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POSTED ON Saturday, 02.16.2013 / 2:32 PM

By Neil Acharya -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Three Senators to make debut in Toronto

TORONTO -- The Ottawa Senators visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. It will be the Senators' first game since losing star defenseman Erik Karlsson to injury.

Forwards Dave Dziurzynski and Derek Grant will make their NHL debuts along with defenseman Eric Gryba. Ottawa recalled the trio from the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League on Friday.

Under the daunting spotlight of a nationally televised game in Canada, Senators coach Paul Maclean said he expects the three rookies to relish the opportunity and stick to the basics.

“We just want them to be them; we are not asking anyone to be anybody that they can’t be,” Maclean said. “Just come and play and enjoy it. It’s a great spot to show everyone you can play in the League.”

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POSTED ON Saturday, 02.16.2013 / 1:13 PM

By Neil Acharya -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Senators, Maple Leafs

Here are the projected lineups for a game Saturday night at Air Canada Centre between the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs:

MAPLE LEAFS

James van RiemsdykTyler BozakPhil Kessel

Jay McClementMikhail GrabovskiNikolai Kulemin

Leo KomarovNazem KadriClarke MacArthur

Mike BrownDavid SteckelColton Orr

Dion PhaneufKorbinian Holzer

John-Michael LilesMichael Kostka

Cody FransonMark Fraser

Ben Scrivens

Jussi Rynaas

Injured: Joffrey Lupul, Carl Gunnarsson, James Reimer

Scratched: Frazer McLaren, Mike Komisarek

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POSTED ON Monday, 02.11.2013 / 2:07 PM

By Neil Acharya -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Flyers, Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- Maple Leafs defenseman Carl Gunnarsson will remain out of the Toronto lineup with a nagging hip injury but hopes to return soon.

According to coach Randy Carlyle, forward Mike Brown will return to action sooner than Gunnarsson. Brown has not played since injuring his shoulder Jan 29 in a game against the Buffalo Sabres.

Here is the lineup the Maple Leafs likely will put on the ice as they search for their fourth straight win, something they haven't done since Jan. 3-10, 2012, as well as for the visiting Philadelphia Flyers:

MAPLE LEAFS

James Van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel

Leo Komarov - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin

Clarke MacArthur - Nazem Kadri - Matt Frattin

Frazer McLaren - Jay McClement - Colton Orr

Dion Phaneuf - Korbinian Holzer

John-Michael Liles - Michael Kostka

Cody Franson - Mark Fraser

James Reimer

Ben Scrivens

Scratched: Mike Komisarek

Injured: Carl Gunnarsson, Mike Brown, Joffrey Lupul

FLYERS

Danny Briere - Claude Giroux - Wayne Simmonds

Jakub Voracek - Brayden Schenn - Tye McGinn

Matt Read - Sean Couturier - Mike Knuble

Ruslan Fedotenko - Maxime Talbot - Zac Rinaldo

Kimmo Timonen - Luke Schenn

Nicklas Grossmann - Kurtis Foster

Braydon Coburn - Bruno Gervais

Ilya Bryzgalov

Brian Boucher

Scratched: Jody Shelley, Tom Sestito, Andreas Lilja

Injured: Scott Hartnell, Andrej Meszaros, Michael Leighton

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POSTED ON Monday, 02.04.2013 / 2:30 PM

By Neil Acharya -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Leafs' Gunnarsson out with hip injury

TORONTO -- After being ruled out of Saturday's game against the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Carl Gunnarsson remains sidelined with a hip injury.

Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle revealed the nature of the injury this morning.

"[Gunnarsson] had an MRI done and he has an ailment in his hip area that is causing a little bit of discomfort," Carlyle said. "There is no muscular tear. He irritated it probably when he first came over after lockout … he should be back with us shortly."

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POSTED ON Monday, 02.04.2013 / 2:09 PM

By Neil Acharya -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Maple Leafs looking for home improvement

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes meet Monday at the Air Canada Centre, where the Toronto is just 1-3-0 so far this season.

"Obviously we would like to win more games in our building … it's imperative that we have a strong home record to qualify for the playoffs. It's as simple as that," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said after the morning skate.

