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Posted On Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 7:21 PM

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

Hossa gets on-ice conditioning work in for Hawks

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks didn’t hold an official morning skate on Tuesday at United Center, but they did get some good news.

Injured star right wing Marian Hossa returned to the ice for conditioning work for the first time since leaving a game against the Colorado Avalanche on March 18 late in the first period after a hit from defenseman Ryan O’Byrne.

Hossa, who’s missed two games with the ailment, appeared to be holding his shoulder on the bench in that game, and the Blackhawks have called it an upper-body injury. Tuesday morning he joined teammates Patrick Sharp, Daniel Carcillo, Sheldon Brookbank and goalies Ray Emery and Corey Crawford on Tuesday for a series of drills.

“He skated today, so he’s progressing” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said of Hossa, prior to Chicago facing the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night (8:30 p.m. ET). “He’s kind of comparable with [Sharp], so we’ll see how they do. But he’s not playing [against Calgary].”

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 4:23 PM

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

Edler back for Canucks, Ballard enjoying life up front

VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler will be back in the lineup Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets after serving a two-game suspension for hitting Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith behind the net.

Edler may get some unsolicited advice from fellow defenseman Keith Ballard, who will again play up front on a team missing six injured forwards.

"As soon as I switched to wing I turned my brain off and started complaining to the D-men," Ballard said with a smile. "That's what forwards do, right?"


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Posted On Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 3:30 PM

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

Letang activated from IR; Malkin questionable

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins likely will have one of their two injured stars back in the lineup when they face the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

The Penguins have activated defenseman Kris Letang from injured reserve and sent defenseman Simon Despres to the American Hockey League to open a roster spot.

Letang had missed the previous three games with a lower-body injury. Letang leads all NHL defensemen with 28 points in 27 games.

Letang and center Evgeni Malkin skated with the rest of the team Tuesday morning, but coach Penguins coach Dan Bylsma still classified both as "day-to-day."

When pressed he added, "They're both very close and they're both practicing with the team and ... they're both very close. I guess there's a possibility that they both could play [Tuesday]."

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 3:19 PM

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

Penguins send Despres to AHL

The Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday announced the club had reassigned defenseman Simon Despres to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

The move comes one day after the Penguins acquired defenseman Douglas Murray from the San Jose Sharks for a pair of draft picks.

In 24 games this season Despres has two goals, five assists and a plus-10 rating.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 2:49 PM

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

Lightning assign Lee to AHL

The Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday announced defenseman Brian Lee had been reassigned to the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch.

In 22 games this season, Lee had no points, a minus-13 rating and 16 penalty minutes. He had been a healthy scratch the past seven games.

Selected by the Ottawa Senators with the ninth pick of the 2005 NHL Draft, the 26-year-old has five goals and 36 points in 209 games in six NHL seasons.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 2:45 PM

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

Flames taking Iginla trade talk in stride

CHICAGO -- Jarome Iginla opted not to speak with reporters Tuesday morning at United Center after the Calgary Flames' optional morning skate.

Thus, any thoughts the Flames captain might have on trade speculation involving him will have to wait until after Tuesday's night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks (8:30 p.m. ET) -- one of the teams some think might make a play for him.

Iginla's teammates, however, were asked about the ongoing rumors with the April 3 trade deadline looming. The general consensus: remain narrowly focused and keep a sense of humor about it.

"Most of us can read, and so we're aware of it," forward Mike Cammalleri said. "I guess, amongst ourselves, you can make our own comedy of it and then just prepare to play the hockey game, and really quickly realize it's not something we can worry about."

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 2:44 PM

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

Morrow nervous, excited to make Penguins debut

PITTSBURGH -- More than 13 years after making his NHL debut, Brenden Morrow felt something during his drive to the rink Tuesday morning that he hadn't felt much since breaking into the League as a 20-year-old in 1999.

Nerves.

"I hadn't felt them in a long time," Morrow said after the morning skate Tuesday, in advance of his Pittsburgh Penguins debut Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens. "But those are good feelings. They're not maybe the best feelings in your body, but you know you're alive, you know you're feeling something when those butterflies show up."

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 1:47 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Blues go for season sweep of Oilers

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues will go for a season sweep of the Edmonton Oilers when the teams meet Tuesday at Scottrade Center.

It's the third meeting of the month between the teams, following Blues wins March 1 in St. Louis and March 23 in Edmonton.

Here are the probable lineups for both teams:

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 1:35 PM

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

Projected lineups for Islanders, Capitals

The Washington Capitals will try to push their winning streak to a season-best four games Tuesday when they face the New York Islanders at Verizon Center.

The Capitals have outscored their previous three opponents 12-3.

In their previous game, the Islanders snapped a three-game losing streak.

Here are the lineups the teams likely will use Tuesday:

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 1:35 PM

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

Morrow on line with Neal at Penguins' morning skate

PITTSBURGH -- As Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma is wont to do, he did not expound on his plans for the line combinations for Tuesday's game against the Montreal Canadiens, but the just-acquired Brenden Morrow was on the left wing on a line with Dustin Jeffrey and James Neal for the morning skate -- real estate rookie Beau Bennett held in recent weeks.

Bylsma finally acknowledged a nagging injury to Matt Cooke, who has regularly sat out morning skates in recent weeks but has not missed any games. Assuming he is healthy, the addition of Morrow means one player will be left out.

Bennett was occupying the spot Cooke usually holds on the third line. With Jeffrey and Joe Vitale needed as true centers, Tanner Glass playing plenty of minutes on the penalty kill, and Tyler Kennedy's strong play of late, the best guess is that rookie Bennett will be the odd man out.

Here are the projected lines and defensemen pairings for Tuesday night's game between the Penguins and Canadiens at Consol Energy Center:

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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