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Posted On Tuesday, 04.23.2013 / 12:58 PM

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

Canadiens get Armstrong back, look to Price

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Montreal Canadiens have lost four of five -- all in regulation -- since clinching a berth in Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 11. They will begin a season-closing three-game road trip against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night and will enter the contest with one lineup change.

Forward Colby Armstrong, out since April 1 with a knee injury, will take the spot of Travis Moen on the Canadiens' fourth line. Moen signed a four-year contract with the club over the summer and has played in 44 of 45 games this season, but will be a healthy scratch against the Devils.

"Colby's an important guy," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. "I've always believed in good team chemistry. He's good with the players. He knows the system really well. He's good killing penalties. Guys have different roles on a team when we have success. All the roles, as far as I'm concerned, are important. Colby has an important role on our club."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.03.2013 / 7:37 PM

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

Brassard, Moore arrive at MSG, will play for Rangers

NEW YORK – Despite the New York Rangers making the trade of Marian Gaborik at about 5 p.m. ET, newcomers Derick Brassard and John Moore arrived at Madison Square Garden in time from Columbus for a 7:30 p.m. contest with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Both will be in the lineup, while Derek Dorsett is out with a broken collarbone.

To make room for Brassard and Moore, the Rangers sent J.T. Miller, Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast to the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League.

Also, forward Arron Asham is back in the lineup after a two-game absence.

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Posted On Monday, 04.01.2013 / 5:14 PM

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

No changes for Jets; Pavelec starts vs. Rangers

NEW YORK -- Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel said he will go with the same lineup Monday night against the New York Rangers that he used in his team's 3-1 home loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.

The means goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, who is 2-0-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average and .936 save percentage against the Rangers this season, will be in net.

The Jets didn't stake this morning, but here were the lines they employed against the Hurricanes:


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Posted On Sunday, 03.24.2013 / 11:58 AM

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

Caps sticking with lineup, Rangers making changes

One look at the likely lineups for the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers heading into their matchup Sunday at Madison Square Garden shows how things are going for each team.

The Capitals are coming off two straight road wins against the Winnipeg Jets -- 4-0 on Thursday and 6-1 on Friday -- and won’t make any lineup changes.

The Rangers, however, made two moves in the wake of their 3-1 home loss Thursday to the Florida Panthers, the NHL's 30th-place team. Fourth-line center Jeff Halpern was placed on waivers and claimed by the Montreal Canadiens, and Stu Bickel, who has split time on defense and at forward, also was placed on waivers.

Forward Kris Newbury was recalled from Connecticut of the American Hockey League and could find himself on a line with Chris Kreider, as the two worked well together during their time together with the Whale. Arron Asham is healed from a back injury that has sidelined him for more than a month and could be back against the Capitals.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.21.2013 / 2:11 PM

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

Kreider back for Rangers; Panthers' Howden gets shot

NEW YORK -- At the start of the season, New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider was considered one of the favorites to win the Calder Trophy after bursting onto the scene during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Kreider was instead assigned to Connecticut of the AHL after his minutes began to diminish from poor play and then an ankle injury hindered his progress. But after a little more than three weeks with the Whale, the 21-year-old will find himself on the Rangers' third line when they play host to the Florida Panthers on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

“I was able to play big minutes and play in all situations," Kreider told reporters of his AHL stint, following the Rangers' practice at Greenburgh, N.Y. "Any time you can do that, it helps your development, I guess.”

Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who complained of headaches following a 3-2 against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday stemming from a collision with teammate Dan Girardi, said he feels good after taking off Wednesday and will start in net. He'll likely be opposed by Florida's Jacob Markstrom, who is coming off a 33-save performance in a 4-1 win at Carolina on Tuesday.

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Posted On Monday, 03.18.2013 / 7:00 PM

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

Corvo to sit for Hurricanes

NEW YORK -- Based on pregame warmups, the Carolina Hurricanes will be without defenseman Joe Corvo due to a lower-body injury that occurred Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Corvo wasn't on the ice for pregame warmups, and it looks like Bobby Sanguinetti will replace him against the New York Rangers, the team that selected him in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.

Dan Ellis will get the start in net for the Hurricanes, who were unable to have a morning skate because of construction taking place at Madison Square Garden.

Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller appears set to shuffle his middle two lines against the Rangers. Eric Staal will center the top line with Alexander Semin and Jiri Tlusty, but Jeff Skinner took line rushes on the third line with Riley Nash and Jussi Jokinen. The second line consisted of Jordan Staal centering Drayson Bowman and Patrick Dwyer.