James Reimer will start in goal for the Maple Leafs after stopping 33 of 34 shots in a 1-0 loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday. It will be Reimer's fifth consecutive start, and after a tumultuous 2011-12 season, he's looking more comfortable in goal.

"I feel like being healthy is maybe the biggest thing," Reimer said of his stronger play so far. In six games, he's 3-2-0 with a 2.47 goals-against average and .922 save percentage.

Forward Clarke MacArthur may return to the line-up, as Carlyle referred to him as being "available" for Monday's game. The 27 year old has missed three games with a lacerated finger.

Cam Ward will start in net for Carolina. He has had a slow start to the season with a 1-3-0 record and 4.05 GAA, but did stop 11 of 12 shots after relieving Dan Ellis in a 5-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

"I think he has got that bug in him that he wants to show people how good of a goalie he can be," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said of Ward's mindset. "Technique-wise he has always had it, that drive to be the number-one goalie, and that will drive him right now."

Hurricanes captain Eric Staal said he feels his team has played well at even-strength but has been hurt by poor special-teams play. "We've got to get better on the power play and be sharper on the penalty kill," he said.

The Hurricanes enter the week 26th in the League with the man-advantage (11.1 percent), and 27th on the penalty kill (69.7 percent).

"[At even strength] our game has been pretty good besides the first two when we were adjusting at the start," Staal said. "We've got some new faces, and I think we've been a pretty good team and [have] stacked up with anybody."

Forward Tim Wallace, recalled Sunday from the AHL, will play Monday on the fourth line. The 28-year-old will skate for the first time in a Hurricanes uniform. He has played 73 NHL games, totaling three goals and eight assists, with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders.

Here is how the lineups likely will look:

MAPLE LEAFS

James Van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel

Jay McClement - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin

Matt Frattin - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov

Clarke MacArthur - David Steckel - Colton Orr

Dion Phaneuf - Michael Kostka

Mark Fraser - John-Michael Liles

Cody Franson - Mike Komisarek

James Reimer

Ben Scrivens

Scratched: Frazer McLaren, Korbinian Holzer

Injured: Mike Brown, Joffrey Lupul, Carl Gunnarsson

HURRICANES

Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin

Jeff Skinner - Jordan Staal - Patrick Dwyer

Drayson Bowman - Jussi Jokinen - Chad LaRose

Tim Wallace - Tim Brent - Kevin Westgarth

Tim Gleason - Justin Faulk

Joni Pitkanen - Jamie McBain

Jay Harrison - Bobby Sanguinetti

Cam Ward

Dan Ellis

Scratched: Andreas Nodl, Joe Corvo

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POSTED ON Saturday, 02.02.2013 / 2:40 PM

By Neil Acharya -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Maple Leafs, Bruins

The Toronto Maple Leafs have won two staright games, but Saturday they face a Boston Bruins club that won all six contests in the rivalry last season.

Toronto will go with James Reimer in goal, who stopped 20 shots on Thursday to help the Maple Leafs win at home for the first time this season.

Asked if he would use the same lineup from the 3-2 victory against the Washington Capitals 48 hours earlier, Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle simply said, "No."

This could mean that Toronto's recent waiver claim, 6-foot-5, 230-pound left wing Frazer McLaren, might play on the fourth line and if so, he will be counted on to add some toughness to counter the gritty Bruins.

"[The Maple Leafs] know how I play, I'm just a big physical winger [adding] toughness when it's needed," said McLaren, one of the last players off the ice at the morning skate. "I haven't heard for sure if I am going to play tonight but I will come ready and see what the lineup is."

In a less likely scenario, Clarke MacArthur may be ready return to action. He has been out with a lacerated finger but was on the ice Saturday morning.

The Maple Leafs have not beaten the Bruins at home since Dec. 4, 2010.

"We never lose respect for our opponents," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "I think that has served well in the past, because every time you do that, you get surprised and you are not prepared the way you should be. We are certainly a team that right now has an opportunity to finish this four-game stretch this week with a 3 -1 record or if not it's going to be a 2-2 record and for us that's not good enough."

