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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 11:22 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Jagr has big night in Dallas debut

Eighteen years after Jaromir Jagr shared the NHL scoring lead during a lockout-shortened season, he looks like he could do it again.

The 40-year-old made a big impression on his new home fans by scoring twice and adding a pair of assists in the Dallas Stars' season-opening 4-3 victory against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Jagr scored in each of the first two periods, and his perfect pass set up Loui Eriksson for the game-winning goal with 6:55 remaining in regulation time. The two goals give him 667 for his career, moving him within one of Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille on the all-time list.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 8:27 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Schiefele quickly adjusts to NHL game

WINNIPEG – Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele's 2012-13 hockey itinerary included another stop Saturday afternoon against the Ottawa Senators.

Before arriving in Winnipeg, Scheifele had posted 22 goals in 30 games with the Ontario Hockey League's Barrie Colts and skated for Team Canada at the World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia. Scheifele logged on game with Barrie earlier this month before the Jets summoned their 2011 first-round selection to training camp.

Scheifele played seven games with the Jets last season before they returned him to Barrie, but he started against Ottawa playing the right side on Winnipeg's fourth line.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 8:22 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Methot-Karlsson pair solid for Senators

WINNIPEG – The Ottawa Senators' acquisition of Marc Methot last summer may not have drawn an abundance of headlines, but it helped reshape the club's blue line.

Methot, a 27-year-old Ottawa native, joined the Senators last July in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets for forward Nick Foligno. The Senators used Methot to replace the departed Filip Kuba and use his 6-foot-3, 231-pound frame to firm up a pairing with Erik Karlsson, the NHL's reigning Norris Trophy winner.

Methot spent parts of six seasons and logged 275 games with Columbus in that span. But his 2011-12 season ended with a broken jaw with 28 games remaining in a disastrous season for the Blue Jackets.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 8:00 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Hawks' Carcillo leaves with lower-body injury

LOS ANGELES -- It wasn't all good for the Chicago Blackhawks in their win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. Forward Daniel Carcillo suffered what a lower-body injury after getting tied up with Drew Doughty along the half-wall, near the Kings' bench, in the third period.

Doughty was called for interference at 10:44 of the period, but Carcillo, who was slow to get up and gingerly made his way to the Blackhawks' bench skating under his own power, will likely not be in the lineup Sunday in Phoenix and could miss several more games.

Carcillo was skating on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.

"Danny's going to miss some time here," coach Joel Quenneville said following Chicago's 5-2 victory. "We'll know more exactly of the time frame [Sunday]."

Carcillo missed the second half of last season after tearing the ACL in his left knee on Jan. 2 against Edmonton. He had surgery 15 days later.

Quenneville said it's "likely" that 20-year-old rookie Brandon Saad will get a chance to play as a result of Carcillo's injury. Saad played in two games last season. He was recently named the player of the week in the AHL and put up 20 points in 31 games with the Rockford Ice Hogs.

Before getting hurt, Carcillo had played 17 shifts totaling 10:53 of ice time. He had an assist on Hossa's first goal and was a plus-3.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 6:59 PM

NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Islanders coach Capuano to miss opener

The New York Islanders are playing their season opener without their coach.

Just minutes before the start of Saturday's game against the New Jersey Devils, the Islanders announced via their Twitter account that Jack Capuano would not be behind the bench due to medical reasons. Capuano was present at the pregame skate and addressed the media this morning.

Newsday's Arthur Staple reported via Twitter that Capuano has been suffering with kidney stones for the past few days.

Capuano, 46, is entering his second full season as Islanders coach. Assistants Doug Weight and Brent Thompson are running the team in Capuano’s absence.

Capuano has missed one other game since taking over; he skipped a game in Buffalo last February due to the flu.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 5:15 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Ducks looking to get off to strong start

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Anaheim Ducks open the season against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night hoping to pick up where they left off more than nine months ago.

Not as the 13th-place team in the Western Conference and out of the playoffs, but as one of the hottest teams in the season's second half, when they went 24-4-6 down the stretch. With top forwards Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne and Bobby Ryan all back, and Jonas Hiller healthy between the pipes, they believe they can keep that pace.

