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At the Rink blog
Posted On Saturday, 02.02.2013 / 2:40 PM

By Neil Acharya -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Maple Leafs, Bruins

The Toronto Maple Leafs have won two staright games, but Saturday they face a Boston Bruins club that won all six contests in the rivalry last season.

Toronto will go with James Reimer in goal, who stopped 20 shots on Thursday to help the Maple Leafs win at home for the first time this season.

Asked if he would use the same lineup from the 3-2 victory against the Washington Capitals 48 hours earlier, Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle simply said, "No."

This could mean that Toronto's recent waiver claim, 6-foot-5, 230-pound left wing Frazer McLaren, might play on the fourth line and if so, he will be counted on to add some toughness to counter the gritty Bruins.

"[The Maple Leafs] know how I play, I'm just a big physical winger [adding] toughness when it's needed," said McLaren, one of the last players off the ice at the morning skate. "I haven't heard for sure if I am going to play tonight but I will come ready and see what the lineup is."

In a less likely scenario, Clarke MacArthur may be ready return to action. He has been out with a lacerated finger but was on the ice Saturday morning.

The Maple Leafs have not beaten the Bruins at home since Dec. 4, 2010.

"We never lose respect for our opponents," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "I think that has served well in the past, because every time you do that, you get surprised and you are not prepared the way you should be. We are certainly a team that right now has an opportunity to finish this four-game stretch this week with a 3 -1 record or if not it's going to be a 2-2 record and for us that's not good enough."

For the Bruins, Daniel Paille did not make the trip north of the border. He remains out after taking a high-stick to the face in a 7-4 loss Thursday to the Buffalo Sabres.

"He is doing better, he got the high stick the other day just underneath the shield and he is progressing," Julien said. "He is a day-to-day situation right now, so we left him behind because our doctors wanted him to be cautious."

Jamie Tardif, a 28-year-old with no NHL experience, has been called up to replace Paille. Tardiff has 30 points in 39 games this season with Boston's American Hockey League affiliate, the Providence Bruins.

Dougie Hamilton, who was the ninth pick in the 2011 NHL Draft for the Bruins with one of the first-round picks acquired from the Maple Leafs in 2009 for Phil Kessel, will play Saturday night in front of friends and family. The 19-year-old from Toronto has shown poise on and off the ice this season and has earned him a full-time roster spot.

"I'm starting to get more adjusted now with the systems and the teammates and stuff like that," Hamilton said. "I think it's a much different game than in junior and [I'm] just trying to get used to that and play my best and have fun."

Here are the projected lineups for the game:

MAPLE LEAFS

James van RiemsdykTyler BozakPhil Kessel

Jay McClementMikhail GrabovskiNikolai Kulemin

Matt FrattinNazem KadriLeo Komarov

Frazer McLarenDavid SteckelColton Orr

Dion Phaneuf – Mike Kostka

Carl GunnarssonJohn-Michael Liles

Mark Fraser - Cody Franson

James Reimer

Ben Scrivens

Injured: Mike Brown, Clarke MacArthur, Joffrey Lupul

BRUINS

Milan LucicDavid KrejciNathan Horton

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronTyler Seguin

Chris BourqueChris KellyRich Peverley

Lane MacDermidGregory Campbell - Jamie Tardif

Zdeno CharaJohnny Boychuk

Dennis SeidenbergDougie Hamilton

Andrew FerenceAdam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Injured: Daniel Paille, Shawn Thornton

Posted On Saturday, 02.02.2013 / 2:11 PM

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

Emery expected to start for Blackhawks; Bolland out?

CALGARY, Alberta – Playing the second of back-to-back games and their third contest in four nights, the Chicago Blackhawks are expected to start Ray Emery against the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.

Emery’s only start this season came in a 6-4 win against the Phoenix Coyotes on Jan. 20.

Chicago could find itself without Dave Bolland, however. Bolland took a slash from Jannik Hansen in the third period of the Blackhawks’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Friday and didn’t return to the game.

The team is expected to give an update on Bolland’s status later Saturday.

Bolland has three goals and four points in eight games this season centering Chicago’s second line with Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane.

