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Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Sunday, 03.03.2013 / 5:33 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Sabres' Vanek out vs. Rangers

NEW YORK -- The Buffalo Sabres will be without leading scorer Thomas Vanek for a second straight game, coach Ron Rolston announced Sunday prior to his team's game against the New York Rangers.

Vanek was absent from the Sabres' 4-3 shootout victory against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, and the team hoped he'd able to face the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Rolston said Vanek is close but just not ready.

"We're hoping [for Tuesday at the Carolina Hurricanes]," Rolston said. "For his best interest and the best interest of the team, we decided to hold him out [Sunday]. He won't be able to go, but we're very hopeful he'll be able to go on Tuesday."

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POSTED ON Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 1:00 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Garon to start in net for Lightning

NEW YORK -- Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Mathieu Garon will make his second straight start Thursday, giving Anders Lindback another break, when the Lightning face the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Lindback hasn't played since Sunday, when he allowed three goals on 10 shots against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 5-3 Lightning loss. He was pulled after the first period of that game, and he was the last player to come off the ice at Thursday's morning skate.

"Every game he's in, he gives us a chance to win," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said of Garon, who has stopped 61 of 66 shots (.924 save percentage) in his past three games. "He plays very calm for me, that's what I see. There's not a lot of big rebounds for the other team to capitalize on. He's been very good."

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 5:25 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Rangers coping with plethora of injuries

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash will miss his fourth consecutive game, as the team announced he is out Tuesday night against the Winnipeg Jets with an undisclosed injury.

He's not the only Rangers player who will sit Thursday with injury: defensemen Michael Del Zotto (lower body) and Ryan McDonagh (head), and forward Arron Asham (back) will be absent from the lineup.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 12:58 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Noel proclaims Byfuglien good to go against Rangers

NEW YORK -- Dustin Byfuglien will be in the lineup for the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night after leaving Sunday's game with a lower-body injury.

"He's in the game," said Jets coach Claude Noel, whose team will look to finish its five-game road trip with a 4-1 record when they face the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. "He's a player. He's ready to go. He feels good. He's a big contributor to our team and he's played with a little bit more control of late, and that's something we're trying to sort through. But that's OK."

Byfuglien suffered a lower-body injury in the third period of the Jets' 4-2 victory against the New Jersey Devils on Sunday. But the 6-foot-5, 265-pound defenseman/forward took part in the team's Tuesday morning skate at MSG and looked completely healthy.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 02.20.2013 / 2:50 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Devils set to begin rare road-and-road in Washington

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils are entering into a unique situation starting Thursday, playing consecutive regular-season games on the road against the same team.

Outside of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, players can't recall a similar situation since their days of playing junior hockey, but that's what they'll do against the Washington Capitals on Thursday night and Saturday afternoon at Verizon Center.

"It is a little different," said Devils forward David Clarkson, who will be in the lineup Thursday after dealing with tightness in his back following Monday afternoon's 2-1 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators. "But I think with the schedule a lot of things are going to happen that you're not used to, so I think it'll be nice to get there and play tomorrow, have the day to practice and have no travel, so that will be good."

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 02.20.2013 / 1:39 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Carter not joining Devils on trip to Washington

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils forward Ryan Carter will not make the trip with the team for the its back-to-back road contests with the Washington Capitals on Thursday and Saturday.

Carter was involved in a collision during Monday afternoon's home game with the Ottawa Senators that left him with a head injury. He won't be available in either of the next two games; the team will not return home on the day in between the two games in Washington.

