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Posted On Monday, 04.01.2013 / 12:14 PM

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

Barry Melrose on Sidney Crosby

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Posted On Monday, 04.01.2013 / 11:58 AM

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

Avalanche place Stastny, Hejduk on injured reserve

The Colorado Avalanche on Monday placed forwards Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk on injured reserve and recalled David Van Der Gulik and Brad Malone from their American Hockey League affiliate, Lake Erie.

Hejduk suffered an apparent shoulder injury in Colorado's 1-0 overtime loss to Nashville on Saturday, while Stastny has been out since March 24 with a foot injury.

The Avalanche head into Monday night's game in Detroit sitting 15th in the Western Conference with 28 points, nine behind the eighth-place Columbus Blue Jackets.

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Posted On Monday, 04.01.2013 / 11:08 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Zubrus to return to Devils' lineup Monday

NEWARK, N.J. -- Left wing Dainius Zubrus will make his anticipated return to the lineup on Monday when the New Jersey Devils play host to the New York Islanders at Prudential Center (7 p.m. ET, MSG PLUS 2, MSG PLUS).

Zubrus, who underwent surgery to repair ligament damage in his left wrist on Feb. 14, has missed the past 26 games. He's been skating on his own since mid-March and practiced with the team on Monday for the first time since he last played on Feb. 5 against the New York Rangers at Prudential Center.

"I feel good, it's been a while," Zubrus told reporters after practice. "I think I have [my stamina] back. After about 10 days after my surgery I was able to work out, so I feel like I'm in pretty good shape. I know getting back in a game situation is a little different since you battle guys and push guys, so that adds a lot more work, but it's not going to be the first time I've ever done this, so I think I'll be OK."


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Posted On Monday, 04.01.2013 / 10:38 AM

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

Oilers sign Smid to four-year contract extension

The Edmonton Oilers on Monday signed defenseman Ladislav Smid to a four-year, $14 million contract extension.

The 27-year-old Smid is in his seventh NHL season. He has a goal and three points in 34 games this season and has posted career totals of 10 goals, 62 points and 361 penalty minutes in 443 games, all with the Oilers.

"It's a huge day for me," Smid said. "I feel really happy for me and my family to stay in Edmonton. It's my home now."

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Posted On Sunday, 03.31.2013 / 2:45 PM

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

Canucks send Kassian on conditioning assignment

Vancouver Canucks center Zack Kassian, acquired at last year's trade deadline for Cody Hodgson, was sent to the Chicago Wolves of the AHL on a conditioning assignment Sunday.

The Canucks also reassigned forward Andrew Gordon and recalled forwards Nicklas Jensen and Bill Sweatt.

Kassian, 22, has appeared in one game since March 14. He has five goals and eight points in 27 games this season. Hodgson, meanwhile, has 12 goals and 28 points in 35 games this season for the Buffalo Sabres.

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Posted On Sunday, 03.31.2013 / 1:29 PM

By Chris Ryndak -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Vanek will miss third straight game; Enroth may start

BUFFALO – The Buffalo Sabres will be without leading scorer Thomas Vanek for a third straight game.

Vanek took the ice along with forward John Scott and goaltender Ryan Miller following a team meeting Sunday morning. After the skate, Vanek told reporters that he would not be able to play Sunday night when the Sabres host the Boston Bruins.

“Today went a lot better than yesterday, but [I’m] still not where I would like it to be, so I just have to be patient, which is obviously a tough thing to do in the position we’re at,” Vanek said.

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Posted On Sunday, 03.31.2013 / 12:34 PM

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

Zetterberg out for Blackhawks game with groin injury

Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg will not play against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday due to a groin injury.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Zetterberg is day-to-day. Forward Jordin Tootoo, originally expected to be a healthy scratch, was inserted into the lineup.

In 34 games this season, Zetterberg has eight goals and 32 points.

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Posted On Sunday, 03.31.2013 / 12:26 PM

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

Projected lineups for Kings, Stars

DALLAS - Here are the projected lineups for Sunday afternoon’s game between the Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

KINGS

Dustin BrownAnze KopitarJustin Williams

Dwight KingJarret StollTrevor Lewis

Mike RichardsTyler ToffoliJeff Carter

Kyle CliffordColin FraserJordan Nolan

Jake MuzzinDrew Doughty

Rob ScuderiSlava Voynov

Keaton EllerbyAlec Martinez

Jonathan Quick

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Davis Drewiske, Dustin Penner, Brad Richardson.

