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At the Rink blog
Posted On Saturday, 02.09.2013 / 11:57 AM

By Ben Raby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Holtby starts in net for struggling Capitals

ARLINGTON, Va. – One day after Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee singled out discipline and goaltending as two areas that must improve, Braden Holtby will start for the Capitals tonight against the Florida Panthers.

Holtby’s 4.74 goals-against average is last in the NHL among goalies with at least five appearances.

"Obviously everyone in here knows they can be better," Holtby said of the 2-8-1 Capitals. "But that’s in the past, it’s all in the past now. We have to move forward. Looking at how we’ve played in the past isn’t going to help us at this point. We’ve dwelled on that long enough to dig us into this hole, so right now our focus is on the next game, doing little things that we need to, treat it as just another hockey game and have patience."

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Posted On Saturday, 02.09.2013 / 11:49 AM

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

Devils seeking revenge in weekend series with Pens

NEWARK,N.J. -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma used the word "interesting" to describe the weekend home-and-home his team has with the New Jersey Devils starting Saturday afternoon at Prudential Center.

Only one point separates the Penguins from the Devils in the Atlantic Division standings and New Jersey has a game in hand. These two teams also played each other last weekend with Pittsburgh winning 5-1, so it'll be three games in nine days between the division rivals.

"You don't often have these situations where you see a team back-to-back," Bylsma said Saturday morning. "It's more like a college weekend than pro, but I think it makes for interesting hockey. It's a rivalry game anyway and you're going to play them six straight periods so that will make for an interesting storyline throughout these two games."

Devils coach Peter DeBoer likes the concept of seeing one team so often in such a short span. Even if it is the streaking Penguins, who have won five straight.

"I think it's good in that it's fresh in your mind what worked and what didn't work, and particularly with us what didn't work last game and what we have to correct," DeBoer said. "The job is to execute and make sure we don't make the same mistakes."

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Posted On Saturday, 02.09.2013 / 11:28 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Simmonds return possible for Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers could see forward Wayne Simmonds return to the lineup after missing the past three games with a concussion.

Simmonds skated with the rest of his team at practice Friday and reported feeling no lingering symptoms from the head injury he sustained when the Washington Capitals' John Erskine elbowed him in the face during a game Feb. 1.

"I feel pretty good right now," Simmonds told reporters Friday. "I think it's just up to the coaching staff whether they want to put me in or not."

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Posted On Friday, 02.08.2013 / 2:18 PM

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

Projected lineups for Ducks, Stars

DALLAS -- Here are the projected lineups for the game Friday night between the Anaheim Ducks and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center:

DUCKS

Emerson EtemRyan GetzlafCorey Perry

Kyle PalmieriBobby RyanTeemu Selanne

Andrew CoglianoSaku KoivuDaniel Winnik

Matt BeleskeyNick Bonino - Brad Staubitz

Francois Beauchemin - Sheldon Souray

Luca Sbisa - Toni Lydman

Bryan AllenBen Lovejoy

Jonas Hiller

Viktor Fasth

Scratches: Jordan Hendry, Rickard Rakell, Sami Vatanen

Injuries: Cam Fowler (upper body)

Notes: Anaheim is 3-0-1 on the road. The Ducks went just 1-5-0 in their six games against the Stars last season. Defenseman Sheldon Souray, who spent last season in Dallas, has four goals for Anaheim early on. Fellow defenseman Ben Lovejoy, acquired in a trade with Pittsburgh earlier in the week, figures to make his debut for the Ducks on Friday night in Dallas.

STARS

Brenden MorrowJamie BennJaromir Jagr

Loui ErikssonDerek Roy - Michael Ryder

Reilly SmithCody EakinTomas Vincour

Eric NystromVernon FiddlerAntoine Roussel

Brenden Dillon - Stephane Robidas

Aaron RomeTrevor Daley

Jamie OleksiakAlex Goligoski

Kari Lehtonen

Richard Bachman

Scratches: Ryan Garbutt, Philip Larsen, Tom Wandell.

Injuries: Ray Whitney (foot).

Notes: The Stars head into this Pacific Division tilt on a two-game winning streak, their most recent win coming on Wednesday night in Edmonton (3-2). Center Jamie Benn has five points (3-2-5) in the Stars’ last two games. After Friday, Dallas won’t play at home again until Sunday, Feb. 17 when the Stars play host to the Flames at American Airlines Center.

