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At the Rink blog
Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 4:46 PM

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

Coyotes expect to cut out defensive letdowns

VANCOUVER -- The Phoenix Coyotes won't get any of their key injured players back for Tuesday night's road game against the Vancouver Canucks, but coach Dave Tippett expects his team to get back to its defense-first approach after a couple of letdowns.

It was missing when Phoenix uncharacteristically blew consecutive leads against the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames to start this three-game road trip. They lost in a shootout in Edmonton on Saturday after blowing a two-goal lead, and in regulation to Calgary the next night after giving up two goals in the final 1:23 to lose 5-4.

"Maybe a wake-up call for our group," captain Shane Doan said.

The rare defensive letdowns can be partly explained by the continued absence of veteran defenseman Derek Morris, who skated hard on Tuesday morning, but will miss a fifth game. Fellow defender David Schlemko, who signed a two-year, $2.38-million contract extension on Monday, has been out for three weeks with a shoulder injury.

"Derek Morris has probably been one of, if not our best player when he is in the lineup," Doan said. "Hopefully we get him back soon."

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 3:53 PM

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

Battle of attrition as Sharks host Avalanche

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche will both be shorthanded Tuesday night when they meet for the second time this season at HP Pavilion.

The Sharks placed defenseman Brent Burns (lower body) on injured reserve and recalled defenseman Matt Irwin from Worcester of the American Hockey League.

Sharks second-line forward Ryane Clowe will be out as he serves the second game of his two-game suspension for coming off the bench on a line change and immediately getting into an altercation with the Chicago Blackhawks' Andrew Shaw on Friday at the United Center.

Third-line forward Tommy Wingels, who went headfirst into the boards late in Saturday's game at the Dallas Stars, also will miss Tuesday's game, Sharks coach Todd McLellan said after the morning skate.

Colorado will be without top-line center Matt Duchene, who is sidelined by a groin injury. Duchene leads the Avalanche in assists (11) and points (17). With Duchene out, Paul Stastny is expected to skate on the top line between Jamie McGinn and PA Parenteau, while John Mitchell centers the second line with forwards Gabriel Landeskog and David Jones.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 3:12 PM

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

Report: Duchene (groin) out of lineup vs. Sharks

Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene will miss Tuesday night's game against the San Jose Sharks with a groin injury, according to a report by Denver Post beat writer Adrian Dater.

Duchene is the leading scorer on the Avalanche this season with 17 points (six goals).

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 2:58 PM

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

Canucks shift defensive pairings, start Schneider

VANCOUVER -- Cory Schneider is over a brief battle with the flu and back in the Vancouver Canucks' net against the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night.

His teammates are hoping to bounce back from a defensive effort that would be enough to make most goalies nauseous. A sick Schneider watched from the bench as Roberto Luongo was torched during an 8-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.

"We were all pretty embarrassed by that game," Schneider said of the last stop on a four-game road trip. "We're not going to let that sit in our minds too long, we're going to come back and defend home ice."

They will do so without defenseman Kevin Bieksa, who injured his groin during the road trip and remains day-to-day. As one of only two natural right-side defensemen on the roster, the loss of Bieksa necessitated some juggling on the defensive pairings, and after they failed miserably against the Red Wings, there will be more Tuesday.


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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 1:54 PM

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

Projected lineups for Flames, Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Here are the projected lineups for tonight's contest between the Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center:

FLAMES

Alex Tanguay - Matt Stajan - Jarome Iginla

Sven Baertschi - Roman Cervenka - Jiri Hudler

Curtis Glencross - Mike Cammalleri - Lee Stempniak

Blake Comeau - Steve Begin - Tim Jackman

Jay Bouwmeester - Mark Giordano

TJ Brodie - Dennis Wideman

Derek Smith - Chris Butler

Joey MacDonald

Daniel Taylor

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 1:50 PM

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

Flames coach Hartley checks in with Cervenka

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Entering the season, expectations were high for Calgary Flames center Roman Cervenka.

He earned a reputation in Russia as a scorer, tallying 54 goals in two years in the KHL before signing with the Flames this offseason. The 27-year old Czech has struggled to translate that game to the National Hockey League, however, scoring two goals in 13 games this season.

Part of the issue is comfort.

Cervenka still struggles with language, understanding English enough when spoken to, but not comfortable enough to speak it. Communicating with teammates is difficult, except for with linemate and fellow Czech Jiri Hudler.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 1:44 PM

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

Wisniewski out 'extended period' with broken foot

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced on Tuesday that defenseman James Wisniewski would be sidelined an extended amount of time after breaking a bone in his foot.

Jackets coach Todd Richards informed reporters of the injury Tuesday morning. According to the coach, Wisniewski sustained the injury during Sunday's loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. There is no timetable on his return, but Richards did say that Wisniewski would be out "an extended period of time."

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 1:38 PM

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

Canadiens confirm Bourque has concussion

After forward Rene Bourque missed the Montreal Canadiens' past two games with what was originally described by the team as a bout with the flu, coach Michel Therrien confirmed Tuesday that Bourque has a concussion.

Following the Canadiens' 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders last Thursday, Bourque was a late scratch for the team's following game Saturday against the New York Rangers. Initially diagnosed with the flu, Bourque then did not travel with the team when they suffered a 2-1 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators on Monday night.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 1:30 PM

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

Hurricanes captain Staal defends Semin's character

WASHINGTON -- The Carolina Hurricanes are trying to retain their place atop the Southeast Division despite a rash of injuries, and the Washington Capitals are trying to get back into the playoff race after a dreadful start.

That alone would make this division battle an important one, but Alexander Semin's return to Washington -- and the feelings said return elicited in Capitals forward Troy Brouwer on Monday -- have added some juice to this contest.

Semin spent seven seasons with the Capitals before signing a one-year deal in the offseason with the Hurricanes. Brouwer wasn't shy about discussing Semin's perceived lack of consistency with things like work ethic and commitment, but Hurricanes captain Eric Staal stood up for his linemate Tuesday morning after the team's skate at Verizon Center.


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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 1:20 PM

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

McDonald leaves Blues practice with injury

St. Louis Blues forward Andy McDonald was injured in practice Tuesday and needed help to get off the ice and into the locker room.

McDonald reportedly was injured during a drill when he collided with forward Vladimir Sobotka. McDonald was not able to put any pressure on his left leg as he was helped off the ice. He later limped to the locker room under his own power.

Teammate Alexander Steen had left practice moments earlier with an upper-body injury after a battle scrum in which his helmet popped off.

The Blues recalled forward Andrew Murray under emergency conditions from their AHL affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen.

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the media that the severity of the injuries won't be determined until Wednesday. The Blues are off until they host Chicago on Thursday night.

"Unfortunately when those two guys went down kind of took out from another really good practice," Hitchcock said. "We'll see where they're at tomorrow. We had a lot of fun, guys were working hard, we're really accomplishing a lot here, so hopefully we can take a good lineup into the game on Thursday."
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There's no discouragement in that room. There's no issues there at all to be honest with you. It's more about, 'Hey, it's opportunities for players.' And if we become that bad of a team because of one player, it's not a real good sign for our hockey club. So this is part of sports. It's part of hockey.

— Bruins coach Claude Julien on the loss of Zdeno Chara to injury
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