For the Bruins, Daniel Paille did not make the trip north of the border. He remains out after taking a high-stick to the face in a 7-4 loss Thursday to the Buffalo Sabres.

"He is doing better, he got the high stick the other day just underneath the shield and he is progressing," Julien said. "He is a day-to-day situation right now, so we left him behind because our doctors wanted him to be cautious."

Jamie Tardif, a 28-year-old with no NHL experience, has been called up to replace Paille. Tardiff has 30 points in 39 games this season with Boston's American Hockey League affiliate, the Providence Bruins.

Dougie Hamilton, who was the ninth pick in the 2011 NHL Draft for the Bruins with one of the first-round picks acquired from the Maple Leafs in 2009 for Phil Kessel, will play Saturday night in front of friends and family. The 19-year-old from Toronto has shown poise on and off the ice this season and has earned him a full-time roster spot.

"I'm starting to get more adjusted now with the systems and the teammates and stuff like that," Hamilton said. "I think it's a much different game than in junior and [I'm] just trying to get used to that and play my best and have fun."

Here are the projected lineups for the game:

MAPLE LEAFS

James van RiemsdykTyler BozakPhil Kessel

Jay McClementMikhail GrabovskiNikolai Kulemin

Matt FrattinNazem KadriLeo Komarov

Frazer McLarenDavid SteckelColton Orr

Dion Phaneuf – Mike Kostka

Carl GunnarssonJohn-Michael Liles

Mark Fraser - Cody Franson

James Reimer

Ben Scrivens

Injured: Mike Brown, Clarke MacArthur, Joffrey Lupul

BRUINS

Milan LucicDavid KrejciNathan Horton

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronTyler Seguin

Chris BourqueChris KellyRich Peverley

Lane MacDermidGregory Campbell - Jamie Tardif

Zdeno CharaJohnny Boychuk

Dennis SeidenbergDougie Hamilton

Andrew FerenceAdam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Injured: Daniel Paille, Shawn Thornton

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POSTED ON Thursday, 01.31.2013 / 7:01 PM

By Neil Acharya -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Capitals trade for Wellman to help AHL team

TORONTO -- The Washington Capitals traded for forward Casey Wellman on Thursday, acquiring the rights of the Californian from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Zach Hamill.

The Capitals made the deal in hopes of improving their American Hockey League team, the Hershey Bears. The 11-time Calder Cup champions are ninth in the Eastern Conference and have gone 4-4-1-1 in their past 10 games.

"Hershey isn't playing the way we would like them to play; we have had really good teams there for a number of years and we are just trying to shake things up a little bit," Capitals general manager George McPhee said Thursday before the Capitals played the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 01.31.2013 / 1:53 PM

By Neil Acharya -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Leafs recall Hamilton, claim McLaren off waivers

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs (3-3-0) are gunning for their first home win against the Washington Capitals (1-4-1), who are still adjusting to playing under rookie coach Adam Oates.

After stopping 28 shots in the Maple Leafs overtime victory in Buffalo on Tuesday, James Reimer will get the start in goal.

Gritty fourth line forward Mike Brown has a shoulder strain that Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said will keep him out of action for at least seven days. In Brown's place, Toronto has called up Ryan Hamilton, captain of its American Hockey League affiliate, the Toronto Marlies.

"He's added another gear … and now he is getting an opportunity tonight and the issue will be where to play him in the lineup," Carlyle said. "Right now we brought him up to fill in for Mike Brown, but we wouldn't be afraid to put him higher in the lineup."

The Maple Leafs also claimed forward Frazer McLaren off waivers from the San Jose Sharks. In 40 career NHL games, all with San Jose, McLaren has registered one goal, five assists and 85 penalty minutes.

Capitals forward Brooks Laich skated with his teammates for the first time this season but he will remain out with a groin injury and there is no timetable on his return.

"The guys gave a little round of applause which is nice," Laich said after leaving the ice. "I wake up feeling better every day -- the more I can get on the ice with the guys, the quicker it will be. As far as a timeline, I can't really tell you, I don't have an exact date, but (I'm) getting closer and closer every day."