"I don’t see why it shouldn’t carry over," Perry said. "As a team in the second half, we were right up there with the best in the League. We fell a little bit short but if we continue to do the same things we were doing I don’t see why we can’t be one of the top teams."

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 4:34 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Canucks start season with injury-depleted lineup

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Vancouver Canucks open the season against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night with almost all of the players who helped them win a second-straight Presidents' Trophy last season.

Unfortunately for the Canucks, not all are healthy.

Offseason surgeries to his left wrist and shoulder have left Ryan Kesler uncertain about a return date, and a groin injury suffered during fitness testing Sunday has David Booth out 4-6 weeks, leaving the Canucks without two-thirds of their second line for at least the first month of the shortened season.

Instead they will start the season with journeyman Andrew Ebbett and sophomore Zack Kassian trying to fill those roles, while the rest of a mostly intact lineup tries to make up for any slack.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 3:40 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Projected lineups for Canadiens, Maple Leafs

MONTREAL – Here are the opening night lineups for the game Saturday night between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.

MAPLE LEAFS

Joffrey LupulTyler BozakPhil Kessel

Clarke MacArthurMikhail GrabovskiNikolai Kulemin

James van RiemsdykNazem KadriLeo Komarov

Mike BrownJay McClementColton Orr

Dion PhaneufMichael Kostka

John-Michael LilesCody Franson

Carl Gunnarson – Mike Komisarek

Ben Scrivens

James Reimer

Injured: Jake Gardiner

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer, Mark Fraser

CANADIENS

Max PaciorettyDavid DesharnaisErik Cole

Alex GalchenyukTomas PlekanecBrian Gionta

Rene BourqueLars EllerTravis Moen

Brandon PrustRyan WhiteColby Armstrong

Andrei MarkovAlexei Emelin

Tomas KaberleJosh Gorges

Francis BouillonRaphael Diaz

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

Scratched: Brandon Gallagher, Mike Blunden, Yannick Weber

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 3:31 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Projected lineups for Penguins, Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- Here are the lines the Flyers and Penguins will use in their season opener today at Wells Fargo Center:
 
FLYERS

Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Brayden Schenn
Matt Read - Scott Laughton - Wayne Simmonds
Maxime Talbot - Sean Couturier - Jakub Voracek
Zac Rinaldo - Eric Wellwood - Ruslan Fedotenko
 
Braydon Coburn - Nicklas Grossmann
Kimmo Timonen - Luke Schenn
Andrej Meszaros - Kurtis Foster
 
Ilya Bryzgalov
Michael Leighton

PENGUINS
 
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Eric Tangradi - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Matt Cooke - Brandon Sutter - Tyler Kennedy
Tanner Glass - Dustin Jeffrey - Craig Adams
 
Kris Letang - Matt Niskanen
Paul Martin - Brooks Orpik
Deryk Engellend - Simon Despres
 
Marc-Andre Fleury
Tomas Vokoun
 
Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 2:58 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Projected Lineups: Detroit Red Wings at St. Louis Blues

ST. LOUIS -- Here are the opening night lineups for Saturday's game between the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues from Scottrade Center:

BLUES

David Perron - David Backes - T.J. Oshie

Andy McDonald - Alex Steen - Vladimir Tarasenko

Jaden Schwartz - Patrik Berglund - Chris Stewart

Vladimir Sobotka - Scott Nichol - Ryan Reaves

Ian Cole - Alex Pietrangelo

Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Kris Russell - Roman Polak

Jaroslav Halak gets the opening start in goal; Brian Elliott is the backup.

The Blues have no injuries. Healthy scratches include wingers Matt D'Agostini and Jamie Langenbrunner as well as defenseman Jeff Woywitka.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 2:53 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Bertuzzi could be sidelined for a month

ST. LOUIS -- The Detroit Red Wings will be without veteran forward Todd Bertuzzi longer than expected.

Bertuzzi, who has been nursing a groin injury, will miss up to a month with mononucleosis.

