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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 1:37 PM

By Lonnie Herman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Garon to start for Lightning in place of Lindback

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning will be looking to break a five-game winless streak when they meet the Washington Capitals on Thursday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, and coach Guy Boucher will be going to the back-up goaltender to get matters turned around.

But not because he wants to; because he has to.

Anders Lindback, who has started seven of the past nine games for Tampa Bay, is out ill, so Mathieu Garon gets the call in net. As to the extent of Lindback's illness, Boucher sounded as in the dark as anyone.

"I don't know how sick he is," Boucher said. "I have no clue. I don't know if he'll dress tonight. He's home right now and I have no clue. They're going to call him back and see how he's doing later; it might just be a one- or two-hour thing, but right now we're going with Garon in net. That's what I control; the rest -- it's somebody else's business right now.”

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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 1:11 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Pitkanen out, Gleason also ailing for Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes will be without defenseman Joni Pitkanen for Thursday night's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Pitkanen is expected to miss several days after leaving Tuesday's 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils with an injury.

Fellow blueliner Tim Gleason also could be out. He is nursing a lower-body injury after playing 20:07 against the Devils.

Carolina has recalled defenseman Michal Jordan from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League. He has yet to make his NHL debut.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 1:07 PM

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

Canadiens always feel at home playing in Florida

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Montreal Canadiens will not travel farther to face an opponent this season than BB&T Center, where they play the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.

In terms of atmosphere, though, it might be the closest thing the Canadiens have to a home game away from home.

As is always the case when the Canadiens play in Sunrise, a large crowd is expected Thursday and it's a safe bet a good portion of those in attendance will be wearing Montreal jerseys and rooting for the road team.

"We're very lucky to get as much support as we do when we come down here," Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban said. "It's great to see. The Montreal Canadiens organization has been around for a very long time, the fan base is spread out throughout the world, but it is a little surprising to come here and see so many fans show up."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 12:53 PM

By Lonnie Herman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Yzerman: Trade shores up Tampa Bay goalie depth

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman met with the media after the morning skate to discuss the swap of netminders announced Thursday morning, which sent Lightning American Hockey League prospect Dustin Tokarski to the Montreal Canadiens organization in exchange for Cedric Desjardins of the Hamilton Bulldogs.

"We've had Cedric in our organization before and we know him," Yzerman said. "We think he's a very good -- actually excellent -- goaltender at the AHL level and he played for us for a couple of games. We just think he is more ready to play for us if we need him in here. We know the person; we like him and we think he's a good goaltender."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 12:34 PM

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

Cisco NHL Live previews Capitals-Lightning

On Thursday, Cisco NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on the NHL Network, will celebrate Valentine's Day around the NHL. We'll give out our candy hearts and play a game of make up or break up with teams and players around the League.

We have six games to preview, including a big Southeast Division matchup between the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning, at 7:30 p.m. ET on NHL Network. We'll get live updates from our Cisco NHL Arena cameras in Tampa Bay, as well as New York, Carolina and Nashville, to preview other matchups in the NHL on Thursday night.

Don't forget to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, keep an eye on this Senior Reporter's dance moves in his EJ5: Hradek's Top 5 Finnish players of All-Time, and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks each game being played on Thursday.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 12:26 PM

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

Projected lineup for Canadiens vs. Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Fourteen players took to the ice Thursday when the Montreal Canadiens held an optional skate at BB&T Center.

Among those who skated were defensemen Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban.

After the skate, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said he was going with the same lineup as the previous game, a 4-3 shootout victory at Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 12:09 PM

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

Nabokov in net for Isles; Boyle back in for Rangers

NEW YORK -- Evgeni Nabokov will be back between the pipes as the New York Islanders look to snap a five-game losing streak when they visit the New York Rangers on Thursday night.

Nabokov had made seven straight starts before backing up Rick DiPietro, who allowed five goals on 30 shots in a 6-4 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.

Nabokov was in net seven days ago when the Rangers defeated the Islanders 4-1 at Madison Square Garden. He made 21 saves on 24 shots.

The only lineup changes for coach Jack Capuano are the insertion of defenseman Joe Finley in place of Thomas Hickey and a swapping of fourth-line forwards, with Eric Boulton replacing David Ullstrom.

At the Rangers' practice in Greenburgh, N.Y., it appears backup goaltender Martin Biron will make his second start of the season and rookie Chris Kreider will be a healthy scratch.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 11:36 AM

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

Garon in goal for Lightning; backup in question

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced Mathieu Garon will start in goal Thursday against the Washington Capitals (7:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US), but his backup remains at question.

According to the Tampa Tribune, Lightning goalie Anders Lindback sat out the morning skate due to an illness and his availability for Thursday's game is in question.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 11:04 AM

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

Panthers' Versteeg out of lineup against Canadiens

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers will be without right wing Kris Versteeg when they face the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

Versteeg, who sustained an upper-body injury in Tuesday's 6-5 overtime loss against the Washington Capitals, did not take part in the team's morning skate. Versteeg also didn't take part in Monday's practice and coach Kevin Dineen said he was day-to-day.

Versteeg's spot on the top line alongside Stephen Weiss and Tomas Fleischmann was taken by Shawn Matthias.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 10:59 AM

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

Fantasy Spin: Loss of Karlsson tough to overcome

Erik Karlsson altered the perception surrounding fantasy defensemen last season. That's one of many reasons why his injury will be so tough for fantasy owners to endure.

Karlsson had 78 points, the most by a defenseman since Nicklas Lidstrom had 80 in 2005-06. He also led all players at his position in shots on goal (261).

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