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Posted On Monday, 04.01.2013 / 1:42 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Groin injury puts Ruutu back on sidelines for Canes

MONTREAL -- Forward Tuomo Ruutu took a couple of spins around the ice before retreating back to the dressing room prior to the Carolina Hurricanes morning skate Monday after injuring his groin in Saturday night's 3-1 win against the Jets in Winnipeg.

Ruutu will miss Monday night's game against the Montreal Canadiens and is day-to-day, coach Kirk Muller said.

There was also some good news on the injury front for the Hurricanes, however, as defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti skated with the team, though he will miss his fourth game with an upper-body injury. Defenseman Justin Faulk will miss his fifth game with a knee injury, but the Hurricanes are hopeful he will return by the end of the week, Muller said.

Finally, goaltender Dan Ellis will be the backup for Justin Peters on Monday after recovering from a leg laceration that cost him the last three games. He should be ready to start Tuesday night in a big divisional game at home against the Washington Capitals.


Posted On Saturday, 03.30.2013 / 2:09 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Zuccarello to debut for desperate Rangers team

MONTREAL -- The New York Rangers sounded very much like a desperate hockey team Saturday morning as they prepared to play the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.

Coach John Tortorella was still lamenting his team’s effort in a 3-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, citing it as a glaring example of a problem that has plagued the Rangers all season long.

Tortorella said he was happy with the way the Rangers played in a 5-2 victory at the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. But his disappointment that it didn’t carry over to Thursday’s game was compounded by the fact the season is racing toward its completion.

“There is time here, but we’re running out of it as far as our consistency,” Tortorella said. “That’s been the tough one for us as a group. We see glimpses but then we take a step backwards.”

Posted On Saturday, 03.23.2013 / 1:08 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Vanek back, Stafford scratched for Sabres

MONTREAL – The Buffalo Sabres will welcome their leading scorer back to the lineup Saturday night when they face the Montreal Canadiens for the second time in four days.

Thomas Vanek is fully recovered after taking a Christian Ehrhoff slap shot off his left hip when the Sabres visited Bell Centre on Tuesday night, a 3-2 overtime win for Buffalo.

Struggling Drew Stafford will be a healthy scratch for Buffalo, and Nathan Gerbe draws in for the Sabres.

For the Canadiens, Ryan White will miss the game with a lower-body injury suffered in a 5-2 win Thursday night against the New York Islanders. He will be replaced on Montreal’s fourth line by Mike Blunden, who was called up from the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs on Friday.

Rene Bourque, who has missed the past month with a concussion, did not skate with the team for a second straight day after practicing with the Canadiens on Wednesday then making the trip to Long Island on Thursday. He missed an optional practice Friday and was not on the ice Saturday morning.

Defenseman Yannick Weber, who hurt his knee two weeks ago, did skate with the team Saturday morning for the first time since his injury.

Here are the projected lineups for the Sabres and Canadiens on Saturday night:

Posted On Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 12:31 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Kaleta in for Sabres after sitting out one extra game

MONTREAL -- The Buffalo Sabres will be putting Patrick Kaleta back in the lineup Tuesday for their game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Kaleta was held out of Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals in what would have been his first game back after serving a five-game suspension for boarding Brad Richards of the New York Rangers. Kaleta voiced his frustration in being held out through the media following the team's morning skate Sunday and was reprimanded for doing so following the game by goaltender Ryan Miller.

Kaleta said he and Miller, former roommates on the road, have cleared the air and there’s nothing to be concerned about.

"We talked about it right off the bat," Kaleta said. "It was a little misunderstanding. Like I said, he's my brother. I have my blood brother at home, you say things, you fight. But he's my family. I've been his roommate for the past three years, we have an awesome bond together. I have his back 100 percent, no matter what happens."

Posted On Wednesday, 03.13.2013 / 2:07 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Senators welcome addition of Kassian

MONTREAL – The Ottawa Senators lost a good deal of toughness over the summer when Zenon Konopka and Matt Carkner left as free agents. So players welcomed the news Wednesday that general manager Bryan Murray made a move to help make the team tougher.

Murray acquired Matt Kassian from the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. Kassian will join the team in Ottawa on Thursday and will not be in the lineup for Wednesday night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

“We’ve added an element to our team that we feel, as an organization, is very important. It’s something that we thought we lacked as a group and we’ve addressed that,” Senators coach Paul MacLean said Wednesday. “This is an element we felt we were missing on our team with the decisions that were made in free agency in the summertime, with Konopka and Carkner taking advantage of opportunities that were presented to them. We just felt that element is still important to us in the game and we wanted to address it as soon as we could.”

Posted On Saturday, 02.23.2013 / 1:11 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Staal, Del Zotto questionable for Rangers

MONTREAL – Neither the New York Rangers nor the Montreal Canadiens will know exactly what their respective lineups will look like for their game at Bell Centre on Saturday night until just before the puck drops.

Rangers defenseman Marc Staal was surprisingly absent from the morning skate as he stayed at the team hotel battling the flu. Fellow defenseman Michael Del Zotto was on the ice but left before the skate was completed. Del Zotto did not finish Thursday night’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators after taking a hard check from Marc Methot midway through the third period.

The defensemen are game-time decisions, according to Rangers coach John Tortorella, who will already be missing top-line left wing Rick Nash and fourth-line checker Arron Asham. The Rangers have called up Christian Thomas from the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League, but his plane had mechanical issues and Tortorella did not confirm he would be in.

On the Canadiens side, former Rangers forward Brandon Prust also is a game-time decision, according to coach Michel Therrien. Prust did not practice with his teammates Friday and did not take part in an optional skate Saturday morning.

Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 3:32 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Staals hope for better ending in front of parents in Montreal

The first time Henry and Linda Staal watched their two eldest sons play on the same NHL team, things didn’t go so well for Eric and Jordan Staal’s Carolina Hurricanes.

It went so badly, in fact, Eric Staal all but erased it from his memory.

Henry and Linda Staal will be at Bell Centre to watch their sons take on the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night, and Eric thought it would be their first time watching a game live since Jordan was traded to the Hurricanes by the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2012 NHL Draft.

Not so, says Jordan, who pointed out his parents were in the building in Florida on the 2012-13 season’s opening night to watch the Hurricanes play the Panthers.

Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 1:57 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Habs will have Subban, Pacioretty vs. ailing Canes

MONTREAL – Defenseman P.K. Subban and left wing Max Pacioretty will both be in the Montreal Canadiens lineup when they face an injury-ravaged Carolina Hurricanes club Monday night at Bell Centre.

Subban's status was questionable after he missed Sunday's practice with the flu. Pacioretty did practice Sunday after suffering a rib injury in Saturday's 4-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers, but he wanted to test out Monday morning before confirming he will play against Carolina.

Kirk Muller's Hurricanes aren't as lucky, as left wing Jeff Skinner, forward Tim Brent and defensemen Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason will all miss the game with various ailments.

"We knew before the season that teams were going to face these kinds of situations, so it's an opportunity for guys to step in and do a job," Muller said. "We can't make any excuses, we've just got to find ways to win."


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Quote of the Day

I first met him when I was 19 years old and he coached me for 13 consecutive years. I don't know how many athletes who have had that pleasure. Al Arbour was a man that left us not only feeling like champions, but left us with a lot of great memories that we can carry on through life.

— Islanders Hall of Fame defenseman Denis Potvin on former coach Al Arbour, who passed away Friday at the age of 82