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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.

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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

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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.

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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.”

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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."

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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.

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Posted On Friday, 02.01.2013 / 8:23 PM

NHL.com - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

OTT @ CAR - 8:43 of the Second Period

At 8:43 of the Second Period in the Senators/Hurricanes game video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Jeff Skinner's shot hit the crossbar but did not cross the goal line. No Goal Carolina.

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Posted On Friday, 02.01.2013 / 7:08 PM

By Matt Sitkoff -  NHL.com Contributor /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

CISCO NHL Live: Todd McLellan

The San Jose Sharks are off to a 7-0 start and Cisco NHL Live talked to the bench boss, Todd McLellan on Friday.

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Posted On Friday, 02.01.2013 / 7:06 PM

By Matt Sitkoff -  NHL.com Contributor /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

CISCO NHL Live: Thomas Vanek

Buffalo Sabres Thomas Vanek already has two five point games this season and joined Cisco NHL Live Friday to talk about his and the teams hot start.

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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.

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Quote of the Day

Great players need great players to play with. That's why we'll have a training camp and we'll find who the best two guys are suited to play with Stamkos.

— Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness on Steven Stamkos' potential linemates for the 2014-15 season