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Posted On Monday, 02.11.2013 / 12:45 PM

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

Cisco NHL Live talks Halak's return, Flyers-Leafs

Two players traded for each other face off in Toronto, and Jaroslav Halak returns for the St. Louis Blues. Cisco NHL Live with Steve Mears and EJ Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on the NHL Network, has those stories and much more on Monday's show. We'll get a pre-game interview on our Cisco NHL Arena Cam in Toronto with Maple Leafs radio analyst Jim Ralph, to preview tonight's matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers. With five other games on the slate we will preview them all.

We'll also be joined by Chicago Congressman Mike Quigley as we celebrate Hockey is For Everyone Month. NHL Network Insider Bob McKenzie fills us in on the latest news and notes, while Barry Melrose breaks down the first quarter of NHL action.

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: Hradek's Top 5 d-men that need to step up, and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks each game being played on Monday.

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Posted On Monday, 02.11.2013 / 12:41 PM

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

Flames claim MacDonald on waivers from Red Wings

The Calgary Flames announced Monday that they have acquired goaltender Joey MacDonald off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings.

MacDonald, 33, has yet to play this season due to a back injury. He split last season between the Red Wings and their American Hockey League team, the Grand Rapids Griffins. In 14 NHL games, he went 8-5-1 with a 2.16 goals-against average and .912 save percentage.

Long-time Flames top goalie Miikka Kiprusoff is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. Leland Irving has started the last two games, going 1-1-0 while allowing eight goals on 60 shots. His backup, Daniel Taylor, has played one NHL game, for the Los Angeles Kings in the 2007-08 season.

In 101 NHL games with the Red Wings, Boston Bruins, New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs, MacDonald is 31-48-13 with two shutouts, a 3.04 GAA and .913 save percentage.

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Posted On Monday, 02.11.2013 / 11:39 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Report: MacKinnon out 1-2 weeks

The Halifax Chronicle-Herald is reporting top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Nathan MacKinnon will 1-2 weeks with a lower-body injury.

MacKinnon, a center listed at No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings of players for this year's draft, has 28 goals and 69 points in just 41 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League games this season.

He also has played for Canada at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship and also served as a team captain at the 2013 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Halifax last month.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Sunday, 02.10.2013 / 7:22 PM

NHL.com - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

EDM @ CBJ - 9:18 of the Second Period

At 9:18 of the second period in the Oilers/Blue Jackets game, video review proved inconclusive. Therefore, the referee's call on-ice that Jordan Eberle high-sticked the puck into the net above the height of the crossbar stands. No Goal Edmonton.

According to Rule 60.5 "An apparent goal scored by an attacking player who strikes the puck with his stick carried above the height of the crossbar of the goal frame shall not be allowed. The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick."

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Posted On Sunday, 02.10.2013 / 2:23 PM

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

Flyers place Leighton on IR, recall Boucher

The Philadelphia Flyers placed goalie Michael Leighton on injured reserve with an upper-body injury and recalled Brian Boucher from Adirondack of the American Hockey League.

Leighton has appeared in only one game this season, giving up five goals on 26 shots in a loss to Tampa Bay.

Boucher is in his third stint with the Flyers, having led the team to the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals as a rookie and shared goaltending duties with Leighton on their run to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final.

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Posted On Sunday, 02.10.2013 / 2:10 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Pittsburgh still holds fond memories for Hedberg

PITTSBURGH -- Johan Hedberg enters Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh's Uptown neighborhood, takes a peek across Center Avenue and sees an expanse of asphalt.

"It's hard to imagine what was there when you just see a parking lot," Hedberg said, referring to the former Mellon Arena.

Less than 12 years ago, the now-New Jersey Devils goalie was living one of the top feel-good stories of the Pittsburgh Penguins' 46-year-history on that very site. Acquired for seldom-used defenseman Bobby Dollas from the San Jose Sharks' International Hockey League affiliate in Winnipeg in March, Hedberg quickly became the go-to goalie for the Stanley Cup-contending Penguins over the next two months.

"It's been (12) years, but for me it's a special place to come back to," said Hedberg, who will start against his former team Sunday night. "(The Penguins) always are going to be special for me."

