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Eastern Conference

Panthers’ Roberto Luongo Could Return In February

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Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo could make his way back to the ice for the Panthers sometime in February.

Luongo has been out since early December because of a lower-body injury.

“I would probably guess that we’re not going to see him play, because of the [five-day schedule break) in January, I would say to be completely honest, probably the beginning of February,” Panthers coach Bob Boughner said Monday (h/t NHL.com).

“But that could change any day and we’re sort of taking it day by day.”

“He is on the road with us right now,” Boughner said. “He is rehabbing. There are good days and bad days. He went through a stretch there where he was really progressing well. In the last week he had a little bit of soreness so we are sort of backing off. We want him to come back 100 percent, not 90 percent, so we are going to be very careful with him.”

Florida, who is mired in a 3-game losing streak, could use Luongo back ASAP.

Eastern Conference

Penguins Keeping Faith in Matt Murray

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The Pittsburgh Penguins continue to support goalie Matt Murray despite his struggles this season, leading the team to temporarily usurp him for Casey DeSmith.

Despite the downward fall, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan believes that the time off the ice will help him focus on work with goaltending coach Mike Buckley, and the team is maintaining both their faith and their confidence that Murray can return to form.

“I think Matt’s mental toughness and the experiences that he’s gone through, he can certainly draw on and help him get to where we all know he’s capable of being,” Sullivan said (h/t NHL.com). “Right now, he’s got an opportunity to spend some time with [Buckley] and work on some of the aspects of his game that we think can help him improve. He can build his confidence.

“This by no means diminishes our faith and our trust in Matt Murray. We know he’s a real good goalie. He’s an accomplished goalie.”

DeSmith understands his role, as backup.

“That’s my job. Just to show up when I get the chance,” DeSmith said. “I think so far, I’ve given the team a chance to win when I’ve played. I take pride in that.”

Murray is 4-4-1 with a 3.87 GAA, .886 save percentage and one shutout in nine starts for Pittsburgh this season.

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Eastern Conference

Devils Place Brian Boyle on IR

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The New Jersey Devils have placed center Brian Boyle on injured reserve with an upper-body injury, according to an official team announcement.

During Sunday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, Boyle was on the receiving end of a devastating hit from Dustin Byfuglien, which you can see below.

In a corresponding move, the Devils have recalled Pavel Zacha from the AHL.

 

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Boston Bruins

Bruins’ Tuukka Rask Rejoins Team, Jakub Zboril Recalled

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The Boston Bruins will see the return of netminder Tuukka Rask, who took a few days away from the team for a personal leave.

In corresponding moves, Dan Vlader is on his way back to the Providence Bruins while Jakub Zboril will be recalled. Additionally, the team officially announced that both Jeremy Lauzon and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson will stay on regular recall.

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