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At the Rink blog
Posted On Saturday, 03.23.2013 / 2:40 PM

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

Stars set to begin critical homestand

DALLAS -- Dallas Stars coach Glen Gulutzan is well aware of his club's 6-6-2 record at home, a mark which ranks as the worst in the Western Conference. However, as Dallas begins a season-long five-game homestand Saturday night against the Colorado Avalanche at American Airlines Center, he and his players are focused on the task at hand, winning game one and moving on to the next one.

"That's irrelevant to us," Gulutzan said when asked about the importance of the homestand. "It's tonight, this game. Confident we can win on the road, just got to win this game."

Dallas is almost completely healthy, missing only defenseman Aaron Rome (foot), who has missed the past 12 games, and forward Ryan Garbutt (hand), who will miss his fifth straight game Saturday.

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Posted On Saturday, 03.23.2013 / 1:35 PM

By Neil Acharya -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Komarov out for Maple Leafs, Boychuk for Bruins

TORONTO -- Forward Leo Komarov has been placed on injured reserve by the Toronto Maple Leafs with an upper-body injury.

"He is unavailable to our hockey club for a minimum of one week," coach Randy Carlyle said. "We are looking at it probably 7-10 days."

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Posted On Saturday, 03.23.2013 / 1:30 PM

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

Projected lineups for Canucks, Kings

Here are the projected lineups for a game Saturday night between the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center:

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Posted On Saturday, 03.23.2013 / 1:22 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Panthers search for season-long win streak

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Florida Panthers have an opportunity to win three consecutive games for the first time this season when they visit the New Jersey Devils on Saturday at Prudential Center.

The only other time the Panthers entered a contest having won the two previous matches was Feb. 5 when they dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the Winnipeg Jets. Florida has defeated the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers in the opening two games of this five-game road swing.

"We're looking at the first period and everything is short-term snapshots," Florida coach Kevin Dineen said. "It's been nice to have a couple days off where we can sit on a victory; it makes a tremendous difference. Rest comes easier when your mind is at ease."

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Posted On Saturday, 03.23.2013 / 1:08 PM

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

Vanek back, Stafford scratched for Sabres

MONTREAL – The Buffalo Sabres will welcome their leading scorer back to the lineup Saturday night when they face the Montreal Canadiens for the second time in four days.

Thomas Vanek is fully recovered after taking a Christian Ehrhoff slap shot off his left hip when the Sabres visited Bell Centre on Tuesday night, a 3-2 overtime win for Buffalo.

Struggling Drew Stafford will be a healthy scratch for Buffalo, and Nathan Gerbe draws in for the Sabres.

For the Canadiens, Ryan White will miss the game with a lower-body injury suffered in a 5-2 win Thursday night against the New York Islanders. He will be replaced on Montreal’s fourth line by Mike Blunden, who was called up from the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs on Friday.

Rene Bourque, who has missed the past month with a concussion, did not skate with the team for a second straight day after practicing with the Canadiens on Wednesday then making the trip to Long Island on Thursday. He missed an optional practice Friday and was not on the ice Saturday morning.

Defenseman Yannick Weber, who hurt his knee two weeks ago, did skate with the team Saturday morning for the first time since his injury.

Here are the projected lineups for the Sabres and Canadiens on Saturday night:

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Posted On Saturday, 03.23.2013 / 12:34 PM

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

Gill expected to return for Predators

NASHVILLE – When the Nashville Predators acquired defenseman Hal Gill last February it was mostly to help with their penalty killing as they anticipated a run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Having re-signed Gill in the offseason, the Predators expected him to perform the same service. However, he has been injured for much of the season and, as a result, the Predators’ penalty-killing unit has suffered, ranking 28th in the League at 77.2 percent.

Nashville hopes that changes Saturday when they play the Columbus Blue Jackets at Bridgestone Arena and, Gill, who has played in half of his team’s 30 games, should return to the lineup. He has missed 12 straight games with a lower-body injury and has played in three since Feb. 10.

"The penalty kill needs more attention than the power play (which ranks 17th but has yielded three shorthanded goals in the past three games) right now based on we haven’t been able to keep pucks out of our net there, so big Hal Gill has been a big factor since he’s been out," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "Our percentage is pretty low for where we were."

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Posted On Saturday, 03.23.2013 / 11:52 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

D'Agostini set for Devils debut

NEWARK, N.J. -- Right wing Matt D'Agostini is expected to make his season debut for the New Jersey Devils on Saturday when the team plays the Florida Panthers at Prudential Center.

The Devils conducted an optional skate at Prudential Center on Saturday morning, and though D'Agostini participated, coach Peter DeBoer was mum on who his newest acquisition would replace in the lineup. However, it's possible forward Krystofer Barch, who remained late out on the ice after practice, will be a healthy scratch.

D'Agostini, acquired from the St. Louis Blues on Friday, is looking forward to a new opportunity.

"It's kind of like a fresh start for me, so I'm looking at this as game one and looking to establish my game early by working hard and hopefully get some chances," D'Agostini said. "I'm best when I'm using my speed and driving the D-men deep, and creating havoc on the forecheck."

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Posted On Saturday, 03.23.2013 / 11:20 AM

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

Projected lineups for Lightning, Senators

OTTAWA – Here are the projected lineups for the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon at Scotiabank Place:

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Posted On Friday, 03.22.2013 / 6:59 PM

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

Kennedy out for Penguins against Islanders

Tyler Kennedy will sit out the Pittsburgh Penguins' game against the New York Islanders on Friday night due to illness.

Kennedy took part in the morning skate at Nassau Coliseum but was not on the ice for pregame warmups, and the Penguins announced about 20 minutes before game time that Kennedy would not play due to an illness.

The Penguins are without star center Evgeni Malkin (upper body) and No. 1 defenseman Kris Letang (lower body). They bring a 10-game winning streak into the game.

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Posted On Friday, 03.22.2013 / 3:13 PM

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

Ducks get Perry back from suspension

ANAHEIM -- Corey Perry watched his Anaheim Ducks play the Chicago Blackhawks from the locker room Wednesday and he acknowledged it wasn't the greatest feeling.

"It was tough," Perry said. "The best team in the League -- obviously you want to be out there helping your team win."

Perry returns Friday against the Detroit Red Wings after a four-game suspension resulting from his hit on Jason Zucker of the Minnesota Wild. The fourth game happened to be the biggest regular season game in recent franchise history. But the Ducks pulled out a 4-2 win to go 3-0-1 without the former Hart Trophy winner.

It also will be Perry's first game since he signed an eight-year, $69 million contract extension. Longtime linemate Ryan Getzlaf said, "Anytime he's been out for any length of time he's come back and made a statement. We're looking forward to tonight" against the Red Wings.

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Quote of the Day

There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.

— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp