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At the Rink blog
Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 6:03 PM

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

Red Wings' Colaiacovo could miss up to a month

The Detroit Red Wings' beat-up blue line got more bad news Tuesday, as general manager Ken Holland announced Carlo Colaiacovo will miss 3-4 weeks with an injury to his left shoulder.

Colaiacovo was hurt midway through the third period of Monday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Wings already are missing blueliners Jonathan Ericsson (hip) and Jakub Kindl (groin). The Wings signed veteran free agent Kent Huskins to a one-year deal Tuesday morning, and had him in the starting lineup Tuesday night against the Dallas Stars.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 5:23 PM

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

Report: Islanders' Niederreiter requests trade

According to a report from ESPN New York, Nino Niederreiter of the New York Islanders has requested a trade.

The fifth pick of the 2010 NHL Draft reportedly is unhappy with his current situation and feels he would be better served playing somewhere else.

"Any conversations I have regarding players, that remains confidential," Islanders general manager Garth Snow said.

The 20-year-old had one goal in 55 NHL games last season. In 39 games with Bridgeport of the American Hockey League this season, Niederreiter has 19 goals and 17 assists.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 4:26 PM

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

Brother battle part of Red Wings-Stars clash

Here are the projected lineups the Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings will use tonight when the teams meet at Joe Louis Arena:

STARS

Loui Eriksson - Derek Roy - Jaromir Jagr

Ray Whitney - Tom Wandell - Michael Ryder

Brenden Morrow - Vernon Fiddler - Eric Nystrom

Ryan Garbutt - Cody Eakin - Reilly Smith

Alex Goligoski - Stephane Robidas

Jordie Benn - Trevor Daley

Brenden Dillon - Philip Larsen

Kari Lehtonen

Cristopher Nilstorp

Injured: Aaron Rome

Scratched: Colton Sceviour

RED WINGS

Pavel Datsyuk - Henrik Zetterberg - Damien Brunner

Johan Franzen - Valtteri Filppula - Gustav Nyquist

Daniel Cleary - Justin Abdelkader - Drew Miller

Patrick Eaves - Cory Emmerton - Jordin Tootoo

Niklas Kronwall - Brian Lashoff

Kyle Quincey - Brendan Smith

Kent Huskins - Ian White

Jimmy Howard

Tom McCollum

Injured: Jonathan Ericsson, Darren Helm, Todd Bertuzzi, Jan Mursak, Jakub Kindl, Carlo Colaiacovo, Jonas Gustavsson

One interesting note to the game will be a brother-vs.-brother battle between the Stars' Reilly Smith and the Red Wings' Brendan Smith. They met three times in the AHL this season, with Brendan's Grand Rapids Griffins beating Reilly's Texas Stars twice.

"It will definitely be special," Reilly Smith told the Dallas Morning News. "The family is driving down for the game, so I'm really looking forward to it."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 3:55 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Kings welcome Kopitar back against Avalanche

DENVER -- Center Anze Kopitar will make his season debut for the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.

Kopitar, who led the Stanley Cup champions in scoring last season with 76 points (25 goals, 51 assists) in 82 games, missed Saturday's season-opening 5-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks with a sprained right knee he sustained while playing in Sweden during the lockout.

Kopitar will skate between usual linemates Dustin Brown and Justin Williams.

"It feels good," Kopitar said after Tuesday's morning skate. "I just felt good all week pretty much. The last couple practices have been pretty intense and going all out it felt good. I think I'm ready to play. We wanted to be smart, but you can't baby it forever."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 3:36 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Schneider to start for Canucks vs. Flames Wednesday

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Cory Schneider said he will start in goal when the Vancouver Canucks host the Calgary Flames on Wednesday, after getting pulled from his first game as the team's No. 1 goalie Saturday and watching his predecessor, Roberto Luongo, start the next night.

Schneider allowed goals on three straight shots, and five goals on 14 shots overall in 26 minutes of action in a 7-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

He was replaced by Luongo, who allowed two goals on 12 shots. Luongo then started Sunday against the Edmonton Oilers and made several great stops among his 30 saves, but said after the game he should have had both of the ones that beat him in regulation as Vancouver blew a 2-0 lead en route to a 3-2 shootout loss -- Luongo was beaten on two attempts.

Schneider replaced Luongo as the Canucks' starting goaltender three games into the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season then signed a three-year, $12 million contract extension in the summer.

As much as the on-ice decision regarding the goaltenders was in the spotlight, speculation about Luongo's future again heated up after Canucks president and general manager Mike Gillis told the Vancouver Sun he had a trade in the works.

