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At the Rink blog
Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 4:18 PM

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

Roy in Canucks lineup, Kesler not far behind

VANCOUVER -- The cavalry is coming for the Vancouver Canucks, but for now they'll have to rely on trade-deadline acquisition Derek Roy for a boost.

Roy will make his Canucks debut against the streaking Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, but the bigger news coming out the Vancouver morning skate was the number of injured teammates who could soon join him in the lineup.

Selke Trophy-winning center Ryan Kesler highlighted the list of hurt forwards out before the rest of the team took the ice, skating for the first time since a broken bone was discovered in his foot in late February. Forwards Mason Raymond and Dale Weise, each out with a shoulder injury, also skated, as did defenseman Keith Ballard, who has been sidelined due to a fractured foot. All could be back within a week -- some maybe by the weekend -- but for now a Canucks team that has struggled to score will rely on Roy for a lift on and off the ice.

"Having a guy like Derek is hopefully going to be a big addition to the lineup and we're excited to have him," said goalie Cory Schneider, who will make his ninth straight start. "We saw a bunch of the wounded guys skating out there today, so that's always a good sign and will bring some optimism back into the room."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 3:45 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Predators moving on without Erat

NASHVILLE -- One of the immediate problems the Nashville Predators found themselves with after trading longtime right wing Martin Erat to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday was they did not receive a roster player in return.

The Predators, who entered Thursday two points out of eighth place in the Western Conference, went into their morning skate for their game against the Columbus Blue Jackets with 11 healthy forwards.

As insurance, they recalled center Chris Mueller from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League. Mueller had been sent down a day earlier. (They also recalled defenseman Ryan Ellis.)

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 3:31 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Coyotes call up replacements after dealing forwards

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After trading away three forwards at the NHL Trade Deadline on Wednesday, and still without wing Lauri Korpikoski, the Phoenix Coyotes will have a different look Thursday night when they face the Detroit Red Wings and try to keep their Stanley Cup Playoffs hopes alive.

Matthew Lombardi, Steve Sullivan and Raffi Torres were dealt to the Anaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils and San Jose Sharks, respectively, so the Coyotes have recalled forwards Chris Brown and Chris Conner to join Paul Bissonnette as replacements against the Red Wings.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 3:15 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Regehr's arrival pushes Martinez out of Kings' lineup

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Alec Martinez will be the odd man out when the Los Angeles Kings debut defenseman Robyn Regehr on Thursday night.

Coach Darryl Sutter will insert Regehr in Martinez's spot in the third pairing when L.A. plays the Minnesota Wild. Sutter predictably doesn't want to break up his top two pairings of Jake Muzzin with Drew Doughty and Rob Scuderi with Slava Voynov.

"It's pretty easy to see where you go," Sutter said. "Muzzin-Doughty and Scuderi-Voynov have been two really good pairs for us 5-on-5."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 3:12 PM

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

Bouwmeester took break, but ready to go with Blues

CHICAGO -- For someone who is used to being on the ice, St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester actually didn't mind taking a short hiatus following his trade from the Calgary Flames on Monday.

"On one side you want to just kind of get there and meet the guys, get acclimated a little bit," Bouwmeester said after practicing with his new team Thursday morning. "For me, it was kind of good because I've got a young family. I've got a baby at home (a 3-month-old daughter), so it's good to kind of spend some time with her. They'll come and visit probably, but I probably won't see them too much."

Bouwmeester, who will make his Blues debut Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks, will keep his ironman streak alive, which sits at 621 consecutive games played. He will be partnered alongside Alex Pietrangelo.

"No. 1, it was good just to get back on the ice," Bouwmeester, who has six goals and 15 points in 33 games this season, said. "... Everyone here has been real welcoming. It seems like a really good group. I'm pretty excited. ... We're playing a big rival [Thursday]. To jump right into it, should be fun."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 2:50 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Byfuglien experiment at forward to continue for Jets

MONTREAL -- With five goals scored over the course a of a four-game losing streak, Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel asked Dustin Byfuglien to take a trip back in time and move to forward in the third period of a 5-2 loss at the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

Byfuglien, who played forward for most of his time with the Chicago Blackhawks from 2005-10, will at least start the game at right wing Thursday when the Jets look to snap their skid against the Montreal Canadiens.

"He gives us a guy on the right side that can create a little more offense," Noel said. "We've been stuck a little bit on the offensive side of things on the top two lines."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 1:39 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Bishop to make Lightning debut, Lecavalier back

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning will turn to new goaltender Ben Bishop on Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes, one day after the former Ottawa Senators netminder was acquired at the NHL Trade Deadline. He was relaxed when he met the media after the team's morning skate.

"Your first game, you want to show what you can do for the guys," said Bishop, who has a 2.45 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. "At the same time, I've been doing this for a little bit now and one game is not going to make the year."

His first challenge, he figures, is getting to know his teammates before he takes the ice Thursday night.

"The biggest thing is trying to learn everybody's names on the ice real quick and not have to think about it before you call their name," he said. "So that will be the hardest thing. After a couple days I'm sure I will have it down."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 1:17 PM

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

Report: Flyers, Mason agree on one-year extension

One day after acquiring Steve Mason from the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Philadelphia Flyers reportedly have agreed to a contract extension with the goaltender.

Sportsnet and CBC are reporting Thursday that Mason will sign a one-year contract for less than the $2.9 million salary-cap number he has this season. Mason is in the final season of a two-year, $5.8 million contract and is scheduled to become a restricted free agent this summer.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 1:14 PM

NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Blackhawks welcome Hossa back against Blues

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks decided to stand pat after acquiring veteran forward Michal Handzus from the San Jose Sharks, so now it's time for the Western Conference leaders to put the roster that's gotten them this far to the test.

Chicago (27-5-3) sits atop the standings with 57 points but will face a good test from the Central Division rival St. Louis Blues (18-14-2, 38 points), who pay a visit to United Center on Thursday night (8:30 p.m. ET) looking to solidify a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We like our team [and] we like our depth," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after Thursday's morning skate. "Up front … we're deep in that area, and on defense we've been pretty solid there all year as well. We're pleased with the way things have progressed. Our goaltending's been strong and consistent all year. We want to make sure we try and get better and bringing meaning to these games, because these are important games in a lot of ways. Let's make sure we get something out of them."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 12:57 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Bruins, Devils

BOSTON -- There were plenty of new faces at the morning skate Thursday for the Boston Bruins.

Newly acquired Jaromir Jagr and Kaspars Daugavins took the skate at TD Garden. Center Chris Kelly also skated for the first time since he broke his tibia March 11 against the Ottawa Senators.

Bruins coach Claude Julien also said there is no timetable for the return of Patrice Bergeron, who is out with a moderate concussion.

The New Jersey Devils held an optional skate. Steve Sullivan, acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday, will be traveling Thursday to New Jersey for his physical and won't play against the Bruins.

Here are the projected lineups for both teams:

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