"Bert's got mono," Red wings coach Mike Babcock said Saturday. "When we talked to him [Friday], we knew something was wrong. He's got mono, so he's going to [miss] a chunk of time."

Asked if it will be weeks, Babcock replied: "Oh yeah, for sure. Probably."

Bertuzzi, who turns 38 on Feb. 2, could go on injured reserve, which would clear a spot for injured Darren Helm (back) to return.

Bertuzzi has 751 points in 1,093 career games.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 2:51 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Colaiacovo excited for return to St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- A familiar face will sit on the visitors bench tonight, as Carlo Colaiacovo, who was a staple on the St. Louis Blues' defensive unit for four seasons, will wear the Winged Wheel.

Colaiacovo, who became an unrestricted free agent this summer, was not brought back by the Blues and signed a two-year, $5-million contract with the archrival Detroit Red Wings.

Colaiacovo, 29, arrived at the arena Saturday morning and had to remind himself where he needed to be.

"Actually, I got locked out when I came in," Colaiacovo quipped. "I didn't know where to go. I'm still used to being a home player here. I didn't know where the visiting teams were supposed to go.

"I've seen a lot of familiar faces and it brings back a lot of good memories. I obviously still have a lot of great friends on that team. I saw them last night and saw them again this morning. A lot of mixed emotions going through me today. The adrenaline's going to be rushing through me tonight. I know that the crowd's going to be rocking. It's a new opportunity for me, a fresh start. I'm looking forward to making the most of it."

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 2:45 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Bylsma, Laviolette happy to see each other

PHILADELPHIA -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma and his Philadelphia Flyers counterpart, Peter Laviolette, agree that matchup of their two teams Saturday is the perfect way to start the season.

The Flyers and Penguins finished the 2011-12 regular season against each other, then engaged in a memorable, hard-fought six-game playoff series. In fact, the Penguins' last eight games have been against the Flyers.

For the Penguins, Bylsma said his team should have extra inspiration for the way their season ended, a 5-1 loss to the Flyers here at Wells Fargo Center.

"When the news stated rolling around and it looked like we were going to have a season, and the possibility of when the season could start … [it] would be against the Flyers, you kind of smirk at the decision-makers who put that schedule together," Bylsma said. "But now we're getting in the plane, coming here, coming into this building, certainly no better way to start for us. A shortened season, the sprint it's going to be to the playoffs, the place where our [season] ended last year, disappointed with us not playing the way we thought we could, starting here against the Flyers, our rival, it's going to be a great way to start."

Laviolette said he's just as happy to see the Penguins written first on his team's schedule. As much as he's pleased for having a rival to open the season against, he's glad the fans who have missed hockey for so long will have what should be an entertaining game for their first day back.

"It's a good way to kick off the season for us, for sure," Laviolette said. "We've got a real strong opponent here. There was a real emotional series last year, I think, and it's a perfect opening game.

"The fact that it's the Penguins, an afternoon game, NBC, that brings the hype already. The lockout adds a little bit. I think you've got a couple teams that have a pretty good rivalry going, it's the first game of the year. People that love hockey still love hockey after the lockout. We're happy they're here and we want to put on a good game for the fans."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 2:43 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Blues' Tarasenko ready for NHL debut

ST. LOUIS -- The look in Vladimir Tarasenko's eyes said it all.

The St. Louis Blues' 2010 first-round draft pick is feeling like a kid in a candy store, excited to be realizing a dream. On the other hand, when the 21-year-old steps onto the ice for his first National Hockey League game against the Detroit Red Wings tonight (7 p.m. on FSN, KMOX 1120-AM), the nerves will be fast and furious.

"I'm very excited because this is my dream. It's a dream come true," Tarasenko said at the morning skate. "I'm a little bit nervous because this is my first game in the National Hockey League. I never thought I would get here."

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 2:37 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Blues ready to face Lidstrom-less Red Wings

ST. LOUIS -- The defending Central Division champion St. Louis Blues will face a still formidable Detroit Red Wings team Saturday, even though they will be opening a season without the great Nicklas Lidstrom for the first time since 1991.

