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Sweden must fill void on blue line with Edler injury

Saturday, 12.28.2013 / 4:22 PM / 2014 Olympics

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The rosters for the 2014 Sochi Olympics will be announced shortly, but Sweden still has time to make adjustments in an attempt to improve off its fifth-place finish in 2010.

While it's unlikely there will be anything surprising or drastic, injuries could force unforeseen changes.

For instance, Sweden received some bad news earlier this month when Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler sustained an undisclosed injury that will keep him out indefinitely. Edler, who was projected to be in Sweden's top six, has not played since Dec. 3.


Daily Primer Dec 28: Tough challenge for Blackhawks

Saturday, 12.28.2013 / 4:18 AM / Features


The Chicago Blackhawks are 7-0-2 in the second half of back-to-back sets this season. Extending that success won't be easy.

The Blackhawks breezed past the Colorado Avalanche at home on Friday, winning 7-2. But the second half of the back-to-back involves a trip to St. Louis, the team that's chasing them in the Central Division. The Blues have already beaten the Blackhawks twice this season, including once at Scottrade Center, where St. Louis is 14-3-2.

Here's a look at all of the action scheduled for Saturday:

Boston Bruins at Ottawa Senators -- Don't be surprised if there's some rancor between these teams; they're playing the back end of a home-and-home series that began with a 5-0 victory for the Bruins in Boston on Friday. Reilly Smith had two of Boston's four third-period goals as the Bruins blew the game open in the final 20 minutes. The Senators hope Craig Anderson, who's expected to be back in goal, will be able to build on a 5-0 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night


Tapped In: Wings' Miller talks outdoors, hockey family

Saturday, 12.28.2013 / 3:00 AM / Tapped In

Kathryn Tappen - NHL.com Contributor

The game of hockey has a long tradition in the Miller family. For Michigan native and Detroit Red Wings forward Drew Miller, learning the family trait meant continuing a rich tradition at Michigan State, long car rides in the family van, and listening from his wise older brother, Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller. After winning the Stanley Cup in his first year as a pro, Miller has grown to become an asset with his current team, Detroit, in a city he feels has a lot more to give both on and off the ice.

Kathryn Tappen: Big game coming up for you! The stage is set for New Year's Day at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor for the [2014 Bridgestone NHL] Winter Classic. How much are you looking forward to that game?

Drew Miller: It's going to be an exciting game. To think that over 100,000 fans will be watching is completely overwhelming to even think about. We skated at Comerica Park last week for practice and it's a bit different skating outside. The rink seems so small, to think that the football stadium is way bigger than that is going to be quite an adjustment. The game itself will be such an incredible experience to be a part of. Seeing that it's Michigan, that will be an adjustment for me as a Michigan State guy. That's foreign territory for me. Me and [Red Wings teammate Justin] Abdelkader haven't quite figured out what we're going to do yet. We may have to wear something Michigan State underneath our gear for morning skate.


Rink-building crew works long night into morning

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- It was quiet enough inside Michigan Stadium at about 10 p.m. Friday to hear water being sprayed near the other side of the ice surface.

There were seven people in the bowl of the stadium at the time and six of them were putting down the lines, faceoff circles and goal creases that turn a sheet of ice with boards into a hockey rink for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

A sunny day meant a long night and early morning for members of Dan Craig's rink-building crew.

"This is normal," said Craig, the NHL Facilities Operations Manager. "We were supposed to start spraying white [paint] at 10 [a.m.] and be ready to do lines at 2 [p.m.]. Instead we started at 4 and we were ready to [start] doing lines at 8. It is what it is. Mother Nature dictates what you do. Don't argue, just run with it."


Teen refugees from Africa play a role in Winter Classic

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- There were about 250 people in the stands at Michigan Stadium on Thursday and Friday, all of whom were charged with placing more than 100,000 seat cushions on the bleachers for the Bridgestone 2014 NHL Winter Classic.

Among this collection of workers were 16 kids wearing neon green touques, which made them easy to spot from anywhere in the stadium. These teenagers live in Lansing, Mich., an hour drive from the Big House, but they have come much farther than that.

All of the kids in this group are refugees from Africa. They came to Lansing from a variety of countries, and once they made that long journey, they all met Pete Lemmer, a lawyer who volunteers as a youth sports coach.


Michigan Tech, Western Michigan make GLI final


Close calls ruled the first day of the 49th Great Lakes Invitational played Friday at Comerica Park in Detroit.

Western Michigan beat Michigan 3-2 in overtime to win the second semifinal, a few hours after Michigan Tech knocked off Michigan State by the same score in a shootout.

Western Michigan and Michigan Tech will meet in the championship game Saturday night, after Michigan and Michigan State play in the third-place game in the afternoon. It is the second straight year that the Big Ten rivals will meet in the consolation game.

Parking is among the challenges at Winter Classic

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The Bridgestone 2014 NHL Winter Classic is expected to be the largest gathering of people to watch a game in hockey history.

The game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs will take place in Michigan Stadium, one of college football's most revered stadiums and known for bringing more than 100,000 people together on Saturday afternoons in the fall.

One thing the Big House is not known for is an abundance of nearby parking.

A popular option for parking at Michigan football games are the driveways and front yards of Ann Arbor residences. That's a viable option on a nice fall day, but maybe not so on a potentially snowy one in the middle of winter.

Finding alternative parking options is just one of the challenges NHL Senior Vice President of Events Don Renzulli has dealt with in the days leading up to the League's marquee day on the regular-season calendar.


Canucks' Luongo day-to-day with lower-body injury

Friday, 12.27.2013 / 5:53 PM / News

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, coach John Tortorella said Friday.

Luongo left the Canucks' game on Dec. 22 in the first period against the Winnipeg Jets and was replaced by Eddie Lack, who will start Vancouver's next game, Sunday against the Calgary Flames.

Luongo is 19-9-6 with a 2.24 goals-against average and .920 save percentage. Lack is 6-2-0 with a 1.93 GAA and .928 save percentage.


Islanders' Tavares day-to-day with lower-body injury

Friday, 12.27.2013 / 5:40 PM / News


New York Islanders center John Tavares did not practice Friday, and the team said he is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

Newsday reported the injury "is not considered to be a long-term problem," adding that Tavares "may be resting today to give it a go tomorrow."

The Islanders host the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.


Red Wings captain Zetterberg ready to return Saturday

Friday, 12.27.2013 / 4:10 PM / News


Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg told reporters he expects to be back in the lineup when his team faces the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

Zetterberg has been out since Dec. 1 due to a herniated disc in his back.

"Good and ready to play [Saturday]," Zetterberg told reporters after practice Friday. "If nothing happens from now until 7 (p.m. Saturday) I will be in. It's kind of been the same for a week, I guess. The good thing is I've been doing more and more stuff and it hasn't gotten worse. It's time to play again.

"It's been tough. Sometimes it's been really good and sometimes it hasn't been that good. But that's how it is sometimes."

Despite missing the past 11 games he leads the team in scoring with 30 points in 28 games.

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Once again, it shows character in this dressing room. Once again, there's no quitting in here. We all wanted this so bad and we worked so hard to get home-ice advantage and we weren't going to let this one slide.

— Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog on his team's OT Game 1 win vs. Minnesota Wild