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Posted On Thursday, 04.25.2013 / 12:41 PM

By Ben Raby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Karlsson returns as Senators try to snap mini-slide

WASHINGTON – Defenseman Erik Karlsson will return to the Ottawa Senators lineup Thursday against the Washington Capitals.

The reigning Norris Trophy winner has not played since Feb. 13 when his Achilles tendon was sliced in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Karlsson underwent surgery Feb. 14 and was expected to miss four to six months. Instead, the 22-year-old will return exactly 10 weeks after the operation.

The Senators could clinch a second straight Stanley Cup Playoff berth as early as Thursday night with a win against the Capitals or a Winnipeg Jets’ regulation loss against the Montreal Canadiens.

Ottawa has lost two straight games since beating the Capitals 3-1 a week ago at ScotiaBank Place. The Senators have since been outscored 7-2 in back-to-back defeats by the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Capitals’ loss in Ottawa last Thursday remains the club’s only blemish in a 10-1-0 month of April. Washington clinched the Southeast Division title and the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 5-3 win Tuesday against Winnipeg.

Here is Ottawa’s projected lineup for Thursday night:

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Posted On Thursday, 04.25.2013 / 12:33 PM

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

Horton remains out as Bruins host Lightning

BOSTON – The Boston Bruins will finish a string of three straight games against teams that aren’t going to be in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden on Thursday.

The Bruins are 1-1-0 during this stretch, where they’ve found out just how hard the non-contenders are competing even with little more than pride on the line. Considering his team’s disappointing performance in a 5-2 loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, Bruins coach Claude Julien knows his team cannot take anyone lightly.

“It’s a team that played, I thought, a really good game [Wednesday] night,” Julien said of the Lightning. “I watched them play, and I think you just have to look around at the schedule the other night, all the playoff-seeded teams, almost every one of them except for Washington, lost. So it goes to show you teams aren’t giving up. They’re coming out and playing some solid hockey. When you know you’ve only got 'X' number of games left and you want to finish on a positive note, you play your best. And that’s what we should expect from Tampa [on Thursday] night.”

The Bruins are almost completely healthy, with only Nathan Horton battling an injury. Julien said Horton skated Thursday morning but he is still day-to-day and will not face the Lightning.

The game with Tampa Bay will be Horton’s third game missed since he was injured against the Pittsburgh Penguins last Saturday.

Tampa Bay did not hold a morning skate after flying in from Tampa after a win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

Here are the projected lineups for both teams:

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Posted On Thursday, 04.25.2013 / 11:51 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Hedberg starts, Gelinas makes NHL debut for Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils goalie Johan Hedberg will make his first start in over a month Thursday when his team plays host to the Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins in the final game of the season at Prudential Center.

Hedberg, who is making his first start since a March 19 loss to the New York Rangers, is 5-9-3 with a 2.73 goals-against average and .886 save percentage in 17 games this season. In 10 career appearances against the Penguins, Hedberg is 3-5-1 with 2.84 GAA and .900 save percentage.

"It's been a while now since I last played, so it's nice to get one in and set up for next year," Hedberg told NHL.com. "We're playing for pride now. The fans have been great all year and coming to every game. That's really what we're playing for tonight … to show our appreciation for what they did for us."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.25.2013 / 11:25 AM

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

Semin to miss rest of season with concussion

Carolina Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller told the Raleigh News and Observer on Thursday that forward Alexander Semin has a concussion and will miss the team's final two regular-season games.

The Hurricanes play Thursday at home against the New York Rangers and Saturday at the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In 44 games this season, Semin had 13 goals and 31 assists.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.25.2013 / 11:10 AM

By Ben Raby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Neuvirth starting in net for Capitals

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Michal Neuvirth will make a rare start at Verizon Center on Thursday when the Washington Capitals host the Ottawa Senators (7 p.m. ET, TSN).

Neuvirth will make just his fifth start at home Thursday, and his second since Feb. 5.

Here is the rest of Washington's projected lineup:

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.24.2013 / 11:07 PM

NHL.com - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

CHI @ EDM - 13:51 of the Second Period

At 13:51 of the second period in the Blackhawks/Oilers game during a scramble in the Edmonton crease, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the puck never completely crossed the goal line. No Goal Chicago.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.24.2013 / 7:06 PM

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

CISCO NHL Live: John Tavares

CISCO NHL Live talks with New York Islanders' Center John Tavares.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.24.2013 / 7:05 PM

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

CISCO NHL Live: Jay Bouwmeester

CISCO NHL Live talks St. Louis Blues Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.24.2013 / 7:03 PM

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

CISCO NHL Live: Adam Oates

CISCO NHL Live talks with Washington Capitals' Head Coach Adam Oates.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.24.2013 / 6:38 PM

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

Ducks will rest Selanne, Koivu on Thursday

VANCOUVER -- With nothing to gain in the regular season, the Anaheim Ducks will rest veteran forwards Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.

The Ducks clinched the Pacific Division and locked themselves into the second seed in the Western Conference with a 3-0 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night. Anaheim finishes the season at home against the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night.

“You can look at it both ways, it’s a fine line,” coach Bruce Boudreau said of resting players. “I think some guys do need a rest. … But I don’t think those two guys are going to lose anything. They are by far the oldest line in the NHL, I gotta believe."

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Quote of the Day

It was a different game in the past, that's for sure. It's not exactly what I was expecting but I think the experience paid off for a lot of our guys that realized what it takes in a Game 7. Realistically the effort we put forward, we might not even had to put 60 [minutes], but we just couldn't get a couple bounces to go our way and we just kept pushing.

— Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby on Washington's play in Game 7 vs. the Islanders