Hedberg made his NHL debut four days after the trade and went 7-1-1 down the stretch for a Pittsburgh team that boasted Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Alex Kovalev, but had a question mark in net. He immediately filled that need and was a big reason why the Penguins advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.

He became a folk hero in Pittsburgh. The trade went down so fast he was still wearing the powder-blue helmet of the Manitoba Moose for the Penguins. Fans at Mellon Arena chanted "Mooooooooose" after Hedberg saves. Some wore foam moose ears.

"I thought it was a great story back then, especially because of the Moose chant," said Martin Brodeur, the player Hedberg now backs up on the Devils.

Brodeur's Devils ended Hedberg's run in 2001 with a five-game series win in the conference finals.

"We knew they were riding a hot goalie," Brodeur said Sunday. "We were fortunate enough to be able to solve him, I guess, in that series."

Hedberg said that as time goes by, he gets asked about his magical run less and less. He added that trips to Pittsburgh aren't nearly as emotional for him now that Mellon Arena has been razed.

"It doesn't have the same feeling with the new building," Hedberg said. "Not like coming back to the old Igloo."

The results haven't been the same, either. Hedberg has never won in Pittsburgh since being traded by the Penguins to the Vancouver Canucks for a second-round draft choice in August 2003.

He allowed four goals on 29 shots of a loss in his most recent start here on Oct. 22, 2011. Hedberg also made two starts in the three-year-old building during the 2010-11 season. In all, Hedberg is 0-3 with a 3.35 goals-against average and .889 save percentage at Consol Energy Center.

At Mellon Arena after leaving the Penguins, Hedberg was 0-1-1 with a 4.87 GAA and .848 save percentage.

The Devils are out to complete a home-and-home weekend sweep of the Penguins, with whom they are in a tight battle for first place in the Atlantic Division. With Brodeur in net Saturday, New Jersey went 2-for-10 on the power play in a 3-1 win.

"I don't think you're going to see the same kind of game tonight as we did last night," Hedberg said. "I'm sure they don't want to spend the time in the box as they did. We have to clear our minds and know what their tendencies are, but it's more focusing on what we want to do."

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Posted On Sunday, 02.10.2013 / 2:07 PM

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

Blues activate Halak off injured reserve

The struggling St. Louis Blues got positive news for a change Sunday when goaltender Jaroslav Halak was activated from injured reserve.

Halak, 27, has appeared in five games this season posting a 3-0-0 record including a 2.10 goals-against average and an .889 save percentage, and is tied for the NHL lead with two shutouts. He had been out with a groin injury.

The Blues are 0-3-1 since starting the season with six wins in their first seven games.

The team also assigned goaltender Jake Allen to their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, Peoria Rivermen.

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Posted On Sunday, 02.10.2013 / 1:27 PM

By Chris Ryndak -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Sabres could get Regehr back on blue line

BUFFALO, N.Y. -– With the Buffalo Sabres' defense getting healthier, coach Lindy Ruff has some decisions to make in terms of who will play and who will sit. Andrej Sekera returned to the lineup on Saturday and they could get another veteran back on Sunday when they host the Boston Bruins.

Robyn Regher has missed the last seven games with a lower-body injury but he feels he'll be ready to go Sunday night.

"It's been a couple of weeks. I feel pretty good out there," Regehr said. "I told Lindy that I feel like I'm ready to play, so it's up to him to decide what the next move is."

Ruff also said that defenseman Tyler Myers will be a game-time decision. He was a healthy scratch for the first time this season for their game on Saturday against the New York Islanders. He was on the ice for an extended period of time Sunday morning, so it's expected that he will be scratched for the second straight game.

"[Myers] hasn’t defended well, obviously," Ruff said. "He's made some decisions that have been tough decisions on the ice, some gambles that have turned into goals against. We've tried to help him with those decisions.

"I think he's caught in between where he wants to create offense and he's put himself in a tough position defensively on some of these, so we're trying to help him through it."

Center Mikhail Grigorenko participated in the team's optional skate Sunday morning and was out on the ice for nearly an hour. He said he was told he would take part in the pregame warm-up but he was not sure if or how much he would be playing Sunday night. Ruff indicated that his ice time will vary from game to game, and in some cases he may not play at all.

Defenseman TJ Brennan is also expected to be a healthy scratch. The Sabres will have to make a roster move if they activate Regehr from injured reserve.

