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At the Rink blog
Posted On Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 3:53 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Josefson in for Devils; Miettinen to make season debut

NEWARK, N.J. -- Both the New Jersey Devils and Winnipeg Jets will have fresh faces in the lineup Sunday night after they each suffered tough losses Saturday.

The Devils, who were beaten 5-1 in Washington on Saturday, will welcome back center Jacob Josefson, who was recalled from Albany of the American Hockey League earlier in the day. Ryan Carter was put on injured reserve retroactive to Feb. 18 to make room for Josefson, who was sent down to Albany a week ago after he managed only one assist and a minus-8 rating in 15 games.

Josefson will play center on the third line with Stephen Gionta moving to the wing. Devils coach Peter DeBoer said rookie Stefan Matteau "is a little banged up," so he will sit.

"We've rolled four lines for most games here, at least early, so he's gotta make the most of his opportunity," DeBoer said of Josefson.

The Jets, who blew a two-goal lead and lost 5-3 in Philadelphia on Saturday, will have forwards Antti Miettinen and Anthony Peluso in the lineup. Miettinen will be making his season debut while Peluso will be playing in just his second game of the season.

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Posted On Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 3:06 PM

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

Kiprusoff back on the ice for Flames

CALGARY – Having already missed nine games as a result of a sprain to his medial collateral ligament, Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff is back on the ice.

The 36-year-old skated on his own Sunday after being evaluated by the Flames' medical staff on Saturday. It was the first time Kiprusoff skated since having the injury re-diagnosed as a Grade 2 sprain on February 12th.

"The medical staff last night were pretty pleased with what they saw from Miikka's condition," coach Bob Hartley said. "He will not be skating with the team, though. Tomorrow morning, we're going to re-evaluate how he is, is there pain, is he good and if he's still good, we're going to keep getting him on the ice and eventually you will see him with the team."

Kiprusoff originally suffered the injury against the Detroit Red Wings on February 5th and has played just seven games this season, posting a 3.24 goals against average and .870 save percentage.

He's played more than 70 games in each of the last seven seasons for Calgary.

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Posted On Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 2:59 PM

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

Markstrom to start for Panthers vs. Bruins

SUNRISE, Fla. — A strong effort Friday night in his first appearance

of the season earned Florida Panthers goalie Jacob Markstrom a second

consecutive start Sunday afternoon against the Boston Bruins.

Markstrom, who was called up from San Antonio of the AHL on Wednesday, stopped 37

of 40 shots in Friday's 3-1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The 23-year-old Swede, considered one of the top goalie prospects in

the NHL, appeared in eight games with the Panthers over the last two

seasons. He was 16-15-2 with a 2.65 GAA and a .920 save percentage

with San Antonio this season.

As was the case Friday night, Jose Theodore is serving as Markstrom's

backup against Boston, with Scott Clemmensen a healthy scratch.

Defenseman Filip Kuba and forward Alex Kovalev, celebrating his 40th

birthday, are the other Florida scratches.

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Posted On Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 2:26 PM

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

Cervenka retuns to Flames lineup against Phoenix

CALGARY – Roman Cervenka will return to the lineup after a one-game absence as the Calgary Flames get set to host the Phoenix Coyotes at Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday night.

Cervenka was held out of the lineup in Calgary’s 3-1 win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday in order to rest. The 27-year-old has been playing catch-up with his conditioning after a blood clot forced him to miss action leading up to the start of the season.

“I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt but we’re in the business to win games,” coach Bob Hartley said. “Here’s a young man that is coming in and didn’t play very much because of the blood clot and everything. His conditioning was not great.”

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Posted On Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 1:58 PM

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

With Malkin out, Neal gets chance to play with Crosby

PITTSBURGH -- Poor James Neal. The winger lost his world-class former scoring champion center to injury.

The replacement? A world-class former scoring champion center.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without Evgeni Malkin for Sunday night's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning due to an upper-body injury. As a result, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma bumped Neal, who is tied for the National Hockey League lead in goals, up onto a line with Sidney Crosby.

"James is an elite guy at getting open and finding areas, and that doesn't change who the centerman is," Bylsma said. "He's going to do that and that's what he's going to be able to do playing next to Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin."

Neal will begin Sunday's game on Crosby's right wing, with Chris Kunitz in his customary spot to Crosby's left.

