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Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 7:11 PM

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

Flyers' Hartnell out 4-8 weeks with broken foot

PHILADELPHIA -- Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said Thursday that forward Scott Hartnell could miss from four to eight weeks with a broken first metatarsal in his left foot.

Hartnell sustained the injury during the third period of Tuesday's game against the New Jersey Devils when he was hit in the foot by a shot by teammate Kimmo Timonen.

"Right now we're trying to decide, talking to the doctor, what the best way to proceed is as far as how to approach this," Holmgren said before the Flyers' game against the New York Rangers. "I can't give you a time frame. It's probably going to be between four to eight weeks. … Obviously it's a significant injury."

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Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 7:10 PM

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

CISCO NHL Live -Kay White Board

E.J. Hradek breaks down Mikael Backlund's goal on Wednesday in this weeks Kay White Board segment.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 7:07 PM

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

CISCO NHL Live - EJ5

In Thursday's EJ5 he looks at some important events that happen on January 24th and one that is on the horizon.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 6:38 PM

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

Rangers scratch Kreider vs. Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- New York Rangers rookie forward Chris Kreider, who played just 7:21 in Wednesday's 4-3 win against the Boston Bruins, will sit out Thursday's game here against the Flyers.

The 21-year-old, who stepped into the lineup and excelled in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring, has just one shot and a minus-2 rating in three games this season.

"He's just a kid," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "He's not even gone through an NHL training camp. He has not played a lot, and the regular season is a whole different ballgame as far as the grind of it and what you have to do. … This is a different situation. He understands."

Kreider, one of the few players at the rink for Thursday's optional morning practice, said he's going along with the plan.

"I trust the organization and I trust all the decisions they make and ultimately they'll make the right decision and have my best interests in mind," he told The (Bergen) Record.

Tortorella said Kreider has been spending extra time watching video with him and assistant coach Mike Sullivan, and that process will continue. However, he also believes watching the game from the press box can be a good thing for Kreider.

"We have him focus on people," Tortorella said. "I know last year when he was out we had him look at [Carl] Hagelin because they're similar with their speed. I think it'll help him. He's a good kid. But it's a situation where I have to make a decision on what gives us the best chance each and every night. There's been some struggles there, especially away from the puck. That's how young players, especially with this coach, are able to get on the ice, to understand that part of the game. We'll work with him and see where he goes with it."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 5:26 PM

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

With Smith, Klesla injured, Coyotes call up Johnson, Rundblad

The Phoenix Coyotes have recalled goaltender Chad Johnson and defenseman David Rundblad from Portland of the American Hockey League.

Johnson was an emergency recall. Goaltender Mike Smith left Phoenix's game Wednesday night with what the team called a lower-body injury, and Jason Labarbera finished the Coyotes' 5-1 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"Basically we caught it very early," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett told Fox Sports Arizona's Todd Walsh. "Hopefully it's nothing that lingers on too long."

Johnson has six games of NHL experience with the New York Rangers, and is 14-8-0 with a 2.80 goals against average and .912 save percentage this season for Portland in the AHL.

Rundblad has appeared in one of Phoenix's three games this season. A first-round pick in 2009, Rundblad was the return for Kyle Turris in a trade with Ottawa during last season.

He is back with the team because Rostislav Klesla is out with a lower-body injury.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 4:28 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Sharks understand importance of focus at home

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The San Jose Sharks played spoilers on their two-game road trip, ruining home openers for the Calgary Flames then Edmonton Oilers.

Consider those games as two red-flag warnings as the Sharks approach their home opener tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes at HP Pavilion. As the Sharks learned first-hand, the emotions and distractions surrounding home openers can make it tough on the home teams.

"I don't think the home teams have done well," Sharks captain Joe Thornton said after his team's morning skate at HP. "We have to be aware of that. Once the ceremonies are over, we have to be focused."

Thornton said he expects the scene at HP tonight to be "pretty crazy" and that the key for the Sharks will be to keep their emotions in check.

San Jose coach Todd McLellan said the fact he has a mature group of players, most of whom have been through plenty of home openers, should help the Sharks cope with an emotional night.

"I'd like to think we'll be prepared," McLellan said.

After last season, the Sharks certainly won't look past Phoenix. The Coyotes won the season series 4-1-1 and captured the Pacific Division crown, ending San Jose's four-year reign.

Phoenix goalie Mike Smith had three shutouts against San Jose last season, but it's likely the Sharks won't have to face him tonight. Smith has a lower-body injury that forced him to leave the Coyotes' 5-1 victory Wednesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets midway through the first period. Backup Jason LaBarbera took over against Columbus and will likely start tonight.

McClellan said Smith's "puck handling skills are so good" it's like facing "three defensemen instead of two." If LaBarbera starts, the Sharks won't have to be as concerned about "puck placement," McClellan added.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 4:25 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Sharks, Coyotes

Here are how the lineups could look tonight when the San Jose Sharks face the Phoenix Coyotes:

SHARKS

Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski

Martin Havlat - Logan Couture - Ryane Clowe

Tommy Wingels - Michal Handzus - TJ Galiardi

James Sheppard - Andrew Desjardins - Adam Burish

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Brad Stuart

Matthew Irwin - Dan Boyle

Douglas Murray - Justin Braun

Antti Niemi

Thomas Greiss

Scott Gomez, who signed a one-year free agent contract Wednesday with the Sharks, won't suit up tonight. Coach Todd McClellan said he wants Gomez to have at least one more practice with his new team before he plays and that there's a chance he could make his debut Saturday against Colorado.