The Bruins had their home game on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning postponed due to inclement weather. The team held a full practice on Sunday in Buffalo.

"It was one of those days where you did a lot more office work than you did hockey work," Bruins coach Claude Julien said.

With the postponement on Saturday, Boston has been off since Wednesday while the Sabres will play their third game in four nights on Sunday.

Julien declared forwards Brad Marchand (upper body), Daniel Paille (upper body) and Shawn Thornton game-time decisions for Sunday. They all may take part in the pregame warm-up.

As for a starting goaltender, Anton Khudobin left the ice first after practice, but that doesn’t mean Tuukka Rask will be watching the game from the bench.

"They don't even know [who will be starting]," Julien said. "I told them both to be ready."

The Bruins' projected lineup:

Milan Lucic / Brad MarchandDavid KrejciTyler Seguin

Nathan HortonPatrice Bergeron – Rich Peverly

Daniel Paille / Lane MacDermidGregory CampbellShawn Thornton

Chris BourqueChris KellyJamie Tardif

Zdeno CharaJohnny Boychuk

Dougie HamiltonDennis Seidenberg

Andrew FerenceAdam McQuaid

Aaron Johnson

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

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Posted On Sunday, 02.10.2013 / 1:17 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Niskanen skates, return not on horizon yet

PITTSBURGH -- Exactly two weeks into what was projected to be a 2-4 week recovery time, Matt Niskanen is closer to returning to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup. It won't be Sunday against the New Jersey Devils, though.

Niskanen joined more than a dozen teammates for an optional morning skate at Consol Energy Center Sunday but remains on injured reserve due to an ankle injury sustained 14 days ago.

"It is feeling better, and I'm able to do more and more things on the ice every day," Niskanen said. "I'd like to think I'm close -- but we'll just have to wait and see how I progress. I've got a few more steps to take."

Coach Dan Bylsma said Niskanen "is progressing, and we'll see how he continues to go." Niskanen has been skating on his own with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar over the past week.

"It feels good to be out with the team again," said Niskanen, who had a goal and two assists in five games this season. "Mike Kadar does a good job -- but that gets old pretty quick."

Niskanen, who signed a two-year contract extension with Pittsburgh this past summer, opened the season with Kris Letang as his partner on the Penguins' top pairing. Letang will miss his third game due to a lower-body injury Sunday.

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Posted On Sunday, 02.10.2013 / 1:07 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Penguins, Devils

PITTSBURGH -- The projected lines and defensemen pairings for tonight's game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils at Consol Energy Center:

PENGUINS

Chris KunitzSidney CrosbyPascal Dupuis

Zach BoychukEvgeni MalkinJames Neal

Matt CookeBrandon SutterTyler Kennedy

Tanner GlassDustin JeffreyCraig Adams

Brooks OrpikPaul Martin

Simon DespresDylan Reese

Robert BortuzzoDeryk Engelland

Tomas Vokoun

Marc-Andre Fleury

Injured: Matt Niskanen, Kris Letang

Scratched: Eric Tangradi, Joe Vitale, Joe Morrow

Morrow was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League this morning, so it's very possible the 2011 first-round pick makes his NHL debut tonight. Coach Dan Bylsma termed his recall "insurance" for "bumps and bruises" among Pittsburgh's defensemen. Martin was the only defenseman to skip the team's morning skate.

DEVILS

Stefan Matteau - Travis Zajac - Ilya Kovalchuk

Patrik Elias - Adam Henrique - David Clarkson

Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Krystofer Barch - Jacob Josefson - Bobby Butler

Bryce Salvador - Mark Fayne

Andy Greene - Adam Larsson

Anton Volchenkov - Marek Zidlicky

Johan Hedberg

Martin Brodeur

Injured: Dainius Zubrus

Scratches: Peter Harrold, Henrik Tallinder

Coach Peter DeBoer said there will be no changes in the lineup a day after the Devils beat the Penguins in Newark.

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Quote of the Day

When I first became captain here, Monsieur Beliveau came to me and said, 'You're going to be fine. You don't have to change, you got selected because of who you are.'

— Saku Koivu on Thursday, recalling what he was told by the late Jean Beliveau when he was named Canadiens captain in 1999
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