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Posted On Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 1:46 PM

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

Penguins still evaluating Malkin

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins are not ruling out that star center Evgeni Malkin has a concussion, and the organization is following protocol to identify if he indeed does.

Coach Dan Bylsma indicated they are encouraged Malkin's condition since crashing into the boards during Friday night's game is not as dire as previously reported.

"He will be continue to be evaluated by doctors tonight before the game," Bylsma said following the Penguins' morning skate in preparation for the matchup Sunday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. "At this point in time, we have not ruled out a concussion. But I am happy to report that he has not been suffering from headaches or disorientation."

That is in contrast to a report from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Saturday that cited multiple unnamed sources close to Malkin.

Asked to clarify his assertion that Malkin has not experienced headaches or disorientation, Bylsma said: "I mean at any point, yes."

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Posted On Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 1:01 PM

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

Neal on Crosby's line with Malkin out

PITTSBURGH -- The projected lines and defensemen pairings for a game Sunday night between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning at Consol Energy Center:

LIGHTNING

Cory Conacher - Steven Stamkos - Teddy Purcell

Benoit Pouliot - Vincent Lecavalier - Martin St. Louis

Alex Killorn - Nate Thompson - Tom Pyatt

Richard PanikAdam Hall - BJ Crombeen

Sami Salo - Victor Hedman

Eric Brewer - Matt Carle

Marc-Andre Bergeron - Brian Lee

Anders Lindback

Mathieu Garon

Injured: Ryan Malone, Mattias Ohlund, Matt Taormina

Scratches: Keith Aulie, Brendan Mikkelson, Pierre-Cedric Labrie

The Lightning did not have a morning skate Sunday, but they are expected to stick with the same lineup that produced a 5-2 victory at the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday -- with the exception of Lindback being back in goal.

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Posted On Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 12:51 PM

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

Projected lineups for Avlanche, Ducks

Here is the projected lineups for a game Sunday between the Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center:

AVALANCHE

Jamie McGinnMatt Duchene – P.A. Parenteau

Gabriel LandeskogPaul StastnyDavid Jones

Cody McLeodJohn MitchellMilan Hejduk

Aaron PalushajMark OlverChuck Kobasew

Jan HejdaTyson Barrie

Greg ZanonStefan Elliott

Matt Hunwick – Ryan O’Byrne

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Semyon Varlamov

Giguere is expected to start in the second game of a back-to-back sequence. He is 2-1 against the Ducks since he was traded from Anaheim to Toronto on Jan.31, 2010.

Colorado got captain Landeskog back from a head injury Saturday night but lost, 4-1, to the Los Angeles Kings. It is looking for a better game from its top players as McGinn, Duchene and Parenteau were a combined minus-9.

Stastny has only one goal in his past eight games.

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Posted On Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 10:02 AM

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

Report: X-rays on Girardi's foot come back negative

X-rays on Dan Girardi's right foot were negative, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie on Sunday morning, after the New York Rangers defenseman blocked a shot in a game against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

Girardi absorbed a one-timer blast from Canadiens defenseman PK Subban in the final minutes of a 3-0 loss Saturday night at Bell Centre and had to be helped off the ice. Earlier in the game, Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh had to leave after a hit from behind by Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty that resulted in a boarding penalty.

The 28-year-old Girardi leads the Rangers in ice time at 25 minutes per game and was an All-Star in 2012. He is tied for 10th in the NHL in blocked shots with 45, but as played fewer games than everyone ahead of him.

The Rangers have yet to announce the health status of either player and likely won't do so until they practice Monday in Greenburgh, N.Y.

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Posted On Saturday, 02.23.2013 / 2:42 PM

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

Konopka ready for physical affair against Flames

CALGARY – Zenon Konopka heard about Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley challenging his team to be tougher to play against.

Set to play in his first game since Feb. 14, Konopka sees that as a challenge of his own.

“It’s a situation where he needs to spark his team,” Konopka said. “It’s one of those games I’m excited to play and I’m excited for tonight. I wish it was a 7 o’clock start instead of an 8 o’clock start.”

No stranger to the physical side of the game with 52 penalty minutes in 14 games, the 32-year-old is excited at the prospect of some rough play tonight.

“This is old school hockey and this is the hockey I love,” he said. “It should be a lot of fun tonight. I think it’s going to be a great game for the League and the fans as well, to see a lot of physical play.”

Rookie Mikael Granlund is expected to come out of the lineup to make way for Konopka.

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