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At the Rink blog
Posted On Monday, 01.28.2013 / 10:57 AM

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

Galchenyuk sticking with Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk, the third pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, will remain with the team for the remainder of the 2012-13 season.

Galchenyuk had his best game of the season Sunday with a pair of assists in the Canadiens' 4-3 overtime win against the New Jersey Devils.

In four games, Galchenyuk has a goal and two assists, and is tied for the team lead with a plus-2 rating.

The Canadiens had five games to decide if Galchenyuk would remain with the team or be returned to his junior team, the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. Once a junior-eligible player skates in his sixth game, it starts the clock on the first season of his three-year, entry-level deal.

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Posted On Monday, 01.28.2013 / 9:44 AM

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

Flyers send Laughton back to junior team

Prior to their game Sunday, the Philadelphia Flyers sent Scott Laughton, the team's first-round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, back to his junior team, the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League.

Laughton had no points and 10 shots on goal in five games. He averaged 11:32 of ice time per game and won 44.2 percent of his faceoffs.

"It's a difficult one," Holmgren told the team's website of the decision. "He played very well, but at the end of the day it was something that we talked about and it was in the best interest of the Flyers and also Scott.

"He needs to play [and] he needs to play in all situations. He's going back to a good team and he will play a lot in all situations. He's a good young prospect and the little bit of time he had here with us was good for him and good for us."

The Flyers had to decide prior to Laughton playing in a sixth game, which would have started the first season of his entry-level contract.

Laughton, the 20th pick of the draft, was the youngest player to skate in a game this season.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.27.2013 / 6:12 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Crawford gets nod again for Blackhawks

CHICAGO – A couple days off await the Chicago Blackhawks before getting back on the road again for six games, but that wasn’t the only reason coach Joel Quenneville opted to start Corey Crawford on Sunday night at United Center against the visiting Detroit Red Wings.

Crawford got the nod -- his fourth in a row and fifth in six games this season -- because he’s been solid in a starting role for the Blackhawks (5-0-0) – whose five-game win streak to start this season tied the franchise mark set by the 1971-72 team.

“He’s played well this week and we’re going to keep him going,” Quenneville said on Sunday afternoon, prior to playing Detroit (7 p.m. ET, FS-Detroit, CSN-Chicago). “He looks quick. He’s got some momentum, as well, so we’ll give him another crack tonight.”

Through his first four starts, Crawford is 4-0-0 with a 1.99 goals-against average and .923 save percentage. Quenneville said that backup goalie Ray Emery, whose only start was a 6-4 road victory against the Phoenix Coyotes on Jan. 20, will likely return to action during the upcoming road trip.

The Blackhawks won’t play Monday or Tuesday before embarking on a six-game swing that starts on Wednesday at Minnesota and includes back-to-back games next weekend against the rival Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames.

“We’ve got two days off and we’ve got three in four nights,” Quenneville said. “I’m sure that Ray’s going to get a game, at least. I don’t want to look too far ahead, but Corey’s deserving of keeping it going and [seeing] how it goes.”

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Posted On Sunday, 01.27.2013 / 5:54 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Helm back out of Red Wings' lineup

Darren Helm’s return to the Detroit Red Wings lineup on Friday night against the Minnesota Wild was effective but short lived.

The 26-year old Helm, who’s been hampered by a back injury that happened shortly before training camp, will again be inactive against the rival Chicago Blackhawks (5-0-0) on Sunday night at United Center.

Taking his place in the lineup will be veteran forward Patrick Eaves, who will shift to the right wing of the third line usually centered by Helm – whose spot in the middle will be manned by Justin Abdelkader.

“It’s his back,” said Detroit coach Mike Babcock, who didn’t say whether the injury will continue to be assessed day-to-day or whether Helm might need a longer time off for the injury to heal. “I don’t know if it’s a setback or a new thing. I don’t know. I’m not the doc.”

The Red Wings (2-2-0) are already without Mikael Samuelsson (groin), Ian White (leg laceration), Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) and backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson. Valtteri Filppula is also playing through a nagging knee injury and Helm now rejoins the list of injured.

“Frustration’s a waste of time,” Babcock said, just a couple hours prior to playing the hottest team in the NHL with a patched-together lineup. “So, let’s just get on with it and win a game.”

Also among the injured for Detroit is defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, who’s missed three straight games with hip and shoulder injuries he sustained in Columbus during a practice. Ericsson will be a gametime decision against Chicago and will replace Jakub Kindl if he plays.