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Posted On Friday, 02.08.2013 / 1:21 PM

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

Lander latest injured Oilers center

Edmonton Oilers coach Ralph Krueger said center Anton Lander will miss at least a month with a broken foot.

In four games this season Lander had one assist and a minus-1 rating in 9:40 of ice time per game.

A 2009 second-round pick, Lander had six points in 56 games with the Oilers last season while also spending time with the club's American Hockey League team, the Oklahoma City Barons.

Lander is the fourth Oilers center to get hurt recently. Eric Belanger is on injured reserve with broken toes, Shawn Horcoff is on IR with a broken knuckle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins sat out Wednesday's game with an upper-body injury.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 7:20 PM

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

Poti out, Hamrlik in for Capitals vs. Penguins

PITTSBURGH -- Washington Capitals defenseman Tom Poti is not playing in Thursday's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins due to a upper-body injury.

Poti was replaced in the lineup by veteran Roman Hamrlik, who had not played since Jan. 24. The 38-year-old has one assist and is a minus-1 in three games this season.

Poti appeared in five of the Capitals' 10 games this season after not playing in the NHL for more than two years due to a groin injury. He had recorded one assist. A team official characterized Poti's status as day to day.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 7:03 PM

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

Injured Letang out for Penguins vs. Capitals

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is not in the lineup Thursday against the Washington Capitals.

He is out with a lower-body injury.

Letang, who is tied for second among NHL defensemen in scoring with nine points, is averaging 25:07 of ice time for the first-place Penguins. He had an assist during 25:19 in Tuesday's 4-2 victory at the New York Islanders and did not visibly appear to be physically hindered.

After he prematurely left the morning skate, Letang was not available to the media. Coach Dan Bylsma, as is his policy, did not comment.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 6:46 PM

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

Callahan returns to Rangers lineup vs. Islanders

NEW YORK -- Ryan Callahan is back in the lineup for the New York Rangers on Thursday night against the New York Islanders after missing three games with a left shoulder injury.

The Rangers captain suffered the injury during a tussle with Philadelphia Flyers forward Max Talbot on Jan. 29. Doctors told Callahan the following day he would miss 10-14 days with the injury, but he is making his return nine days after the prognosis.

During Thursday’s pregame warmups before facing the Islanders at Madison Square Garden, Callahan skated on the Rangers’ third line with rookies Chris Kreider and J.T. Miller.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 2:48 PM

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

Torres faces Blackhawks for first time since hit

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks have already played this season, but this is the first time that Raffi Torres and Marian Hossa have shared the ice since Torres ended their seasons with an illegal hit to Hossa's head in Game 3 of their Stanley Cup Playoff series last spring.

Hossa spent months recovering from the hit, while Torres was suspended for 25 games -- later reduced to 21 -- for the transgression. This is Torres' third game back after the suspension and he has vowed to change his reckless ways on the ice after being suspended or fined six times in his career.

"We have to protect the top players in the League, and if it's going to take me kind of thinking out there instead of running around with my head cut off, then that's what it’s going to take," said Torres, who called Hossa to apologize for the hit. "At the end of the day, I need to keep playing. This is what I do, and if I want to keep playing I'm going to have to change my way."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 2:47 PM

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

Pittsburgh native Reese excited for Pens' opportunity

PITTSBURGH -- Dylan Reese was born in Pittsburgh approximately two months after the Pittsburgh Penguins drafted Mario Lemieux and a little more than two months before Le Magnifique made his NHL debut.

Reese said it's no coincidence he became a professional hockey player.

"I grew up here watching the Pens, and I'm a product of the early Stanley Cups in '91 and '92," the newest Penguins defenseman said Thursday. "It's really a dream come true to be up here playing -- and hopefully playing in the new building here with the Penguins, so I'm excited."

Reese was recalled from Pittsburgh's American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Wednesday night and joined the Penguins for their morning skate the following day in advance of their game against the Washington Capitals.

There is no guarantee he will be in the lineup Thursday -- coach Dan Bylsma traditionally has been loath to shake up a winning formula, and the Penguins have won four straight -- but Reese is hoping he'll have his chance to make an impression soon.

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Quote of the Day

I'm hoping Bob [Murray] didn't go out and get Dany Heatley just to get someone. I'm sure he's excited and motivated.

— Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on general manager Bob Murray's decision to sign Dany Heatley