At practice Wednesday, rookie Stefan Matteau took Carter's place on the team's third line with Stephen Gionta and Steve Bernier.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 02.19.2013 / 6:55 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lines for Canadiens, Rangers

NEW YORK -- Here are the projected lineups for Tuesday night's game between the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

CANADIENS

Rene BourqueTomas PlekanecBrian Gionta

Max PaciorettyDavid DesharnaisLars Eller

Brandon PrustAlex GalchenyukErik Cole

Travis MoenRyan WhiteColby Armstrong

Andrei Markov -Alexei Emelin

Josh GorgesRaphael Diaz

Francis Bouillon – PK Subban

Scratches: Tomas Kaberle, Yannick Weber, Brendan Gallagher

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

RANGERS

Chris Kreider - Brad Richards - Ryan Callahan

Carl HagelinDerek StepanMarian Gaborik

J.T. MillerBrian BoyleTaylor Pyatt

Brandon MashinterJeff HalpernArron Asham

Ryan McDonaghDan Girardi

Marc StaalAnton Stralman

Michael Del ZottoMatt Gilroy

Henrik Lundqvist

Martin Biron

Scratches: Rick Nash (injury, undisclosed), Stu Bickel,Steve Eminger

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 02.19.2013 / 6:25 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Prust returns to Garden with Canadiens

NEW YORK – When Brandon Prust joined the New York Rangers from the Calgary Flames in January 2010, he wasn’t much more than a player who would drop the gloves and spend most of a game glued to the bench in a strict enforcer role.

That changed under Rangers coach John Tortorella, who employed him as a checking-line wingr and penalty-killing specialist. Prust also fought more than anyone in the NHL last season, and it resulted in him being rewarded with a four-year, $10 million contract by the Montreal Canadiens in July.

Prust wasn’t looking to leave as a free agent, but the Canadiens made an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“Well, to have some teams come at you like Montreal did, it’s definitely flattering, and I think it was good for me to also set a precedent for players like me and how important we can be to teams.” Prust told reporters at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night with the Canadiens paying a visit to the Rangers. “That was something I was happy to do as well, you know? Sometimes players like me are maybe overlooked or not looked at as an important piece to the puzzle, but it was something I wanted to prove and wanted to show."

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POSTED ON Sunday, 02.17.2013 / 4:58 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

"Banged-up" Nash to play for Rangers

NEW YORK -- A "banged-up" Rick Nash took part in pregame warmups for the New York Rangers on Sunday night, and he is in the lineup against the Washington Capitals (6 p.m. ET, NBCSN) at Madison Square Garden.

"He's banged up," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "We're going to see if he can go."

Nash did not take part in Rangers' practice Saturday, although the day off was characterized as a maintenance day by Tortorella at that time. Later Saturday, the Rangers recalled forward Chris Kreider from Connecticut of the AHL one day after he was assigned to the Whale.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 02.17.2013 / 11:57 AM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Capitals projected lines against Rangers

NEW YORK - The Capitals enter Sunday's game on a three-game winningstreak. This will be the first meeting between the Caps and Rangers since their Eastern Conference Semifinal series last year, which the Rangers won in seven games.

That marked the end of coach Dale Hunter's tenure and set the stage for the hiring of Adam Oates during the offseason. How does Alex Ovechkin think the change in coaching philosophies from Hunter's defense-first mentality to Oates' more-aggressive style will affect a meeting with the Rangers?

"I'm probably going to get more ice time," said Ovechkin, who played fewer than 15 minutes three times in that series.

The Rangers did not have a skate Sunday, so the status ofRick Nash remains in doubt. Coach John Tortorella will address the media at 4:45 p.m.

Here's what Oates will likely throw at the Rangers in terms of line combinations and d-pairs, with Braden Holtby getting the start in net.

Wojtek WolskiNicklas BackstromTroy Brouwer

Jason ChimeraMike RibeiroAlex Ovechkin

Eric Fehr- Mathieu PerreaultJoel Ward

Matt HendricksJay BeagleJoey Crabb

John ErskineJohn Carlson

Karl AlznerTom Poti

Tomas KundratekJeff Schultz

Braden Holtby

Michal Neuvirth

Scratches: Mike Green (lower-body), Roman Hamrlik, Marcus Johansson (upper-body).

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It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery