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Posted On Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 2:35 PM

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

Penguins won't rush back injured stars

PITTSBURGH -- Acknowledging there is a benefit to seeing game action before the Stanley Cup Playoffs start, Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma stressed that none of his injured players will be rushed back and that all have shown an ability to seamlessly rejoin the lineup after long layoffs.

NHL scoring leader Sidney Crosby (broken jaw), reigning 40-goal scorer James Neal (concussion), 25-minute-per-game defenseman Paul Martin (hand) and 2011-12 Hart Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin (shoulder) each have missed time. All but Malkin have been ruled out for Wednesday night's game against the Montreal Canadiens. Malkin was termed a game-time decision by Bylsma but his role in recent practices and Wednesday's morning skate suggests he is unlikely to play.

With six games and exactly two weeks between now and the projected first game of the opening round of the playoffs at Consol Energy Center, Bylsma said there won't be any rash decisions made concerning Malkin, Crosby, Neal or Martin.

"We're talking about players who are good hockey players and can get in games and be factors in games, and they're going to be that in their first game, whenever that is," Bylsma said. "I feel comfortable they're going to be able to get in their spots and play and be factors."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 2:07 PM

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

Prust, Weber return for Canadiens

PITTSBURGH -- The Montreal Canadiens will be without wing Michael Ryder for Wednesday night's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins because of an upper-body injury. Coach Michel Therrien did not, however, rule out Ryder returning for a home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.

Essentially taking Ryder's spot in the lineup is wing Brandon Prust, who sat out Monday's loss to the Philadelphia Flyers due to an upper-body injury.

Defenseman Yannick Weber will play for the Canadiens for the third time this season. It will be Weber's second appearance since January and first since March 7. Weber replaces Nathan Beaulieu after Montreal allowed 12 goals in losing its past two games.

"It's not like it's my first game ever, but it's been a while," Weber said. "For me, it's just go back and find my game and take it shift by shift. Normally it takes a couple shifts, and then you're back as if nothing happened. I'm excited and I'm ready to go."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 1:35 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Don't sleep on Michalek's value

The Ottawa Senators' injury problems have been well documented this season, and Milan Michalek has found himself on that laundry list more often than not.

That said, there's still time for Michalek to boost your fantasy squad in a big way down the stretch.

Milan Michalek
Left Wing - OTT
GOALS: 4 | ASST: 8 | PTS: 12
SOG: 38 | +/-: 6
After finishing tied for 11th in the NHL last season with a career-high 35 goals, the Senators forward has seen action in only 17 of his team's 42 games during this shortened season. But while it's been a lost season in that regard for fantasy owners who drafted him, his effectiveness when in good health should not be questioned by owners looking to add him on the waiver wire.

Michalek was recently sidelined for 15 games following knee surgery, but returned last Friday and has recorded a goal in each of his first two games back. He also missed nearly a month due to the same injury before a brief return on March 6 for two games, after which he required surgery. Despite his knee issues, Michalek has tallied at least a point in his past five games overall. It's his second five-game point streak this season, an impressive feat that proves he has displayed offensive flair when in the lineup.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 1:00 PM

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

Bergeron, Marchand will return for Bruins

BOSTON – On what should be an emotional night at TD Garden, the Boston Bruins will look to give the city a lift, and they should get a lift from the return of two of their better players Wednesday.

Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand are expected to return to the lineup against the Buffalo Sabres after missing several games with a concussion. Bergeron missed six games; Marchand has been out the past two.

The Bruins-Sabres game will be the first professional sporting event in Boston since the explosions near the finish line at the Boston Marathon on Monday.

Forward Carl Soderberg, who joined the Bruins for morning skate for the first time since signing a contract with the team last week, will not play.

The Sabres demoted Luke Adam to Rochester of the American Hockey League. It appears they’ll start Ryan Miller in net after Jhonas Enroth made the prior two starts.

Here are the projected lineups for each team:

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 12:37 PM

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

Hartman hoping to return sooner than expected

The pictures shared by numerous Twitter account holders of the ugly laceration on the right forearm of Plymouth Whalers forward Ryan Hartman led one to believe he would be sidelined the remainder of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs.

Hartman, the No. 25-ranked skater on NHL Central Scouting's midterm release of the top draft-eligible North American prospects, has other intentions.

Hartman informed NHL.com on Wednesday that his doctor told him earlier in the day there was no sign of infection. That means with continued healing, he could return to the lineup as early as next week.

"It looks good … I got half the stitches out [Wednesday]," Hartman told NHL.com.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 12:19 PM

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

Invite numbers set for NHL Scouting Combine

Once NHL Central Scouting finalizes the rankings for the top draft-eligible North American prospects, the scouting staff will begin making preparations for the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto from May 27 through June 1.

Central Scouting is anticipating 86 North American players, including the top seven ranked goalies, and the top 15 European prospects, including the No. 1-ranked goalie, to join in all the excitement and sweat that is associated with the Combine.

The fitness testing portion of the Combine will be held May 31 and June 1 at Toronto International Centre and will be headed by Dr. Norman Gledhill and his staff at York University.

Central Scouting is expected to make public its final ranking of the top draft-eligible players during the last week in April.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mikemorrealeNHL

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 11:34 AM

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

Canadiens' Ryder out against Penguins

The Montreal Canadiens announced on Twitter that forward Michael Ryder will miss the team's game Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins with an upper-body injury.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.16.2013 / 8:16 PM

NHL.com - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

CAR @ OTT - 15:37 of the First Period

At 15:37 of the first period in the Hurricanes/Senators game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that Tuomo Ruutu of the Carolina Hurricanes kicked the puck into the net with his right skate. No Goal Carolina.

According to Rule 49.2 "A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who uses a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.16.2013 / 7:17 PM

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

Manning to make season debut for Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- One of the two defenseman the Philadelphia Flyers recalled for their game Tuesday against the New York Rangers (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) will get into the lineup, with Brandon Manning expected to make his season debut.

Manning, who was a plus-1 with six shots on goal in four games with the Flyers last season, likely will be paired with Kurtis Foster. Matthew Konan, also recalled, will be a scratch.

Manning will be the 12th different defenseman to see action for the Flyers this season, tying the Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens for the most in the League.

An injury-depleted blue line saw two more players join the injury list -- Kent Huskins, who sustained a concussion during the game Monday against the Canadiens, and Bruno Gervais, who team announced Tuesday needs surgery to repair a torn stomach muscle. They join Braydon Coburn and Andrej Meszaros, who are out with shoulder injuries, and Nicklas Grossmann, who has a concussion.

Here is what the Flyers' lineup likely will look like when the puck drops:

Simon Gagne - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

Matt Read - Sean Couturier - Wayne Simmonds

Danny Briere - Brayden Schenn - Scott Hartnell

Jay Rosehill - Ruslan Fedotenko - Adam Hall

Oliver Lauridsen - Luke Schenn

Kimmo Timonen - Erik Gustafsson

Kurtis Foster - Brandon Manning

Steve Mason

Ilya Bryzgalov

Injured: Bruno Gervais (torn stomach muscle), Nicklas Grossmann (concussion), Braydon Coburn (shoulder), Andrej Meszaros (shoulder), Maxime Talbot (leg), Zac Rinaldo (ankle), Jody Shelley (hip)

Scratched: Matthew Konan, Mike Knuble

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

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.16.2013 / 6:46 PM

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

Battered Flyers bring in two more young defensemen

PHILADELPHIA -- When Brandon Manning and Matthew Konan arrived in the Philadelphia Flyers' locker room for their game Tuesday against the New York Rangers, they could be forgiven for making sure they weren't still in the American Hockey League.

The rookie defensemen, both recalled from the Flyers' AHL team Tuesday, saw four teammates from earlier this season dressing in same room.

On a defense depleted by injuries -- the latest are a concussion sustained by Kent Huskins during the game Monday against the Montreal Canadiens and the torn stomach muscle that will sideline Bruno Gervais indefinitely -- the arrival of Manning and Konan mean four of the Flyers' seven healthy defensemen started the season in the minor leagues.

Manning has four games of NHL experience from last season, but if Konan gets in, it will be the first game for the undrafted native of Orange, Calif.

"It does [help with the nerves], seeing Olie [Oliver Lauridsen], Gussy [Erik Gustafsson], Mand-dog [Manning]," Konan said. "It does help seeing those guys. I'm excited to be here. I'm thankful and I'm going to do whatever I can to be ready. If they need me I'll be ready to go."

Konan had offseason surgery to repair a pair of sports hernias and started the season in the ECHL. He also missed time this season with a concussion, but in 42 AHL games he has two goals and four assists.

"Konan was a guy that he keeps getting talked about that he's playing well down there," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "A tall kid; a good, steady two-way defenseman."

Manning was plus-1 with six shots on goal in four NHL games last season. He admitted to struggling at times this season, and in 65 AHL games he has 21 points, 135 penalty minutes and a minus-28 rating that ranked as the second-worst in the league. However, he did play in the AHL All-Star Game.

"My game hasn't been where I want it to be," Manning said.

Laviolette said he's looking forward to having another look at Manning in the NHL, based on his "familiarity with [him] from having him up here. You know what he brings."

Laviolette said he won't change much of the game plan, but did say there have been "tweaks."

"We've tried to just play a more dependable game defensively," Laviolette said, "and in certain situations where maybe we'd be a little more aggressive we've tried to back off the numbers a little bit if the circumstances aren't allowing us to be aggressive."

One of Manning or Konan has to play for the Flyers to have six defensemen, but Laviolette would not say which one or both would play.

"I think defense is a tough, tough position for young players," Laviolette said. "Forwards you get a little bit of latitude if there's a mistake in the offensive zone or the neutral zone. Your defense is your last line of something in front of your goaltender. When there's a breakdown it's a little more obvious. So it's a little more difficult for young defensemen."

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

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Quote of the Day

For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.

— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on clinching a playoff berth after a win against the Islanders on Saturday
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