Alex Ovechkin, who has one goal this season, also spoke with the media after the morning skate.

"Two points is not good enough for me," Ovechkin said. "It's not my game, I have to be better."

Ovechkin did not record a goal last season in two games in Toronto but did have two assists in Washington's previous game at the Air Canada Centre, a 4-2 win on Feb. 25.

MAPLE LEAFS

James Van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel

Jay McClement - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin

Matt Frattin - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov

Ryan Hamilton - David Steckel - Colton Orr

Dion Phaneuf - Michael Kostka

Carl Gunnarsson - John-Michael Liles

Mark Fraser - Cody Franson

James Reimer

Ben Scrivens

CAPITALS

Alex Ovechkin - Jay Beagle - Joey Crabb

Wojtek Wolski - Nicklas Backstrom - Troy Brouwer

Jason Chimera - Mike Ribeiro - Joel Ward

Matt Hendricks - Marcus Johansson - Eric Fehr

Karl Alzner - Mike Green

John Erskine - John Carlson

Jeff Schultz - Tomas Kundratek

Michal Neuvirth

Braden Holtby

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POSTED ON Monday, 01.21.2013 / 2:05 PM

By Neil Acharya -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Sabres likely to stick with Sunday's lineup

TORONTO -- One day after being the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 in their season opener Sunday, the Buffalo Sabres are right back at it Monday here at Air Canada Centre.

Coach Lindy Ruff is expected to go with the same lineup he iced at First Niagara Center against Philadelphia.

Ville Leino took part in the morning skate but will remain out of the lineup with a ¬lower-body injury.

"We'll just take it day by day," Ruff said. "He tried again today and didn't feel well enough to play."

Ryan Miller is projected to get the start in goal.

Here is the lineup the Sabres likely will use Monday night:

Thomas Vanek - Cody Hodgson - Jason Pominville

Marcus Foligno - Tyler Ennis - Drew Stafford

Steve Ott - Mikhail Grigorenko - Jochen Hecht

John Scott - Matt Ellis - Patrick Kaleta

Robyn Regehr - Tyler Myers

Christian Ehrhoff - Alexander Sulzer

Jordan Leopold - Andrej Sekera

Ryan Miller

Jhonas Enroth

Injured: Ville Leino

Scratched: Mike Weber, T.J. Brennan

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POSTED ON Monday, 01.21.2013 / 1:52 PM

By Neil Acharya -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Scrivens likely to start in goal for Leafs

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to start Ben Scrivens in goal for their home opener Monday after he had a solid performance Saturday, stopping 21 shots in a 2-1 victory in Montreal on Saturday.

"Any chance you get to play is a huge honor for this franchise," Scrivens said after Monday morning's practice. "Both [James] Reimer and I are going to be called upon this year and we are both going to be ready. We are hoping to be a two-headed monster."

Jake Gardiner, who is recovering from a concussion, also was on the ice Monday morning and said he feels "100 percent," but is waiting for a coach Randy Carlyle to decide when he will play.

"I’m feeling pretty good," Gardiner said. "I am hoping to be back in the next couple of games. It's kind of a waiting game, I'm probably going to practice full-out on Tuesday and see how that goes."

Korbinian Holzer and Mark Fraser are expected to play Monday for the Leafs, while Mike Komisarek and Cody Franson will sit.

Here is how the Leafs' lineup likely will look Monday night:

Joffrey Lupul - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel

Clarke MacArthur - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin

James Van Riemsdyk - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov

Mike Brown - Jay McClement - Colton Orr

Dion Phaneuf - Mike Kostka

John Michael Liles - Carl Gunnarsson

Mark Fraser - Korbinian Holzer

Ben Scrivens

James Reimer

Injured: Jake Gardiner
Scratched: Mike Komisarek, Cody Franson

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Once again, it shows character in this dressing room. Once again, there's no quitting in here. We all wanted this so bad and we worked so hard to get home-ice advantage and we weren't going to let this one slide.

— Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog on his team's OT Game 1 win vs. Minnesota Wild