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Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 7:44 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Isles' Strait suffers fractured ankle

If it wasn’t bad enough that the New York Islanders had their doors blown off by the Philadelphia Flyers in a 7-0 rout at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Monday afternoon, they received more bad news later in the day.

Isles defenseman Brian Strait, a waiver-wire acquisition just prior to the start of the season who has emerged as one of the club’s more reliable blueliners, suffered a fractured left ankle and has been placed on injured reserve.

Strait, 25, caught an edge and crashed hard into the side boards and had to crawl back on to the Islanders’ bench. Moments later, he limped off to the team’s dressing room.


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Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 7:40 PM

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

Gunnarsson returns to Leafs' lineup

SUNRISE, Fla.Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Carl Gunnarsson is back in the lineup Monday night against the Florida Panthers.

Gunnarsson had missed the previous eight games because of a hip injury. He took part in the morning skate Monday and coach Randy Carlyle said he would become available soon.

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Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 4:14 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Hiller, not Fasth, likely starting for Ducks vs. Jackets

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks have as good a reason as any to put Viktor Fasth back in goal Monday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The traditional strategy is not to mess with a streak and go with the hot goalie. Fasth is 8-0-0 and one win away from tying Ray Emery for longest winning streak to begin an NHL career.

But Fasth has played twice in the previous three nights and it appears that Jonas Hiller will return to the lineup now that he’s healthy. Hiller was first off the ice at the morning skate and said he’s back from a lower-body muscle strain that forced him out of his last start Feb. 8.

“I’ve been skating full practices for the last few days and I’ve felt good and never gotten worse,” Hiller said. "I definitely feel comfortable where I’m at.”

Coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn’t tip his hand. Hiller served as Fasth’s backup last Saturday even though the club also has Jeff Deslauriers available.

“He’s ready to play – when we decide to play him,” Boudreau said of Hiller.

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Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 3:32 PM

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

Staals hope for better ending in front of parents in Montreal

The first time Henry and Linda Staal watched their two eldest sons play on the same NHL team, things didn’t go so well for Eric and Jordan Staal’s Carolina Hurricanes.

It went so badly, in fact, Eric Staal all but erased it from his memory.

Henry and Linda Staal will be at Bell Centre to watch their sons take on the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night, and Eric thought it would be their first time watching a game live since Jordan was traded to the Hurricanes by the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2012 NHL Draft.

Not so, says Jordan, who pointed out his parents were in the building in Florida on the 2012-13 season’s opening night to watch the Hurricanes play the Panthers.

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Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 3:06 PM

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

Predators activate Hornqvist off injured reserve

The Nashville Predators activated forward Patric Hornqvist off injured reserve for Monday afternoon's game against the Colorado Avalanche.

Hornqvist, who scored 78 goals over the past three seasons, had been sidelined since Jan. 26 with a knee sprain. He has one goal and four points in five games this season.

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Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 3:02 PM

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

Hurricanes recall Nash, Welsh; Pitkanen to IR

The Carolina Hurricanes have recalled forwards Riley Nash and Jeremy Welsh from Charlotte of the American Hockey League.

Defenseman Joni Pitkanen has been placed on injured reserve.

Nash was a first-round pick by Edmonton in the 2007 NHL Draft whose rights were acquired by the Hurricanes prior to the 2010 Draft for a second-round pick. He made his NHL debut last season for Carolina, recording an assist in five games.

Welsh is scoreless in two NHL games over the past two seasons. He has 10 goals and 18 points in 47 games with the Checkers.

Pitkanen sustained a lower-body injury in a Feb. 12 game against the Devils. He has a goal, five assists and a plus-8 rating in 12 games this season.

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Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 2:57 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose: My top-five coaches in NHL history

The game has changed a lot in the past century, and some of the men on this list are reasons that the game has changed the way that it has. But there's one thing that will never change in the NHL, and that's that you won't be able to consistently compete -- or win a Stanley Cup -- without a great coach.

Now, some of you might be surprised that you won't see Toe Blake or Punch Imlach on this list, and while they and a few others were tremendous coaches in the Original Six era, they didn't have the same impact. None of them changed the game or revolutionized it the way the guys on my list did.

Here are my top five greatest coaches in NHL history:

5. Roger Neilson -- Many people will say Neilson didn't win much, and it's true he never won a Stanley Cup as a head coach -- he only reached the Final once -- but Neilson changed the way coaching was done. He was incredibly influential and innovative in ways the game had never seen. He was the first guy ever to study film, his practices were well thought out and much more organized than practices had been at the time, and the guys that played for him, Darryl Sittler, Dan Maloney, guys I played with in Toronto that had played for Roger loved him. They all talked about how creative he was.

One of the best things about Roger was how he would always look for ways to exploit the rule book, like when he famously had his goaltender leave his stick on the goal line after being pulled for an extra attacker because there was no explicit rule against it. They had to make rules to combat Roger's thinking. He was influential for workouts, nutrition and a number of other things, but really his use of video might be his greatest legacy. If you go into an NHL dressing room you can't imagine the money and time tied up in video, and that all started with Roger Neilson.

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Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 2:32 PM

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

Report: Franzen won't return for Wings on Tuesday

Johan Franzen will miss another game for the Detroit Red Wings when they face the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night, according to reports.

Franzen has been battling a hip flexor and last played Feb. 10 against Los Angeles. He has three goals and nine points in 12 games this season.

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Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 2:13 PM

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

Vrbata joins Coyotes' list of injuries

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After a week or so of decent health, the Phoenix Coyotes are back down to all hands on deck for Monday's game with the Calgary Flames.

Leading scorer Radim Vrbata is the latest to join the list of the sidelined, suffering an upper-body injury early in Saturday’s 5-3 win over Columbus. Defensemen Derek Morris and David Schlemko are also down and center Matthew Lombardi is close but not quite ready to return from his upper-body injury. That means all 18 healthy skaters will be in the lineup.

Phoenix is 6-2-2 over the last 10 games and has six wins in the last eight games. But the Coyotes don't play again until Saturday in Edmonton and a loss to the Flames would stay with them for awhile.


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Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 1:57 PM

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

Habs will have Subban, Pacioretty vs. ailing Canes

MONTREAL – Defenseman P.K. Subban and left wing Max Pacioretty will both be in the Montreal Canadiens lineup when they face an injury-ravaged Carolina Hurricanes club Monday night at Bell Centre.

Subban's status was questionable after he missed Sunday's practice with the flu. Pacioretty did practice Sunday after suffering a rib injury in Saturday's 4-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers, but he wanted to test out Monday morning before confirming he will play against Carolina.

Kirk Muller's Hurricanes aren't as lucky, as left wing Jeff Skinner, forward Tim Brent and defensemen Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason will all miss the game with various ailments.

"We knew before the season that teams were going to face these kinds of situations, so it's an opportunity for guys to step in and do a job," Muller said. "We can't make any excuses, we've just got to find ways to win."


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Quote of the Day

We've got a team filled with captains, that's what I think. With these first two games we got in, we're really dominating and moving the puck really fast, and it's worked out really good.

— U.S. goalie Brandon Halverson after a 6-0 win against Germany in the World Junior Championship on Sunday