With Bolland out, coach Joel Quinneville could shuffle his lines. Here is the lineup he could use when they visit the Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Brandon SaadJonathan ToewsMarian Hossa

Bryan BickellPatrick SharpPatrick Kane

Brandon BolligAndrew ShawViktor Stalberg

Jamal MayersMarcus KrugerMichael Frolik

Duncan KeithBrent Seabrook

Niklas HjalmarssonJohnny Oduya

Sheldon BrookbankNick Leddy

Ray Emery

Corey Crawford

Injured; David Bolland, Daniel Carcillo

Posted On Saturday, 02.02.2013 / 1:57 PM

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

Backups to face off in Tampa Bay

TAMPA, Fla. -- It's likely to be a battle of backup goaltenders when the Tampa Bay Lightning host the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

Rangers coach John Tortorella has tapped Martin Biron to make his first start of the year, while Lightning coach Guy Boucher is expected to let Mathieu Garon start the second half of the team's back-to-back weekend set.

This will be Biron's first start of the season in place of Henrik Lundqvist, who started the team's first seven games.

“We have a philosophy about playing goaltenders and we’ll stick to it,” Tortorella said. “We felt really comfortable how we used our goalies last year and we didn’t stray from that. We’ll do the same this year. We have two good ones.”

The Lightning lead the NHL in goals scored with 37. That total easily exceeds the combined efforts of the Nashville Predators and the Los Angeles Kings, who have scored 12 goals each.

After scoring three power-play goals on Friday night against Winnipeg, the Lightning have now scored 11 times out of 26 extra-man opportunities on home ice, good for a 42.3-percent success rate.

Posted On Saturday, 02.02.2013 / 1:51 PM

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

Hartley to reunite top line vs. Blackhawks

CALGARY, Alberta – In an effort to jump-start an offense that has scored 14 goals in five games this season, Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley has reassembled one of the team’s most dangerous lines from a year ago as they host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

Alex Tanguay, who shares the team lead with three goals and five points, will center captain Jarome Iginla and Michael Cammalleri in an effort to ignite the two wings who are both searching for their first goal this season.

“Sometimes you shuffle the deck a little bit and you create reactions,” Hartley said. “It's all trying to help him and trying to help a couple others, and at the same time it’s to find the right combinations to allow us to win some hockey games.”

The combination meshed well a season ago after Cammalleri was acquired in January.

“We’ve had some success in the past playing together and I enjoy playing with both of them. Cammy is a very competitive guy,” said Iginla, who leads Calgary with 22 shots. “He’s a very smart hockey player. He gets himself into shooting positions and he creates a lot. Playing with him, we’re both going to try to shoot the puck.”

The Flames will also welcome defenseman Derek Smith back to the lineup, who was a healthy scratch against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday. Cory Sarich will sit in his place.

Here is the lineup the Flames will likely use when they host the Blackhawks at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday:

Michael CammalleriAlex TanguayJarome Iginla

Curtis GlencrossMikael BacklundLee Stempniak

Jiri HudlerMatt StajanRoman Cervenka

Blair JonesSteve BeginBlake Comeau

Jay BouwmeesterMark Giordano

Dennis WidemanTJ Brodie

Derek SmithChris Butler

Miikka Kiprusoff

Leland Irving

Injured: Anton Babchuk, Sven Baertschi

Scratched: Tim, Jackman, Cory Sarich

Posted On Saturday, 02.02.2013 / 1:40 PM

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

Whitney's return to Phoenix delayed

Glendale, AZ -- Phoenix Coyote fans anticipating Ray Whitney's return to the desert will be disappointed. Whitney, who has been battling a foot injury for the past week, was placed on injured reserve after Friday’s contest and will miss at least four games.

The Coyotes have called up Reilly Smith from Texas of the American Hockey League to replace Whitney. Smith should slide into Whitney’s spot alongside Cody Eakin and Michael Ryder and will be facing off against Coyotes call-up Andy Miele, a teammate of Smith's at the University of Miami.

The Stars may go with Richard Bachman in goal tonight to change their luck in the finales of back-to-back games. Since last season, the Stars are 1-13-2 in the second half of back-to-backs, including 0-2-0 this year.

Posted On Saturday, 02.02.2013 / 1:27 PM

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

Torres set to return for Coyotes

Glendale, AZ -- For the first time since his hit on Chicago’s Marian Hossa in last year’s playoffs, Raffi Torres will be back on the ice for the Coyotes tonight. Following that hit, Torres was suspended for the first eight games of this season along with 13 playoff games. Now that he's back in the lineup, his energy will be a welcome addition to a Phoenix team that has limped to a 2-4-2 start.

