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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 6:59 PM

NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Islanders coach Capuano to miss opener

The New York Islanders are playing their season opener without their coach.

Just minutes before the start of Saturday's game against the New Jersey Devils, the Islanders announced via their Twitter account that Jack Capuano would not be behind the bench due to medical reasons. Capuano was present at the pregame skate and addressed the media this morning.

Newsday's Arthur Staple reported via Twitter that Capuano has been suffering with kidney stones for the past few days.

Capuano, 46, is entering his second full season as Islanders coach. Assistants Doug Weight and Brent Thompson are running the team in Capuano’s absence.

Capuano has missed one other game since taking over; he skipped a game in Buffalo last February due to the flu.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 5:15 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Ducks looking to get off to strong start

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Anaheim Ducks open the season against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night hoping to pick up where they left off more than nine months ago.

Not as the 13th-place team in the Western Conference and out of the playoffs, but as one of the hottest teams in the season's second half, when they went 24-4-6 down the stretch. With top forwards Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne and Bobby Ryan all back, and Jonas Hiller healthy between the pipes, they believe they can keep that pace.

"I don’t see why it shouldn’t carry over," Perry said. "As a team in the second half, we were right up there with the best in the League. We fell a little bit short but if we continue to do the same things we were doing I don’t see why we can’t be one of the top teams."

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 4:34 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Canucks start season with injury-depleted lineup

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Vancouver Canucks open the season against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night with almost all of the players who helped them win a second-straight Presidents' Trophy last season.

Unfortunately for the Canucks, not all are healthy.

Offseason surgeries to his left wrist and shoulder have left Ryan Kesler uncertain about a return date, and a groin injury suffered during fitness testing Sunday has David Booth out 4-6 weeks, leaving the Canucks without two-thirds of their second line for at least the first month of the shortened season.

Instead they will start the season with journeyman Andrew Ebbett and sophomore Zack Kassian trying to fill those roles, while the rest of a mostly intact lineup tries to make up for any slack.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 3:40 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Projected lineups for Canadiens, Maple Leafs

MONTREAL – Here are the opening night lineups for the game Saturday night between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.

MAPLE LEAFS

Joffrey LupulTyler BozakPhil Kessel

Clarke MacArthurMikhail GrabovskiNikolai Kulemin

James van RiemsdykNazem KadriLeo Komarov

Mike BrownJay McClementColton Orr

Dion PhaneufMichael Kostka

John-Michael LilesCody Franson

Carl Gunnarson – Mike Komisarek

Ben Scrivens

James Reimer

Injured: Jake Gardiner

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer, Mark Fraser

CANADIENS

Max PaciorettyDavid DesharnaisErik Cole

Alex GalchenyukTomas PlekanecBrian Gionta

Rene BourqueLars EllerTravis Moen

Brandon PrustRyan WhiteColby Armstrong

Andrei MarkovAlexei Emelin

Tomas KaberleJosh Gorges

Francis BouillonRaphael Diaz

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

Scratched: Brandon Gallagher, Mike Blunden, Yannick Weber

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 3:31 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Projected lineups for Penguins, Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- Here are the lines the Flyers and Penguins will use in their season opener today at Wells Fargo Center:
 
FLYERS

Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Brayden Schenn
Matt Read - Scott Laughton - Wayne Simmonds
Maxime Talbot - Sean Couturier - Jakub Voracek
Zac Rinaldo - Eric Wellwood - Ruslan Fedotenko
 
Braydon Coburn - Nicklas Grossmann
Kimmo Timonen - Luke Schenn
Andrej Meszaros - Kurtis Foster
 
Ilya Bryzgalov
Michael Leighton

PENGUINS
 
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Eric Tangradi - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Matt Cooke - Brandon Sutter - Tyler Kennedy
Tanner Glass - Dustin Jeffrey - Craig Adams
 
Kris Letang - Matt Niskanen
Paul Martin - Brooks Orpik
Deryk Engellend - Simon Despres
 
Marc-Andre Fleury
Tomas Vokoun
 
Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 2:58 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Projected Lineups: Detroit Red Wings at St. Louis Blues

ST. LOUIS -- Here are the opening night lineups for Saturday's game between the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues from Scottrade Center:

BLUES

David Perron - David Backes - T.J. Oshie

Andy McDonald - Alex Steen - Vladimir Tarasenko

Jaden Schwartz - Patrik Berglund - Chris Stewart

Vladimir Sobotka - Scott Nichol - Ryan Reaves

Ian Cole - Alex Pietrangelo

Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Kris Russell - Roman Polak

Jaroslav Halak gets the opening start in goal; Brian Elliott is the backup.

