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Posted On Saturday, 12.20.2014 / 6:35 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

McDavid to play for Canada on Sunday: report

Forward Connor McDavid is expected to play for Canada on Sunday in an exhibition against Sweden leading up to the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The Canadian Press reported McDavid will be in the lineup at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa. It will be the 17-year-old's first game action since breaking his right pinky finger on Nov. 11, playing for the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.20.2014 / 5:21 PM

By Eric Gilmore - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blues at Sharks

SAN JOSE - If familiarity truly breeds contempt, then the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues are headed for some heated confrontations.

The Sharks and Blues play each other three times in a nine-game span starting Saturday at SAP Center.

"In that sense it makes it feel like a playoff type atmosphere when you get to see a team that often," Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. "You're going to have to make adjustments right on the hop and adjust to everyone's game. It's kind of fun because you get to do it right in a row and see how each team reacts."

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Posted On Saturday, 12.20.2014 / 4:10 PM

By Kevin Woodley - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Flames at Canucks

VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames will try to end long slumps that are threatening to derail surprising starts when they face each other at Rogers Arena on Saturday.

Calgary’s 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Friday was its seventh straight in regulation, a skid that has dropped the Flames outside the Western Conference cutoff for the Stanley Cup Playoffs following an impressive, but unexpected, 17-8-2 start to the season.

Vancouver is winless in five games and facing a similar drop after an equally unforeseen 18-7-1 start and is two points ahead of the ninth-place Flames, though Calgary has played three more games.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.20.2014 / 2:29 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Predators at Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Nashville Predators will be without forward James Neal on Saturday when they play the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

Neal remained in Nashville because of an illness. Predators coach Peter Laviolette said it is not believed to be the mumps and Neal could join the team later on their three-game road trip, which starts against the Wild. The Predators play at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday and Tuesday at the Boston Bruins Tuesday before heading home ahead of Christmas.

Laviolette moved Craig Smith into Neal's spot on the right side of Mike Ribeiro and Filip Forsberg on the Predators' top line.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.20.2014 / 2:17 PM

By Sean Farrell - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Senators at Canadiens

MONTREAL -- It looks like the Montreal Canadiens will have left wing Max Pacioretty in the lineup against the Ottawa Senators at Bell Centre on Saturday.

Pacioretty took part in the morning skate at the Canadiens' suburban practice facility. He went to the hospital Thursday night for precautionary reasons after he fell headfirst into the boards on a check by Anaheim Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner.

"I think maybe people hear the word hospital and they assume the worst, but whenever someone gets a little injury they have to obviously get tests, and at that time of the night the only thing open is the hospital," Pacioretty said. "So I don't want it to be blown out of proportion. I feel really good."

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Posted On Saturday, 12.20.2014 / 1:49 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Avalanche at Sabres

BUFFALO – The Colorado Avalanche will have a pair of players returning to the lineup when they face the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center on Saturday.

Forwards John Mitchell and Patrick Bordeleau will return from injury and are in the lineup for the Avalanche. Mitchell missed seven games with a lower-body injury he sustained against the Dallas Stars on Nov. 29. He will center a line with Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla on the wings.

“It feels nice,” Mitchell said. “It feels real good to be out there and skate and finally play a game and not show up at the rink at 6:45 right before the guys go out. Just the thought of being here on time for game time and being prepared, it feels good.”

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Posted On Saturday, 12.20.2014 / 1:14 PM

By John Kreiser - Managing Editor / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Lightning at Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – The New York Islanders’ “Kid Line” is playing some grown-up hockey.

Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome and Anders Lee, each of whom is a first or second-year player, are a big reason the Islanders bring a 22-10-0 record into their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday.

Nelson and Lee did all the scoring Friday when the Islanders edged the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 at Joe Louis Arena. Nelson’s goal was his team-high 14th and Lee’s was his sixth. Strome has six goals and 21 points, and he’s a team-high plus-12.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.20.2014 / 1:11 PM

By Craig Merz - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blackhawks at Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets’ extraordinary string of injuries continued with the news Saturday morning that left wing Boone Jenner will miss one to two months with a fracture in his back.

His injury comes a day after left wing Brian Gibbons (knee) was put on injured reserve and is expected to miss two to three weeks.

The Blue Jackets (13-15-3) will have 209 man games lost (6.53 per game) after playing the Chicago Blackhawks in Nationwide Arena on Saturday. The Blackhawks will total 58. Also, Columbus has three players who have played every game this season compared to 11 for Chicago.

“We’ve been dealing with a lot of injuries. It seems like you’re getting healthy then the injury bug comes back,” Columbus coach Todd Richards said. “It’s not just losing Boone. It’s losing Brian Gibbons. We’ve lost two left wingers, guys who have been playing some key minutes for us.”

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Posted On Saturday, 12.20.2014 / 12:54 PM

By Staff -  / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Capitals at Devils

Mike Cammalleri has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 13 with a lower-body injury, the New Jersey Devils announced Saturday.

The forward will be out for New Jersey's game Saturday against the Washington Capitals and is eligible to return Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Cammalleri has missed the past three games, and last played Dec. 13 against the Dallas Stars. Playing in his first season in New Jersey, Cammalleri leads the Devils with 11 goals and five power-play goals.

Neither the Devils nor the Capitals had full morning skates Saturday, but New Jersey did make a few moves. Defenseman Adam Larsson and forward Mike Sislo were recalled.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.20.2014 / 12:38 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Rangers at Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes will try to end a visiting team's winning streak for the second straight game when they host the New York Rangers on Saturday.

The Hurricanes beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 Thursday night, snapping Toronto's six-game winning streak. Now the Hurricanes have the opportunity to hand the Rangers a loss after four straight wins.

Carolina has been mired in a tough stretch, losing 10 of 13. The three wins, however, have come against the Maple Leafs, Nashville Predators, and Pittsburgh Penguins.

“It's more about how we play each night than it is about who we play against,” Carolina coach Bill Peters said. “When we've won those games, we haven't beaten ourselves. On Thursday, we played a very good game, we started on time, and we didn't make those mistakes that end up in the back of your net.”

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic