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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 6:39 PM

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

Morrow, with visa, will play in Blues opener

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues will have veteran left wing Brenden Morrow in the lineup when they face the Nashville Predators on thursday in the season opener for each team.

Morrow's status for the game was in question because he was having issues completing the proper paperwork for his working visa. The Carlyle, Saskatechewan native signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Blues on Sept. 23 but could not gain access to a working visa until he had a signed contract.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 4:30 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Canucks hope any mistakes are "over-aggressive"

SAN JOSE -- The Vancouver Canucks have had less than a month to learn new coach John Tortorella's systems and adjust to his demands for a faster, more aggressive style of play.

Ready or not, the new-look Canucks will face their first real test Thursday against the San Jose Sharks (10 p.m. ET, TSN), the team that swept them out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the first round last season.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 4:28 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sharks' Demers thrilled to be paired with Hannan

SAN JOSE -- Brad Stuart has been practicing but won't be ready to play when the San Jose Sharks open their season with a home game against the Vancouver Canucks (10 p.m. ET, TSN).

With Stuart out, Jason Demers will be paired with Scott Hannan.

"I love playing with him," Demers said of Hannan. "I like his style. He makes the right play, and I always know where he is. He looks to keep it loose out there like me. We have a nice chemistry."


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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 3:37 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Coyotes aim to rediscover consistency

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- For the Phoenix Coyotes, the 2012-13 hurry-up-and-get-ready shortened season was a nightmare scenario for a team that relies on system play and good goaltending.

But in 2013-14, the Coyotes not only have had a full training camp to get veterans ready and see young players step into the lineup, they are one of the last teams to open the regular season, as they host the New York Rangers on Thursday at Jobing.com Arena.

"We have to be a real consistent team and we've had a good chance to build those habits in camp," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "Our last preseason game [a win against San Jose last Friday] was a good example of where we need to be and a good blueprint for how we need to play. That was a shortcoming last year and we're aware of how it affected us. We don't want to miss the playoffs again."

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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 2:46 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Wingels talks Canucks-Sharks on NHL Live

Eight games are on the NHL slate Thursday night and NHL Live will have a complete rundown of each at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network. We'll go out to Boston to check on the defending Eastern Conference champions and talk to NHL Network's Darren Pang about the intriguing goalie matchups around the NHL.

We'll also be joined by Tommy Wingels of the San Jose Sharks for a preview of their home opener against the Vancouver Canucks. Wingels, who had an excellent training camp, is expected to skate on a line with Joe Pavelski and Long Beach, Calif., native Matt Nieto. At age 20, Nieto will make his NHL debut along with former first-round pick Tomas Hertl. The Sharks defeated the Canucks seven times last year, including their four-game sweep in the first round of the NHL Playoffs.

Remember to submit your #AskEJ questions all season long to @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask your opinion on some hot topics around the NHL.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 2:22 PM

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

Kings get Mitchell back, Brown also expected to play

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild enter their game Thursday at Xcel Energy Center relatively healthy.

Kings captain Dustin Brown, who sustained a hamstring injury early in training camp, has skated better in recent days and is expected to play on a line with Jarret Stoll and Trevor Lewis.

Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell, who missed all of last season after a pair of knee surgeries following the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, will return to the lineup in a familiar place -- against the Wild, a team he spent parts of five seasons with.

Jonathan Quick will start in goal for the Kings.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 2:20 PM

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

Projected lineups for Predators, Blues

ST. LOUIS -- Thursday at Scottrade Center will see the St. Louis Blues open the season against the visiting Nashville Predators.

Predators defenseman Seth Jones will celebrate his 19th birthday by making his NHL debut. The fourth pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, it's expected he'll be on the second defense pair, alongside Mattias Ekholm.

The Blues lineup is a bit of a question, as immigration issues could keep Brenden Morrow from making his debut with the team. If Morrow receives his work visa in time, he could start at left wing on the second line. If he can't go, Magnus Paajarvi could be in that spot.

Here are the lineups each team could use Thursday:

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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 2:14 PM

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

Jones' birthday present is NHL debut for Predators

ST. LOUIS -- For Nashville Predators defenseman Seth Jones, the best birthday present will come Thursday, when he steps onto the ice in an NHL game for the first time.

Jones, who turned 19 Thursday, will be in the lineup for the Predators, who open the season against the St. Louis Blues.

The No. 4 pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, who will skate alongside Mattias Ekholm, said he has envisioned this day since walking up to the podium on draft day.

"Yeah, a little bit," Jones said Thursday. "I feel really good though. It's obviously a great thing that I'm here. I'm looking to move forward every day, and it starts today.

"I know [the NHL] is going to be very intense. I got a taste in preseason and I know it's coming a little bit. You don't really know until you get out there."


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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 1:48 PM

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

Projected lineups for Panthers, Stars

DALLAS -- There will be a number of notable debuts on both sides as the Florida Panthers visit the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

Florida will have Tim Thomas in net; it will be the first regular-season NHL game for the 39-year-old two-time Vezina Trophy winner since April 7, 2012.

Thomas was a member of the Boston Bruins then, and his team played the Buffalo Sabres, who at the time were coached by Lindy Ruff. Thomas will see Ruff again as the coach makes his regular-season debut behind the bench with the Dallas Stars.

Here are the projected lineups for both teams:

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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 1:10 PM

By Adam Vingan -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Oates: No reason to change Capitals lineup

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates said Thursday following his team's morning skate that he would use the same lineup against the Calgary Flames (7 p.m. ET, TSN) that he dressed for the team's season-opening 6-4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Oates said he felt no need to change things, "Because it [Tuesday] was a winnable game. One game is not a fair evaluation, so give the guys another chance."

After he made those comments, he was forced to make one change. To make room on the roster for defenseman Alexander Urbom, who was claimed off waivers from the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, fourth-line center Michael Latta was sent to Hershey of the American Hockey League. That likely means Jay Beagle will make his season debut, skating on the fourth line between Martin Erat and Tom Wilson.

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Quote of the Day

I'm very excited about what happened today. We've worked on this deal with Toronto for a month, or over a month. It got a little bit of legs on draft day, but it really heated up last night, and we were able to complete the deal today.

— Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on Phil Kessel, who he acquired from the Maple Leafs in a trade on Wednesday