“I'm excited (to play), it's been quite a long time,” Torres said. “I just want to be out there helping the boys out.”

Torres knows that, as a repeat offender when it comes to suspensions, he needs to alter his game. Coach Dave Tippett has spent extended time reviewing film with the wing, who scored 15 goals last season. The goal of these video sessions is to emphasize how Torres can maintain his aggressive edge while curbing the type of hits that cause controversy.

“A bunch (of the video clips) were me running out of position to make a big hit. It's got to be non-existent this year. I can't be running out of position, giving up my man in order to throw a big hit," Torres said. "(Tippett) showed me a bunch of clips where I was thinking puck first and hit second and it worked out, where I got a lot of scoring chances out of it. It's just a matter of me controlling my emotions throughout the game.”

Posted On Saturday, 02.02.2013 / 12:00 PM

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

Habs' Subban to make season debut

The Montreal Canadiens announced via their Twitter account that defenseman P.K. Subban will make his first appearance of the season Saturday afternoon against the Buffalo Sabres. It will be the 23-year-old's first game action since signing a two-year, $5.75-million contract with the team Monday.

The Canadiens' second-round pick in the 2007 NHL Draft led Montreal in ice time last season before holding out for the first nine days of the 2012-13 campaign as his agent, Don Meehan, and the club negotiated a new contract. Subban quarterbacked the team's power play last season and led the defensemen with 36 points, but Montreal has been surprisingly efficient with the man advantage in Subban's absence. They rank sixth in the League with the man advantage, scoring at a 27.3-percent clip.

"It's coach's decision. We'll see what happens tomorrow," Subban said Friday when asked about his eventual season debut. "I feel great. I've felt good for a while now. I've been skating non-stop for the last two weeks. I'm ready to go but at the end of the day it's not my decision."

Posted On Saturday, 02.02.2013 / 11:24 AM

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

Stars place Whitney on IR, recall Smith

Dallas Stars forward Ray Whitney was placed on injured reserve Saturday with a hair-line fracture in his foot and will miss 4-6 weeks, according to Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News.

To take his place on the roster, the Stars recalled Reilly Smith from Texas of the American Hockey League.

Whitney played 20:48 in the Stars' 4-3 shootout win Friday against the Phoenix Coyotes and also took a turn in the shootout. It's believed Whitney has been dealing with this injury since early in the season.

The 40-year-old Whitney leads the team in scoring with six points (two goals, four assists) in eight games.

Smith, 21, is second on the Texas Stars in scoring with 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) in 38 AHL games this season. He has gone scoreless in six games for Dallas this season and is still looking to earn his first career NHL point.

Posted On Friday, 02.01.2013 / 4:54 PM

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

Avalanche place Landeskog on injured reserve

The Colorado Avalanche have placed captain Gabriel Landeskog on injured reserve.

Last season's Calder Trophy winner has been out of the lineup since being injured in a Jan. 26 game against the San Jose Sharks, where he absorbed a heavy hit by defenseman Brad Stuart.

Landeskog, who appeared to take a shoulder to the head, limped toward the dressing room and missed the rest of the first period before returning for the second. He ended up playing 16:23 in that game and spoke to the media afterward.

Posted On Friday, 02.01.2013 / 4:49 PM

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

Keith-Sedin incident latest fuel to rivalry

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The heated rivalry between the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks rarely needs any extra fuel to spark a fire, but there is plenty of it going into their first meeting of the season Friday.

It will be the first time the teams have played each other since March 21, when Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith hit Canucks forward Daniel Sedin with an elbow to the head, earning a five-game suspension. Sedin sustained a concussion and missed almost a month, and in his absence the Canucks lost the first three games of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series to the Los Angeles Kings.

Sedin and Keith both downplayed the incident Friday morning.

"I don't get angry that much," Sedin said, while insisting several times a win was all that mattered Friday. "It was more disappointment, so that's the only feeling I have. From what I heard he is a great guy and I still believe he is a good guy, that's not going to change. I think when the rivalry gets that heated players maybe do things they shouldn't do, and that was probably the case."

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