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Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 2:11 PM

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

Rangers send Kreider to AHL; Nash could play

The New York Rangers on Thursday sent forward Chris Kreider to the Connecticut Whale, the team's American Hockey League affiliate.

Kreider has two points in 11 games this season.

This move could mean Rick Nash, who has missed the past four games with an undisclosed injury, could be ready to return to the lineup for Thursday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. At Thursday's morning skate, Nash said he would be a game-time decision.

Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 2:11 PM

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

Blues looking to end Blackhawks' streak

ST. LOUIS -- Someone has tried unsuccessfully to beat the Chicago Blackhawks in regulation or overtime 19 times this season, including the St. Louis Blues. Now that they're again facing a Blackhawks team that is still cruising, the Blues are asking, "Why not us?"

The Blackhawks, who come to St. Louis for an 8 p.m. ET puck-drop Thursday, have gotten at least one point in 19 consecutive to start the season. They come to St. Louis with a 16-0-3 record, and the Blues (10-6-2) are aware that they're up against the League's best team.

"They're a really good team," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said of the Blackhawks, who defeated the Blues 3-2 on Jan. 22 in Chicago. "Winning is a feeling. When you have the right feeling going, you win all the close games, you get the goal at the end, you win in overtime, you win in the shootout. It's a feeling, and they've got the feeling going right now. Somebody's going to have to break the feeling. Might as well be us."

Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 2:04 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Successful trip complete, Jets focus on home record

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets left town Feb. 18 a team fighting to save its season. Now the Jets are back with a new outlook on their Stanley Cup Playoff hopes after an eventful 4-0-1 road trip.

The Jets (9-9-1) make a two-game pit stop at MTS Centre that starts Thursday night when the New Jersey Devils make their lone visit to Winnipeg. After a Southeast Division contest with the Washington Capitals at home Saturday afternoon, the Jets will again hit the road for another week-long trip.

Winnipeg has rectified some of the road issues that derailed the club last season, but now home ice is a concern. The Jets have dropped four consecutive games at MTS Centre and are 3-5-0 at home this season. The clubs split two MTS Centre dates last season, and the Jets scored a 4-2 decision when the teams met Feb. 24 at New Jersey.

"It's really good when you go around the city and people congratulate you on the road trip, which is good," Jets coach Claude Noel said of life in a city that was rather displeased with its club earlier this month. "I think that our players will be ready."

Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 1:44 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

With Hanzal, Vrbata out, Coyotes shuffle lines

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes again will be without two of their top six forwards with Martin Hanzal (upper body) and Radim Vrbata (lower body) back on the ice Thursday, but not ready for a game.

Defenseman Derek Morris, who has missed the past two weeks with an upper-body injury sustained in a Feb. 14 loss to the Nashville Predators, will return to the lineup to partner with Keith Yandle.

With Hanzal and Vrbata out, coach Dave Tippett has continued to juggle his forwards. Shane Doan will start with Matthew Lombardi and Raffi Torres, with Lauri Korpikoski joining Mikkel Boedker and Antoine Vermette. Steve Sullivan was with checkers Boyd Gordon and David Moss, and Paul Bissonnette, riding a career-high three-game point streak, sticks with the clicking line of Kyle Chipchura and Nick Johnson.

Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 1:44 PM

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

Projected lineups for Oilers, Stars

DALLAS -- Here are the projected lineups for Thursday night's game between the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

OILERS

Taylor HallRyan Nugent-HopkinsJordan Eberle

Ryan JonesSam GagnerAles Hemsky

Ryan SmythEric BelangerNail Yakupov

Ben EagerChris VandeveldeLennart Petrell

Jeff PetryLadislav Smid

Nick SchultzJustin Schultz

Corey PotterMark Fistric

Devan Dubnyk

Yann Danis

Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 1:34 PM

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

Weiss back with Panthers following tough few days

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Stephen Weiss was back with his Florida Panthers teammates Thursday morning and looking forward to Thursday's game against the Buffalo Sabres after a few tough days personally and professionally.

Weiss missed the Panthers' prior game, a 6-4 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins, after flying to Toronto to attend his grandmother's funeral.

Weiss flew to Canada on Monday, one day after he was benched for most of the third period of Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.

After taking part in the Panthers' optional morning skate Thursday, Weiss was asked whether he was getting a fresh start.

"Yeah, it was definitely nice to go back home and see the family," Weiss said. "Anytime something like that happens, it kind of refocuses you. I'm kind of looking forward to playing tonight."

Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 1:20 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Senators to give Lehner first start of season

BOSTON -- One year to the day since Ottawa goaltender Robin Lehner recorded his only NHL shutout at TD Garden against the Boston Bruins, he will get a chance to repeat that feat.

Lehner is scheduled to make his Senators season debut Thursday against the Bruins, coach Paul MacLean confirmed after his team's morning skate. This season with Binghamton of the American Hockey League, Lehner posted a 2.12 goals-against average and .938 save percentage.

"Robin's had a very successful season in the American Hockey League and he's played very well in the National Hockey League last season when he played," MacLean said. "He played here and he played well. And those are a lot of the factors that go into it. The fact that he's played very well this year in the American League gives us a lot of confidence."

Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 1:09 PM

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

Cisco NHL Live sets up Hurricanes vs. Penguins

It's a busy day on the ice with 11 games Thursday night and Cisco NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on the NHL Network with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, will have you covered.

Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal and Pittsburgh Penguins center Brandon Sutter face their old teams on the NHL Network, Thursday at 7 p.m. We'll get a game preview from Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer on our Cisco NHL Arena Cam in Carolina. Another big matchup is in the Central as the Chicago Blackhawks play the St. Louis Blues in search for their 20th-straight game from the start of the season with at least a point. We'll get a preview from NHL Network analyst Kelly Chase in St. Louis.

Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com will also join us from Boston to preview the Bruins' return home after a successful five-game road trip, as they face off against division rival Ottawa. Lastly, we will go to our Cisco NHL Arena Cam in New York with NHL.com's Dave Lozo as the banged-up Rangers are going for the season sweep against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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, and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks each game being played on Thursday.

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(The tribute) was great, brought back a lot of memories. I felt I wanted to give them the thank you they deserved. I understand the booing and it was expected. They are great fans.

— Martin St. Louis after playing his first game in Tampa Bay since being traded to the Rangers last season
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