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Posted On Saturday, 01.26.2013 / 6:16 PM

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

Rangers' Kreider to 'get a couple days' rest'

New York Rangers coach John Tortorella said Saturday that Chris Kreider’s ankle injury is "not a severe injury."

Kreider was a healthy scratch for the Rangers’ 2-1 road loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night, but was absent from the team’s practice Saturday morning with the injury. Tortorella said Kreider suffered in the injury during his time with Connecticut of the American Hockey League.

"I don’t know exactly what it is,' Tortorella said. "But it's not a serious injury. He'll get a couple days rest and we’ll see what happens from there."

The Rangers face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night and are scheduled to face the Flyers at home on Tuesday night.

---

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Posted On Saturday, 01.26.2013 / 1:28 PM

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

Reimer poised to make MSG debut

NEW YORK – Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer doesn’t remember if he was tabbed to start against the New York Rangers on Oct. 27, 2011, but he knows he was definitely supposed to dress.

Reimer took part in the team’s morning skate that day, but was scratched with what was believed to be whiplash issues before later being diagnosed with a concussion near the end of the season. The Maple Leafs recalled Ben Scrivens to back up Jonas Gustavsson for that contest and Reimer didn’t see the ice again until early December.

More than a year later, Reimer will likely get a chance to make his Madison Square Garden debut against the Rangers on Saturday night. Reimer was the first goaltender off the ice at practice while Scrivens stayed longer for extra work.

Reimer was expected to be the No. 1 goaltender in Toronto this season, but rumors swirled that the Leafs would acquire Roberto Luongo from the Vancouver Canucks. That trade wasn't consummated by the start of this season and Scrivens was given the Leafs’ first two starts. Four games into the 2012-13 campaign, he has made three starts compared to just one for Reimer.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.23.2013 / 6:39 PM

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

Asham injury forces Rangers to shuffle lineup

NEW YORK – The New York Rangers will shuffle their lineup Wednesday night against the Boston Bruins as a groin injury will relegate forward Arron Asham to spectator status.

Coach John Tortorella announced that defenseman Stu Bickel will move into Asham’s position up front and Steve Eminger will make his season debut on the blue line.

Asham suffered the injury during the Rangers' 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday night. Asham fought Tanner Glass two seconds after the opening faceoff and played just 5:53. Tortorella said Asham did not suffer the injury during the fight.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.23.2013 / 12:42 PM

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

Bruins label Seidenberg, Marchand game-time calls

NEW YORK -- Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and forward Brad Marchand were labeled game-time decisions by Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien on Wednesday morning.

The Bruins (2-0) will look for their second win in three games against the New York Rangers (0-2) at Madison Square Garden (7:30 ET, NBCSN).

"They're out there this morning. I'm going to leave it as a game-time decision," said Julien, who wasn't on the ice for the skate. "I'm very hopeful for both of them. But I'll see after this morning's skate and after warmup, it'll be better to make those decisions then."

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Posted On Sunday, 01.20.2013 / 5:07 PM

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

Lundqvist starts, Asham debuts for Rangers

NEW YORK – Henrik Lundqvist will start his second straight game as the New York Rangers play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.

Lundqvist played well in a 3-1 loss Saturday night to the Bruins in Boston, making 31 saves.

The only lineup change Sunday for the Rangers will be the return of Arron Asham from a four-game suspension he incurred as a member of the Penguins during the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals last year against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Asham signed with the Rangers during the offseason in part to replace the loss of enforcer Brandon Prust to the Montreal Canadiens via free agency. The 34-year-old Asham isn’t shy about dropping the gloves and the occasional borderline hit, but Rangers coach John Tortorella doesn’t want to rein him in for his debut.

“I don’t expect him to be a saint,” Tortorella said. “The way he plays, I want him to be himself. I think you can play the game hard – and we have done that – without taking penalties.”

To make room for Asham, the Rangers sent forward Brandon Segal to Connecticut of the AHL. He had two penalty minutes (hooking) in 5:21 of ice time against the Bruins.

Here are the likely lines and d-pairs for the Rangers:

Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Rick Nash
Marian Gaborik - Derek Stepan - Ryan Callahan
Chris Kreider - Bryan Boyle - Taylor Pyatt
Mike Rupp - Jeff Halpern - Arron Asham

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Anton Stralman
Michael Del Zotto - Stu Bickel

Henrik Lundqvist
Martin Biron

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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Posted On Sunday, 01.20.2013 / 1:04 PM

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

Vokoun to make first start for Penguins

NEW YORK – Tomas Vokoun joined the Capitals last season as the goaltender that would shore up the position, one that had been a weakness for years in Washington, and transform the club from playoff disappointments into Stanley Cup champions.

Instead, Vokoun battled injury and inconsistency and eventually found himself watching from afar with a lower-body injury as the Capitals lost in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the New York Rangers in seven games.

The 36-year-old will get a crack at the Rangers on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden in his first start with the Pittsburgh Penguins after signing a two-year deal to serve as Marc-Andre Fleury’s backup.

“I think when we talk about our goaltenders and adding a Tomas Vokoun, this is one of the reasons why right here in back-to-back situations,” said coach Dan Bylsma, whose team won its season opener 2-1 in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon. “He’s got a big game against the Rangers. This is a team that we think is a great team and a big game for us and Tomas is stepping right in Game 2 to backstop us.”

Vokoun’s last start came nearly 10 months ago when he allowed three goals on 28 shots in a 3-2 loss to the Jets in Winnipeg on March 16, 2012.

