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Posted On Sunday, 02.17.2013 / 4:00 PM

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

Luongo to start for Canucks

Vancouver, British Columbia -- The Vancouver Canucks will make just one lineup change two days after having a six-game win streak snapped, with Roberto Luongo back in goal after Cory Schneider struggled in Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars.

That change will only increase the glare of an already bright spotlight on the Canucks' rotating goalie situation. But Luongo is the first person to credit the team in front of him for his NHL-leading 1.45 goals-against average.

Going into Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Blues, Vancouver leads the NHL with just 14 goals allowed while playing five-on-five. Four of those came Friday night, when they blew a 3-1 lead mid-way through the game. The Stars scored three unanswered goals to win that game, including two Schneider would likely want back. Despite the musical chairs in the Vancouver crease, Luongo insists this is as sound the Canucks have played defensively in his six-plus seasons here.

“It’s not just us goalies and the D, it's the forwards too. Coming back, putting pressure on guys, making sure they don’t have the time and space to make plays,” Luongo said. “It all starts with back pressure – we’ve barely given up any odd-man rushes. If you eliminate that from the game we already have a big jumpstart on other teams.”

Vancouver allowed just six goals during their six-game win streak, which coincided with Alain Vigneault's decision to break up his top defensive pairing of Jason Garrison and Alexander Edler, who is playing his first full season as a left shot on the right side. The Vancouver defense has been mostly airtight since the change.

“It’s an extremely tight team and we have close support, especially in our end and that’s been good to get out of our end," Garrison said. "You have quick, easy passes and everyone moves as a five-man unit.”

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Posted On Sunday, 02.17.2013 / 3:50 PM

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

Toews talks third NHL fight

CHICAGO – Jonathan Toews has only had three fights in his young career, but the last one left its mark on his right eye.

Toews, a highly-skilled center and captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, scrapped with San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton in the first period of a 4-1 Chicago win at United Center on Friday. He wound up taking a few shots from the much-taller Thornton, but felt like he proved his point regardless.

"I think there’s times where you have to assert yourself and stand up for yourself and I think that’s all it was," Toews said. "You’re not going to see me do that very often and I haven’t in my career. But it is part of the game, and maybe [I did it] for that reason … that you want to buy your time and space and respect out on the ice. I guess that’s something you kind of have to do to prove you deserve it, I guess."

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Posted On Sunday, 02.17.2013 / 3:41 PM

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

Blues' Halak ready, but Allen remains in net

VANCOUVER -- Goalie Jaroslav Halak is ready to return to the St. Louis Blues’ net.

Jake Allen’s strong play means the Blues don’t have to rush him back into a game.

After winning his first two NHL starts, Allen will be in goal for a third-straight game Sunday night against the Vancouver Canucks. Halak, though, told NHL.com after the morning skate he will back up for the first time since hurting his groin in a Feb. 1 game against the Detroit Red Wings. Halak was set to start Feb. 11 against the Los Angeles Kings, but tweaked the groin in the pre-game warm ups.

"I’m going to back up tonight," Halak said.

Allen earned the chance to build off his first two NHL wins while Brian Elliott, who will watch from the press box, tries to find his game with video and on-ice work with goaltending coach Corey Hirsch.

"We know we’ve got to get Jaro and Brian going," said coach Ken Hitchcock of Allen’s strong play. "This just bought us some time."

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Posted On Sunday, 02.17.2013 / 2:33 PM

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

Blackhawks turn to Emery with Crawford out

CHICAGO – Corey Crawford is "fine," according to Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, who met with reporters prior to the game Sunday against the Los Angeles Kings at United Center.

Still, Crawford (day-to-day, upper body) will not play against the Kings. He also won’t be Ray Emery’s backup for the game (3:30 p.m., NBC). Henrik Karlsson will dress as the Blackhawks backup instead, as

Emery looks to keep an impressive streak going.

Since joining the Blackhawks last season, Emery has a 10-0-3 record at the Madhouse on Madison Street, including a 1-0-0 mark this year – after picking up the win in a 4-1 victory against the San Jose Sharks here on Friday.

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Posted On Sunday, 02.17.2013 / 12:58 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Stars looking forward to home cooking

DALLAS -- After playing on the road 10 times in their first 15 games, the Dallas Stars (8-6-1, 17 points) are now looking forward to the start of a three-game homestand on Sunday afternoon against the Calgary Flames (4-5-3, 11 points) at American Airlines Center. The contest Sunday also marks the start of a stretch where Dallas will play nine of their next 13 games on home ice.

