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At the Rink blog
Posted On Friday, 03.22.2013 / 1:20 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Holtby, Pavelec back in net for Capitals-Jets rematch

WINNIPEG – The Washington Capitals’ season is still on the line Friday evening when they face the Winnipeg Jets for the second consecutive night at MTS Centre.

But the Capitals (13-16-1) bought themselves some breathing room after shutting out the Jets 4-0 Thursday night to move themselves five points out of an Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Winnipeg (16-13-2) did not hold a morning skate at MTS Centre, and the Capitals’ optional skate had five players.

Capitals coach Adam Oates will return to Braden Holtby in net one night after he shut out the Jets for the second time this month in Winnipeg. Oates said he will dress the same lineup that featured the return of defenseman Mike Green from a 10-game injury absence. The Capitals also reportedly placed right wing Joey Crabb on waivers to alleviate a roster glut.

The Jets will again turn to goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, who will start his 10th consecutive game. Winnipeg’s blue line was dealt another injury blow Thursday when a heavy third-period hit from Alex Ovechkin ended Mark Stuart’s evening. Jets coach Claude Noel described Stuart as “banged up” and termed him a game-time decision. Noel also said he may tinker with his lineup.

Here are the projected lineups for the Capitals and Jets for the game Friday:

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Posted On Friday, 03.22.2013 / 12:36 PM

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

Malkin, Letang remain out as Penguins face Islanders

The Pittsburgh Penguins will put their 10-game winning streak on the line Friday night against the New York Islanders, but they will again be without two stars.

Center Evgeni Malkin and defenseman Kris Letang skated Friday morning, but coach Dan Bylsma told reporters at Nassau Coliseum that neither would suit up against the Islanders.

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Posted On Friday, 03.22.2013 / 10:24 AM

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

Projected lineups for Penguins, Islanders

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be aiming for their 11th consecutive win on Friday night when they visit the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Penguins will be looking to extend the one-point lead they hold over the Montreal Canadiens for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Here are the projected lineups for the Penguins and Islanders on Friday:


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Posted On Friday, 03.22.2013 / 10:19 AM

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

Projected lineup for Blue Jackets

Sergei Bobrovsky will make his eighth straight start in goal for the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night when they take on the Calgary Flames at Nationwide Arena.

Here is the projected lineup for the Blue Jackets, who have won two in a row and have at least a point in 11 straight games (7-0-4):


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Posted On Thursday, 03.21.2013 / 4:23 PM

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

Coyotes hoping return home means return of offense

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Last Thursday the Coyotes departed Phoenix after a win against the Los Angeles Kings sitting in a playoff spot and scoring goals with regularity.

A week later, they return from a road trip where they went 0-3-1, were shut out three times and scored a total of two goals -- both by Shane Doan in a 3-2 loss at Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Now outside of the top eight and struggling, the Coyotes hope a little home cooking will help as they face the banged-up Vancouver Canucks on Thursday at Jobing.com Arena.

The Coyotes went more than 245 minutes without a goal -- the longest drought in franchise history, and pushing Columbus to a shootout Saturday provided them with their only point on the trip. Even Doan's incredible effort against the Kings -- two goals and an NHL single-game high 13 hits -- could keep Los Angeles from sweeping back-to-back games and keeping the Coyotes desperate for a win.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.21.2013 / 3:28 PM

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

Nolan likely to return to lineup for Kings

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – With a dominant home stand and a three-game winning streak, Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter would seem to have little reason to change his lineup.

Signs at the morning skate Thursday pointed to a minor tweak though as it appears that rookie Tyler Toffoli will be scratched in favor of Jordan Nolan. The Kings did not do line rushes but Nolan came off the ice with the regulars and Toffoli stayed out with the extras.

Sutter recently had a pointed critique of Nolan, while the puck has found Toffoli often in his first three National Hockey League games. But Sutter could want Nolan's size as the Kings try to avenge their last home loss, to the Dallas Stars on March 7.

