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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 3:22 PM

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

Huskins signs with Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings have signed free-agent defenseman Kent Huskins to a one-year contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, ESPN.com is reporting the deal is for $750,000.

Huskins, 33, had two goals and five assists in 25 games with the St. Louis Blues last season, and played in one Stanley Cup Playoff game for them.

The Red Wings already were playing without injured defensemen Jonathan Ericsson and Jakub Kindl, and then lost blueliner Carlo Colaiacovo to an injured left shoulder in Monday's 3-2 shootout win against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Coach Mike Babcock was asked after the game if Colaiacovo could be out weeks and said, "Yeah, it doesn't look like it's any time soon."

Originally selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the sixth round of the 1998 NHL Draft, Huskins has 67 points in 299 NHL games with the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks and Blues. He was part of the Ducks' Stanley Cup championship team in 2007.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 2:33 PM

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

Blackhawks hope to keep home streak alive vs. Blues

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks are on a roll coming into their home opener Tuesday at United Center against the St. Louis Blues.

They also have a trend going in their favor in this heated Central Division rivalry, at least on paper.

Dating to Feb. 3, 2010, the Blues (2-0-0) -- who are tied with the Blackhawks (2-0-0) atop the Central with four points -- are winless in Chicago. The team will have its annual red-carpet arrival event prior to the game for fans to cheer the Hawks players and celebrate the start of a new home slate, but Blues coach Ken Hitchcock knows his team won't be afforded the same hospitality.

"We usually get our [butts] kicked in this building," Hitchcock said following the team's optional morning practice.

St. Louis is winless in seven straight and is just 1-5-4 in its last 10 visits to United Center. Asked about their run of success at home against the Blues, the Blackhawks didn't think it mattered too much.

In fact, those asked about it didn't even know how long it had been since the Blues had won a game at United Center -- Feb. 3, 2010.

"I didn't even really pay attention to that, to be honest," Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith told NHL.com. "Every game against St. Louis is a tough game. They've got a lot of guys who compete hard over there and we're excited about the challenge. You have to play a good game against them, a patient game."

Chicago forward Patrick Kane, who had a goal and added three assists in the Hawks' first two games, thinks the matchup game might play into the lopsided numbers in his team's favor on home ice.

"[The Blues] are very tough to play in their own building and sometimes when you get them here, you get your own matchups and feed off the crowd a little bit," Kane said. "Usually in those games there's a lot of intensity and you can really use that to your advantage. I think tonight's going to be more of the same tonight."

Hitchcock agreed and expected his team to get another good early-season test, one night after a shootout victory in Nashville that he compared to a playoff game in terms of intensity.

"We just want to play well," Hitchcock said when asked about St. Louis' struggles in the Windy City the past few years. "Where Chicago tests you is … defensively. They test your composure under fire. You're not going to get away with giving up double-digit scoring chances. They're just too good. You're going to have to figure out a way to negate those as much as possible, and that's the challenge. Our challenge is to see what we can take away and make them uncomfortable."

Here's a look at how the Blackhawks likely will line up:

Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Patrick Sharp - Dave Bolland - Patrick Kane

Bryan Bickell - Andrew Shaw - Viktor Stalberg

Brandon Bollig - Marcus Kruger - Michael Frolik

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Nick Leddy - Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford

Ray Emery

Injured: Daniel Carcillo, Steve Montador

Scratched: Sheldon Brookbank, Jamal Mayers

Lineup notes: Crawford will get the start in net, according to Chicago coach Joel Quenneville. The Hawks did not skate forward lines Tuesday, so it's possible Quenneville might opt to make some minor tweaks against the physically-imposing Blues. Possible changes could include swapping scrappy veteran -- and former Blues player -- Jamal Mayers for fourth-line center Marcus Kruger. Chicago, however, has been pleased with Kruger's play thus far at that spot.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 2:15 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Predators, Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota enters play tonight winners of two in a row and will look to start a season 3-0 for the first time since 2008-09. Coach Mike Yeo has made no changes to the skaters in his lineup through two games, a trend expected to continue Tuesday night against Nashville at Xcel Energy Center.

