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Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 1:11 PM

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

Kobasew moves up to Penguins' second line

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins' line combinations again will go through another set of changes due to an injury to a top-six forward.

Beau Bennett (lower-body injury) will sit out Pittsburgh's game Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers at Consol Energy Center. With James Neal on injured reserve, Chuck Kobasew will be the latest Penguins forward to get an opportunity to play alongside Evgeni Malkin and Jussi Jokinen.

Kobasew was effective on Pittsburgh's third line and Jokinen said he expects Kobasew to fit in well next to him and Malkin.

"I think it's still pretty normal," Jokinen said. "How it is in the NHL, there are so many injuries and the coaches like to mix up the lines, so I think everybody's used to it, that there are going to be different line combinations.

"Especially now with Chuck Kobasew playing with us, he's a really good two-way player who is a hard-nosed player that goes to the net and does all of those little things and can score goals and can make plays too."

Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 1:03 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Hurricanes' Ruutu just happy to be playing

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Rehabbing an injury never is an enjoyable process for a professional athlete. Carolina Hurricanes forward Tuomo Ruutu has been waging that battle for quite a while.

Two hip surgeries in the past calendar year were bad enough. Then came a leg injury in the preseason that kept him out of the lineup until a game Sunday against the Phoenix Coyotes, in which he logged 10:28 of ice time.

"Every time you come off an injury, at least from my point of view, the other guys are always going left and right," Ruutu said. "The game speed is so different from practice or if you're skating by yourself. But once you get that first hit and that first shot, you stop thinking about it and start playing."

Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 1:00 PM

By NHL Green -  / - NHL Green Slapshots™

NY Times: Sports Beginning to See the Energy-Efficient Light

Ken Belson of The New York Times reports that the Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadiens, is the only major league sports venue in North America where LEDs provide the sole source of illumination of the playing surface.

Belson writes:

“So last year, Mr. Gauthier (GM, Bell Centre) replaced all his older lights with 140 costlier light-emitting diode fixtures, or LEDs, which produce three times as much light on the ice for each watt of energy and last far longer — an investment that he says will take only about two years to pay back. He expects to save about $125,000 a year on electricity, parts and labor.”

To learn more about LEDs and why sports arenas are considering this new technology, continue to the article.

Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 12:54 PM

By Lonnie Herman - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Kings put Carter, Kopitar on same line

TAMPA -- The Los Angeles Kings are in the midst of a three-game win streak, but that hasn't stopped coach Darryl Sutter from doing a little line shuffling.

When the Kings take the ice Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, look for Mike Richards to play between Justin Williams and Dustin Brown, while Jeff Carter will shift to the wing on a line with center Anze Kopitar and Dwight King. Daniel Carcillo was moved down to the fourth line.

Sutter downplayed the change as "insignificant," pointing out that his top four skaters get significant ice time together on power plays.

"They play a lot together as it is," Sutter said. "Their minutes are different than everyone else."

Here is the line the Kings likely will use Tuesday:

Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 12:39 PM

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

Weekes' Beat: Weekes sits down with Avs' Patrick Roy

Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 12:39 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Cutting down on penalties key for Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The ugly cycle for the Philadelphia Flyers usually starts with the minor stick infraction like a hooking, holding or high stick. Now they're shorthanded and, well, scoring that way obviously is quite difficult.

So what's the message from coach Craig Berube as the Flyers get ready to play the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center?

"Stop taking stupid penalties," Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds said.

That might sound strange coming from Berube, who had more than 3,100 penalty minutes in his playing career, but as Simmonds pointed out, Berube's penalty minutes came from a lot of fights and coincidental roughing minors. They were not stick infractions like the ones that have plagued the Flyers this season.

Philadelphia has been shorthanded a League-high 33 times because it also leads the League with 39 minor penalties. Not surprisingly, the Flyers are 29th in the NHL, ahead of only the Buffalo Sabres, in goals per game (1.3).

Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 12:35 PM

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

Letang not ready, Neal on IR for Penguins

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins placed forward James Neal on injured reserve Tuesday, while injured defenseman Kris Letang is not prepared to return despite making progress.

Neal sustained an upper-body injury on opening night and left the game after logging less than four minutes of ice time Oct. 3 against the New Jersey Devils. In the 12 days prior to Neal going on IR, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma has said Neal would have to participate in a full practice before returning to action.

Bylsma said Neal's placement on IR is retroactive, so he would be eligible to come off at any time since it has been more than 10 days since he was injured.

To replace Neal on the roster, the Penguins recalled forward Harry Zolnierczyk from Pittsburgh's American Hockey League affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Zolnierczyk will play on Pittsburgh's third line with Brandon Sutter and Dustin Jeffrey on Tuesday.

Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 11:52 AM

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

Gaborik expected in lineup for Blue Jackets

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Marian Gaborik is expected to be in the lineup for the team's game at the Detroit Red Wings, according to the team's website.

Gaborik sat out practice Monday with the flu and missed the team's flight to Detroit later that day.

But the Blue Jackets now report that their leading scorer is expected to board a flight Tuesday and join the team in Detroit before the game.

In four games this season, the 31-year-old leads the team in assists (four) and points (six), and is tied for the team lead with two goals.

Columbus went 4-0-1 last season against Detroit and hasn't lost at Joe Louis Arena since March 26, 2012.

Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 11:47 AM

By Lonnie Herman - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Lightning ready for another 'test'

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning continue their season-long seven-game homestand when they host the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday at Tampa Bay Times Forum.

For the Lightning, coming off a last-minute loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, the matchup against the Kings figures to be a test of where they stand early in the season.

"We keep running into these tests," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "Like, wow, this whole League is a test, I'm finding out."

It's hard to blame him for feeling that way. In Tampa Bay's first five games they have faced the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins and now the Los Angeles Kings.

"Again, we're playing another team that their whole core is together," Cooper said. "They played deep into the [postseason]. They throw four lines at you, they are big and they are strong."

Posted On Monday, 10.14.2013 / 8:32 PM

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

Ducks prospect Noesen out for season

Anaheim Ducks prospect Stefan Noesen, who was acquired in the trade that sent Bobby Ryan to the Ottawa Senators this summer, has suffered a torn ACL and MCL and is out for the season, the Ducks announced Monday night.

The 20-year-old right wing had just begun his professional career with the Norfolk Admirals in the American Hockey League. He appeared in two games and had four penalty minutes.

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It seems like I'm kind of making it a little difficult on myself here the last two games.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after tying the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with an assist on Duncan Keith's goal with 26.6 seconds left against the Anaheim Ducks Friday
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