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Posted On Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 8:12 PM - 2014-2015 Situation Room blog

CAR @ NYR - 1:49 of the Second Period

At 1:49 of the second period in the Carolina Hurricanes/New York Rangers game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play at the Carolina net. Video review confirmed that the puck did not cross the Carolina goal line. No goal New York.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 6:08 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Maple Leafs at Blackhawks

CHICAGO -- Forward Brad Richards will not play for the Chicago Blackhawks because of an undisclosed upper-body injury.

Chicago, which hosts the Toronto Maple Leafs at United Center, will be without the veteran center for the first time this season. The 34-year old Richards had worked his way into the role of centering the second line, with talented forwards Kris Versteeg and Patrick Kane on the wings.

It's unclear how Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville will configure his line combinations without Richards, who has 18 points (six goals) in 33 games. Andrew Shaw, who centers the third line, has experience centering Kane's line and could draw the initial look. Forward Ben Smith, who usually plays on the fourth line, has also logged time there last season, as has fourth-line center Marcus Kruger.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 6:04 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Hurricanes at Rangers

NEW YORK -- Right wing Alexander Semin will return to the Carolina Hurricanes lineup Sunday against the New York Rangers after sitting out the past six games with a lower-body injury.

In addition, Hurricanes defenseman John-Michael Liles will be back after missing three games with an upper-body injury.

The Rangers defeated the Hurricanes 3-2 in a shootout Saturday for their fifth consecutive victory.

Semin will start the game at Madison Square Garden on a line with Patrick Dwyer and Riley Nash. Liles will play alongside Tim Gleason. Semin has one goal in 21 games this season. He had three previous injuries that kept him out of the lineup for a total of five games.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 5:14 PM

By Derek Van Diest - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Stars at Oilers

EDMONTON — Edmonton Oilers interim coach Todd Nelson will make his home debut Sunday against the Dallas Stars after losing his first two games behind the bench.

Nelson took over for Dallas Eakins, who was fired Monday by Edmonton, 113 games into a four-year contract. Nelson was promoted from the Oilers' American Hockey League affiliate in Oklahoma City for the remainder of the season. General manager Craig MacTavish has temporarily assumed a coaching role to help with the transition.

Nelson lost his first two games as coach at the Arizona Coyotes and San Jose Sharks, which extended the Oilers' losing streak to six games. The Oilers have lost 17 of their past 18 games.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 2:50 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Flyers at Jets

WINNIPEG -- Veteran goaltender Rob Zepp will make his NHL debut at age 33 for the Philadelphia Flyers when they visit the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday.

A fourth-round pick by Carolina Hurricanes in the 2001 NHL Draft, Zepp signed with Philadelphia last summer after spending the past six seasons with Eisbaeren Berlin of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. Before this season, Zepp had not played in North America since the 2004-05 season.

The Flyers recalled Zepp on Friday from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League after Steve Mason sustained an upper-body injury at practice. Mason will be re-evaluated Monday.

Zepp went 8-5-4 in 17 games with Lehigh Valley this season with a 2.70 goals-against average and.918 save percentage.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 1:56 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sabres at Bruins

BOSTON – Clearly the Boston Bruins need to improve their offense if they're going to climb back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

The Bruins, who  finished a 1-1-1 road trip, will start their game against the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday at TD Garden one point behind the New York Rangers for the second wild-card spot.

"It's tough. It's very easy to get down on yourself," Bruins defenseman Torey Krug said. "As a group it's easy to fall back on that, but if you have the right mentality, that mentality is to keep shooting and try to find ways to score dirty goals, you're going to come out of that. It's only a matter of time before the guys in this room, we have the names to do it, and the skill and work ethic to get out of it. I think we will for sure."

The Bruins rank 22nd with 2.42 goals scored per game. They have scored two or fewer goals in nine of their past 12 games and have a 3-6-3 record in that span. The Bruins should've received an offensive boost from the returns of defenseman Zdeno Chara, who also plays a net-front role on the power play, and center David Krejci from injury. But there was no uptick in scoring during their past two games with their full lineup.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 1:37 PM

By Paul Harris - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Avalanche at Red Wings

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings have finally hit a bump in the road. Their five-game losing streak (0-2-3) is their first slump of the season.

"It happens every year," Detroit coach Mike Babcock told after practice Saturday. "I don't know if it's part of the success disease, a little complacency when you get to feeling good about yourself and you come off a little bit. The League's all the same. I don't know if that's it. I don't know if you haven't got the breaks.

"I don't buy into that stuff. Just do it right."

The Red Wings (17-8-8) face the Colorado Avalanche (11-13-8) on Sunday at Joe Louis Arena.

Detroit has scored five goals in its five-game losing streak, and twice at even strength in its past 342:46.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 12:57 AM

By David Satriano - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Tanguay available under radar

How many players who lead their NHL team in scoring are largely un-owned in fantasy?

Not many, not many, but Colorado Avalanche forward Alex Tanguay (13 percent owned, LW) fits that bill and continues to fly under the radar. He had two goals and an assist in a 5-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres, and has 22 points. That's more than Jarome Iginla, Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog.

Did we mention he's available in 87 percent of Yahoo leagues?

Tanguay, who has 16 points in 17 games since Nov. 4, had 11 points in 16 games during an injury-plagued 2013-14 season. He played Saturday on a line with Iginla and John Mitchell.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.20.2014 / 11:47 PM - 2014-2015 Situation Room blog

CGY @ VAN - 17:12 of the Second Period

At 17:12 of the second period in the Calgary Flames/Vancouver Canucks game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play at the Vancouver net. The referee informed the Situation Room that he blew his whistle to stop play therefore his call on the ice stands - no goal Calgary.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.20.2014 / 11:16 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Is a hot streak coming for Capitals' Ovechkin?

NEWARK, N.J. -- Here's Alex Ovechkin's explanation of his highlight-reel goal in the third period Saturday at Prudential Center:

"When you feel good, everything working well, those kinds of moments happen," Ovechkin said.

Here's why that explanation, as mundane as it is, is telling of how Ovechkin feels about the game and how the puck feels on his stick:

"He's been getting some great chances," Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz said.

Yes he has. The fact that one finally went in is a great sign for the Capitals, because when Ovechkin is feeling the puck, feeling good about his shot, his overall game, and he gets the result, a hot streak is typically in the offing.

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Quote of the Day

We've got a team filled with captains, that's what I think. With these first two games we got in, we're really dominating and moving the puck really fast, and it's worked out really good.

— U.S. goalie Brandon Halverson after a 6-0 win against Germany in the World Junior Championship on Sunday