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Posted On Saturday, 04.06.2013 / 1:34 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Laich out for Capitals, Bjugstad in for Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla.Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich will sit out Saturday night against the Florida Panthers, but coach Adam Oates said it was more as a precaution than anything else.

Laich played in Washington’s past nine games after missing the first 28 because of a groin injury, but he did not play in the last 9:26 of regulation or overtime in a 2-1 shootout victory Thursday against the New York Islanders.

“He didn’t really aggravate it,” Oates said after the morning skate Saturday. “He’s just sore all over, just from playing so much since he got back and fighting through it. I think we just need to give him a little rest.

“He probably could play today. But he’s getting a little weaker. He played fine the other night. I shut him down just because he got hit. He wasn’t feeling good all over.”

Oates said Laich’s status was day-to-day.

Martin Erat, acquired from the Nashville Predators before the NHL Trade Deadline Wednesday, will replace Laich on the second line alongside Mike Ribeiro and Troy Brouwer.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.06.2013 / 1:34 PM

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

Sullivan to play for Devils against Maple Leafs

Three days after being acquired by the New Jersey Devils in an NHL Trade Deadline-day deal with the Phoenix Coyotes, veteran forward Steve Sullivan will debut Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Prudential Center.

According to the team's Twitter page, the 38-year-old forward will play right wing on the Devils top line alongside Patrik Elias and another in-season acquisition, Andrei Loktionov.

Sullivan and Elias were linemates for the Devils' minor-league team in Albany 17 years ago.

"I'm excited," Sullivan said Saturday, according to The Record of Hackensack. "Obviously to play with a player with his skill is going to be good. I'm very excited about the opportunity to play with him again."

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Posted On Saturday, 04.06.2013 / 1:26 PM

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

Hedman out for Lightning against Islanders

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman will not play in back-to-back road games this weekend, the Tampa Tribune reports.

Hedman, who has a lower-body injury, will not play Saturday against the New York Islanders nor Sunday against the Washington Capitals.

Defenseman Matt Taormina has been called up from Syracuse of the American Hockey League.

Forward Nate Thompson will return to the Lightning lineup after serving a two-game NHL suspension for a hit delivered against the New Jersey Devils.

Goalie Ben Bishop, who posted a 5-0 shutout of the Carolina Hurricanes in his Tampa Bay debut Thursday, will start. He was acquired in a deadline-day trade from the Ottawa Senators.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.06.2013 / 12:59 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Quick could start again for Kings

Here is the projected Saturday lineup for the Los Angeles Kings, who play host to the Edmonton Oilers at Staples Center:

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Posted On Saturday, 04.06.2013 / 12:58 PM

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

Report: Lupul out for Maple Leafs on Saturday

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul will not play against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported.

Lupul sustained an upper-body injury when hit during a game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.

Coach Randy Carlyle would not call the injury a concussion Friday.

“No that’s a bad word,” Carlyle told the newspaper. “We don’t use that word until we’re 100 percent sure on any of those situations medically. The term concussion, in today’s sporting world, you want to make sure you’re 100 percent sure before you start using that one.”

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Posted On Saturday, 04.06.2013 / 11:38 AM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Niemi making case for goalie MVP

When fantasy owners invest in a goalie, they want nothing more than job security, category coverage and consistency.

Antti Niemi
Goalie - SJS
RECORD: 19-8-5
GAA: 2.09 | SVP: 0.926
San Jose Sharks netminder Antti Niemi has covered each of those bases.

Niemi has put the Sharks on his back during the team's current seven-game win streak, picking up victories in each game with only 10 combined goals allowed over that stretch. The 29-year-old stopped 23 of 24 shots to defeat the Calgary Flames on Friday and earn his 19th win of the season, tying him with Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild for the NHL lead.

But this Finnish-born goalie's success hasn't just been limited to this streak. He's held the opposition to one goal or less in 11 of his 33 games this season and has allowed three goals or fewer 29 times.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.06.2013 / 11:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Prospecting with Central Scouting

Day 2 at NHL Central Scouting final meetings

11:35 a.m. -- So tough to update when you are completely entrenched in the dialogue taking place. Computer voting and hand votes are taking place with regularity right now as the scouts attempt to nail down the top six players in the final ranking. During those votes, a few scouts will make one last effort to push the player in their area.

High drama at its best!

While I cannot reveal the results of those votes, I can provide you with a peak into some of the round-table commentary:

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Posted On Saturday, 04.06.2013 / 9:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Prospecting with Central Scouting

Central Scouting league lists revealed

TORONTO -- It's early Saturday morning and the men of NHL Central Scouting have returned to the board room at the League office in Toronto to continue ranking the top prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft.
 
The scouts will begin the process of ranking all the players after careful discussion and healthy debate Friday that established the six league lists in North America.
 
As promised, here are the top 10 skaters Central Scouting ranked in each league. In order to maintain some level of confidentiality, the players are listed in alphabetical order rather than numeric.
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Posted On Friday, 04.05.2013 / 9:33 PM

NHL.com - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

NYR @ PIT - 15:08 of the Third Period

At 15:08 of the third period in the Rangers/Penguins game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Derick Brassard's shot did not completely cross the goal line. No Goal New York.

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Posted On Friday, 04.05.2013 / 4:41 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Prospecting with Central Scouting

NHL Central Scouting final meetings- Day 1

3:30 pm -- The most robust debate of opening day of the Central Scouting final meetings was the discussion of the prospects in the Ontario Hockey League. The scouts had high praise for several players listed high on the midterm ranking, including Sean Monahan, Darnell Nurse, Bo Horvat, Kerby Rychel, Chris Bigras, Ryan Hartman and Nikita Zadorov.

The scouts have been going at it pretty good today. It's amazing how much each scout can remember on each player, even during their cross-over viewings.

Some comments:

On Monahan: "Never quits; gave it 110 percent and played as well as he could on a bad Ottawa team. Eric Staal-like."

On Nurse: "What a season he had. Can play strong at both ends and plays with a great edge. Is also a great guy off the ice."

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Quote of the Day

I might have blacked out. I was pretty pumped.

— New Jersey Devils rookie goalie Keith Kinkaid on his first NHL win Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning