NHL MORNING SKATE – DEC. 27, 2014
 
 
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NHL RETURNS FROM HOLIDAY BREAK
The NHL returns from its three-day Holiday Break with a 13-game slate and 26 teams in action.
 
With 41.8% of the regular season complete (514/1,230 GP):
 
* The top 14 teams in the NHL are separated by just 10 points.
 
* Twenty-four teams are within eight points of a playoff berth.
 
* Six teams that did not qualify for the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs are currently in line for a postseason berth (NSH, NYI, TOR, VAN, WSH, WPG). There has been a playoff turnover of at least five clubs in seven of the past nine seasons.
 
* The top 13 scorers in the NHL are separated by just 10 points.
 
REMINDER: HOLIDAY ROSTER FREEZE EXPIRATION
The Holiday Roster Freeze expires at midnight (local time) tonight for all players on an NHL active roster, injured reserve, or with non-roster and injured non-roster status, with respect to waivers, trades and loans, subject to the exceptions provided for in CBA Article 16.5 (d).
 
SNEAK PEEK AT SATURDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
NY Islanders @ Buffalo, 7:00 p.m., MSG+, MSG-B, BELL TV
Detroit @ Ottawa, 7:00 p.m., CBC, TVA, FS-D
Carolina @ Tampa Bay, 7:00 p.m., FS-CR, SUN
New Jersey @ NY Rangers, 7:00 p.m., MSG+ 2, MSG
Boston @ Columbus, 7:00 p.m., NESN, FS-O
Winnipeg @ Minnesota, 7:00 p.m., CITY, FS-N
Washington @ Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, SN, ROOT
Dallas @ St. Louis, 8:00 p.m., FS-SW, FS-MW
Philadelphia @ Nashville, 8:00 p.m., CSN-PH, FS-TN
Anaheim @ Arizona, 8:00 p.m., PRIME, FS-A
Chicago @ Colorado, 9:00 p.m., CSN-CH, ALT
Edmonton @ Calgary, 10:00 p.m., CBC
San Jose @ Los Angeles, 10:00 p.m., NBCSN, SN, TVA
NBCSN Channel Finder
Sportsnet Channel Finder
 
FIVE GAMES HIGHLIGHT NATIONAL SCHEDULE
Five games highlight Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada schedule: the Red Wings visit the Senators in the third of four meetings in 2014-15; the Jets, who have earned points in 12 of their past 13 outings (8-1-4), try to extend their recent hot streak when they face the Wild; longtime Penguins defensemen Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen make their returns to Pittsburgh when the Capitals visit CONSOL Energy Center (also on NBCSN); the Oilers and Flames meet in the second edition of the Battle of Alberta; and the Sharks and Kings face off for the first time since opening night, when San Jose spoiled Los Angeles’ banner-raising ceremony with a 4-0 victory at STAPLES Center (also on NBCSN).
 
LOOSE PUCKS
The Devils relieved Peter DeBoer of his head-coaching duties. The team compiled a 114-93-41 record under DeBoer, who guided the Devils to an appearance in the 2012 Stanley Cup Final in his first season behind the bench . . . The Department of Player Safety suspended Sharks forward John Scott for four games for punching an unsuspecting opponent and causing an injury (Rule 46.15) to Ducks forward Tim Jackman . . . ICYMI: Crews are scheduled to install the lines and center ice logo today at 3:30 p.m. ET for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Click here to view a live webcam of Nationals Park and click here to check out the latest time-lapse video of the rink build.
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