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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 12:55 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Is Jonathan Drouin closing in on No. 1?

In the initial mock drafts by NHL.com staffers on Monday, defenseman Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks and Nathan MacKinnon of the Halifax Mooseheads were unanimous picks to go first and second at the 2013 NHL Draft in Newark, N.J.

 

Choosing Jones No. 1 and MacKinnon No. 2 wasn't too much of a shock considering that's the same order the players are rated in NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking report. After the first two picks, however, the staffers began going in a few different directions.

Staffers Steven Hoffner and Mike Morreale believe MacKinnon's teammate in Halifax, Jonathan Drouin, will be the third choice. Adam Kimelman thinks the No. 1-ranked skater on Central Scouting's European list, center Aleksander Barkov of Tappara in Finland, will go No. 3.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 12:39 PM

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

Vokoun to start against former team in Florida

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Former Florida Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun, whose family still lives in South Florida, will get the start against his former team Tuesday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins play at BB&T Center.

Vokoun, who spent four seasons with the Panthers (2008-2011), will be making his seventh start of the season. He began his career with the Nashville Predators before moving to Florida in a 2008 trade and has a 4-2-2 career record against the Panthers with a 1.79 goals-against average and .936 save percentage.

Defenseman Mark Eaton, signed by the Penguins on Monday, will not be in the lineup. The 35-year-old veteran of 627 NHL games was signed after playing six games with the team’s American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 12:20 PM

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

No physical activity or timetable yet for Malkin

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Tuesday that star forward Evgeni Malkin is still refraining from physical activity while he recovers from a concussion sustained in Friday night's 3-1 victory against the Florida Panthers.

Bylsma said there was no timetable as to when Malkin could start skating again.

"There's not a specific schedule for that right now in terms of physical activity," Bylsma said. "The protocol and resting with a concussion, he's following that right now."


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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 12:17 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose matchup: Bruins at Islanders

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 12:06 PM

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

Nash back on ice, but unlikely to face Jets

For the first time in nine days, Rick Nash returned to the ice in a regular practice jersey for the New York Rangers' morning skate Tuesday. However, Nash sidestepped questions about when he will be able to return to the lineup and did not specify the nature of his injury.

The Rangers, who also have not disclosed Nash's injury, play the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night. Nash missed the past three games due to the injury and it's unlikely he will play against the Jets, although he wouldn't rule himself out completely.

"I'm feeling good, getting better," Nash told reporters at the team's training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y. "It's a positive day for sure when you get back out and skate with the guys. I don’t know about tonight. Obviously, I'll talk to the trainers. But it was a good day to get a good skate in."

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 11:31 AM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Blackhawks' start even better than realized

If you pay attention to the NHL on a regular basis, you're already well aware of the special season that's brewing in Chicago, but I'm not sure we all realize just how special it is.

After Sunday night's 1-0 win against Columbus, the Blackhawks are now 15-0-3, which is the longest any team has ever gone without a regulation loss to start the season. When you do something that's never been done before in a league that's 96 years old, that's pretty impressive.

Not only has it never happened, but they did it basically without any training camp as a result of the lockout. You also need to remember that, yes, the Blackhawks have been pretty healthy for the most part, but they've also beaten Vancouver a couple of times, they've beaten San Jose a couple of times, they've beaten St. Louis. They've really beaten everybody. This isn't just a case of them beating up on the weakest horses in the field every night.

To play 18 games and not really have a bad game except for, possibly, Sunday night, while using two goaltenders and not have a game where you let up or get tired, it's amazing.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 10:43 AM

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

Weiss to miss Tuesday's game for personal reasons

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Florida Panthers center Stephen Weiss will miss Tuesday night's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins to attend his grandmother's funeral.

The Panthers on Tuesday recalled center Scott Timmins from San Antonio of the American Hockey League.

Timmins centered a line with Shawn Matthias and Tomas Kopecky at the Panthers' morning skate.

Timmins, a sixth-round pick of the Panthers in the 2009 NHL Draft, had 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in 47 games with San Antonio this season. He has played in 19 NHL games, all with Florida (2010-11), scoring one goal.


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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 9:30 AM

By Sean Monahan -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Sean Monahan Draft blog

Monahan continues to lead by example in Ottawa

Sean Monahan is a center for the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-foot-2, 186-pound forward was a second-team OHL all-star last season after scoring 33 goals in 62 games, and he added 15 points in 18 playoff games. In 50 games this season, Monahan leads his team in goals (26), assists (43), points (69) and power-play goals (12). Ranked No. 4 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm report, Monahan has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

Hi, everyone!

It's obviously been a different kind of year for the team this season. The fact we're not winning [Ottawa is 15-41-4] is no fun at all, but I believe we have a strong leadership group which keeps a positive environment. I think I'm having the season I wanted to have with a few bumps in the road, but I just want to continue to be the best example I can be for my teammates the remainder of the season.

It's frustrating not to win and I sometimes lose sleep over games, but at the end of the day, you have to look past that and be excited that you're still playing the game. Come game time, there are no excuses. It's anyone's game any night, so there is always something to compete for.

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Posted On Monday, 02.25.2013 / 10:33 PM

NHL.com - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

EDM @ CHI - 2:24 of the Third Period

At 2:24 of the third period in the Oilers/Blackhawks game, video review determined that Chicago forward Viktor Stalberg's shot completely crossed the goal line. Good Goal Chicago.

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Posted On Monday, 02.25.2013 / 7:29 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Despite streak, Blackhawks know they can improve

CHICAGO – They haven't lost a single game in regulation through the first 18 games, their goal differential is an astounding plus-23 prior to playing the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night at United Center, and still the Chicago Blackhawks insist they can take it up a notch.

"We should think we're not anywhere near as good as we can be – and have to be – [in order] to be effective," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said following a tough 1-0 home win on Sunday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. "There's not a lot of negative things [to criticize], but there were some things [against Columbus] … we want to look to improve our team situation, game in and game out. Let's want to get better."

The win against Columbus upped Chicago's current National Hockey League record string of games to start a season with at least a point to 18 straight, but the Blackhawks sound tired of talking about it.

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Quote of the Day

It's such a privilege to be one of these 80 great players to do this milestone, and it doesn't get better than this doing it where I started. It means a lot to me. A big thanks goes to all the players tonight who helped me to achieve that and also all the players through my career.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa after scoring his 1,000th career point on Thursday night in Ottawa
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