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Posted On Sunday, 11.10.2013 / 6:53 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Panthers send Markstrom to AHL; Nash skates again

Jacob Markstrom entered training camp poised to develop from the Florida Panthers' goaltender of the future into their goaltender of the present. But the signing of Tim Thomas shortly before the season, coupled with Markstrom's slowed development, led the Panthers to assign the 23-year-old to their American Hockey League affiliate in San Antonio.

Markstrom, who hasn't won a game since Oct. 11, is 1-5-3 with a 3.36 goals-against average and .877 save percentage. Despite getting the start in a 3-2 loss on Saturday against the Ottawa Senators, Tim Thomas will be back between the pipes against the New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Henrik Lundqvist will start for the Rangers, who will insert Brandon Mashinter for Taylor Pyatt (concussion). Mashinter has been a healthy scratch the past two games for New York.

Posted On Sunday, 11.10.2013 / 6:22 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame HHOF blog

Fred Shero set to join Scotty Bowman in HHOF

TORONTO -- Fred Shero's Broad Street Bullies had a dynasty brewing in the mid-1970s after winning back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, but it was broken up by Scotty Bowman's Montreal Canadiens in 1976.

The Habs went on to start their own dynasty, winning four straight titles, including the first at the hands of Shero and the Philadelphia Flyers and the last, in 1979, against Shero and the New York Rangers.

On Monday, Shero, who passed away in 1990, will join Bowman in the builder's wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Ray Shero, Fred's son who is accepting the Hall of Fame honor on his dad's behalf Monday night, is still trying to wrap his mind around the fact that his dad and Bowman will be linked together again, and enshrined together forever.

Posted On Sunday, 11.10.2013 / 6:08 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame HHOF blog

Ray Shero says father knew where game was headed

TORONTO -- Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero has always been told his dad was a pioneer in the coaching business. He has the proof at home to suggest that Fred Shero was also a visionary.

"He actually wrote something in his playbook back in '75, 'What hockey would look like in 2020,' and it's pretty amazing in terms of what it was," Ray told on Sunday. "I still have it."

Posted On Sunday, 11.10.2013 / 5:43 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Islanders to face Canadiens without Vanek

MONTREAL – Prized acquisition Thomas Vanek (upper body) is out of the New York Islanders' lineup against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday.

Vanek was hurt early in the first period of a 5-2 loss at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday after he fell awkwardly in a collision with Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky 23 seconds into his first shift of the game. He will be reevaluated after the team returns to Long Island.

"He's pretty sore," said Islanders coach Jack Capuano.

Vanek’s injury allows Brock Nelson to enter the lineup on the Islanders' top line with John Tavaresand Kyle Okposo.

Posted On Sunday, 11.10.2013 / 5:37 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2014 NHL Draft blog

United States wins World Junior A Challenge

Kyle Connor scored the decisive goal late in the second period and Cal Petersen made it stand behind 16 saves when the United States Junior Select Team scored a 4-1 victory against Russia on Sunday in the gold medal game of the 2013 World Junior A Challenge at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

The championship triumph was the second straight for the U.S. and the fifth in the eight-year history of the tournament.

Connor, who plays for the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League, snapped a 1-1 tie with just 14 seconds left in the second period.

"Our line just got the puck and I got a good pass and just buried it," Connor said. "Me, [Nick] Schmaltz and [Connor] Hurley got in on the forecheck and that was a key for us. I think looking forward and playing our game, getting pucks deep, was critical all tournament."

Posted On Sunday, 11.10.2013 / 5:33 PM

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

Blackhawks look to continue fast start against Oilers

CHICAGO -- Joel Quenneville isn't letting a storyline get in the way of putting his best lineup on the ice.

The Chicago Blackhawks' coach will start his top goalie, Corey Crawford, against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday at United Center (7:30 p.m., WGN, SNET-W, SNET-EDM), less than 24 hours after earning the win in a 5-2 road victory against the Dallas Stars.

The decision means that struggling 40-year old veteran Nikolai Khabibulin will have to keep waiting for a chance to turn his season around.

"[Khabibulin] definitely got some consideration," Quenneville said during a press conference two hours before puck drop. "I know the last couple of weeks it's been a light schedule, only going like four games a week, so we expect to get him in here real soon."

Posted On Sunday, 11.10.2013 / 3:12 PM

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

Sharks look to get untracked against Jets

WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Jets have had their share of challenges this season, and the San Jose Sharks will present another test when the teams meet Sunday.

The Sharks (10-2-4) arrived in Winnipeg on Saturday to begin preparing for a five game-road trip. San Jose is winless in its past four games and lost a 4-2 home decision to the Vancouver Canucks this past Thursday. Coach Todd McLellan was not happy with his team’s work ethic against the Canucks, and he has made bringing that work ethic back to its previous standard a point of emphasis leading into the game against Winnipeg.

Sharks center Joe Thornton pointed to a need to put together a better start against the Jets, something that the Sharks have struggled to do recently, but said San Jose’s problems are not alarming to the Sharks’ dressing room.

Posted On Sunday, 11.10.2013 / 2:10 PM

By Rick Sadowski  - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Avalanche to start Varlamov against Capitals

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov will start against his former Washington Capitals teammates for the second time in four weeks Sunday at Pepsi Center.

Varlamov stopped 40 shots Oct. 12 in the Avalanche's 5-1 win at Verizon Center. It was his first game against the Capitals since his trade to the Avalanche on July 1, 2011.

Varlamov said after that game he was so nervous his legs were shaking in the first period.

"I think it's always a nice challenge to play against your ex-team," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "It was the same case for me every time we played Montreal. You always want to do well in those games. It's nothing against your ex-team, it's just the pride that comes into play. You want to perform well and you want to have a strong night. I'm sure he is going to be very focused."

Posted On Sunday, 11.10.2013 / 1:48 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Predators continue road trip against Devils

The Nashville Predators will make their fifth stop of a seven-game road trip against the New Jersey Devils on Sunday at Prudential Center (7 p.m. ET).

Coach Barry Trotz will be without starting goaltender Pekka Rinne, who remains out at least one more month with a spontaneous bacterial infection in his left hip. The two-time Vezina Trophy finalist had undergone arthroscopic surgery on that hip on May 9, which required approximately four months of recovery before the season. He is on injured reserve.

Rinne is 4-4-1 with a 2.31 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in nine games this season. He's sixth in the NHL with 152 wins since 2008-09.

Backup goalie Carter Hutton (4-2-1, 3.32 GAA, .898 save percentage) will be making his seventh straight start. The 27-year-old Hutton was pulled in the first period of a 5-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Friday and has allowed three or more goals the past five games.

Posted On Sunday, 11.10.2013 / 1:36 PM

By Staff -  / - 2014 NHL Draft blog

U.S. finishes second at Four Nations

Alex Tuch, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, had two goals and an assist as the United States finished the Four Nations Tournament with a 6-2 win against Switzerland.

The win allowed the U.S. to finish second at the tournament, which was played in Turku, Finland.

Tuch, a forward who plays for the United States National Team Development Program’s under-18 team, earned a “B” rating from NHL Central Scouting on its preliminary player to watch list for draft-eligible players in the United States Hockey League.

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