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Posted On Friday, 10.11.2013 / 1:32 PM

By Alain Poupart - Correspondent / - 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.

Posted On Friday, 10.11.2013 / 1:20 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - 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.

Posted On Friday, 10.11.2013 / 1:19 PM

By Alain Poupart - Correspondent / - 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."

Posted On Friday, 10.11.2013 / 12:47 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 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."

Posted On Friday, 10.11.2013 / 12:46 PM

By Staff -  / - 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.

Posted On Friday, 10.11.2013 / 12:38 PM

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

Ward likely to return to Hurricanes crease

RALEIGH, N.C. -- After a much-needed rest following a Tuesday night matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in which he allowed five goals on 37 shots, Cam Ward appears ready to return to the Hurricanes crease in time to face one of the NHL's top teams.

Despite Carolina coach Kirk Muller not holding a formal pre-game skate, Ward took to the ice Friday to face a few shots in anticipation of team's game against the Los Angeles Kings. Ward has faced 75 shots in his two appearances this season, posting a 0-1-1 record with a 3.90 goals-against average and .893 save percentage. So he will likely be busy against the Kings, especially considering the Hurricanes allow an average of 31.2 shots per game.

Posted On Friday, 10.11.2013 / 9:00 AM

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

Weekes: With Roy as coach, Avs are for real ... for now

This week, I was able to sit down with Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy, who as coach of the resurgent Colorado Avalanche is one of the great stories in the opening days of the 2013-14 NHL season.

He was great to talk to, and one word I would use to describe him would be "focused." Focused on his responsibility, which is coaching the Colorado Avalanche. It's not about him. He kept using the word "partnership," that he's in a partnership with the players. He's not above them, they're not above him. He's trying to help them improve. He wants to help them be as good as they can be. He was adamant about the fact that he views it as a partnership. That really impressed me.

And that message is being received loud and clear.

Posted On Thursday, 10.10.2013 / 8:38 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

WPG @ MIN - 7:39 of the First Period

At 7:39 of the first period in the Jets/Wild game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that the puck deflected off Jonas Brodin and into the net in a legal fashion. According to Rule 78.4 "if an attacking player has the puck deflect into the net, off his skate or body, in any manner, the goal shall be allowed." Good goal Minnesota.

Posted On Thursday, 10.10.2013 / 8:36 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

CBJ @ BUF - 7:13 of the Second Period

At 7:13 of the second period in the Blue Jackets/Sabres game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to determine if Ryan Johansen's shot entered the net. Video review was inconclusive in determining whether the puck completely crossed the goal line inside Ryan Miller's glove. Therefore, the referee's call on the ice stands - no goal Columbus.

Posted On Thursday, 10.10.2013 / 8:09 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

PHX @ DET - 9:24 of the First Period

At 9:24 of the first period in the Coyotes/Red Wings game, the Situation Room initiated a video review. However, the referee informed the video room that he had whistled the play dead prior to the puck entering the net. This is not a reviewable play. No goal Detroit.

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Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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