"It's the Detroit Red Wings, so it just looks the same to us," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "They just fill in the gaps.

"Everyone thought when (Steve) Yzerman left, it was going to be all over and they did just fine. I'll reserve judgment until we see how they look without him in there. To me, they know how to play the game the right way."

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 2:29 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Parise, Suter Set to Make Wild Debut

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild have waited over six months to unveil their new $98-million assets. After a lockout and week-long training camp, the team will officially do just that as Zach Parise and Ryan Suter debut in Wild sweaters at 8 p.m. against the Colorado Avalanche at Xcel Energy Center.

Saturday's season opener also caps the annual "Hockey Day Minnesota" celebration sponsored by the team and the local Fox Sports affiliate. So it's safe to say that the hockey-crazed fans in Minnesota will be even more excited to see the Wild season finally get underway this evening.

For Parise, the delay has been especially long. After all, this is the player who started pining for the season to start in July at his introductory press conference.

"It dragged during November, December. It got pretty long," Parise said. "Everyone can stop analyzing and overanalyzing and now we can just play. I think everybody is looking forward to that."

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 1:57 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Projected Lineup: Hurricanes at Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. — The Florida Panthers are going to be short-handed when they begin defense of their Southeast Division title Saturday night against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Six regulars from last year’s team will be missing, the latest casualty being wing Kris Versteeg. He sustained a lower-body injury in practice Friday and left the morning skate early Saturday.

Taking Versteeg’s place on the top line with Stephen Weiss and Tomas Fleischmann will be Mike Santorelli, who was placed on waivers Friday.

Also out for Florida are forwards Sean Bergenheim and Marcel Goc as well as defensemen Dmitry Kulikov, Erik Gudbranson and Mike Weaver. All are dealing with injuries, except for Kulikov, who just rejoined the team after signing a new contract.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 1:45 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Veteran Stars eager to end playoff drought

DALLAS -- After trading Steve Ott and Mike Ribeiro this offseason, there are just four current members of the Dallas Stars who were with the club the last time they made the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2008, when Dallas finished fifth in the Western Conference and reached the conference finals.

The group consists of defenseman Trevor Daley, forward Loui Eriksson, captain Brenden Morrow and veteran blueliner Stephane Robidas. Since losing to the Detroit Red Wings in six games in the 2008 Western Conference Finals, Dallas has missed the playoffs four straight seasons and it's a trend this group would not like to see continue this year, the franchise’s 20th in Dallas.

“It’s been a long time, obviously too long. The time’s now to get it done,” Daley said. “There’s no excuses this year. We’ve got a good group and this should be a playoff team.”

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 1:43 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

New-look Hurricanes ready to make amends

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Carolina Hurricanes will begin this season exactly where they ended the last one, but they're confident they're a lot better than the team that last played at the BB&T Center.

After missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2011-12, the Hurricanes made a couple of significant moves in the offseason, most notably the acquisition via trade of center Jordan Staal and the signing of free-agent wing Alexander Semin.

The 4-1 loss against the Florida Panthers on April 7 left Carolina in 12th place in the Eastern Conference standings, last in the Southeast Division.

The Hurricanes watched the Panthers celebrate clinching the division title that night, and Saturday night they'll watch a banner go up before the new season begins.

Carolina captain Eric Staal said that will just add even more motivation to a new season already filled with it.

"For the guys that we here, no question," he said. "They're the team that took our division last year and that's something that we want to make sure that we achieve this year. We want to turn the tables and we want it to be the other way around next time. We're ready to go."

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 1:40 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Kulikov out for Panthers vs. Hurricanes

SUNRISE, Fla. — Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov rejoined the Florida Panthers after signing a two-year contract Thursday. But he will not be in the lineup for Saturday’s season opener against the Carolina Hurricanes.

After passing his physical on Friday, Kulikov took part in Saturday’s morning skate and at one point had a one-on-one conversation with coach Kevin Dineen.

“You’ve got to look at a guy, where he’s at and if he’s going to help you,” Dineen said. “Frankly, it’s disappointing he’s not ready to play.”