Niklas Backstrom started in goal Saturday against Colorado and will get the nod again. Over his career against the Predators, Backstrom is 7-4-1 with a 2.83 goals against average and a .907 save percentage.

Nashville is expected to make a couple of changes after Monday night's shootout loss to St. Louis, as the team recalled forward Gabriel Bourque from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League. Where he slots in is anyone's guess, as Nashville only had an optional skate this morning. Predators coach Barry Trotz did mention, however, that he was recalled in order to play Tuesday.

Trotz said he knew who he was starting in goal but wouldn't reveal it until just before game time. Reading the tea leaves, it's believed Chris Mason will get the nod. In 13 career games against Minnesota, Mason is 6-5-2 with a 3.20 goals-against average and an .881 save percentage.

WILD

Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Dany Heatley

Matt Cullen - Mikael Granlund - Devin Setoguchi

Pierre-Marc Bouchard - Kyle Brodziak - Cal Clutterbuck

Darroll Powe - Zenon Konopka - Torrey Mitchell

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Tom Gilbert - Clayton Stoner

Nate Prosser - Justin Falk

Niklas Backstrom

Josh Harding

PREDATORS

Martin Erat - Mike Fisher - Sergei Kostitsyn

Colin Wilson - David Legwand - Patric Hornqvist

Craig Smith - Nick Spaling - Matt Halischuk

Gabriel Bourque - Brandon Yip - Brian McGrattan

Roman Josi - Shea Weber

Scott Hannan - Kevin Klein

Hal Gill - Ryan Ellis

Chris Mason

Pekka Rinne

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 2:09 PM

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

Projected lineup for Sharks, Oilers

Here are the projected lineups the San Jose Sharks and Edmonton Oilers will use when they play Tuesday at Rexall Place in Edmonton:

SHARKS

Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski

Martin Havlat - Logan Couture - Ryane Clowe

Tommy Wingels - Michal Handzus - TJ Galiardi

Frazer McLaren - Andrew Desjardins - Adam Burish

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Brad Stuart

Matthew Irwin - Dan Boyle

Douglas Murray - Justin Braun

Antti Niemi

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: James Sheppard, Nick Petrecki

Injured: Jason Demers, Brent Burns

OILERS

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Nail Yakupov - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky

Ryan Smyth - Shawn Horcoff - Teemu Hartikainen

Magnus Paajarvi - Eric Belanger - Lennart Petrell

Nick Schultz - Justin Schultz

Ladislav Smid - Jeff Petry

Ryan Whitney - Corey Potter

Devan Dubnyk

Yann Danis

Scratched: Ben Eager, Darcy Hordichuk, Mark Fistric

Injured: Nikolai Khabibulin, Andy Sutton, Theo Peckham, Ryan Jones

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 2:01 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Suter to face former team for first time

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter will take on his old team for the first time tonight when the Wild play the Nashville Predators at Xcel Energy Center.

It will be a unique experience for Suter, who signed with Minnesota on July 4 after spending the first seven years of his career in a Predators uniform. He said it will be a tough game to play in, based on his years of service with Nashville and the relationships forged with players and coaches.

"They are your teammates, the last [seven] years for me," Suter said. "It's tough to play against them but it's a part of professional sports. You have to balance that."

His longtime defensive partner, Predators captain Shea Weber, has been asked several times over the past several days about the prospect of playing against Suter. It was easy to see he's sick of talking about it.

"It'll definitely be different," Weber said. "We played together for a long time. The ultimate goal for both teams is winning, so I think both teams will do what it takes."

Much was made of the comments by Nashville general manager David Poile after Suter signed with Minnesota.

"I was looking at all my notes yesterday," Poile said in a conference call after Suter had signed. "Ryan had said when we had a meeting in November with he and Neil Sheehy (Suter's agent), he said at the time that he is not going anywhere else, he is signing with the Nashville Predators.

