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Posted On Saturday, 03.09.2013 / 12:23 PM

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

Desjardins to get start for Lightning

TAMPA - In recent games, Tampa Bay Lightning starting goaltender Anders Lindback has occasionally been prone to allowing questionable goals. But coach Guy Boucher said that is not the reason he will turn to Cedrick Desjardins Saturday night when his team meets the Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Times Forum.

It’s not exactly a shot in the dark for Boucher to look to Desjardins, who hasn't appeared in an NHL game since Jan. 1, 2011. A former Montreal prospect, Desjardins faced the Canadiens in his NHL debut on Dec. 30, 2010 and made 27 saves in a 4-1 Lightning win.

But Boucher discounted that as the reason he is turning to his backup netminder, who is actually three years older than 24-year-old Lindback.

“Lindback is a young guy that needs to grow through the hurts and successes that a young guy has to go through," Boucher said after the team's morning skate. "We told him we are going to manage his number of games. We played him probably too much for a while. As a young guy, we have to manage him like we do our forwards and defensemen: Give him his games but not give him too much to chew on.

“There are times he has been great and moments where it’s a learning process for him. He [Lindback] played two [straight] games and I would have changed him anyway. So it’s not about the Canadiens and it’s not even about Lindback. It’s just the fact that I was going to put someone else in after two games, so that’s why Desjardins is going in.”

This is Desjardins’ second time around with the Lightning. He was reacquired by Tampa Bay on Feb. 14 in exchange for netminder Dustin Tokarski. And although he played (and won) two games for the team during the 2010-11 campaign, Boucher isn't taking those appearances into consideration.

“We want to see what we have. We’ve been doing this since the beginning. We’re playing our young guys. We’re playing guys from our American League team. That’s for all positions," Boucher said. "We just feel like we have quality depth and we want this organization to grow. To do that, we don’t want to wait. We want to see what our young guys have. I feel like this is the moment to put him in. If I don’t do it now, I may not get a chance. [Mathieu] Garon will be returning soon and if I don’t put Desjardins in now, I may not get a chance.”

Here are the teams' projected lineups for Saturday's matchup:

Posted On Saturday, 03.09.2013 / 12:13 PM

By Staff -  / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Salvador out, Larsson in for Devils

New Jersey Devils captain Bryce Salvador, one of five players to appear in each of the team's 82 games last season, did not make the trip to Raleigh, N.C., and will miss the Devils' game Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes with an upper-body injury. Salvador, 37 was named captain in January and has one assist in 24 games this season.

He isn't the only Devils defenseman not to make the trip south. Henrik Tallinder has not played since Tuesday against Tampa Bay and remains out with a lower-body injury. The team's official Twitter feed confirmed Salvador's absence and noted that 20-year-old Adam Larsson would take his place in the lineup.

Here is the Devils projected lineup for the game against the Hurricanes, based on reports from the morning skate:

Posted On Friday, 03.08.2013 / 7:16 PM

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

Versteeg back in Panthers lineup

Florida Panthers forward Kris Versteeg, who hasn't played since a Feb. 12 game against the Washington Capitals, returned to the lineup Friday for a home game against the Winnipeg Jets.

Versteeg's return was confirmed by the team's Twitter page. The team's third-leading scorer last season missed the past 12 games with an upper-body injury, which he is believed to have sustained while being hit from behind by Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin.

Posted On Friday, 03.08.2013 / 6:03 PM

By Rick Sadowski  - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Blackhawks, Avalanche

DENVER – Here are the projected lineups for Friday night’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.

Blackhawks right wing Patrick Sharp will miss between three and four weeks with what coach Joel Quenneville said is an upper-body injury suffered in Wednesday’s game against the Avalanche. Kane won’t need surgery, Quenneville said. Right wing Marian Hossa will play after missing Wednesday’s game with an upper-body injury.

Posted On Friday, 03.08.2013 / 5:50 PM

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

Richards returning to Rangers lineup; Lundqvist starts

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers center Brad Richards will return to the lineup Friday after missing two games with back and neck stiffness stemming from a hit by Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta on Sunday.

Richards returned to that game but had yet to practice since the hit that earned Kaleta a five-game suspension.

Richards tried to participate in the Rangers' morning skate Tuesday, but left the ice immediately. Rangers coach John Tortorella said Richards skated Friday afternoon to test his injuries and felt good enough to play.

The Rangers face the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden at 7 p.m. ET.

Posted On Friday, 03.08.2013 / 4:55 PM

By Staff -  / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Johnson to make return tonight for Avalanche

Defenseman Erik Johnson, who hasn't played since Feb. 11, will return to the Colorado Avalanche lineup Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks (9 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

Johnson, who missed 11 games with a head injury sustained during that Feb. 11 game against the Phoenix Coyotes, had been skating and traveling with the team for the past 10 days, appearing on the ice in an orange non-contact jersey.

Friday morning, coach Joe Sacco announced that the 24-year-old would be back in the lineup.

"We're excited to have EJ back in the lineup," Sacco said. "Big-body guy for us back there. Puck-moving guy who can get up in the play for us. As far as expectations go for EJ tonight, just play hard, keep it simple. Don't try to do too much right away."

Posted On Friday, 03.08.2013 / 4:17 PM

By Staff -  / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Hossa, Shaw, Frolik in for Blackhawks

After getting tough news on Patrick Sharp, who will miss 3-4 weeks with an upper-body injury, there was a bit of good for the Chicago Blackhawks, who announced forwards Marian Hossa, Andrew Shaw and Michael Frolik will be available for Friday's game against the Colorado Avalanche (9 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

Hossa was a late scratch from Wednesday's game against the Avalanche due to an upper-body injury, but told the Chicago Tribune it was not concussion related.

"It was something else," Hossa said following the Blackhawks' morning skate. "Right now I feel much better and sometimes only two days just not practicing [and] taking off helps. I feel much better [Friday] in the morning skate and I should be ready to play."

Posted On Friday, 03.08.2013 / 3:48 PM

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

Projected lineups for Flames, Ducks

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau mock-winced when asked about his team's profound dominance against the Calgary Flames.

Perhaps it was out of superstition, but Boudreau is aware of the history even though he only has been in Anaheim since 2011. The gist: Anaheim has won 15 straight at home against Calgary, which last won a regular-season game at Honda Center on Jan. 19, 2004.

That breaks down to an 0-10-5 record going into Friday's game. The past eight meetings have been decided by one goal, with two in overtime and three by shootout.

"Every game we play Calgary is a one-goal game, and [with] them finally getting above .500, I think this will be the toughest game of the bunch," Boudreau said.

Here's how the teams could line up Friday:

Posted On Friday, 03.08.2013 / 2:34 PM

By Staff -  / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Sharp to miss at least 3 weeks with injury

The Chicago Blackhawks announced forward Patrick Sharp would miss 3-4 weeks with an upper-body injury sustained in Wednesday's game against the Colorado Avalanche

TSN's James Duthie reported that Sharp has a separated shoulder, posting on his official Twitter account that Sharp has "a fairly severe AC joint shoulder separation."

In 24 games this season, Sharp has five goals and 18 points.

The Blackhawks meet the Avalanche again Friday at Pepsi Center (9 p.m. ET, NHLN-US), trying to extend their point streak to 25 games to start this season, and 31 stretching to the end of the 2011-12 regular season.

Posted On Friday, 03.08.2013 / 2:28 PM

By Staff -  / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Sharks recall goalie Heemskerk from ECHL

The San Jose Sharks on Friday called up goaltender Thomas Heemskerk from the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL.

The 22-year-old is 13-17-3 with a 3.16 goals-against average and .904 save percentage in 37 ECHL games this season.

To make room, the Sharks sent forward Bracken Kearns to Worcester of the American Hockey League.

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Quote of the Day

It seems like I'm kind of making it a little difficult on myself here the last two games.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after tying the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with an assist on Duncan Keith's goal with 26.6 seconds left against the Anaheim Ducks Friday
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