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 1:30 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Report: Gomez meeting with Sharks

Just days after being placed on waivers and subsequently bought out of his contract by the Montreal Canadiens, veteran center Scott Gomez reportedly is meeting with the San Jose Sharks this weekend.

After scoring twice in 38 games last season, Gomez's tumultuous time in Montreal came to an end, leaving the 2000 Calder Trophy winner a free agent. According to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, a number of teams have since inquired about Gomez, including the Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils, where Gomez started his career. After the Carolina Hurricanes were rumored to be looking at the 33-year-old center, the Raleigh News & Observer reported that they are not interested.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 1:28 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Kovalev ready to make Panthers debut

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The beginning of the NHL season is significant to every player, but for different reasons.

For Alex Kovalev, the Florida Panthers opener against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night represents the chance to be back in the NHL after being away in 2011-12.

The 39-year-old, who played 22 games in the Kontinental Hockey League last season, earned a contract with the Panthers this week after being invited to camp on a tryout basis.

"I'm just happy overall to be back on the ice, back in the big league and have a chance to play in the NHL again," Kovalev said.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 1:25 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Projected Lineups: Coyotes at Stars

DALLAS -- Here are the projected lineups for Saturday night’s game between the Phoenix Coyotes and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

COYOTES

Steve Sullivan-Martin Hanzal-Radim Vrbata

Mikkel Boedkker-Matthew Lombardi-Shane Doan

Lauri Korpikoski-Antoine Vermette-David Moss

Paul Bissonnette-Boyd Gordon-Kyle Chipchura

Oliver Ekman-Larsson-Zybnek Michalek

Keith Yandle-Derek Morris

Rotislav Klesla-David Schlemko

Mike Smith

Jason LaBarbera

Injuries: Raffi Torres (suspension).

Scratches: Alex Bolduc, David Rundblad.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 1:21 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Rangers' Nash ready for Broadway run

BOSTON – The years of trying to raise his team to prominence in Columbus are long over.

So are the months, or more, of dealing with trade rumors that seemed to follow him wherever the Blue Jackets went.

Now it’s time for Rick Nash, six months after he was dealt out of Columbus, to make his debut with the New York Rangers. Nash and his new club open the 2012-13 season Saturday night at TD Garden against the Boston Bruins.

“It’ll be a lot of emotion, a lot of excitement, a lot of nerves,” Nash said after the Rangers’ morning skate. “It’s obviously taken longer because of the lockout. But I think the biggest feeling will be excitement, getting the excitement going and playing my first one as a Ranger.”

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 1:17 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Toews to play for Blackhawks despite the flu

LOS ANGELES -- Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will play Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings despite missing practice Friday with the flu.

"He's playing," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "He's ready to go."

Quenneville said he will have to keep an eye on Toews to make sure he doesn't need extra rest during the game, but he's hopeful that won't be an issue.

"We use him in all situations so we'll keep an eye on his minutes and gauge how he's feeling," Quenneville said. "I think if he gets fatigued a little bit we'll cut back, but hopefully he's ready to go his regular workload.

"Plus, I think he's beyond it, too," he added. "The game takes over. I think everybody has targeted today's game, everybody is excited."

Toews had 57 points in 59 games last season. He missed the last 22 games with of the season with a concussion, but he returned for the Stanley Cup Playoffs and played in all six games against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Toews has 16 points in 18 career regular-season games against the Kings.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 1:15 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Another Bourque, Hamilton to debut in Boston

BOSTON – Ray Bourque skated in a franchise-record 1,518 NHL games for the Boston Bruins during his Hall of Fame career.

When the Bruins open the 2013 season Saturday night against the New York Rangers at TD Garden, the legend’s son Chris should have just 1,517 to catch up to his pop.

The younger Bourque, with 33 NHL games over three seasons on his resume entering this season, joined the Bruins in a trade last summer. He earned a roster spot during Boston’s one-week training camp and should open the game against the Rangers on a line with center Chris Kelly and right winger Rich Peverley.

Bourque previously played one NHL regular-season game in the Garden – when he was with Pittsburgh in 2010.

