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At the Rink blog
Posted On Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 2:17 PM

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

Erat 'good to go' as Predators end lengthy road trip

ST. LOUIS -- Coaches Barry Trotz of the Nashville Predators and Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues were not 100 percent forthcoming with what lineups they will use Tuesday night at Scottrade Center in the third matchup of the season of the two squads.

The Predators, on the last leg of a seven-game trip, will get Martin Erat back in the lineup. Erat missed Saturday's 2-1 shootout win at the San Jose Sharks with a foot injury, suffered at practice Friday.

"I'm good to go," said Erat, who has four points in seven games. "It was too swollen to play [Saturday], but right now it feels good. I've got no worries about it."

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 1:50 PM

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

Jets limp home to face Panthers, with PK a focus

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Normally a midwinter trip that includes a stop in Florida is a welcome time for the Winnipeg Jets, but last week's three-game road trip left them limping home.

The Jets (3-4-1) dropped all three games, including a defeat last Thursday to the Florida Panthers, who visit MTS Centre for a Tuesday evening date. The penalty kill, a source of many of Winnipeg's defensive problems last season, has again become a major issue for coach Claude Noel and his club. Winnipeg has surrendered goals on eight of its past 16 shorthanded situations, and the Jets rank last in the League on the penalty kill.

Noel said defenseman Dustin Byfuglien will miss his third consecutive game with an undisclosed injury, but that a return for Thursday's game versus the Toronto Maple Leafs is a possibility. Winnipeg is also without Zach Bogosian, whose return remains slated for mid-February. Alexander Burmistrov centers Winnipeg's second line.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 1:47 PM

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

Neuvirth back in net for Capitals vs. Maple Leafs

Here is the projected lineup for the Washington Capitals when they play host to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Verizon Center on Tuesday night:

Wojtek Wolski - Mike Ribeiro - Alex Ovechkin

Jason Chimera - Nicklas Backstrom - Troy Brouwer

Marcus Johansson - Joey Crabb - Joel Ward

Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Eric Fehr

Karl Alzner - Mike Green

Tom Poti - John Carlson

Jeff Schultz - Tomas Kundratek

Michal Neuvirth

Braden Holtby

Scratches: Roman Hamrlik, Mathieu Perreault

Suspended: John Erskine

Injured: Brooks Laich, Jack Hillen

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 1:41 PM

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

Foster feels season in Tampa Bay extended career

PHILADELPHIA -- When Kurtis Foster signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the summer of 2009, he admits he wasn't sure where he was going in his hockey career.

It was his first season back after a horrendous leg injury, and he wasn't sure he could become the player he was developing into during three previous solid seasons with the Minnesota Wild.

He only spent one season with the Lightning, but Foster believes his time in Tampa Bay -- and especially his time around Lightning veteran forward Martin St. Louis -- was essential to him remaining in the NHL.

"The thing I learned about the most from Marty was his drive for the game," Foster said. "He's 37, 38 years old and he loves being at the rink every day. He's one of the hardest-working guys in practice every day. I think he knows to stay in this League when he was younger he had to do that being a smaller guy. Now that he's created the aura of himself in the League, you think he'd take a day off and he really doesn't."

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 1:22 PM

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

Familiar face back in Philly as Carle faces Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- You can forgive Matt Carle for feeling a bit out of sorts Tuesday morning when he arrived at Wells Fargo Center.

It's been nearly five years since the Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman had to use the visiting facilities here.

This will be Carle's first game back after signing with the Lightning as a free agent over the summer. In four seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, he had 137 points in 308 games, including a career-best 39 assists in 2010-11. He also had 26 points in 51 Stanley Cup Playoff games, and joined with Chris Pronger to form the Flyers' top defense pairing when they went to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final.

"It's obviously a familiar place," Carle told NHL.com. "It is weird walking by the [home] locker room. I think I've played maybe one or two games here as a visitor. I had to do a quick tour of the visiting locker room because I really didn't remember what it looked like. It'll be weird going on the ice. I played here four years, and it was a good four years. Lot of memories out there."