Here are the updated Hurricanes lines:

Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin

Drayson Bowman - Jordan Staal - Patrick Dwyer

Jeff Skinner - Riley Nash - Jussi Jokinen

Kevin Westgarth - Adam Hall - Tim Wallace

Jay Harrison - Justin Faulk

Tim Gleason - Bobby Sanguinetti

Joni Pitkanen - Jamie McBain

Dan Ellis

Justin Peters

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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Posted On Monday, 03.18.2013 / 12:06 PM

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

Rangers re-load big guns on top line

Mired in a three-game losing streak in which they have scored only two goals, the New York Rangers appear set to reunite their three biggest guns on one line Monday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

According to reporters in attendance in Greenburgh, N.Y., Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards and Rick Nash skated together on a line at practice. It was a common sight during the first two weeks of the season, but the unit eventually was broken up in an effort to give the team a more balanced look offensively.

Nash has been a consistent performer all season -- he has 9 goals and 23 points in 23 games -- but Richards and Gaborik have been mired in slumps since the season's early stages. Richards has two goals and six assists in his past 20 games, while Gaborik has three goals and six assists in his past 22 games, and just one goal in his past 14 games.

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Posted On Friday, 03.08.2013 / 5:50 PM

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

Richards returning to Rangers lineup; Lundqvist starts

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers center Brad Richards will return to the lineup Friday after missing two games with back and neck stiffness stemming from a hit by Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta on Sunday.

Richards returned to that game but had yet to practice since the hit that earned Kaleta a five-game suspension.

Richards tried to participate in the Rangers' morning skate Tuesday, but left the ice immediately. Rangers coach John Tortorella said Richards skated Friday afternoon to test his injuries and felt good enough to play.

The Rangers face the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden at 7 p.m. ET.

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Posted On Friday, 03.08.2013 / 12:26 PM

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

Lehner anticipates possible matchup vs. Lundqvist

NEW YORK -- With Craig Anderson still nursing an ankle injury and Ben Bishop coming off a rocky outing Wednesday, Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean will turn to Robin Lehner in net against the New York Rangers on Friday at Madison Square Garden.

Bishop has gotten the bulk of the work since Anderson hurt his ankle against the Rangers on Feb. 21 and allowed seven goals in his next four starts. However, he gave up five goals on 28 shots against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old has yet to win in two starts, but not for his lack of stellar goaltending. He stopped 44 of 46 shots Feb. 28 against the Boston Bruins, but lost 2-1 in overtime. Sunday, Lehner made 33 saves but lost 3-2 in a shootout.

Lehner is hoping to face Henrik Lundqvist, who started for the Rangers on Thursday and made 28 saves in a 2-1 overtime win. If they decide to give Lundqvist a second straight start, it would mean Lehner would get to face his fellow Swedish countryman and mentor.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 12:52 PM

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

Flyers have opportunity to jump above .500 mark

NEW YORK -- It's been a struggle since the puck was dropped on the 2012-13 season for the Philadelphia Flyers. A 100-point team the past two seasons, injuries and inconsistency have combined to prevent the Flyers from spending even a day above .500 this season.

The Flyers will become one of two teams to reach the midpoint of their season Tuesday by playing their 24th game, and they will do so in an important Atlantic Division battle against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).

After an 0-3-0 start that continued into a 2-6-0 mark, the Flyers are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference at 11-11-1, one point ahead of the ninth-place Rangers. The Flyers' position is deceiving, however, because they've played the most games in the League and rank 19th overall and tied for ninth in the East with the Winnipeg Jets in points percentage.

If the Flyers lose in regulation Tuesday, they will find themselves one point behind the Rangers, who will have three games in hand. The Flyers could fall as far as 10th in the East with a regulation loss.

Flyers forward Maxime Talbot called this game the biggest of the season.

"We battled through a lot of adversity this year and we're just coming up to .500 after the start we had. It's where we want to be right now," Talbot said. "But now it's about moving up and keep going. Yeah, we have to go through this game to keep building and keep gaining points, so I'd say, yeah, to this day, it's our most important game."

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Quote of the Day

We've got a team filled with captains, that's what I think. With these first two games we got in, we're really dominating and moving the puck really fast, and it's worked out really good.

— U.S. goalie Brandon Halverson after a 6-0 win against Germany in the World Junior Championship on Sunday