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At the Rink blog
Posted On Thursday, 03.28.2013 / 9:27 AM

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

Islanders look to avenge previous loss to Flyers

The New York Islanders hope to inch closer to a top-eight spot in the Eastern Conference and avenge an earlier rout at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers when the teams meet Thursday night at Wells Fargo Center.

The Islanders enter Thursday in ninth place, two points behind the New York Rangers. In their only previous matchup against the Flyers this season, they suffered a 7-0 defeat on home ice in a Feb. 18 matinee.

Here are the projected lineups for Thursday's game:

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.27.2013 / 3:53 PM

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

Sharks' Clowe set to return from shoulder injury

SAN JOSE -- After missing four games with a shoulder injury, San Jose Sharks forward Ryane Clowe will return to the lineup and skate on the third line Wednesday night against the Anaheim Ducks at HP Pavilion.

Clowe hasn't played since the first period against the Los Angeles Kings on March 16 when he aggravated a nagging shoulder injury.

"I feel good," Clowe said after the Sharks' morning skate. "I probably felt pretty good last game, but I just needed a couple extra skates. ... I had a little skate yesterday. I feel good today."

Clowe will skate on a line with center Joe Pavelski and left wing TJ Galiardi. James Sheppard will drop from the third line to the fourth line, bumping Adam Burish out of the lineup.

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.27.2013 / 2:39 PM

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

Night off for Kiprusoff as Flames host Avalanche

CALGARY -- Playing the tail end of a back-to-back set in split cities, the Calgary Flames are expected to start goaltender Joey MacDonald against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday.

Miikka Kiprusoff started a night ago against the Chicago Blackhawks, making 33 saves in a 2-0 losing effort at the United Center, his fourth consecutive outing.

Citing travel and the birth of his second son Oskar last week, coach Bob Hartley is opting to give Kiprusoff the night off, starting MacDonald for the ninth time this season.

"He was a busy man in the last couple of games, plus the traveling plus the new baby and everything," Hartley said. "It's a lot on his plate. After talking with Kipper, we both decided that we would give the start to Joey MacDonald."

MacDonald is 3-5-1 with a 2.98 goals against average and .894 save percentage this season.


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Posted On Wednesday, 03.27.2013 / 1:52 PM

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

Streaking Wild, skidding Coyotes meeting tonight

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Two teams going in very different directions in the Western Conference standings will meet tonight at Xcel Energy Center when the Minnesota Wild face the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Wild, playing some of their best hockey under second-year coach Mike Yeo, have won a franchise-best six straight games.

The Coyotes kick off a three-game road trip having lost six games in a row. Phoenix, which sat in sixth place in the West on March 14, one point out of fourth, has tumbled seven spots as a result of the skid and now sits four points back of the San Jose Sharks for the eighth and final spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.27.2013 / 12:24 PM

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

Projected lineups for Canadiens, Bruins

BOSTON – With first place in the Northeast Division on the line for the Boston Bruins when they play the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night at TD Garden, Bruins coach Claude Julien probably will return his first line to its usual form after separating Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton for two periods Monday in a win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Lucic, Krejci and Horton skated together during the morning skate at TD Garden. Lucic snapped a 15-game goal drought against the Maple Leafs.

Johnny Boychuk skated with the team, but Julien said the defenseman’s status was uncertain. Boychuk was injured during practice last Friday and he has missed two games.

The Canadiens, who lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night, did not hold a full skate.

Here are the projected lineups for the Bruins and Canadiens:

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 7:21 PM

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

Hossa gets on-ice conditioning work in for Hawks

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks didn’t hold an official morning skate on Tuesday at United Center, but they did get some good news.

Injured star right wing Marian Hossa returned to the ice for conditioning work for the first time since leaving a game against the Colorado Avalanche on March 18 late in the first period after a hit from defenseman Ryan O’Byrne.

Hossa, who’s missed two games with the ailment, appeared to be holding his shoulder on the bench in that game, and the Blackhawks have called it an upper-body injury. Tuesday morning he joined teammates Patrick Sharp, Daniel Carcillo, Sheldon Brookbank and goalies Ray Emery and Corey Crawford on Tuesday for a series of drills.

“He skated today, so he’s progressing” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said of Hossa, prior to Chicago facing the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night (8:30 p.m. ET). “He’s kind of comparable with [Sharp], so we’ll see how they do. But he’s not playing [against Calgary].”

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 4:23 PM

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

Edler back for Canucks, Ballard enjoying life up front

VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler will be back in the lineup Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets after serving a two-game suspension for hitting Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith behind the net.

Edler may get some unsolicited advice from fellow defenseman Keith Ballard, who will again play up front on a team missing six injured forwards.

"As soon as I switched to wing I turned my brain off and started complaining to the D-men," Ballard said with a smile. "That's what forwards do, right?"


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Posted On Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 3:30 PM

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

Letang activated from IR; Malkin questionable

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins likely will have one of their two injured stars back in the lineup when they face the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

The Penguins have activated defenseman Kris Letang from injured reserve and sent defenseman Simon Despres to the American Hockey League to open a roster spot.

Letang had missed the previous three games with a lower-body injury. Letang leads all NHL defensemen with 28 points in 27 games.

Letang and center Evgeni Malkin skated with the rest of the team Tuesday morning, but coach Penguins coach Dan Bylsma still classified both as "day-to-day."

When pressed he added, "They're both very close and they're both practicing with the team and ... they're both very close. I guess there's a possibility that they both could play [Tuesday]."

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 3:19 PM

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

Penguins send Despres to AHL

The Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday announced the club had reassigned defenseman Simon Despres to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

The move comes one day after the Penguins acquired defenseman Douglas Murray from the San Jose Sharks for a pair of draft picks.

In 24 games this season Despres has two goals, five assists and a plus-10 rating.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 2:49 PM

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

Lightning assign Lee to AHL

The Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday announced defenseman Brian Lee had been reassigned to the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch.

In 22 games this season, Lee had no points, a minus-13 rating and 16 penalty minutes. He had been a healthy scratch the past seven games.

Selected by the Ottawa Senators with the ninth pick of the 2005 NHL Draft, the 26-year-old has five goals and 36 points in 209 games in six NHL seasons.

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Quote of the Day

It's always a little bit weird, but it moves on. They've got a good team, and they played well tonight. I think that's just part of it.

— Peter Laviolette on facing his former team (Flyers) for the first time since his departure