Sutter typically guards his lineup information as if it's a national security threat. He's liked the recent play of Dustin Penner and could move Penner back up in Toffoli's spot on the second line, although Sutter was begrudging when asked about Penner's compete level.

"I think it depends on who we're playing and who we play guys against," Sutter said. "That's the advantage of playing at home. You can try and match guys up, and if they're prepared for that challenge, then we like it."

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Posted On Thursday, 03.21.2013 / 2:16 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Green a game-time decision for Capitals

WINNIPEG -- The Washington Capitals’ season may be on the line Thursday when they meet the Winnipeg Jets for the first of a pair of games at MTS Centre.

The Capitals (12-16-1) sit seven points out of an Eastern Conference playoff spot and face a pair of nearly must-win games if they are to remain in contention. But a Washington blue line missing four regulars could regain Mike Green's services against Winnipeg. Green, who has missed 10 consecutive games with a groin injury, participated in the Capitals' morning skate, but Washington coach Adam Oates labeled him a "game-time decision."

Braden Holtby will make his third consecutive start in goal for the Capitals after a 36-save performance Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a 2-1 loss that Oates termed "probably the best game all year."

Jets coach Claude Noel will start Ondrej Pavelec in goal for the eighth straight game.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.21.2013 / 2:11 PM

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

Kreider back for Rangers; Panthers' Howden gets shot

NEW YORK -- At the start of the season, New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider was considered one of the favorites to win the Calder Trophy after bursting onto the scene during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Kreider was instead assigned to Connecticut of the AHL after his minutes began to diminish from poor play and then an ankle injury hindered his progress. But after a little more than three weeks with the Whale, the 21-year-old will find himself on the Rangers' third line when they play host to the Florida Panthers on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

“I was able to play big minutes and play in all situations," Kreider told reporters of his AHL stint, following the Rangers' practice at Greenburgh, N.Y. "Any time you can do that, it helps your development, I guess.”

Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who complained of headaches following a 3-2 against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday stemming from a collision with teammate Dan Girardi, said he feels good after taking off Wednesday and will start in net. He'll likely be opposed by Florida's Jacob Markstrom, who is coming off a 33-save performance in a 4-1 win at Carolina on Tuesday.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.21.2013 / 12:50 PM

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

Predators get Hornqvist, Gill back at practice

NASHVILLE -– For the first time since the Nashville Predators departed on a five-game road trip on March 11, defenseman Hal Gill and right wing Patric Hornqvist participated with their team on the ice.

Gill worked with Kevin Klein and looked like he had a chance of playing on Thursday against the Calgary Flames at Bridgestone Arena, but coach Barry Trotz said after the skate that Gill would not play.

Gill has missed 11 straight games with a lower-body injury and has only played in three since Feb. 10. The Predators could use his veteran presence as they have been icing, at times, a very young defense corps that includes Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi, both in their second seasons, as well as Jonathon Blum, 24, who has only played 73 career NHL games, and rookie Victor Bartley.

Part of that is because veteran Scott Hannan also is out with an upper-body injury, and Trotz said Hannan would be out indefinitely.


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Posted On Thursday, 03.21.2013 / 12:34 PM

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

Krejci a game-time decision for Bruins

OTTAWA -- Boston Bruins center David Krejci said that when he woke up Thursday morning, his right knee felt "much better," but his status for the game Thursday against the Ottawa Senators won't be decided until game-time.

Krejci was hurt in the third period of the Bruins' game Sunday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, when he was hit in the leg by a Johnny Boychuk shot. Krejci sat out Boston's game Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets.

If Krejci can't play, it's likely Ryan Spooner will remain in his spot. Spooner had two shots on goal in 15:29 of ice time Tuesday against the Jets.

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Quote of the Day

Great players need great players to play with. That's why we'll have a training camp and we'll find who the best two guys are suited to play with Stamkos.

— Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness on Steven Stamkos' potential linemates for the 2014-15 season