Johan FranzenHenrik ZetterbergDamien Brunner

Valtteri FilppulaPavel DatsyukTodd Bertuzzi

Danny ClearyJustin AbdelkaderPatrick Eaves

Drew MillerCory EmmertonJordin Tootoo

Niklas KronwallJonathan Ericsson

Brendan SmithKyle Quincey

Brian LashoffKent Huskins

Jimmy Howard

Tom McCollum

Injured: Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder), Ian White (leg laceration),

Jonas Gustavsson (groin), Mikael Samuelsson (groin)

Scratched: Patrick Eaves, Jakub Kindl

Lineup notes: Ericsson is a gametime decision because of hip and shoulder injuries, but he’s expected to return to the lineup soon. Kindl will play if Ericsson, a gametime decision, can’t go.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.27.2013 / 3:51 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Sharks aim to stay perfect with Canucks in town

SAN JOSE, Calif. - The San Jose Sharks will put their perfect record on the line Sunday night at HP Pavilion against the Vancouver Canucks, a team that has had their number lately.

The Canucks have won four straight regular-season games at HP, which has typically been tough on visiting teams. Vancouver went 3-0-1 in their series against the Sharks last season and 24-12-5 overall on the road, the best road record in the Western Conference. The Canucks have 71 road wins dating to the start of the 2008-09 season, the most in the NHL.

"They're a good road team," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said Sunday morning after a brief team meeting. "They're a veteran group. They're well prepared every night. Their special teams are excellent. I think as we've seen so far this year in most games, specialty teams have won or lost it for a lot of teams. ... Special teams play a big role, and they've always been very, very good in that area."

Despite the Canucks four-game streak at HP, Vancouver center Maxim Lapierre said they're expecting a tough test tonight.

"It's a different year. They're playing really good," Lapierre said of the Sharks. "I think we're ready to go when we play these guys. We know how good they are, and we can't make too many mistakes out there. So I think guys are really focused."

Lapierre said there's no secret formula for the Canucks' success on the road.

"I think we just go out there and try to play the right way," he said. "We don't want to go and put on a show. We just play in the system and play physical. This is how we win some games on the road."

Lapierre, who missed practice Saturday to rest his sore groin, was one of just a handful of Canucks who were on the ice for an optional skate. He said he's good to go for tonight's game even though he's not pain-free.

"I tried to rest it," Lapierre said. "As we know, the schedule is pretty tight. I'll battle through in the games, but it's pretty painful. I'll be ready for tonight."

Sharks center Scott Gomez, who signed with the team on Thursday, will be in the lineup for the second straight game, centering the fourth line.

Gomez said his body felt "good" and he was ready to get back on the ice tonight.

"We all know what the schedule's going to be like," Gomez said. "Talking to guys from the past, it actually sometimes even works to your advantage. You feel good on the ice and you just want to get back out there again. My answer might be different after tonight. We've had a long rest. It's definitely a sprint this year. We just want to keep going this year."

McLellan said playing back-to-back games for the first time this season will be "a test" for Gomez and the entire team.

"The other night when we played Phoenix, they played back-to-back. I thought you could see the team peter out a little bit at the end," McLellan said. "All teams are going to go through that, so this is our first test with that.

"Scotty had a good game. I think 15 minutes of ice time, so that was a good start for him. He accepted his role. We'll just continue to grow our team, and he has to be a part of it and be responsible for what he's given."

Defenseman Brad Stuart, in his second stint with the Sharks, played a huge role in a 4-0 win Saturday over Colorado. His big first-period hit on Gabriel Landeskog jump-started the Sharks, who grabbed a 2-0 lead on a pair of Patrick Marleau power play goals.

According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, Stuart will not face supplementary discipline from the league for his hit.

"I haven't heard anything from anybody," Stuart said. "I'm assuming that's the way it will remain. At the time I thought it was a good hit. I saw it a couple times last night and still thought that."