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 1:14 PM

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

Lindback expected in net for Lightning vs. Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- Here is the lineup the Tampa Bay Lightning likely will use when they start their four-game road trip Tuesday here against the Philadelphia Flyers:

Ryan Malone - Steven Stamkos - Martin St. Louis

Cory Conacher - Vincent Lecavalier - Teddy Purcell

Nate Thompson - Adam Hall - BJ Crombeen

Benoit Pouliot - Tom Pyatt - Pierre-Cedric Labrie

Victor Hedman - Sami Salo

Matt Carle - Eric Brewer

Keith Aulie - Brian Lee

Anders Lindback

Mathieu Garon

Scratched: Dana Tyrell, Marc-Andre Bergeron

Injured: Brendan Mikkelson

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 1:14 PM

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

Rangers' Miller 'excited, anxious' to make NHL debut

NEWARK, N.J. -- J.T. Miller was talking fast.

Maybe that's how he normally is, or maybe he was just amped up and moving at a faster pace, knowing that in just a matter of hours he would be making his NHL debut.

The New York Rangers recalled Miller and Brandon Mashinter from the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. Miller, the Rangers' first-round pick in 2011, will likely play center on the fourth line Tuesday at Prudential Center against the New Jersey Devils.

Mashinter will be sent back down to the Whale, Rangers assistant coach/general manager Jim Schoenfeld told NHL.com.

"I'm just excited right now, anxious, just ready to play obviously," said Miller, who expects to have at least 10 friends and family members at the game Tuesday. "I've been looking forward to it since I was a little kid. I just want to go out there and try to get into the game as soon as possible. I think that will help me the most."

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 1:12 PM

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

Nabokov will start for Islanders vs. Penguins

Evgeni Nabokov was the first goaltender off the ice for New York Islanders on Tuesday and will start against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"We're riding the hot hand for a bit," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "If you look at his past in San Jose, you see he's used to playing a lot of games."

This will be Nabokov's eighth start of the season. He has allowed seven goals in his past three games.

The Penguins held an optional skate this morning. Chris Kunitz took part after being under the weather of late and missing practices, not games, as a result. He had four goals in the Penguins' 6-3 victory against the Washington Capitals on Sunday.

Marc-Andre Fleury will likely get the start in net for Pittsburgh.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 1:11 PM

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

Powe gives Rangers flexibility, PK presence

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New York Rangers acquired forward Darroll Powe on Monday because coach John Tortorella was concerned with the inconsistent play from the middle of the lineup.

One thing Powe has displayed in his 294 career NHL games is consistency.

He can score some goals (28 in his career), but he's more of a third-line grinder, shot-blocker and penalty-killer who can play all three forward positions -- traits Tortorella is hoping translate well to the Rangers to give the team more versatility in their bottom six.

"With Powe it's a guy that can kill penalties, has played in the League, does a lot of little things on the boards, certainly adds to our depth in a lot of different situations where I can move people around," Tortorella said Tuesday morning from Prudential Center, where the Rangers will face the New Jersey Devils for the first time this season at 7 p.m. ET. "So, we're happy to get him."

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 1:10 PM

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

Calvert back for Blue Jackets

Matt Calvert, who suffered an upper-body injury in a win against the Dallas Stars last week, has skated the past two days in practice and will return to the Columbus Blue Jackets lineup Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings.

Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards confirmed the move after Tuesday's morning skate at Nationwide Arena, and said Jonathan Audy-Marchessault has been reassigned to the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League.

"Matty will play tonight," Richards said after practice. "We actually just assigned Jonathan back to Springfield. It's another healthy body. Jonathan did a good job for us ... it's just another one of those things as far as numbers."

Calvert has zero points in six games.

The Blue Jackets expect Nikita Nikitin to play Thursday against the Calgary Flames, Richards said. Nikitin, who was injured last week in Minnesota, was placed on injured reserve over the weekend (retroactive to Jan. 29) and is eligible to be activated.

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