"Whether this franchise is in Timbuktu, the one point of not choosing to stay and play with Shea Weber, I will never, ever understand that."

Tuesday, Suter said he and Poile had their first conversation since then.

"He came down to the bench and we talked," Suter said. "He's a classy guy and I have a lot of respect for him. He has given me a lot of opportunities and I'll always respect him and appreciate him."

Suter chose not to share what was said between him and Poile this morning, saying it was a private conversation.

Low-key by nature, Suter said he was just looking forward to having it be over. He chuckled when asked if it was unfair fellow newcomer Zach Parise wouldn't have to go through the same thing this season because the Wild won't play the New Jersey Devils.

"That is kind of bull," Suter said.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 1:56 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Predators hit the road for a while

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- After opening the season with a pair of home games, Nashville's game Tuesday night against the Wild kicks off a two-week, seven game road trip. From Minnesota, the Preds will travel to St. Louis for a game Thursday before heading to the west coast for games against Anaheim, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Jose before making another stop in St. Louis. Nashville won't play a home game game again until Feb. 7.

"I don't mind going on the road," Trotz said. "I like the fact that your team can come together. It's easy playing at home, anybody can play at home. This is where you are going to find out about your team, playing on the road."

Nashville alternate captain Mike Fisher said going on a long road trip, especially early in the season, can be a good thing.

"After a couple at home, sometimes the road is good for you," Fisher said. "It can force you to play a real solid, team game, play simple.

"It's a tough trip for us, no question. But I think it'll be a great test for us early."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 1:20 PM

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

Canucks recall Schroeder, send Vandermeer to AHL

The Vancouver Canucks have recalled 2009 first-round draft pick center Jordan Schroeder from the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Chicago Wolves.

Schroeder, the 22nd pick of the 2009 NHL Draft, has nine goals and 10 assists in 30 AHL games. Schroeder earned positive reviews in training camp, but was lost the battle for an opening-night roster spot to Andrew Ebbet.

Schroeder takes the roster spot of defenseman Jim Vandermeer, who cleared waivers Tuesday and was assigned to Chicago. Vandermeer earned a contract after a strong showing at training camp, but had been a healthy scratch in the Canucks' first two games.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 1:11 PM

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

Projected lineups for Lightning, Hurricanes

Here are the projected lineups for Tuesday night's game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Carolina Hurricanes:

LIGHTNING

Cory Conacher - Steven Stamkos - Martin St. Louis

Taylor Pyatt - Vincent Lecavalier - Teddy Purcell

Benoit Pouliot - Nate Thompson - Ryan Malone

Adam Hall - Dana Tyrell - BJ Crombeen

Eric BrewerMatthew Carle

Sami SaloVictor Hedman

Keith Aulie - Brendan Mikkelson

Mathieu Garon

Anders Lindback

The Lightning had an optional skate this morning.

Garon will make his first start of the season in goal. Mikkelson will dress for the first time tonight in place of Brian Lee, while Tyrell makes his season debut, replacing Pierre-Cedric Labrie.

HURRICANES

Drayson BowmanEric Staal – Alexander Semin

Jiri TlustyJordan StaalChad LaRose

Jeff SkinnerJussi Jokinen – Patrick Dwyer

Zach BoychukTim BrentKevin Westgarth

Tim GleasonJustin Faulk

Joni PitkanenBobby Sanguinetti

Jay HarrisonJoe Corvo

Cam Ward

Dan Ellis

Scratches: Jeremy Welsh, Jamie McBain

Illness: Zac Dalpe

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 1:09 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Panthers, Canadiens

MONTREAL -- Here are the projected lineups the Florida Panthers and Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night at Bell Centre.