"We have a potential deal in place with one team that has to do something with another player that they have -- and it's not who anybody thinks it is -- and so we have to wait," Gillis told the newspaper. "[But] we've been offered packages that don't fit what our plan is, what we need."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 3:22 PM

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

Huskins signs with Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings have signed free-agent defenseman Kent Huskins to a one-year contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, ESPN.com is reporting the deal is for $750,000.

Huskins, 33, had two goals and five assists in 25 games with the St. Louis Blues last season, and played in one Stanley Cup Playoff game for them.

The Red Wings already were playing without injured defensemen Jonathan Ericsson and Jakub Kindl, and then lost blueliner Carlo Colaiacovo to an injured left shoulder in Monday's 3-2 shootout win against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Coach Mike Babcock was asked after the game if Colaiacovo could be out weeks and said, "Yeah, it doesn't look like it's any time soon."

Originally selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the sixth round of the 1998 NHL Draft, Huskins has 67 points in 299 NHL games with the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks and Blues. He was part of the Ducks' Stanley Cup championship team in 2007.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 2:33 PM

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

Blackhawks hope to keep home streak alive vs. Blues

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks are on a roll coming into their home opener Tuesday at United Center against the St. Louis Blues.

They also have a trend going in their favor in this heated Central Division rivalry, at least on paper.

Dating to Feb. 3, 2010, the Blues (2-0-0) -- who are tied with the Blackhawks (2-0-0) atop the Central with four points -- are winless in Chicago. The team will have its annual red-carpet arrival event prior to the game for fans to cheer the Hawks players and celebrate the start of a new home slate, but Blues coach Ken Hitchcock knows his team won't be afforded the same hospitality.

"We usually get our [butts] kicked in this building," Hitchcock said following the team's optional morning practice.

St. Louis is winless in seven straight and is just 1-5-4 in its last 10 visits to United Center. Asked about their run of success at home against the Blues, the Blackhawks didn't think it mattered too much.

In fact, those asked about it didn't even know how long it had been since the Blues had won a game at United Center -- Feb. 3, 2010.

"I didn't even really pay attention to that, to be honest," Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith told NHL.com. "Every game against St. Louis is a tough game. They've got a lot of guys who compete hard over there and we're excited about the challenge. You have to play a good game against them, a patient game."

Chicago forward Patrick Kane, who had a goal and added three assists in the Hawks' first two games, thinks the matchup game might play into the lopsided numbers in his team's favor on home ice.

"[The Blues] are very tough to play in their own building and sometimes when you get them here, you get your own matchups and feed off the crowd a little bit," Kane said. "Usually in those games there's a lot of intensity and you can really use that to your advantage. I think tonight's going to be more of the same tonight."

Hitchcock agreed and expected his team to get another good early-season test, one night after a shootout victory in Nashville that he compared to a playoff game in terms of intensity.

"We just want to play well," Hitchcock said when asked about St. Louis' struggles in the Windy City the past few years. "Where Chicago tests you is … defensively. They test your composure under fire. You're not going to get away with giving up double-digit scoring chances. They're just too good. You're going to have to figure out a way to negate those as much as possible, and that's the challenge. Our challenge is to see what we can take away and make them uncomfortable."

Here's a look at how the Blackhawks likely will line up:

Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Patrick Sharp - Dave Bolland - Patrick Kane

Bryan Bickell - Andrew Shaw - Viktor Stalberg

Brandon Bollig - Marcus Kruger - Michael Frolik

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Nick Leddy - Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford

Ray Emery

Injured: Daniel Carcillo, Steve Montador

Scratched: Sheldon Brookbank, Jamal Mayers

Lineup notes: Crawford will get the start in net, according to Chicago coach Joel Quenneville. The Hawks did not skate forward lines Tuesday, so it's possible Quenneville might opt to make some minor tweaks against the physically-imposing Blues. Possible changes could include swapping scrappy veteran -- and former Blues player -- Jamal Mayers for fourth-line center Marcus Kruger. Chicago, however, has been pleased with Kruger's play thus far at that spot.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 2:15 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Predators, Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota enters play tonight winners of two in a row and will look to start a season 3-0 for the first time since 2008-09. Coach Mike Yeo has made no changes to the skaters in his lineup through two games, a trend expected to continue Tuesday night against Nashville at Xcel Energy Center.

Niklas Backstrom started in goal Saturday against Colorado and will get the nod again. Over his career against the Predators, Backstrom is 7-4-1 with a 2.83 goals against average and a .907 save percentage.

