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At the Rink blog
Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 2:44 PM

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

Maple Leafs have been road terrors this season

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- The road has been a safe port for the Toronto Maple Leafs early in the season.

The Maple Leafs (5-5-0) have used a 4-1-0 start on the road to offset a 1-4-0 at Air Canada Centre. They continue a three-game trip at MTS Centre against the Winnipeg Jets. Toronto is fresh off a 3-2 road win against the Washington Capitals and will finish its journey with a stop at Bell Centre in Montreal on Saturday evening.

"Obviously, you've got to focus on the start," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said of facing a Jets club that has established a solid presence on Winnipeg ice. "Usually when you have success on the road, your first period is an indicator of where your game is at. You always want to establish a good start.

"We're just asking for the contribution to be more than ordinary from everybody. Ordinary is not good enough for us. We have to be better than ordinary."

However, the Toronto lineup remains rather battered. Mike Brown, Carl Gunnarsson and Joffrey Lupul are injured, though Carlyle said Brown’s return could be close. Gunnarsson remained in Toronto, where he is rehabilitating a hip injury.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 2:15 PM

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

Projected lineups for Canucks, Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Here are the projected lineups for tonight's Northwest Division matchup between the Vancouver Canucks and the Minnesota Wild:

CANUCKS

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Zack Kassian

Chris Higgins - Alexandre Burrows - Jannik Hansen

Mason Raymond - Jordan Schroeder - Dale Weise

Aaron Volpatti - Manny Malhotra - Maxim Lapierre

Alexander Edler - Dan Hamhuis

Kevin Bieksa - Jason Garrison

Keith Ballard - Christopher Tanev

Cory Schneider

Roberto Luongo

WILD

Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle

Dany Heatley - Matt Cullen - Pierre-Marc Bouchard

Torrey Mitchell - Kyle Brodziak - Cal Clutterbuck

Mike Rupp - Zenon Konopka - Devin Setoguchi

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin

Tom Gilbert - Clayton Stoner

Marco Scandella - Justin Falk

Niklas Backstrom

Josh Harding

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 2:10 PM

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

Jets look to put together back-to-back victories

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- A 3-2 overtime win Tuesday night for the Winnipeg Jets eased the flow of breakdowns that plagued them on a three-game road trip last week.

Now the Jets (4-4-1) have a Thursday night date with the Toronto Maple Leafs at MTS Centre to try to mitigate further some of the damage from the 0-3-0 sojourn. With a road visit to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday followed by home meetings with the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins, the Jets need to start collecting points.

The Jets will not be receiving any injury relief against Toronto, however. Zach Bogosian nudged closer to an eventual return from offseason wrist surgery and participated in his first morning skate of the season with the Jets. However, Jets coach Claude Noel said afterward that Bogosian remains "a ways away" from making his season debut. Dustin Byfuglien also participated in the Jets' morning skate, but he will miss his fourth consecutive game with an undisclosed injury.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 2:06 PM

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

Islanders lift suspension, add Visnovsky to roster

Lubomir Visnovsky is officially an active member of the New York Islanders.

The team announced via its official Twitter account Thursday that it has lifted the suspension placed on the defenseman after his failure to report to the team.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 2:05 PM

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

Granlund sits, Coyle to top line for Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Losers of two straight games, the Minnesota Wild return home to St. Paul, where they are 4-1 this season, to face the Vancouver Canucks.

For the first time all season, Wild coach Mike Yeo has elected to break up his first line of center Mikko Koivu and wings Zach Parise and Dany Heatley. Koivu and Parise remain and will be joined by rookie right wing Charlie Coyle, who will play in his second career NHL game. It also will be the home debut for a player considered one of the Wild's top prospects since his acquisition from the San Jose Sharks two summers ago.

"It's special to be playing with those guys," Coyle said. "I'd like to thank coach for giving me the opportunity, but obviously, you have to take advantage of it. Whatever role they put me in, I'm going to play to the best of my ability and help this team win."

Also making his Wild debut will be fourth-liner Mike Rupp, who was acquired from the New York Rangers on Monday in a trade for Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri. Rupp will play on a line with center Zenon Konopka and Devin Setoguchi.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 1:45 PM

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

Schneider to start Thursday for Canucks

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Betting on history rather than a hot goaltender, the Vancouver Canucks will roll with Cory Schneider in goal tonight against the Minnesota Wild.

Rather than start red-hot Roberto Luongo, who has won three starts in a row and allowed three goals goals total over that stretch, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault decided to look at career numbers instead of season numbers. The Xcel Energy Center has been a house of horrors for Luongo, who hasn't started a game in Minnesota since Oct. 19, 2010, when he allowed six goals on 18 shots over 40 minutes in a 6-2 loss.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 1:32 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Red Wings, Blues

ST. LOUIS -- These are the probable lineups for the Central Division battle Thursday night between the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues from Scottrade Center.

