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Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 2:12 PM

By Matt Sitkoff -  NHL.com Contributor /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live: E.J. Hradek's Wednesday game picks

E.J. Hradek Game Picks Wednesday October 2nd:

Toronto Maple Leafs at Philadelphia Flyers - Maple Leafs

Buffalo Sabres at Detroit Red Wings - Red Wings

Anaheim Ducks at Colorado Avalanche - Avalanche

E.J.'s Season Record: 2-1-0

Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 12:50 PM

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

Pair of '12 picks may be tandem for Sabres vs. Wings

It appears as though Buffalo Sabres coach Ron Rolston will give a pair of 2012 first-round picks a chance to star on the same line to open the 2013-14 season against the Detroit Red Wings in the Wednesday Night Rivalry game at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Mikhail Grigorenko, selected No. 12 in the 2012 NHL Draft, and Zemgus Girgensons (No. 14, 2012) were skating on the team's third line during the morning skate at Joe Louis Arena.

"I got some confidence from last year, so I think this year is going to be a lot better," Grigorenko told The Buffalo News. "I just want to prove to the coaches that they need me and do what I can do best, which is create offense, work hard and just show him that I can be really helpful for this team."


Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 12:32 PM

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

Flyers' Meszaros thrilled to finally be healthy

PHILADELPHIA -- For the first time in a long time, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros is able to say he feels healthy.

Injures to his back and shoulder, as well as a torn Achilles tendon, has limited him 12 games since March 1, 2012. He played 11 games last season.

"I'm really excited," he told NHL.com after taking part in the team's optional skate Wednesday. "I can't wait to play again. It's been a while. Preseason is over, so now I'm ready to go and it should be fun."


Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 12:23 PM

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

Lecavalier excited for first game with Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- After a full training camp and a few preseason games, Vincent Lecavalier has grown familiar with his new orange jersey.

However, he said it will be a different feeling when he skates onto the ice here at Wells Fargo Center for his first regular season game as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.

"I'm definitely really excited," Lecavalier said. "Any opening night, especially when it's your first game with a new team, it's definitely extra special. I've never been through it. I've had a lot of great years in Tampa but I'm happy to be here. I think we have a great hockey team and I'm just excited to start."

Lecavalier, who will start centering the second line between Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn, said he hasn't needed to change much of his game to adjust to new teammates and a new style of play.

Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 12:16 PM

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

Flyers hold optional skate; projected lineup for opener

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers held an optional skate Wednesday morning, with only nine players taking the ice ahead of their game Wednesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. But that was OK with coach Peter Laviolette.

"It was their choice," he said. "We've been practicing hard here, going at it pretty hard here. Whatever they wanted to do to get ready to play."

It's been a long time since the Flyers played a meaningful game, and a few players said they felt a little extra jump in their step when they got to the arena Wednesday.

"It's been a while waiting here," captain Claude Giroux said. "A long summer. You think about it a lot in the summer. Last year, not being happy with the results, every day thinking about it, and today's the day. I think everybody is pretty excited."


Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 12:02 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Grabovski makes immediate PP impact

The fantasy significance of Mikhail Grabovski's opening-night performance went way beyond his hat trick.

The 29-year-old made a strong first impression with the man advantage, an indication that he can be an adequate replacement for Mike Ribeiro on the Washington Capitals' first power-play unit.

As a result, his time on the waiver wire has been short-lived.

Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 11:58 AM

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

Flyers to start Mason in opener against Maple Leafs

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said he was happy with the play of goalies Steve Mason and Ray Emery during training camp, but opted for Mason to start the season opener Wednesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs in part based on how Mason performed with the Flyers last season.

The 25-year-old, who joined the team in April after a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets, went 4-2-0 with a 1.90 goals-against average and .944 save percentage in seven games.

"Both goaltenders played well," Laviolette said. "We have to have a starting point here. Steve came here at the end of last year and really played terrific for us. Either one of them could have started, but we had to choose. Based on what Steve did at the end of last year, and the way Steve came into camp in shape, and the way he played through camp … both goaltenders, you could make a case for either one. We had to start somewhere and we decided to go with Steve. He had a great camp and he's ready to go."

Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 3:00 AM

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

Weekes: Rivalry Night game features several subplots

The first Wednesday Night Rivalry game of the 2013-14 season features the Buffalo Sabres at the Detroit Red Wings, two teams that are in very interesting situations.

The expectation in Detroit is always to compete for a Stanley Cup. So you have to look at some of the additions they made this summer. They brought in Stephen Weiss, who was highly coveted in the offseason and played in the Ontario Hockey League for Plymouth, which is about 20-30 minutes from downtown Detroit. He's another center that can make plays, distribute the puck, be a pass-first guy.

Of course, we've got to talk about Daniel Alfredsson. Come on now.

Posted On Tuesday, 10.01.2013 / 7:00 PM

NHL.com - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

Get the scoop from Toronto

You have arrived at the Situation Room Blog -- the place you want to be every night of the 2013-2014 season.

Starting tonight, NHL.com reports instantly from inside the League's Hockey Operations situation room in Toronto, where Hockey Ops reviews and decides disputed goals.

Plus, find out the "why" behind those calls. You get the NHL's official ruling first -- here at the Situation Room Blog.

Posted On Tuesday, 10.01.2013 / 4:05 PM

By Matt Sitkoff -  NHL.com Contributor /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live: E.J. Hradek's Tuesday game picks

E.J. Hradek Game Picks Tuesday October 1st:

Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens - Maple Leafs

Washington Capitals at Chicago Blackhawks - Blackhawks

Winnipeg Jets at Edmonton Oilers - Oilers

E.J.'s Season Record: 0-0-0

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Quote of the Day

After being through it and seeing the other [outdoor] games on TV, just the atmosphere is spectacular. To stand here -- and we are essentially almost on the blue line -- and look up [into the stands] and knowing it is going to be packed and playing our biggest rival in this setting is going to be pretty special.

— Bruins president Cam Neely on the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between Boston and Montreal at Gillette Stadium on
Jan. 1, 2016