Here's how the lineups could look Sunday when the San Jose Sharks play the Vancouver Canucks at HP Pavilion:

SHARKS

Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski

Martin Havlat - Logan Couture - Ryane Clowe

Tommy Wingels - Michal Handzus - TJ Galiardi

Andrew Desjardins - Scott Gomez - Adam Burish

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Brad Stuart

Matt Irwin - Dan Boyle

Douglas Murray - Justin Braun

Antti Niemi

Thomas Greiss

Injured: Brent Burns, Jason Demers

Scratched: James Sheppard, Nick Petrecki, Frazer McLaren

CANUCKS

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Zack Kassian

Chris Higgins - Alexandre Burrows - Jannik Hansen

Mason Raymond - Jordan Schroeder - Dale Weise

Andrew Ebbett - Maxim Lapierre - Aaron Volpatti

Dan Hamhuis - Kevin Bieksa

Jason Garrison - Alexander Edler

Keith Ballard - Christopher Tanev

Cory Schneider

Roberto Luongo

Injured: Ryan Kesler, David Booth

Scratched: Andrew Alberts, Manny Malhotra, Cam Barker

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Posted On Sunday, 01.27.2013 / 2:49 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Islanders' Hickey set for NHL debut against Jets

WINNIPEG – The New York Islanders’ long road trip moves its way to Winnipeg for a Sunday evening date at MTS Centre.

The Islanders (2-2-0) landed in Winnipeg after a 4-2 road loss Friday to the Boston Bruins in which they allowed three unanswered Boston goals to erase a lead built on two goals from Keith Aucoin. The loss Friday ended a two-game win streak for the Islanders, who are on the third contest of their five-game road trip.

Rick DiPietro made his first start since December 2011 in the loss to Boston. However, Islanders coach Jack Capuano will return veteran Evgeni Nabokov to handle the Islanders’ goaltending chores against Winnipeg.

Capuano said after the Islanders’ lengthy morning skate that he is pleased with his team’s work ethic, but he still needs to see more contributions across his roster.

To that end, Capuano will make two line-up changes. Thomas Hickey, the fourth overall pick of the 2007 NHL Draft, will make his NHL debut . The Islanders picked up the 23-year-old via waivers from the Los Angeles Kings on Jan. 15. Hickey will replace Joe Finley. Eric Boulton will take the place of Casey Cizikas on the Islanders’ fourth line. Veteran Radek Martinek is the lone healthy Islander to play this season.

Here are the possible lineups for the Islanders:

Matt Moulson - John Tavares - Kyle Okposo

Michael Grabner - Frans Nielsen - Brad Boyes

David Ullstrom - Keith Aucoin - Colin McDonald

Matt Martin - Marty Reasoner - Eric Boulton

Mark Streit - Brian Strait

Andrew MacDonald - Travis Hamonic

Thomas Hickey - Matt Carkner

Evgeni Nabokov

Rick DiPietro

Injured: Josh Bailey, Jesse Joensuu

Scratched: Casey Cizikas, Joe Finley, Radek Martinek

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Posted On Sunday, 01.27.2013 / 2:43 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Penguins, Senators

OTTAWA – Here are the projected lineups for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators on Sunday evening at Scotiabank Place. Because of the 5 p.m. start, the Senators did not practice, but the Penguins held an optional skate.

PENGUINS

Chris KunitzSidney CrosbyPascal Dupuis

Tyler KennedyEvgeni MalkinJames Neal

Dustin JeffreyBrandon SutterMatt Cooke

Eric TangradiJoe VitaleCraig Adams

Brooks OrpikPaul Martin

Matt NiskanenKris Letang

Deryk EngellandBen Lovejoy

Marc-Andre Fleury

Tomas Vokoun

Tanner Glass went hard into the boards during the Penguins’ game against Winnipeg on Friday, and was held out of practice in Ottawa on Saturday. Jeffrey, who has been a healthy scratch for the past three games, took his place in the lineup. Glass participated in the optional skate on Sunday, so his status may be a game time decision.

Scratches: Robert Bortuzzo, Simon Despres

SENATORS

Milan MichalekJason SpezzaJakob Silfverberg

Zack SmithKyle TurrisDaniel Alfredsson

Colin GreeningPeter ReginChris Neil

Kaspars Daugavins – Jim O’Brien – Erik Condra

Marc MethotErik Karlsson

Chris PhillipsSergei Gonchar

Mark BorowieckiAndre Benoit

Craig Anderson

Ben Bishop

Injured: Guillaume Latendresse

Scratches: Patrick Wiercioch

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Posted On Sunday, 01.27.2013 / 2:35 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Montoya making his Jets' debut against former club

WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Jets (2-1-1) look to build on their best start since the 2009-10 season when they greet the New York Islanders on Sunday night at MTS Centre.

Winnipeg is fresh off a come-from-behind 4-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night in which they rattled off four unanswered goals against veteran goaltender Tomas Vokoun. But they will be up against an Islanders club that took both meetings at MTS Centre -- and three of the teams’ four meetings -- last season.