PANTHERS

Tomas Fleischmann - Stephen Weiss - Scottie Upshall

Jonathan Huberdeau - Peter Mueller - Alex Kovalev

Tomas Kopecky - Shawn Matthias - Mike Santorelli

Jack Skille - Jerred Smithson - George Parros

Brian Campbell - Filip Kuba

Ed Jovanovski - Keaton Ellerby

Dmitry Kulikov - Mike Weaver

Scott Clemmensen

Jose Theodore

Injured: Kris Versteeg, Sean Bergenheim, Marcel Goc, Erik Gudbranson

Scratches: Michael Caruso, Tyson Strachan

The Panthers called up Drew Shore after placing Kris Versteeg on injured reserve with a groin injury. It is unclear who Shore would replace in the lineup, seeing as the Panthers held an optional skate Tuesday morning following their 4-0 loss in Ottawa a night earlier, and coach Kevin Dineen did not speak to the media after practice. These are the lines the Panthers used in the game against the Senators.

CANADIENS

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Erik Cole

Rene Bourque - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta

Brendan Gallagher - Alex Galchenyuk - Brandon Prust

Colby Armstrong - Ryan White - Travis Moen

Andrei Markov - Alexei Emelin

Josh Gorges - Raphael Diaz

Tomas Kaberle - Francis Bouillon

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

Scratched: Lars Eller, Mike Blunden, Yannick Weber

Injured: Petteri Nokelainen

One game after Alex Galchenyuk made his NHL debut in the Habs' opener Saturday, it will be the turn of Brendan Gallagher in Tuesday's game. He will be taking the lineup spot of center Lars Eller, with Galchenyuk sliding to center after playing left wing Saturday. Coach Michel Therrien said he didn’t like Eller's intensity in Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Maple Leafs.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 1:01 PM

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

Rough start has Flyers flipping lines

NEWARK, N.J. -- Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette did some line tinkering Tuesday in preparation for this team's meeting with the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

The Flyers, who have opened the season with two straight losses for the first time since 2008-09, are looking for some sort of spark three games into the shortened season.

The biggest change comes on the top line, where Jakub Voracek will supplant Brayden Schenn at right wing, and skate with center Claude Giroux and left wing Scott Hartnell.

Schenn will center a line with Wayne Simmonds and rookie Tye McGinn, who was called up Monday to replace injured Zac Rinaldo in the lineup. McGinn and Schenn had some chemistry working on a line together this season with Philadelphia's American Hockey League affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, earlier this season.

McGinn, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound forward, had 11 goals and 52 penalty minutes in 33 AHL games this season.

"It's a division opponent and this is the third game of 48, so we have to change our attitude and maybe the new lines will provide a spark," Hartnell said. "We have to treat this as a game to get us into playoffs, especially what happened last year. It has to be a huge effort by everyone."

While Laviolette wouldn't discuss the new line combinations he implemented at practice, he did hint that a change probably was called for.

"We've talked about it and certainly, when you finding you're not getting the results you want, the urgency level goes up and I think that's where we're at," Laviolette said. "I won't discuss the lines, but I think when you find success, you tend to leave things alone. When you're not getting the success, even offensively, you look at lines and combinations to see where you're at."

Rinaldo, who will be sidelined at least seven days, received a skate cut above his right knee after colliding with Buffalo Sabre defenseman Robyn Regehr. The cut required 20 stitches to close.

In addition to McGinn, defenseman Bruno Gervais will make his season debut, paired with Andrej Meszaros. Gervais is replacing Kurtis Foster in the lineup.

Here's the lineup the Flyers likely will use against the Devils on Tuesday:

Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

Wayne Simmonds - Brayden Schenn - Tye McGinn

Maxime Talbot - Scott Laughton - Eric Wellwood

Ruslan Fedotenko - Sean Couturier - Matt Read

Kimmo Timonen - Luke Schenn

Braydon Coburn - Nicklas Grossmann

Andrej Meszaros - Bruno Gervais

Ilya Bryzgalov

Michael Leighton

Injured: Danny Briere, Zac Rinaldo, Kurtis Foster

Scratched: Jody Shelley, Tom Sestito

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Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh