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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 1:14 PM

NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Blackhawks welcome Hossa back against Blues

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks decided to stand pat after acquiring veteran forward Michal Handzus from the San Jose Sharks, so now it's time for the Western Conference leaders to put the roster that's gotten them this far to the test.

Chicago (27-5-3) sits atop the standings with 57 points but will face a good test from the Central Division rival St. Louis Blues (18-14-2, 38 points), who pay a visit to United Center on Thursday night (8:30 p.m. ET) looking to solidify a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We like our team [and] we like our depth," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after Thursday's morning skate. "Up front … we're deep in that area, and on defense we've been pretty solid there all year as well. We're pleased with the way things have progressed. Our goaltending's been strong and consistent all year. We want to make sure we try and get better and bringing meaning to these games, because these are important games in a lot of ways. Let's make sure we get something out of them."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 12:57 PM

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

Projected lineups for Bruins, Devils

BOSTON -- There were plenty of new faces at the morning skate Thursday for the Boston Bruins.

Newly acquired Jaromir Jagr and Kaspars Daugavins took the skate at TD Garden. Center Chris Kelly also skated for the first time since he broke his tibia March 11 against the Ottawa Senators.

Bruins coach Claude Julien also said there is no timetable for the return of Patrice Bergeron, who is out with a moderate concussion.

The New Jersey Devils held an optional skate. Steve Sullivan, acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday, will be traveling Thursday to New Jersey for his physical and won't play against the Bruins.

Here are the projected lineups for both teams:

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 12:40 PM

By Mike Brophy -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Reimer takes Maple Leafs' lack of deal in stride

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs had an experienced goaltender on their shopping list at the NHL Trade Deadline. They didn't find the deal they were looking for.

James Reimer, now the No. 1 goalie for the Maple Leafs for the foreseeable future, spent his afternoon Wednesday -- trade deadline day -- shopping at the supermarket, stocking up on fresh fruits and vegetables. Just another day in the life of a youngster trying to establish himself as a starter in the NHL.

Steve Mason, on the other hand, was presented a new opportunity, having been traded to the Philadelphia Flyers by the Columbus Blue Jackets. The 24-year-old, who had 10 shutouts in his first NHL season and was the NHL's rookie of the year in 2008-09, joined a handful of his new teammates for the morning skate at Air Canada Centre on Thursday. He is expected to back up starter Ilya Bryzgalov on Thursday when the Flyers play the Maple Leafs.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 11:32 AM

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

Report: Lecavalier could return for Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier is on the ice for the team's morning skate in a regular-colored jersey, according to reporters covering the team's practice, and could return to the lineup for the Lightning's game Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Lecavalier has been out since March 12 with a lower-body injury that multiple media outlets have reported to be a broken foot.

Prior to Thursday, Lecavalier had been wearing a red jersey signifying he was not cleared for contact.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 11:23 AM

By Ben Raby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Erat to make Capitals debut with familiar face

Martin Erat will make his Washington Capitals debut Thursday when his new team faces the New York Islanders.

However, he'll have a familiar face near him as it appears Erat will play on a line with Joel Ward. The two were teammates with the Nashville Predators.

In addition, Eric Fehr will return to the lineup for the Capitals after missing four games with an upper-body injury.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.03.2013 / 11:37 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Top prospect Drouin dominates QMJHL awards

Halifax Mooseheads wing and top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Jonathan Drouin was named most valuable player, top pro prospect, personality of the year, and a first-team all-star Wednesday during the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Golden Puck Awards ceremony in Montreal.

Drouin had 41 goals, 105 points and a plus-48 rating in 49 contests for the Mooseheads in 2012-13.

In two seasons, he's produced 48 goals, 134 points and a plus-43 rating in 82 games. The 5-foot-10.75, 185-pound player had a 29-game point streak from Nov. 30, 2012, to March 15, 2013, collecting 26 goals and 65 points over that span.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.03.2013 / 7:37 PM

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

Brassard, Moore arrive at MSG, will play for Rangers

NEW YORK – Despite the New York Rangers making the trade of Marian Gaborik at about 5 p.m. ET, newcomers Derick Brassard and John Moore arrived at Madison Square Garden in time from Columbus for a 7:30 p.m. contest with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Both will be in the lineup, while Derek Dorsett is out with a broken collarbone.

To make room for Brassard and Moore, the Rangers sent J.T. Miller, Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast to the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League.

Also, forward Arron Asham is back in the lineup after a two-game absence.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.03.2013 / 6:38 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Flyers glad to add Mason and Hall

PHILADELPHIA -- Flyers coach Peter Laviolette doesn't know much about his new goaltender, but said he's excited to learn about what he has now in Steve Mason.

The Flyers acquired Mason earlier Wednesday from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for goaltender Michael Leighton and a third-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

"He's a young goaltender that's had some success in the League," Laviolette said. "I'm sure he's looking to get here and get going with us. Fresh start for him. We're excited. He's a big goaltender that's had a lot of success in the League."

Mason said he planned to arrive in Philadelphia sometime Wednesday evening and hopefully meet the team after its game against the Montreal Canadiens, then fly with the club to Toronto for its game against the Maple Leafs on Thursday.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.03.2013 / 6:30 PM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Kevin's Krease: Deadline Goalie Deals

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.03.2013 / 6:12 PM

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

Penguins look forward to Jokinen in lineup

NEW YORK -- The Pittsburgh Penguins' latest addition, forward Jussi Jokinen, is not expected to play Wednesday night against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. But Penguins coach Dan Bylsma certainly has plans for Jokinen, who was acquired on NHL Trade Deadline day from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a conditional draft pick.

When he joins the team, Jokinen, who is expected to skate with the team Thursday, will take Sidney Crosby's spot centering Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis. When Crosby eventually returns from a broken jaw that is expected to keep him out for the rest of the regular season, 30-year-old Jokinen is expected to find a new role.

"Obviously, getting healthy would leave different options available," Bylsma said before Wednesday's game. "You could see him playing on a fourth line and filling specific roles on your team, be it the faceoff or the power play. There are different options that he can fulfill at a point in time when you get everyone healthy.

"[He is] a guy I always circle as one of the guys you need to pay attention to on the other team. A guy who is versatile, plays center, plays wing, plays both special teams, takes faceoffs."

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Quote of the Day

You get the right the whistles at the right times, you can leave him out there. He's a beast when it comes to being on the ice. I thought [Saturday] he was a big man. That first period, he did that lateral cut and it was like three bowling pins bounced off him. There's not too many guys that can do that.

— Capitals coach Barry Trotz on Alex Ovechkin, who enters February tied for the NHL lead in goals