The Blues have no injuries. Healthy scratches include wingers Matt D'Agostini and Jamie Langenbrunner as well as defenseman Jeff Woywitka.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 2:53 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Bertuzzi could be sidelined for a month

ST. LOUIS -- The Detroit Red Wings will be without veteran forward Todd Bertuzzi longer than expected.

Bertuzzi, who has been nursing a groin injury, will miss up to a month with mononucleosis.

"Bert's got mono," Red wings coach Mike Babcock said Saturday. "When we talked to him [Friday], we knew something was wrong. He's got mono, so he's going to [miss] a chunk of time."

Asked if it will be weeks, Babcock replied: "Oh yeah, for sure. Probably."

Bertuzzi, who turns 38 on Feb. 2, could go on injured reserve, which would clear a spot for injured Darren Helm (back) to return.

Bertuzzi has 751 points in 1,093 career games.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 2:51 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Colaiacovo excited for return to St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- A familiar face will sit on the visitors bench tonight, as Carlo Colaiacovo, who was a staple on the St. Louis Blues' defensive unit for four seasons, will wear the Winged Wheel.

Colaiacovo, who became an unrestricted free agent this summer, was not brought back by the Blues and signed a two-year, $5-million contract with the archrival Detroit Red Wings.

Colaiacovo, 29, arrived at the arena Saturday morning and had to remind himself where he needed to be.

"Actually, I got locked out when I came in," Colaiacovo quipped. "I didn't know where to go. I'm still used to being a home player here. I didn't know where the visiting teams were supposed to go.

"I've seen a lot of familiar faces and it brings back a lot of good memories. I obviously still have a lot of great friends on that team. I saw them last night and saw them again this morning. A lot of mixed emotions going through me today. The adrenaline's going to be rushing through me tonight. I know that the crowd's going to be rocking. It's a new opportunity for me, a fresh start. I'm looking forward to making the most of it."

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 2:45 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Bylsma, Laviolette happy to see each other

PHILADELPHIA -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma and his Philadelphia Flyers counterpart, Peter Laviolette, agree that matchup of their two teams Saturday is the perfect way to start the season.

The Flyers and Penguins finished the 2011-12 regular season against each other, then engaged in a memorable, hard-fought six-game playoff series. In fact, the Penguins' last eight games have been against the Flyers.

For the Penguins, Bylsma said his team should have extra inspiration for the way their season ended, a 5-1 loss to the Flyers here at Wells Fargo Center.

"When the news stated rolling around and it looked like we were going to have a season, and the possibility of when the season could start … [it] would be against the Flyers, you kind of smirk at the decision-makers who put that schedule together," Bylsma said. "But now we're getting in the plane, coming here, coming into this building, certainly no better way to start for us. A shortened season, the sprint it's going to be to the playoffs, the place where our [season] ended last year, disappointed with us not playing the way we thought we could, starting here against the Flyers, our rival, it's going to be a great way to start."

Laviolette said he's just as happy to see the Penguins written first on his team's schedule. As much as he's pleased for having a rival to open the season against, he's glad the fans who have missed hockey for so long will have what should be an entertaining game for their first day back.

"It's a good way to kick off the season for us, for sure," Laviolette said. "We've got a real strong opponent here. There was a real emotional series last year, I think, and it's a perfect opening game.

"The fact that it's the Penguins, an afternoon game, NBC, that brings the hype already. The lockout adds a little bit. I think you've got a couple teams that have a pretty good rivalry going, it's the first game of the year. People that love hockey still love hockey after the lockout. We're happy they're here and we want to put on a good game for the fans."

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

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 2:43 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Blues' Tarasenko ready for NHL debut

ST. LOUIS -- The look in Vladimir Tarasenko's eyes said it all.

The St. Louis Blues' 2010 first-round draft pick is feeling like a kid in a candy store, excited to be realizing a dream. On the other hand, when the 21-year-old steps onto the ice for his first National Hockey League game against the Detroit Red Wings tonight (7 p.m. on FSN, KMOX 1120-AM), the nerves will be fast and furious.

"I'm very excited because this is my dream. It's a dream come true," Tarasenko said at the morning skate. "I'm a little bit nervous because this is my first game in the National Hockey League. I never thought I would get here."

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Quote of the Day

I didn't even know how to celebrate. I threw my hands up, they gave me a hug, so I guess that's all I needed.

— Sabres forward Tim Schaller on scoring his first NHL goal Sunday against the Bruins