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At the Rink blog
Posted On Saturday, 03.30.2013 / 1:50 PM

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

Projected lineups for Kings, Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Here are the projected lineups for Saturday's game between the Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center:

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Posted On Saturday, 03.30.2013 / 1:27 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Markstrom goes against former coach DeBoer

SUNRISE, Fla. — Things have come full circle for Florida Panthers goaltender Jacob Markstrom.

The talented Swede made his NHL debut in a relief appearance against the New Jersey Devils Jan. 23, 2011. His coach at the time was Pete DeBoer.

Now Markstrom is set to face his former coach when the Panthers play host to the New Jersey Devils Saturday night at BB&T Center.

Markstrom’s appearance in the 2011 game, when he replaced Scott Clemmensen after the first period of a 5-2 loss, was his only NHL action that season. After bouncing back and forth between Florida and San Antonio of the American Hockey League the past two seasons, Markstrom has become the Panthers’ starting goalie.

He’ll make his sixth start in the past seven games and had allowed only six goals in four starts before four deflections got by him in Thursday’s 5-4 shootout victory against the Buffalo Sabres.

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Posted On Saturday, 03.30.2013 / 1:21 PM

By Chris Ryndak -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Vanek out for Sabres against Capitals

BUFFALO -- Thomas Vanek will miss his second straight game with an upper-body injury when the Buffalo Sabres take on the Washington Capitals at First Niagara Center on Saturday.

Sabres interim coach Ron Rolston said Vanek possibly could return on Sunday for Buffalo’s home game against the Boston Bruins.

Vanek, Buffalo's leading scorer, took part in the team’s optional skate Saturday morning.

“He was out there today and moving, but he’s not where he needs to be,” Rolston said.

Washington defenseman Jeff Schultz will return to its lineup after sitting out the past four games as a healthy scratch.

“Sometimes you ask a guy to step back and re-evaluate themselves. We’ve got two games in two nights and we need him,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said. “We need his size and he need him to be a force. Hopefully it [was] a little bit of a wake-up call.”

Jhonas Enroth will start in goal for Buffalo against Braden Holtby. Each team plays three games in the next four nights.

Here are the projected lineups for Saturday:

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Posted On Saturday, 03.30.2013 / 12:57 PM

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

Projected lineups for Maple Leafs, Senators

OTTAWA – Here are the projected lineups for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators for Saturday night's matchup at Scotiabank Place:

MAPLE LEAFS

James Van RiemsdykTyler BozakPhil Kessel

Joffrey LupulNazem KadriNikolai Kulemin

Jay McClementMikhail GrabovskiMatt Frattin

Colton OrrRyan HamiltonFrazer McLaren

Carl GunnarssonDion Phaneuf

John-Michael LilesMichael Kostka

Mark FraserCody Franson

James Reimer

Ben Scrivens

Injured: Clarke MacArthur (upper body), Leo Komarov (upper body)

Scratches: Jake Gardiner

SENATORS

Mike HoffmanKyle TurrisDaniel Alfredsson

Guillaume LatendresseMika ZibanejadJakob Silfverberg

Colin Greening – Jim O’Brien – Chris Neil

Matt KassianZack SmithErik Condra

Marc MethotEric Gryba

Patrick WierciochSergei Gonchar

Chris PhillipsAndre Benoit

Ben Bishop

Robin Lehner

Injured: Jared Cowen (hip surgery), Milan Michalek (knee), Jason Spezza (back surgery), Erik Karlsson (Achilles surgery), Craig Anderson (ankle)

Scratches: Peter Regin, Mike Lundin

Note: Chris Neil was injured against the New York Rangers on Thursday when a skate blade cut his leg. He returned to finish the game but left practice early on Saturday. Coach Paul MacLean said Neil would be a game-time decision.

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Posted On Saturday, 03.30.2013 / 12:20 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Penguins lose Martin for six weeks with injury

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Paul Martin sustained a broken bone in an unspecified upper-body location, coach Dan Bylsma said Saturday morning.

Martin will undergo surgery and will be out of action for approximately six weeks.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are begin in 4-1/2 weeks.

Deryk Engelland regained his spot in the lineup, replacing Martin against the New York Islanders on Saturday afternoon. The Penguins also are without Kris Letang, the NHL's leading scorer among defensemen, for at least a week because of a lower-body injury.

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Posted On Friday, 03.29.2013 / 3:03 PM

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

Without Iginla, Flames face Blue Jackets

CALGARY -- The Columbus Blue Jackets will play the adversary as the Calgary Flames usher in the post-Jarome Iginla era on Friday.