Injured: Matt Greene (back), Willie Mitchell (knee).

Notes: Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter did not speak to the press after Saturday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild. So it’s unclear whether he goes with Jonathan Quick or Jonathan Bernier in net on Sunday against the Dallas Stars.

STARS

Eric NystromJamie BennJaromir Jagr

Ray WhitneyDerek RoyLoui Eriksson

Reilly SmithCody EakinErik Cole

Toby Petersen - Antoine Roussel - Tomas Vincour

Brenden Dillon - Stephane Robidas

Alex GoligoskiTrevor Daley

Aaron RomePhilip Larsen

Kari Lehtonen

Richard Bachman

Scratched: Jordie Benn.

Injured: Vernon Fiddler (charley horse), Ryan Garbutt (hand).

Notes: Fourth-line center Vernon Fiddler is day-to-day after leaving Friday’s 5-3 win over the Minnesota Wild in the first period after crashing into a goalpost. Stars coach Glen Gulutzan termed Fiddler’s injury a charley horse after the game. He did not practice on Saturday.

With Fiddler’s status uncertain for Sunday’s game with the Los Angeles Kings, Dallas recalled wing Toby Petersen from the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League on Saturday. Petersen spent all of last season in the NHL and had 23 points (7-16-23) in 65 games in the AHL this season. He skated on the left side of the Stars’ fourth line in practice on Saturday, with Antoine Roussel at center and Tomas Vincour on the right side.

Center Ryan Garbutt, who has missed the past seven games with a hand injury, skated again on Saturday but Gulutzan said he’s still a few days away from returning. That likely means Garbutt will travel with the Stars on their three-game road trip that will see them face the Anaheim Ducks in consecutive games before ending the trek against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday at HP Pavilion.

Kari Lehtonen will make a 14th straight start in goal for Dallas.

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Posted On Sunday, 03.31.2013 / 10:20 AM

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

Howard not thinking about extension, just games

DETROIT – Jimmy Howard will become an unrestricted free agent this summer if the Detroit Red Wings don’t reach a contract extension with him, but he does know what he wants to happen.

“I want to play here a long time,” Howard said. “It’s been hard to think about anything [other than playing games] because we’ve been playing so much, but it’s something I’d like to get worked out.”

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told NHL.com earlier this week that reaching a deal on a contract extension with Howard is his plan, so what’s left is actually negotiating the deal. Whether that happens during the season or afterward remains to be seen, but there might not be a lot of time for it to happen after the season ends if the Red Wings qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs and go on any sort of extended run.

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Posted On Sunday, 03.31.2013 / 2:54 AM

NHL.com - 2013 Trade Deadline blog

Report: Blackhawks interested in Isles' Nielsen

The Chicago Blackhawks and New York Islanders reportedly are talking trade.

Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald reports a source has confirmed that the teams have held discussions, with the centerpiece of the deal being Islanders center Frans Nielsen. He would not be a rental -- the Danish center is signed through 2015-16 with a cap hit $2.75 million.

Sassone said the Blackhawks are also interested in acquiring a defenseman because of the struggles of Johnny Oduya on the second pairing -- he's minus-8 in the past four games paired with Niklas Hjalmarsson, and the Blackhawks have lost three of the four games. New York re-signed Lubomir Visnovsky on Friday night, but veteran Mark Streit, the Islanders' captain, is in the final season of his contract.

The Islanders reportedly covet are interested in defenseman Dylan Olsen, the Blackhawks' first-round draft pick in 2009, and perhaps forward Jeremy Morin. Olsen is playing with Chicago's AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs; Morin was recalled from Rockford on Saturday when Marian Hossa was placed on injured reserve retroactive to March 19.

The Blackhawks are first in the Western Conference entering Sunday's game at Detroit (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, NHLN-Canada). The Islanders are battling for the final playoff berth in the East.

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Quote of the Day

I didn't even know how to celebrate. I threw my hands up, they gave me a hug, so I guess that's all I needed.

— Sabres forward Tim Schaller on scoring his first NHL goal Sunday against the Bruins