RED WINGS

Johan Franzen - Henrik Zetterberg - Damien Brunner

Valtteri Filppula - Pavel Datsyuk - Todd Bertuzzi

Daniel Cleary - Justin Abdelkader - Tomas Tatar

Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Jordin Tootoo

Niklas Kronwall - Brian Lashoff

Kyle Quincey - Jonathan Ericsson

Jakub Kindl - Ian White

Petr Mrazek

Jimmy Howard

Scratches: Patrick Eaves, Kent Huskins

Injuries: Jan Mursak (shoulder), Darren Helm (back), Mikael Samuelsson (groin), Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder), Brendan Smith (shoulder), Joey MacDonald (back), Jonas Gustavsson (groin)

Note: Bertuzzi will play in his 1,100th career game tonight.

BLUES

David Perron - David Backes - T.J. Oshie

Andy McDonald - Alex Steen - Chris Stewart

Jaden Schwartz - Patrik Berglund - Vladimir Tarasenko

Vladimir Sobotka - Scott Nichol - Ryan Reaves

Wade Redden - Alex Pietrangelo

Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Kris Russell - Roman Polak

Brian Elliott

Jake Allen

Scratches: Matt D'Agostini, Jamie Langenbrunner, Ian Cole

Injuries: Jaroslav Halak (groin strain)

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 1:12 PM

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

Mrazek to make NHL debut in goal for Red Wings

ST. LOUIS -- Mike Babcock felt like Jimmy Howard couldn't play 48 straight games, so the Detroit Red Wings coach is going to give a young Czech Republic native his first experience in the National Hockey League.

Petr Mrazek will make his NHL debut tonight when the Red Wings face the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center.

Mrazek, 20, was recalled as the Red Wings have a host of injuries, including to goalies Jonas Gustavsson (groin) and Joey MacDonald (back). Plus, Babcock said he feels like Howard needs a break. He's started all nine games for the Red Wings this season and in a compressed schedule could use a breather.

"We didn't think [Howard] could play 48 straight, so we thought we better give him [a night off]," Babcock said. "This whole time we thought we'd be getting another goalie back. We just assumed that Gus would play, maybe MacDonald would play, but that never happened so we felt after the last two games that Howie needed a mental break. ... He needs a day where he doesn't have to think about getting another start."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 12:52 PM

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

Panthers hope Gudbranson picks up where he left off

PHILADELPHIA -- The last time anyone saw Florida Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson, he was capping a solid rookie season with a strong run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

However, as Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said, "That is an extremely distant memory."

Gudbranson will play his first game more than nine months after the Panthers' first-round playoff series against the New Jersey Devils ended when Florida plays the Philadelphia Flyers.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 12:48 PM

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

Projected lineups for Penguins, Capitals

PITTSBURGH -- The projected lines and defensemen pairings for tonight's game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals at Consol Energy Center:

PENGUINS

Chris KunitzSidney CrosbyPascal Dupuis

Zach BoychukEvgeni MalkinJames Neal

Matt CookeBrandon SutterTyler Kennedy

Tanner GlassJoe VitaleCraig Adams

Simon DespresKris Letang

Brooks OrpikPaul Martin

Robert BortuzzoDeryk Engelland

Marc-Andre Fleury

Tomas Vokoun

Injured: Matt Niskanen

Scratched: Eric Tangradi, Dustin Jeffrey, Dylan Reese

Coach Dan Bylsma traditionally has been loathe to make any changes in his lineup during a winning streak, and the Penguins are riding a stretch of four consecutive victories. Reese, a native of suburban Pittsburgh, was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League late Wednesday. During the morning skate, he alternated shifts with Bortuzzo alongside Engelland. Also, Letang left the ice early, but it is not expected he has an ailment that will keep him from playing tonight.

CAPITALS

Wojtek Wolski - Mike Ribeiro - Alex Ovechkin

Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Troy Brouwer

Jason Chimera - Joey Crabb - Joel Ward

Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Eric Fehr

Karl Alzner - Mike Green

Jeff Schultz - John Carlson

Tom Poti - Tomas Kundratek

Michal Neuvirth

Braden Holtby

Scratches: Roman Hamrlik, Mathieu Perreault

Suspended: John Erskine

Injured: Jack Hillen, Brooks Laich, Dimitri Orlov
   
Erskine is serving the final game of a three-game suspension for an elbow on Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds on Friday. Coach Adam Oates was coy about the forward lines, but he did say that the lineup would remain the same.
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