"We're kind of looking at this as a road game, as a quick turnaround. We're traveling, we're back home and we play early," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We have a day off tomorrow but that's tomorrow so today we've got a good work day ahead of us."

Dallas is 3-1-1 at home this season but heads into Sunday just two days removed from a 4-3 comeback win at Vancouver, a solid ending to a three-game swing through Western Canada that saw the Stars take two out of three.

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Posted On Sunday, 02.17.2013 / 12:00 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Flames, Stars

DALLAS - Here are the projected lineups for a Sunday afternoon game between the Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center:

FLAMES

Curtis GlencrossBlake ComeauJarome Iginla

Roman CervenkaAlex TanguayJiri Hudler

Michael CammalleriMatt StajanLee Stempniak

Tim JackmanSteve BeginRoman Horak

Mark GiordanoJay Bouwmeester

T.J. Brodie – Dennis Wideman

Chris ButlerAnton Babchuk

Joey McDonald

Danny Taylor

Scratches: Blair Jones, Cory Sarich, Derek Smith.

Injuries: Mikael Backlund (knee), Sven Baertschi (hip flexor), Paul Byron (hand), Miikka Kiprusoff (knee).

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Posted On Sunday, 02.17.2013 / 11:57 AM

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

Capitals projected lines against Rangers

NEW YORK - The Capitals enter Sunday's game on a three-game winningstreak. This will be the first meeting between the Caps and Rangers since their Eastern Conference Semifinal series last year, which the Rangers won in seven games.

That marked the end of coach Dale Hunter's tenure and set the stage for the hiring of Adam Oates during the offseason. How does Alex Ovechkin think the change in coaching philosophies from Hunter's defense-first mentality to Oates' more-aggressive style will affect a meeting with the Rangers?

"I'm probably going to get more ice time," said Ovechkin, who played fewer than 15 minutes three times in that series.

The Rangers did not have a skate Sunday, so the status ofRick Nash remains in doubt. Coach John Tortorella will address the media at 4:45 p.m.

Here's what Oates will likely throw at the Rangers in terms of line combinations and d-pairs, with Braden Holtby getting the start in net.

Wojtek WolskiNicklas BackstromTroy Brouwer

Jason ChimeraMike RibeiroAlex Ovechkin

Eric Fehr- Mathieu PerreaultJoel Ward

Matt HendricksJay BeagleJoey Crabb

John ErskineJohn Carlson

Karl AlznerTom Poti

Tomas KundratekJeff Schultz

Braden Holtby

Michal Neuvirth

Scratches: Mike Green (lower-body), Roman Hamrlik, Marcus Johansson (upper-body).

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Posted On Sunday, 02.17.2013 / 11:39 AM

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

Caps' Green will not play against Rangers Sunday

NEW YORKWashington Capitals defenseman Mike Green will not play against the New York Rangers on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.

Green left practice early Saturday with a lower-body injury and did not partake in Sunday's optional morning skate. Capitals coach Adam Oates said he doesn't expect Green to miss more than one game and Tom Poti will slot into his spot in the lineup.

"I think he's our best D but will see how it goes," Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said. "It's going to hurt us, but we're going to have to different guys on the PP and different guys are going to have more ice time."

Green leads the Capitals in time on ice at 26:33 per game, which is sixth in the NHL, and 4:43 per game of power-play time. He also leads the team's defensemen in scoring with 2 goals and 7 points in 11 games.

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Posted On Saturday, 02.16.2013 / 9:18 PM

NHL.com - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

OTT @ TOR - 8:32 of the Third Period

At 8:32 of the third period in the Senators/Maple Leafs game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Maple Leafs defenceman Dion Phaneuf's shot deflected off Tyler Bozak's skate and into the net. According to Rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal." Good Goal Toronto.

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Posted On Saturday, 02.16.2013 / 8:17 PM

NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Anisimov out with foot injury for Blue Jackets

GLENDALE -- The Columbus Blue Jackets were without center Artem Anisimov Saturday against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Anisimov, who is tied for second among the Blue Jackets with four goals, took a shot off the foot during Friday's 2-1 loss to the Kings in Los Angeles in the second period and didn't return. He is day-to-day.

Nick Drazenovic made his Columbus debut to replace Anisimov.

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