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At the Rink blog
Posted On Sunday, 01.20.2013 / 2:40 PM

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

Luongo to start Sunday for Canucks

Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault is sticking with his plan and starting Roberto Luongo against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night.

That plan certainly didn't include seeing Cory Schneider getting shelled Saturday night in the season-opening 7-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, or being pulled early in the second period after giving up goals on three straight shots in just more than three minutes – and five goals on just 14 shots overall. Luongo took over from there, giving up two goals on 12 shots as well.

Vigneault said the plan all along was to split goalies over the back-to-back weekend games, and nothing on opening night changed his mind. He said he told the goaltenders about his decision after the one-sided loss to the Ducks, which saw the Canucks give up quick goals all three times they were shorthanded amid a series of defensive breakdowns.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.20.2013 / 1:41 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Flames to start without two key forwards

CALGARY – The Calgary Flames are expected to start the season without two key offseason acquisitions.

Forwards Jiri Hudler and Roman Cervenka will both miss Calgary’s season opener.

Hudler, whose father passed away earlier this week, is attending to family matters in the Czech Republic. There is no scheduled return for his timetable. The 29-year-old was signed to a four-year, $16-million deal last July.

The 27-year-old Cervenka is out indefinitely because of anticoagulant medication he’s taking after the presence of a blood clot. While the clot is no longer an issue, Cervenka will see a hematology specialist before making his debut. When he’s deemed able to come off the medication, Cervenka will be cleared to skate.

When he does return, Cervenka will make his North American introduction after spending his entire career in Europe. The 5-foot-11 forward is expected to slot into a top-six role when he is cleared.

The team will also be without defenseman Anton Babchuk, who missed training camp with an injured shoulder.

Curtis GlencrossAlex TanguayJarome Iginla

Sven BaertschiMikael Backlund – Michael Cammalleri

Roman HorakMatt StajanLee Stempniak

Tim JackmanSteve BeginBlake Comeau

Mark GiordanoJay Bouwmeester

Chris ButlerDennis Wideman

Derek SmithCory Sarich

Miikka Kiprusoff

Leland Irving

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Posted On Sunday, 01.20.2013 / 1:18 PM

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

Projected lineups for Stars, Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- With both teams in action last night, neither team skated Sunday morning at Xcel Energy Center.

Both squads won Saturday, so look for minimal changes to the lineup. The Wild will go with Josh Harding in goal, while Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan has indicated he was leaning towards inserting Cristopher Nilstorp. If he does, it would mark his first career National Hockey League start.

Wild fourth line center Zenon Konopka received 30 stitches to his nose last night after taking a high stick to the face in the second period against Colorado. He tweeted a picture after the game and said he'd be ready to go Sunday.

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

Josh Harding

Niklas Backstrom

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

Cristopher Nilstorp

Kari Lehtonen

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Posted On Sunday, 01.20.2013 / 1:04 PM

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

Vokoun to make first start for Penguins

NEW YORK – Tomas Vokoun joined the Capitals last season as the goaltender that would shore up the position, one that had been a weakness for years in Washington, and transform the club from playoff disappointments into Stanley Cup champions.

Instead, Vokoun battled injury and inconsistency and eventually found himself watching from afar with a lower-body injury as the Capitals lost in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the New York Rangers in seven games.

The 36-year-old will get a crack at the Rangers on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden in his first start with the Pittsburgh Penguins after signing a two-year deal to serve as Marc-Andre Fleury’s backup.

“I think when we talk about our goaltenders and adding a Tomas Vokoun, this is one of the reasons why right here in back-to-back situations,” said coach Dan Bylsma, whose team won its season opener 2-1 in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon. “He’s got a big game against the Rangers. This is a team that we think is a great team and a big game for us and Tomas is stepping right in Game 2 to backstop us.”

Vokoun’s last start came nearly 10 months ago when he allowed three goals on 28 shots in a 3-2 loss to the Jets in Winnipeg on March 16, 2012.

“It’s a good chance to get in there after a long time,” Vokoun said. “Hopefully I can help the team win. I’m very excited. That’s why we do all the training and everything else, to be able to play the game. Obviously it’s my first time in the uniform so it’s always exciting.”

Vokoun faced the Rangers once last year and played very well. He stopped 31 of 32 shots in a 4-1 win for the Capitals at Verizon Center.

“I’m happy for a new teammate getting his first chance,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. “It’s always a great atmosphere here and we’re excited for him to get out there. We want to make sure we give him as much help as we can.”

Here are the lines and defense pairings that were on display during the Penguins’ morning practice:

Chris KunitzSidney CrosbyPascal Dupuis

Eric TangradiEvgeni MalkinJames Neal

Matt CookeBrandon SutterTyler Kennedy

Tanner GlassJoe VitaleCraig Adams

Brooks OrpikPaul Martin

Kris LetangMatt Niskanen

Simon DespresDeryk Engelland

Tomas Vokoun

Marc-Andre Fleury

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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Quote of the Day

(The tribute) was great, brought back a lot of memories. I felt I wanted to give them the thank you they deserved. I understand the booing and it was expected. They are great fans.

— Martin St. Louis after playing his first game in Tampa Bay since being traded to the Rangers last season
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