Despite the win against Pittsburgh, Jets coach Claude Noel is taking a cautious approach to facing the Islanders.

“We’re aware of what they are,” Noel said of meeting the Islanders. “They’re playing pretty well. They’re not a team that we want to take lightly, that’s for sure.”

Noel elected to have offseason addition Al Montoya make his debut in net for Winnipeg against his former Islanders teammates.

“I just want to try to get Al playing,” Noel said. “He needs to be part of our group. Pavelec has played all of the games, and there have been some emotional games. It’s good that [Montoya] play here in our building and get a feel for that stuff.”

Noel will return with the rest of the lineup Friday against the Islanders, meaning that prospect Mark Scheifele will miss his second consecutive game after dressing for the Jets’ first three contests.

Here is the projected lineup for the Jets:

Evander KaneOlli JokinenBlake Wheeler

Andrew LaddNikolai AntropovBryan Little

Alexei Ponikarovsky – Alex Burmistrov – Kyle Wellwood

James WrightJim SlaterChris Thorburn

Tobias EnstromDustin Byfuglien

Mark StuartRon Hainsey

Grant ClitsomePaul Postma

Al Montoya

Ondrej Pavelec

Injured: Zach Bogosian, Antti Miettinen

Scratched: Anthony Peluso, Mark Scheifele

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Posted On Sunday, 01.27.2013 / 2:11 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Blues to honor Musial with warmup sweaters

ST. LOUIS -- There will be 20 No. 6 jerseys on the Scottrade Center ice Sunday night when the St. Louis Blues head out for pre-game warmups prior to facing the Minnesota Wild.

No, Wade Redden was not cloned. The Blues will honor the memory of Stan "The Man" Musial, the St. Louis Cardinals legend who passed away at the age of 92 last week.

Each player will wear the No. 6 and Musial on the back, with their regular jersey numbers on the right crest. The Blues will auction off the jerseys to benefit raise money for the Blues 14 Fund and Cardinals Care.

"I only watched him play baseball, but I know what Tony La Russa said," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said of Musial. "One of the reasons the Cardinals have such a strong following here is because guys like [Musial] led the charge and stayed in the city connecting with the fans, making sure that the fans were taken care of. I think the healthy respect that the Cardinals have is a lot because of him and a lot of other players. I think a lot of people followed his lead and I think the current players understand commitment to the community because of stuff Stan did. Tony felt very strongly about that, that that's the reason that the players make a connection to the community led by a guy like him."

Here are the probable lineups for the contest:

WILD

Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Dany Heatley

Pierre-Marc Bouchard - Mikael Granlund - Devin Setoguchi

Matt Cullen - Kyle Brodziak - Cal Clutterbuck

Darroll Powe/Matt Kassian - Zenon Konopka - Torrey Mitchell

Ryan Suter - Tom Gilbert

Clayton Stoner - Justin Falk

Jonas Brodin - Marco Scandella

Niklas Backstrom

Josh Harding

Scratches: Nate Prosser and either Kassian or Powe.

Injuries: Jared Spurgeon (foot).

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/Jamie Langenbrunner

Wade Redden - Alex Pietrangelo

Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Kris Russell - Roman Polak

Brian Elliott

Jaroslav Halak

Scratches: either Nichol or Reaves, Matt D'Agostini and Ian Cole.

Injured: None

Note: If Nichol is scratched, Sobotka will slide into the middle between Langenbrunner on the left and Reaves on the right.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.27.2013 / 1:46 PM

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

Vanek out for Sabres against Capitals

Thomas Vanek was one of the hottest players in the NHL during the first week of the season, but the second week isn't going as well.

Vanek will miss Buffalo's game Sunday afternoon against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center, coach Lindy Ruff told reporters before the game.

"Thomas isn’t OK," Ruff told John Vogl of the Buffalo News. "Just day-to-day, really. He skated this morning but isn’t quite there."

Vanek has three goals and nine points in three games, but he left the team's contest Friday with a muscle strain.

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Quote of the Day

Your team is going to want to recapture the feeling. What they're going to have to figure out is they're going to have to rewrite the story. Because you're going to rewrite the story doesn't mean you want a different end. It's just that you're going to have to learn that there's different challenges to get there, and if you're going to try and tap the same feeling, it ain't going to happen.

— Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi on maintaining their success from last season