Taking to the ice for the first time since trading their captain and franchise face, coach Bob Hartley and the Flames are ready to tackle life without Iginla.

"With the departure of Jarome, we're starting a new cycle," Hartley said. "That's the unfortunate thing or the fortunate thing of pro sports. You look at football, baseball, hockey, basketball, there comes a time when a great athlete leaves an organization, leaves a city and the next day it's still business. You have to roll up your sleeve and say 'What's next?'"

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Posted On Friday, 03.29.2013 / 2:18 PM

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

Blackhawks seek first win, revenge against Ducks

CHICAGO – The team that's occupying the visitors locker room at United Center on Friday just happens to be the only team in the Western Conference that hasn't lost to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Anaheim Ducks have beaten the Blackhawks in each of the first two meetings and both have come right down to the end. Now they'll meet for a third and final time this regular season Friday night (8:30 p.m. ET, NHL Network).

Anaheim (22-7-4, 48 points), which trails West-leading Chicago (25-4-3, 53 points) by five points, prevailed 3-2 in a shootout at United Center on Feb. 12 then won 4-2 on March 20 at Honda Center. In that second victory, Anaheim scored twice in the third period to take the lead before adding an empty-net goal.

Neither loss sat very well with the Blackhawks, who ripped through the rest of the conference to start the season with an unprecedented 24-game points streak.

"People want to point out that we haven't won against this team yet, but I don't think that's a huge flaw or anything," Chicago captain Jonthan Toews said. "Obviously we want to prove ourselves. We've played two good games and it's come down to the wire against the Ducks, so if the same situation comes up [on Friday night] we obviously want to be on top. We'll work as hard as we [can] to get there and just make the smart plays and the right plays to stay there, I guess, and find a way to get the two points."

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Posted On Friday, 03.29.2013 / 1:38 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Ducks focused on better start facing Blackhawks

CHICAGO -- Jonas Hiller was the first off the ice after the Anaheim Ducks' morning skate Friday at United Center, so it looks like he'll again be in net to try to stop the bleeding against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Ducks have lost four in a row since their 4-2 win over the Blackhawks on March 20. Hiller gave up four goals on 29 shots in a 4-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday.

The Ducks have allowed nine first-period goals over the past four games. They yielded eight first-period goals in their previous 14 games.

"You gotta look at the way we started the last couple of games and it hasn't been great," Ducks forward Corey Perry told NHL.com. "We had a stat up this morning that we gave up nine goals in the first period in the last four games and that's just not starting the game the right way. If we're better in the first 10 minutes and get our feet under us we'll be all right for the rest of the game."

Anaheim is the only team in the Western Conference that hasn't lost to Chicago this season. The Ducks are five points behind the Blackhawks in second place in the Western Conference standings.

Here is the projected lineup for Anaheim against Chicago on Friday:

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Posted On Friday, 03.29.2013 / 1:30 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Wild giving Hackett first start of season vs. Stars

DALLAS -- After starting Niklas Backstrom in goal for the past 12 games, a stretch in which the Minnesota Wild have gone 10-2-0, coach Mike Yeo decided to keep his No. 1 goaltender back in the Twin Cities. That means Matt Hackett will make his first start of the season Friday night against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

Hackett, who was recalled from Houston of the American Hockey League on Thursday, has yet to appear in an NHL game this season, but was 3-6-0 with a 2.37 goals-against average in 12 games with Minnesota last season.

“All I’m hoping to see is what he came up and did last year. He played very good hockey for us last year and we’ve seen him do that both at this level and the American Hockey League,” Yeo said. “We’re anxious to get him in a game. We’re anxious to see him play and prove what he can do.”

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Posted On Friday, 03.29.2013 / 12:47 PM

By Lonnie Herman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Cooper 'jacked' for NHL coaching debut

TAMPA -- New Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper may have looked calm as he prepared to coach his first game in the NHL, but looks can be deceiving.

"How am I looking right now? Am I looking OK?" Cooper asked the media after the morning skate. "OK, so take this and do the opposite and that's what is going on in here. I'm jacked. This is really, really exciting. I've got a plan. I've done it my way, and here I stand today. I wouldn't say that I'm really nervous, although five minutes before the game I'm sure I will be. There is a wave of emotions. I wish everyone could feel what I'm feeling right now. It's pretty cool."

Cooper will debut behind the bench Friday night when the Lightning play the New Jersey Devils at Tampa Bay Times Forum.

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Quote of the Day

We've got a team filled with captains, that's what I think. With these first two games we got in, we're really dominating and moving the puck really fast, and it's worked out really good.

— U.S. goalie Brandon Halverson after a 6-0 win against Germany in the World Junior Championship on Sunday