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Posted On Friday, 04.05.2013 / 1:19 PM

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

Jokinen slotted into Crosby's spot as top-line center

PITTSBURGH -- Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz lost the player they call the best in the world as their center. But the Pittsburgh Penguins wings insist they won't change their games as a result.

Dupuis and Kunitz will play their third game without Sidney Crosby on Friday against the New York Rangers (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). The team traded for former Carolina Hurricanes forward Jussi Jokinen on Wednesday, and coach Dan Bylsma said he will slot Jokinen between Kunitz and Dupuis while Crosby is out indefinitely because of a broken jaw.

The trio got a crash course in playing together during the morning skate Friday.

"There's obviously a little adjustment period, but me and [Dupuis], we're going to play the same style," Kunitz said. "We're not ad libbing a whole bunch. We're going to be in certain areas and putting pucks in certain places. As soon as we get a feel for each other, we're going to have success."

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Posted On Friday, 04.05.2013 / 1:16 PM

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

Senators to debut Conacher on all-rookie line

BUFFALO -- Cory Conacher will make his debut with the Ottawa Senators on Friday against the Buffalo Sabres on an all-rookie line.

The undrafted rookie will play alongside center Mika Zibanejad and right wing Jakob Silfverberg on Ottawa's second line. Conacher had nine goals and 15 assists in 35 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning this season before being traded to the Senators on Wednesday for goaltender Ben Bishop.

"I think we have a lot of speed on our line. Those two guys that I'm playing with are guys that are very confident with the puck and they're very patient," Conacher said. "They know how to make plays and, like I said, they're fast too, so they'll take pucks to the net pretty quick. So you've got to be ready for that."

Conacher grew up in Toronto and played at Canisius College in Buffalo, so he's expecting a big turnout of fans and family for the game.

"We certainly feel that motivation isn't going to be a concern for him. It might be over the top if it's going to be anything," Senators coach Paul MacLean said.

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Posted On Friday, 04.05.2013 / 1:01 PM

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

New Rangers look to build off stellar first impressions

PITTSBURGH -- New York Rangers coach John Tortorella said there would be no changes in the lineup for the second of a home-and-home series with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

After New York dominated Pittsburgh in a 6-1 victory Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, why would there be?

Forwards Ryane Clowe and Derick Brassard and defenseman John Moore -- all new additions to the team -- combined for eight points in the win but continue to adapt to the Rangers' system. Each was acquired via trade during the hours preceding the game Wednesday.

"Gradually they're kind of instilling the basics in us," 22-year-old Moore said. "That's pretty refreshing, especially for a young guy like myself, for them to do that. Because if they're giving you too much information you might be thinking too much.

"[Tortorella] has been great in terms of just making sure we're going out, playing our game. When we were walking out of the locker room as we were going out for warm-ups he had a big smile on today: 'Go have fun.' So that's what we tried to do."

Here is what the Rangers' lineup will look like Friday:

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Posted On Friday, 04.05.2013 / 11:13 AM

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

Sabres' Vanek to sit out fifth straight game

The Buffalo Sabres announced that forward Thomas Vanek will not play Friday against the Ottawa Senators due to an upper-body injury.

It will be the fifth straight game Vanek will miss.

Vanek leads the Sabres in goals (16), assists (17), points (33) and power-play goals (seven).

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Posted On Friday, 04.05.2013 / 9:10 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Prospecting with Central Scouting

NHL Central Scouting ready to roll

So the scouts are in place and we're ready to roll here at the board offices in Toronto. The final meeting to determine the top 2013 draft-eligible prospects is under way.

Scouts in attendance are director Dan Marr, along with Chris Edwards (OHL), Greg Rajanen (U.S.), Al Jensen (U.S./Canada), B.J. MacDonald (WHL), Peter Sullivan (WHL), Chris Bordeleau (QMJHL) and David Gregory (U.S./Canada). Jensen is also responsible for ranking the top North American goaltenders.

Rajanen was hired this season by NHL Central Scouting to cover the mid-Western region of the United States, including the United States Hockey League, Minnesota high schools and colleges. To learn more about the "New Scout on the block," click here.

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Posted On Friday, 04.05.2013 / 9:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Prospecting with Central Scouting

Back to business

NHL Central Scouting goes back to the drawing board this weekend when the top draft-eligible North American skaters will be ranked one final time prior to the 2013 NHL Draft on June 30 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Headed by Central Scouting director Dan Marr, the 10 full-time scouts in attendance at the Toronto board offices will don their thinking caps for one final time to establish their final list of the top 210 North American skaters and 30 goalies. The five-day selection process begins Friday. From a separate location, the Director of European Scouting, Goran Stubb, will also offer his recommendations to Marr on the top 120-plus European skaters and 10 goalies.

The final rankings release will be made official later this month.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 10:12 PM

NHL.com - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

CBJ @ NSH - 6:42 of the Third Period

At 6:42 of the third period in the Blue Jackets/Predators game, video review determined that Columbus forward Matt Calvert used his right skate to kick the puck into the net. 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.". No Goal Columbus.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 7:46 PM

NHL.com - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

TB @ CAR - 19:23 of the First Period

At 19:23 of the first period in the Lightning/Hurricanes game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Carolina forward Alexander Semin used his right skate to kick the puck into the net. 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." No goal Carolina.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 7:09 PM

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

CISCO NHL Live: Chuck Fletcher

Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher joins CISCO NHL Live to discuss the acquisition of Jason Pominville at the trade deadline.
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Posted On Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 4:18 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Roy in Canucks lineup, Kesler not far behind

VANCOUVER -- The cavalry is coming for the Vancouver Canucks, but for now they'll have to rely on trade-deadline acquisition Derek Roy for a boost.

Roy will make his Canucks debut against the streaking Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, but the bigger news coming out the Vancouver morning skate was the number of injured teammates who could soon join him in the lineup.

Selke Trophy-winning center Ryan Kesler highlighted the list of hurt forwards out before the rest of the team took the ice, skating for the first time since a broken bone was discovered in his foot in late February. Forwards Mason Raymond and Dale Weise, each out with a shoulder injury, also skated, as did defenseman Keith Ballard, who has been sidelined due to a fractured foot. All could be back within a week -- some maybe by the weekend -- but for now a Canucks team that has struggled to score will rely on Roy for a lift on and off the ice.

"Having a guy like Derek is hopefully going to be a big addition to the lineup and we're excited to have him," said goalie Cory Schneider, who will make his ninth straight start. "We saw a bunch of the wounded guys skating out there today, so that's always a good sign and will bring some optimism back into the room."

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Quote of the Day

It is really special. I had a lot of friends and family here tonight, and for my first [NHL] game in here it was great. I played here as an elementary-school player in the city championships and this was my first time back. It was a lot of fun.

— Toronto native Brandon Pirri after scoring 2 goals for Panthers in win at Maple Leafs on Thursday
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