U.S. NHL Network reveals its 35-game preseason TV schedule

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Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, September 21), the U.S. version of the NHL Network will begin televising 35 preseasons games, according to the network’s press release. For picture quality snobs like myself, you’ll be happy to find out that 33 out of those 35 contests will be in fancy pants HD. (Hopefully the other two will be in at-least-better-than-Center-Ice quality feeds, which I’d say is highly likely).

Before I list the full schedule, here are some of the games:

  • Chicago will play Tampa Bay in a game at Winnipeg on Wednesday.
  • Toronto will play Philadelphia in London … Ontario on Thursday.
  • Buffalo takes on Ottawa in the “Kraft Hockeyville” game in Dundas, ONT on Tuesday, Sept. 28.
  • Calgary goes up against the New York Islanders in Saskatoon, SK the next day (Wednesday, Sept. 29).
  • That first Tuesday (Sept. 21) includes a triple-header, but the biggest serving of hockey comes on Saturday, September 25 and Friday, October 1 as four games will be televised those days.
  • Two of those Saturday September 25 games won’t be in HD (Penguins-Blue Jackets and Maple Leafs-Sabres).

Anyway, those are some of the dates that stick out to me. Here’s the full schedule, via NHL Network.

2010-11 NHL Network U.S. Pre-Season Game Schedule
(All times listed as ET)

Format: Date, Visitor, Home team, Time, Live or Not?

Tues, 9/21 New Jersey Devils Philadelphia Flyers 7:00 PM LIVE
Tues, 9/21 Ottawa Senators Toronto Maple Leafs 10:00 PM
Tues, 9/21 Vancouver Canucks Calgary Flames 2:00 AM *
Wed, 9/22 Chicago Blackhawks Tampa Bay Lightning (MTS Centre, Winnipeg) 8:00PM LIVE
Wed, 9/22 Ottawa Senators Toronto Maple Leafs 11:00 PM
Wed, 9/22 Edmonton Oilers Vancouver Canucks 2:00 AM *
Thu, 9/23 Toronto Maple Leafs Philadelphia Flyers (London, ONT) 7:00 PM LIVE
Thu, 9/23 Tampa Bay Lightning Edmonton Oilers 2:00 AM *
Fri, 9/24 Chicago Blackhawks Detroit Red Wings 7:00 PM LIVE
Fri, 9/24 Philadelphia Flyers Toronto Maple Leafs 10:00 PM
Fri, 9/24 Minnesota Wild St. Louis Blues 12:00 AM *
Sat, 9/25 Detroit Red Wings Chicago Blackhawks 8:00 PM LIVE
Sat, 9/25 Toronto Maple Leafs Buffalo Sabres 11:00 PM +
Sat, 9/25 Columbus Blue Jackets Pittsburgh Penguins 1:00 AM * +
Sat, 9/25 Anaheim Ducks Vancouver Canucks 4:00 AM *
Sun, 9/26 Vancouver Canucks Edmonton Oilers 8:00 PM LIVE
Mon, 9/27 Buffalo Sabres Toronto Maple Leafs 7:00 PM LIVE
Tue, 9/28 Buffalo Sabres Ottawa Senators (Kraft Hockeyville – Dundas, ONT) 7:00 PM LIVE
Tue, 9/28 San Jose Sharks Vancouver Canucks 10:00 PM LIVE
Tue, 9/28 Chicago Blackhawks Pittsburgh Penguins 2:00 AM *
Tue, 9/28 Phoenix Coyotes Calgary Flames 4:00 AM *
Wed, 9/29 New York Islanders Philadelphia Flyers 7:00 PM LIVE
Wed, 9/29 Vancouver Canucks San Jose Sharks 10:30 PM LIVE
Wed, 9/29 Toronto Maple Leafs Ottawa Senators 2:00 AM *
Wed, 9/29 Calgary Flames New York Islanders(Saskatoon, SK) 4:00 AM *
Wed, 9/29 Phoenix Coyotes Edmonton Oilers 6:00 AM *
Thu, 9/30 Buffalo Sabres Montreal Canadiens 7:30 PM LIVE
Thu, 9/30 Columbus Blue Jackets Minnesota Wild 11:00 PM
Fri, 10/1 Buffalo Sabres Philadelphia Flyers 7:00 PM LIVE
Fri, 10/1 Vancouver Canucks Anaheim Ducks 10:00 PM LIVE
Fri, 10/1 Toronto Maple Leafs Detroit Red Wings 1:00 AM *
Fri, 10/1 Calgary Flames Edmonton Oilers 4:00 AM *
Sat, 10/2 Detroit Red Wings Toronto Maple Leafs 7:00 PM LIVE
Sun, 10/3 St. Louis Blues Chicago Blackhawks 6:00 PM LIVE
Sun, 10/3 Edmonton Oilers Calgary Flames 12:00 AM *

* Denotes airtime is day after contest
+ Not available in HD
Schedule subject to change

Chara ‘more than likely’ to return from six-game absence tonight

SUNRISE, FL - MARCH 7: Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins skates towards the face-off circle during first period action against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on March 7, 2016 in Sunrise, Florida. The Bruins defeated the Panthers 5-4 in overtime. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
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Bruins captain Zdeno Chara hasn’t been in the lineup since Nov. 22, but that all changes tonight when he returns for a key date against the Panthers at TD Garden.

