / 1:19 PM

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

Letang skates with Penguins; no return date yet

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Kris Letang will miss his fourth consecutive game Friday night, but the Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman took an important step toward his return at the team's morning skate.

Letang, who has yet to play this season because of a lower-body injury, skated with his teammates at practice for the first time prior to the team's Friday matchup with the Florida Panthers.

After his teammates left the ice, Letang stayed on and did work that involved contact.

"Today's practice won't be an indication that he's ready to go or not ready to go, but he's progressing and contact on the ice is the next step for him," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "He was able to skate and he looks good in that regard, in terms of getting up and down the ice and skating ability. I watched him practice yesterday as well and he's looking good right now, but in particular with this being an injury that he hasn't been able to play or practice yet, [we're] probably taking a little more time precautionary-wise than if this was a midseason situation."

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Posted On Friday, 10.11.2013 / 12:47 PM

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

Flyers working hard to understand Berube's system

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers had one morning skate to get a handle on the style of play new coach Craig Berube wanted to see. The result was a 2-1 win Tuesday against the Florida Panthers.

In the ensuing two days, the players came to a greater understanding of how Berube -- elevated from assistant coach Monday after Peter Laviolette was fired -- wants them to play. They now feel far more comfortable heading into their game Friday against the visiting Phoenix Coyotes.

"I think we worked really hard," forward Scott Hartnell said. "We were focused the time we were on the ice. We had a few meetings. I think everyone felt a little uncomfortable with the new system, but after a few days of practice everyone should be dialed in. We just have to get things done."

Berube said he didn't expect the players to have everything down pat after two practices, but what he has seen so far has been positive.

"I like the work and the skating of it," he said. "The system will be a bit more sound in their head after practicing. I like the work. Guys put in good work. The skating was good."

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Posted On Friday, 10.11.2013 / 12:46 PM

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

Clutterbuck to make debut for Islanders

The New York Islanders announced Friday that offseason acquisition Cal Clutterbuck will be in the lineup Friday night when they face the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.

Clutterbuck suffered a lacerated leg during a preseason game against the Calgary Flames on Sept. 17 and was originally slated to miss 4-6 weeks.

Clutterbuck was acquired from the Minnesota Wild, along with a third-round pick, at the 2013 NHL Draft in exchange for right wing Nino Niederreiter. The 25-year-old saw his offensive production dip last season with four goals and six assists in 42 games, but he did finish in the top 10 in the NHL with 155 hits.

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Quote of the Day

It's a great feeling. I can't be more excited to be a part of a team that I absolutely love.

— Center Derek Stepan after agreeing to terms on a six-year contract with the New York Rangers