Nashville is expected to make a couple of changes after Monday night's shootout loss to St. Louis, as the team recalled forward Gabriel Bourque from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League. Where he slots in is anyone's guess, as Nashville only had an optional skate this morning. Predators coach Barry Trotz did mention, however, that he was recalled in order to play Tuesday.

Trotz said he knew who he was starting in goal but wouldn't reveal it until just before game time. Reading the tea leaves, it's believed Chris Mason will get the nod. In 13 career games against Minnesota, Mason is 6-5-2 with a 3.20 goals-against average and an .881 save percentage.

WILD

Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Dany Heatley

Matt Cullen - Mikael Granlund - Devin Setoguchi

Pierre-Marc Bouchard - Kyle Brodziak - Cal Clutterbuck

Darroll Powe - Zenon Konopka - Torrey Mitchell

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Tom Gilbert - Clayton Stoner

Nate Prosser - Justin Falk

Niklas Backstrom

Josh Harding

PREDATORS

Martin Erat - Mike Fisher - Sergei Kostitsyn

Colin Wilson - David Legwand - Patric Hornqvist

Craig Smith - Nick Spaling - Matt Halischuk

Gabriel Bourque - Brandon Yip - Brian McGrattan

Roman Josi - Shea Weber

Scott Hannan - Kevin Klein

Hal Gill - Ryan Ellis

Chris Mason

Pekka Rinne

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 2:09 PM

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

Projected lineup for Sharks, Oilers

Here are the projected lineups the San Jose Sharks and Edmonton Oilers will use when they play Tuesday at Rexall Place in Edmonton:

SHARKS

Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski

Martin Havlat - Logan Couture - Ryane Clowe

Tommy Wingels - Michal Handzus - TJ Galiardi

Frazer McLaren - Andrew Desjardins - Adam Burish

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Brad Stuart

Matthew Irwin - Dan Boyle

Douglas Murray - Justin Braun

Antti Niemi

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: James Sheppard, Nick Petrecki

Injured: Jason Demers, Brent Burns

OILERS

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Nail Yakupov - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky

Ryan Smyth - Shawn Horcoff - Teemu Hartikainen

Magnus Paajarvi - Eric Belanger - Lennart Petrell

Nick Schultz - Justin Schultz

Ladislav Smid - Jeff Petry

Ryan Whitney - Corey Potter

Devan Dubnyk

Yann Danis

Scratched: Ben Eager, Darcy Hordichuk, Mark Fistric

Injured: Nikolai Khabibulin, Andy Sutton, Theo Peckham, Ryan Jones

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 2:01 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Suter to face former team for first time

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter will take on his old team for the first time tonight when the Wild play the Nashville Predators at Xcel Energy Center.

It will be a unique experience for Suter, who signed with Minnesota on July 4 after spending the first seven years of his career in a Predators uniform. He said it will be a tough game to play in, based on his years of service with Nashville and the relationships forged with players and coaches.

"They are your teammates, the last [seven] years for me," Suter said. "It's tough to play against them but it's a part of professional sports. You have to balance that."

His longtime defensive partner, Predators captain Shea Weber, has been asked several times over the past several days about the prospect of playing against Suter. It was easy to see he's sick of talking about it.

"It'll definitely be different," Weber said. "We played together for a long time. The ultimate goal for both teams is winning, so I think both teams will do what it takes."

Much was made of the comments by Nashville general manager David Poile after Suter signed with Minnesota.

"I was looking at all my notes yesterday," Poile said in a conference call after Suter had signed. "Ryan had said when we had a meeting in November with he and Neil Sheehy (Suter's agent), he said at the time that he is not going anywhere else, he is signing with the Nashville Predators.

"Whether this franchise is in Timbuktu, the one point of not choosing to stay and play with Shea Weber, I will never, ever understand that."

Tuesday, Suter said he and Poile had their first conversation since then.

"He came down to the bench and we talked," Suter said. "He's a classy guy and I have a lot of respect for him. He has given me a lot of opportunities and I'll always respect him and appreciate him."

Suter chose not to share what was said between him and Poile this morning, saying it was a private conversation.

Low-key by nature, Suter said he was just looking forward to having it be over. He chuckled when asked if it was unfair fellow newcomer Zach Parise wouldn't have to go through the same thing this season because the Wild won't play the New Jersey Devils.

"That is kind of bull," Suter said.

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Quote of the Day

I'm hoping Bob [Murray] didn't go out and get Dany Heatley just to get someone. I'm sure he's excited and motivated.

— Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on general manager Bob Murray's decision to sign Dany Heatley