B’s head coach Claude Julien called it “more than likely probable” (per NHL.com) that Chara will play for the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury six games ago. It’s a huge addition for a Boston defense that has been without its veteran leader and fellow vet John-Michael Liles, who is currently sidelined with a concussion.

As a result of those two injuries, Julien has been rolling with a six-man defensive unit comprised of Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Brandon Carlo, Joe Morrow and Colin Miller.

Krug saw an upward spike in minutes as a result, and it helped him get his season on track offensively — he has seven points in his last eight games, this after going scoreless through the first nine contests of the year.

Carlo has been receiving big minutes as well. The rookie blueliner played over 24 minutes in back-to-back games against the Flyers and Lightning last week, then had 23:33 in Saturday’s win over Buffalo.

Chara had been averaging just under 23 minutes per prior to getting hurt, so it’s safe to assume Krug and Carlo will go back to more conventional TOI tonight.

Goalie nods: ‘He’s here, he’s able to play, he plays’ — Sens welcome Anderson back versus Pens

DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 24:  Craig Anderson #41 of the Ottawa Senators celebrates with Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators after the Senators scored against the Dallas Stars in the third period at American Airlines Center on November 24, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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Craig Anderson, who left the Sens on Nov. 30 to be with his wife while she undergoes cancer treatment, returned to the club ahead of tonight’s game in Pittsburgh.

And even though Anderson’s backup, Mike Condon, is coming off a 24-save shutout of Florida, there was apparently no question about which goalie would face the Pens.

“He’s here,” Sens head coach Guy Boucher said of Anderson, per the club’s Twitter account. “He’s able to play, he plays.”

Anderson has been terrific this season, posting a 12-5-1 record with a .930 save percentage and 2.20 GAA. He was especially dialed in over his last five starts prior to departing, stopping 143 of 153 shots (a .935 save percentage, which “ballooned” mostly due to his final game, a 5-4 loss to Buffalo).

Condon, who had a brief stint in Pittsburgh this season before getting dealt to Ottawa, has performed admirably as well. He’s posted a pair of shutouts and boasts an impressive .946 save percentage on the year. That effort, combined with Anderson’s rock-solid play, has made Andrew Hammond the odd man out in Ottawa (The Hamburglar was reassigned to AHL Binghamton today).

Marc-Andre Fleury will get the nod for Pittsburgh. He’s riding a bit of a hot streak, having stopped 61 of his last 65 shots faced in consecutive victories.

Elsewhere…

— Good matchup in Boston, as Tuukka Rask and the B’s host Roberto Luongo and the Panthers. Rask currently sits third in the NHL with a .941 save percentage, while Luongo is 12th at .929.

Robin Lehner, who returned from a one-game absence to make 31 saves in a loss to Boston on Saturday, starts for the Sabres. The host Capitals will once again turn to their workhorse, Braden Holtby, who looks to snap a three-game losing streak.

— After Mike Smith made a career-high 58 saves in a shootout loss to the Jackets on Saturday, Louis Domingue gives him a breather as the two teams meet again tonight. Sergei Bobrovsky will be in for the Jackets, after Curtis McElhinney got the win over the weekend.

Canucks’ Dorsett to have neck surgery, reportedly done for season

Derek Dorsett, Kyle Brodziak
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The Vancouver Canucks will be without forward Derek Dorsett for a considerable while longer.

The Canucks announced today that Dorsett will undergo “cervical fusion surgery to repair disc degeneration in his neck.” The club expects him to “make a full recovery and return to play,” but no timeline could be provided at this point.

Dorsett’s surgery will be performed by Dr. Robert Watkins of the Marina Del Rey Hospital spine clinic in Los Angeles.

“The decision to perform surgery was made after a thorough review of our options, including non-surgical treatment and rehabilitation,” said GM Jim Benning in a release. “Derek, our Canucks medical team and Dr. [Robert] Watkins believe that surgery offers the best outcome both for his career and long-term health. Derek is an important member of our team and we are optimistic for a full recovery.”

Dorsett last played Nov. 17 against the Coyotes. He was forced to leave the game with what the Canucks called an upper-body injury.

The 29-year-old has one goal and three assists in 14 games this season. He still leads all Vancouver forwards with 35 hits and 33 PIM.

Dorsett is signed through 2018-19 for a cap hit of $2.65 million.

Update:

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Dorsett will not be back this season. The hope now is for a return next season.

Coroner concludes Svatos died of drug overdose

DENVER - NOVEMBER 25:  Marek Svatos #40 of the Colorado Avalanche skates during the game against the Nashville Predators at the Pepsi Center on November 25, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Former Avalanche forward Marek Svatos died early last month of a drug overdose, according to the coroner in Colorado.

The Denver Post is reporting that Svatos “had codeine, morphine and an anti-anxiety medication in his system when he died of combined drug intoxication.” The Douglas County coroner also concluded in its report that Svatos had a history of heroin abuse and depression.

“Drug paraphernalia was found at the scene,” the report said, per the Post.

Svatos was 34 when he died Nov. 5. He last played in the NHL for the Ottawa Senators in 2010-11, before finishing his career overseas.

As reported earlier by the Post, Svatos was living in the Denver area with his wife and two young sons.