“It was great obviously coming back playing in front of friends and family. It’s different when you’re the road team, you don’t to spend too much time around the city. It was a good experience. But I’m happy I’m on this side now,” he said after the Bruins’ morning skate.

Bourque anticipates at least 30-40 friends and family, from both the Boston area and Montreal, will be in the building using tickets he and his family secured. There should be plenty other people he knows on hand as well -- he grew up in Boston and attended Boston University for one season.

It’s been a long time since his earliest days hanging out with the Bruins.

“I grew up in this locker room here and the one that was in the building right next door that’s not here anymore,” he said. “So just skating on the ice before the team. Not wanting to get off but getting kicked off before practice, but coming in here and running around, probably pissing off all the trainers and that sort of stuff.”

Bourque and rookie Dougie Hamilton are set to make their debuts with the Bruins. Adam McQuaid, who underwent offseason surgery to treat a blood clot, has been medically cleared to play, according to coach Claude Julien.

Here’s the Bruins projected lineup:

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin

Chris Bourque - Chris Kelly - Rich Peverley

Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk

Dennis Seidenberg - Dougie Hamilton

Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 1:07 PM

By Lonnie Herman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Lightning, Capitals excited to start season

TAMPA, Fla. –- The Tampa Bay Lightning open their 20th anniversary season by hosting the Washington Capitals at the sold-out Tampa Bay Times Forum on Saturday night.

It’s not quite business as usual, though, as emotions and nerves were running high in both locker rooms.

“This is not a normal night,” Lightning coach Guy Boucher said after the morning skate. “It’s exciting for everyone. The players have been waiting for a long time, the fans have been waiting for a long time and I’ve been waiting for a long time. It’s here and it’s now and we’re all eager to go.”

The day promises to be especially exciting for Cory Conacher, who will be making his NHL debut skating on a line with Vincent Lecavalier and Teddy Purcell.

“Yeah, it’s hit me,” Connacher said. “I want to act like I’ve been here before but even just walking into the rink tonight will be a great experience.”

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Posted On Friday, 01.18.2013 / 11:43 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Opening Day for the 2012-13 campaign has arrived

Welcome to the opening day of the 2012-13 NHL season!

NHL.com will be with hockey fans all day, as the sprint to the 2013 NHL Playoffs begins with a flurry of games on the season's first day. There will be 26 teams in action, with contests starting at 3 p.m. ET and continuing into the early hours of Saturday morning.

The day starts with the defending champions, the Los Angeles Kings, celebrating the first title in team history, with a banner-raising ceremony before they kick off the Cup defense against the Chicago Blackhawks. At the same time on the other side of the country, bitter rivals Pittsburgh and Philadelphia will exchange pleasantries for the first time since the Flyers claimed a wild playoff series in April.

If those two contests at 3 p.m. ET aren't enough, MTS Centre will be rocking again as the Winnipeg Jets welcome the Ottawa Senators. Later highlights on the opening day schedule include the New York Rangers in Boston to face the Bruins (7 p.m. ET), the Toronto Maple Leafs in Montreal to face the Canadiens (7 p.m. ET) and the Detroit Red Wings will begin a season without Niklas Lidstrom for the first time in two decades when they travel to St. Louis to face the defending division champion Blues (8 p.m. ET).

The night concludes with the Anaheim Ducks in Vancouver to face the Canucks (10 p.m. ET), with the Cory Schneider Era set to begin with Roberto Luongo still on the roster and watching from the bench.

Check back frequently for more blog updates throughout the day, as our team of NHL.com writers and contributors will keep everyone abreast of lineup decisions, late-breaking news and other developments in and around NHL arenas as the League welcomes back everyone for the 2012-13 campaign.

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Quote of the Day

Obviously a lot happened in a short period of time. At the end of the day, considering everything I went through, I really felt close to my teammates and I really feel like what we accomplished, I know we didn't win it all. ... I'm really proud of how we got there and what we did once we got there.

— Rangers forward Martin St. Louis to Jim Cerny of BlueshirtsUnited.com