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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 3:12 PM

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

Bouwmeester took break, but ready to go with Blues

CHICAGO -- For someone who is used to being on the ice, St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester actually didn't mind taking a short hiatus following his trade from the Calgary Flames on Monday.

"On one side you want to just kind of get there and meet the guys, get acclimated a little bit," Bouwmeester said after practicing with his new team Thursday morning. "For me, it was kind of good because I've got a young family. I've got a baby at home (a 3-month-old daughter), so it's good to kind of spend some time with her. They'll come and visit probably, but I probably won't see them too much."

Bouwmeester, who will make his Blues debut Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks, will keep his ironman streak alive, which sits at 621 consecutive games played. He will be partnered alongside Alex Pietrangelo.

"No. 1, it was good just to get back on the ice," Bouwmeester, who has six goals and 15 points in 33 games this season, said. "... Everyone here has been real welcoming. It seems like a really good group. I'm pretty excited. ... We're playing a big rival [Thursday]. To jump right into it, should be fun."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 2:50 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Byfuglien experiment at forward to continue for Jets

MONTREAL -- With five goals scored over the course a of a four-game losing streak, Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel asked Dustin Byfuglien to take a trip back in time and move to forward in the third period of a 5-2 loss at the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

Byfuglien, who played forward for most of his time with the Chicago Blackhawks from 2005-10, will at least start the game at right wing Thursday when the Jets look to snap their skid against the Montreal Canadiens.

"He gives us a guy on the right side that can create a little more offense," Noel said. "We've been stuck a little bit on the offensive side of things on the top two lines."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 1:43 PM

By Matt Sitkoff - Contributor / - NHL Live blog

Cisco NHL Live examines aftermath of trade deadline

The dust has settled on the NHL Trade Deadline and Thursday night we get ready to see some of the new faces in action with their new teams. Cisco NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, will introduce you to the acquisitions and get you ready for all of Thursday's matchups around the League. We'll talk to Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher about his newest addition, Jason Pominville, and how he got the deal done.

Jaromir Jagr debuts in a Boston Bruins jersey tonight at 7 p.m. ET on NHL Network, as they face the New Jersey Devils. We'll go live to our Cisco NHL Arena Cam to get a preview of the 41-year-old as he returns to the Eastern Conference. The Tampa Bay Lightning also made a huge move in net and we'll get a live report on Ben Bishop's first start on our Cisco NHL Arena Cam in Tampa Bay.

Don't forget to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks all 10 games being played on Thursday.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 1:39 PM

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

Bishop to make Lightning debut, Lecavalier back

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning will turn to new goaltender Ben Bishop on Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes, one day after the former Ottawa Senators netminder was acquired at the NHL Trade Deadline. He was relaxed when he met the media after the team's morning skate.

"Your first game, you want to show what you can do for the guys," said Bishop, who has a 2.45 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. "At the same time, I've been doing this for a little bit now and one game is not going to make the year."

His first challenge, he figures, is getting to know his teammates before he takes the ice Thursday night.

"The biggest thing is trying to learn everybody's names on the ice real quick and not have to think about it before you call their name," he said. "So that will be the hardest thing. After a couple days I'm sure I will have it down."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 1:17 PM

By Staff -  / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Report: Flyers, Mason agree on one-year extension

One day after acquiring Steve Mason from the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Philadelphia Flyers reportedly have agreed to a contract extension with the goaltender.

Sportsnet and CBC are reporting Thursday that Mason will sign a one-year contract for less than the $2.9 million salary-cap number he has this season. Mason is in the final season of a two-year, $5.8 million contract and is scheduled to become a restricted free agent this summer.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 1:14 PM - 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 - Correspondent / - 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 - Correspondent / - 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 Staff -  / - 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 - Correspondent / - 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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Quote of the Day

I don't have a crystal ball. Predicting is a real complicated thing. If we stay healthy, have enough depth and get the good goaltending we think we're going to have, you can go all the way. But a lot of things have to happen. There's going to be a lot of teams that think the same thing. Everyone made deals. We're all are optimistic about where we'll end up.

— Rangers general manager Glen Sather after being asked if he's constructed a team that can win the Stanley Cup before their 4-1 win against the Predators on Monday
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