"I'm not here to ruffle feathers," Gomez said. "I'm part of this group now. When you get put in, you get put in."

Fourth-line forward Frazer McLaren was in the lineup for the season-opener against Calgary, but Sheppard took his spot against Edmonton. McLellan said he had yet to decide which one will play tonight.

COYOTES

Steve Sullivan - Antoine Vermette - Shane Doan

Mikkel Boedker - Matthew Lombardi - Radim Vrbata

Lauri Korpikoski - Boyd Gordon - David Moss

Paul Bissonnette - Alexandre Bolduc - Kyle Chipchura

Zbynek Michalek - Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris

Michael Stone - David Schlemko

Jason LaBarbera

Chad Johnson

After playing Wednesday night, Phoenix didn't have a morning skate in San Jose, although defenseman Rostislav Klesla and forward Martin Hanzal were on the ice. Both missed Wednesday's game with lower body injuries and are day-to-day. After Wednesday's game, Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said the team would bring up Johnson from Portland of the AHL as an emergency call-up with Mike Smith nursing a lower-body injury.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 3:52 PM

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

Report: Canucks stick with Schneider against Ducks

The Vancouver Canucks will give Cory Schneider his second consecutive start in goal and third in four games when they play at the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night, according to a report.

Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun tweeted Thursday that Canucks coach Alain Vigneault confirmed the start for Schneider, who picked up the team's first win of the season Wednesday, a 3-2 shootout victory over the Calgary Flames.

Schneider stopped 34 shots during regulation and overtime, then turned aside four of the Flames' five attempts in the shootout.

"It's fun having the game on the line and you gotta make a save," Schneider said afterward. "That's an opportunity I relish."

It was a much-needed rebound effort after he was pulled from his opening-night start after giving up five goals on 14 shots. Roberto Luongo relieved and started the Canucks' following game against the Edmonton Oilers, creating waves that Schneider's new role as the No. 1 goalie could be short-lived.

"He responded the way I expected he would respond -- by playing well," Vigneault said.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 3:14 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Blue Jackets, Avalanche

DENVER -- Here are Thursday night's projected lineups for the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center:

BLUE JACKETS

Brandon DubinskyArtem AnisimovCam Atkinson

Nick FolignoRyan JohansenVinny Prospal

RJ UmbergerDerick BrassardDerek Dorsett

Matt CalvertMark LetestuJared Boll

Jack JohnsonJames Wisniewski

Fedor TyutinNikita Nikitin

John MooreAdrian Aucoin

Sergei Bobrovsky

Steve Mason

Scratched: Colton Gillies, David Savard

No injuries

AVALANCHE

Gabriel Landeskog - Matt Duchene - PA Parenteau

Jamie McGinn - Paul Stastny - David Jones

Chuck Kobasew/Cody McLeod - John Mitchell - Milan Hejduk

Kobasew/Cody McLeodMark Olver - Patrick Bordeleau

Ryan O'Byrne - Jan Hejda

Ryan Wilson - Erik Johnson

Greg ZanonMatt Hunwick

Semyon Varlamov

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Scratches: Tyson Barrie, Brad Malone, Shane O'Brien

Injuries: Steve Downie (knee)

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Posted On Thursday, 01.24.2013 / 2:57 PM

By Ben Raby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Ovechkin stays at right wing ... for now

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals will have a different look tonight against the Montreal Canadiens, as Wojtek Wolski joins Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin on the top line.

Wolski is expected to play on his natural side at left wing, meaning Ovechkin will continue to play on the right side. Ovechkin has played left wing throughout his NHL career, but coach Adam Oates moved Ovechkin to the right side in training camp and he's played there in the first two games of the season.

"I think when you play all the time on the left side, and you try right away on the right side, you just have to realize it and give it some time," said Ovechkin, who has been held to one assist through two games.

"If I score one goal or two goals, like, I'm going to feel much more comfortable and it's going to take pressure off of my shoulders."

Oates explained in training camp that the decision to move Ovechkin to the right side -- not unlike what the New Jersey Devils did last year with Ilya Kovalchuk -- was in an effort to expand his game and limit his increasingly predictable tendencies from the left side.

"We're going to use him every way we can," Oates said before the start of the season. "He's a force in this League, he's very important to us and I want to make sure that he knows that I'm going to do my best to let him be successful."

For years, Ovechkin made a living by gaining an opponent's blue line, cutting to the middle and wiring a shot from atop the left faceoff circle (often while using a defenseman as a screen).

In recent seasons though, opponents caught on and adjusted and defended Ovechkin accordingly.

"It's a different view now," Canadiens defenseman Josh Georges said of Ovechkin's new position. "He's coming down now from his strong side. When he plays on the left side he does a good job of getting to the middle of the ice and getting that shot… He can kind of shoot it from any position and it's something that we have to be aware of. But now that he's coming down on the other side, he's a fast skater, a strong guy and we have to make sure that we're in his face no matter what.

"We'll take it in stride. Good players find open ice; they find the room no matter what side of the ice they're on. So we're going to have to rely on a five-man unit to play against him and his line."

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Quote of the Day

A piece of scar tissue breaks off, pinches the nerve, and every time you move your leg it's almost like having a root canal in your stomach and groin.

— Detroit Red Wings center Stephen Weiss on his sports hernia surgery