“It’s a good chance to get in there after a long time,” Vokoun said. “Hopefully I can help the team win. I’m very excited. That’s why we do all the training and everything else, to be able to play the game. Obviously it’s my first time in the uniform so it’s always exciting.”

Vokoun faced the Rangers once last year and played very well. He stopped 31 of 32 shots in a 4-1 win for the Capitals at Verizon Center.

“I’m happy for a new teammate getting his first chance,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. “It’s always a great atmosphere here and we’re excited for him to get out there. We want to make sure we give him as much help as we can.”

Here are the lines and defense pairings that were on display during the Penguins’ morning practice:

Chris KunitzSidney CrosbyPascal Dupuis

Eric TangradiEvgeni MalkinJames Neal

Matt CookeBrandon SutterTyler Kennedy

Tanner GlassJoe VitaleCraig Adams

Brooks OrpikPaul Martin

Kris LetangMatt Niskanen

Simon DespresDeryk Engelland

Tomas Vokoun

Marc-Andre Fleury

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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Posted On Sunday, 09.30.2012 / 8:27 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Kraft Hockeyville 2012 Blog

Hockeyville clinics highlight upcoming schedule

STIRLING-RAWDON, Ontario – The Kraft Hockeyville celebration was only getting warmed up Sunday.

The festivities will continue Monday and Tuesday with skating clinics that will take place from 5:00-7:45 p.m. at the Sterling & District Recreation Centre. They will consist of three, 45-minute sessions and while the participants have already been chosen, they will be open for public viewing.

The clinics will feature children from ages 4-16 whose names were selected at random.

On hand for the clinics will be former Toronto Maple Leafs Gary Leeman, Dan Dauodt and Tom Fergus.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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Posted On Sunday, 09.30.2012 / 2:18 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Kraft Hockeyville 2012 Blog

NHL alums sign autographs at Hockeyville Fun Fair

STIRLING-RAWDON, Ontario -- Former NHL players Brad Marsh, Laurie Boschman, Mike Gaul and Jamie Allison signed autographs during the Fun Fair event in the parking lot outside the Stirling & District Recreation Centre on Sunday afternoon.

The festivities included the presentation of a $100,000 check for upgrades and renovations to the Stirling & District Recreation Centre and a $10,000 food bank donation. The Stanley Cup was on display for photographs, while fun for the kids included two bouncy castles, an accuracy game for shooting hockey balls, a slide and free Kraft products for everyone.

The musical stylings of Brian Cosbey and Friends filled the air on an afternoon in which potential rain stayed away.

"It's been a good experience for us," said Cindy Brandy, the chairperson who made the push to bring Hockeyville to the town. "I think this past week, with all the advertisement on the radio and the television stations, things improved dramatically. Hence, the crowd today."

A few thousand people are here today with the alumni game set for 7 p.m. at the recreation centre.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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Posted On Sunday, 09.30.2012 / 12:52 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Kraft Hockeyville 2012 Blog

Stanley Cup parades through Stirling-Rawdon

STIRLING-RAWDON, Ontario -- Hockey's most famous celebrity was on display during a parade through the center of town Sunday morning -- the Stanley Cup.

Fans of all ages lined Front Street for the 30-minute precession that was part of the town's celebration for winning the Kraft Hockeyville competition. It's tough to explain exactly what took place during the parade, so here's a rundown of some its participants.

-- A marching band

-- A fire truck

-- About 100 kids from the town's minor hockey program

-- Five John Deere tractors

-- A blues band, since the town's hockey team's nickname is the Blues

-- "The Stirling Blues Brothers," two gentlemen dressed as Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi's "Blues Brothers" characters

-- A teenage boy wearing a clown wig and Alexander Mogilny Maple Leafs jersey who was pulled along by a pony

-- A man who goes by the name "Canadian Bob," who was dressed in red on a motorcycle decorated with Canadian flags and had a black Labrador in a basket resting above the back wheel

And of course, the Stanley Cup, which was the big draw for people gathered to watch the parade.

"It's pretty cool," said Todd Binnie, who was resting comfortable in a chair in his front lawn while wearing a Philadelphia Flyers jersey. "It's a small town so we don't get to see that type of stuff too often."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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Posted On Sunday, 09.30.2012 / 12:31 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Kraft Hockeyville 2012 Blog

Hockeyville kicks off with figure-skating clinic

STIRLING-RAWDON, Ontario -- A group of about 30 girls took the ice for a figure-skating clinic at the Stirling & District Recreation Centre on Sunday morning to kick off the town's Kraft Hockeyville celebration.

Canadian Olympic silver medalist Elizabeth Manley served as the instructor for the pair of 45-minute sessions. Nine-year-old Madison Myers took part as a student while her older sister Lindsay Newbury-Myers assisted Manley.

"Liz is just great to have out hear teaching these kids because she works so well with them," said Nick Myers, the proud father who was looking on with his wife, Laurie. The duo will serve as linesmen for tonight's alumni game that will feature Stirling native Rob Ray, Brad Marsh, Laurie Boschman and other former NHL players.

Nick credited the sister of Ray, Cindy Brand, the chairperson for the town's campaign, for making figure skating part of the festivities.

"I'm very grateful to her for getting the ball rolling on getting figure skaters involved," Nick said. "The support from everyone has been amazing."

There will be more clinics Monday and Tuesday with some of the NHL alumni taking part as instructors.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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Quote of the Day

We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff