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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 2:58 PM

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

Canucks shift defensive pairings, start Schneider

VANCOUVER -- Cory Schneider is over a brief battle with the flu and back in the Vancouver Canucks' net against the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night.

His teammates are hoping to bounce back from a defensive effort that would be enough to make most goalies nauseous. A sick Schneider watched from the bench as Roberto Luongo was torched during an 8-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.

"We were all pretty embarrassed by that game," Schneider said of the last stop on a four-game road trip. "We're not going to let that sit in our minds too long, we're going to come back and defend home ice."

They will do so without defenseman Kevin Bieksa, who injured his groin during the road trip and remains day-to-day. As one of only two natural right-side defensemen on the roster, the loss of Bieksa necessitated some juggling on the defensive pairings, and after they failed miserably against the Red Wings, there will be more Tuesday.


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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 1:54 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Flames, Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Here are the projected lineups for tonight's contest between the Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center:

FLAMES

Alex Tanguay - Matt Stajan - Jarome Iginla

Sven Baertschi - Roman Cervenka - Jiri Hudler

Curtis Glencross - Mike Cammalleri - Lee Stempniak

Blake Comeau - Steve Begin - Tim Jackman

Jay Bouwmeester - Mark Giordano

TJ Brodie - Dennis Wideman

Derek Smith - Chris Butler

Joey MacDonald

Daniel Taylor

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 1:50 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Flames coach Hartley checks in with Cervenka

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Entering the season, expectations were high for Calgary Flames center Roman Cervenka.

He earned a reputation in Russia as a scorer, tallying 54 goals in two years in the KHL before signing with the Flames this offseason. The 27-year old Czech has struggled to translate that game to the National Hockey League, however, scoring two goals in 13 games this season.

Part of the issue is comfort.

Cervenka still struggles with language, understanding English enough when spoken to, but not comfortable enough to speak it. Communicating with teammates is difficult, except for with linemate and fellow Czech Jiri Hudler.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 1:44 PM

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

Wisniewski out 'extended period' with broken foot

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced on Tuesday that defenseman James Wisniewski would be sidelined an extended amount of time after breaking a bone in his foot.

Jackets coach Todd Richards informed reporters of the injury Tuesday morning. According to the coach, Wisniewski sustained the injury during Sunday's loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. There is no timetable on his return, but Richards did say that Wisniewski would be out "an extended period of time."

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 1:38 PM

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

Canadiens confirm Bourque has concussion

After forward Rene Bourque missed the Montreal Canadiens' past two games with what was originally described by the team as a bout with the flu, coach Michel Therrien confirmed Tuesday that Bourque has a concussion.

Following the Canadiens' 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders last Thursday, Bourque was a late scratch for the team's following game Saturday against the New York Rangers. Initially diagnosed with the flu, Bourque then did not travel with the team when they suffered a 2-1 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators on Monday night.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 1:30 PM

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

Hurricanes captain Staal defends Semin's character

WASHINGTON -- The Carolina Hurricanes are trying to retain their place atop the Southeast Division despite a rash of injuries, and the Washington Capitals are trying to get back into the playoff race after a dreadful start.

That alone would make this division battle an important one, but Alexander Semin's return to Washington -- and the feelings said return elicited in Capitals forward Troy Brouwer on Monday -- have added some juice to this contest.

Semin spent seven seasons with the Capitals before signing a one-year deal in the offseason with the Hurricanes. Brouwer wasn't shy about discussing Semin's perceived lack of consistency with things like work ethic and commitment, but Hurricanes captain Eric Staal stood up for his linemate Tuesday morning after the team's skate at Verizon Center.


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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 1:24 PM

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

Cisco NHL Live looks at Semin's return, Bruins-Isles

Alexander Semin returns to Washington for the first time as an opponent on Tuesday. Cisco NHL Live with Steve Mears and EJ Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on the NHL Network, will have the Hurricanes-Capitals game covered. We'll get live updates from our Cisco NHL Arena cam in the nation's capital.

The Boston Bruins are off to their best start since the 1976-77 season and face the New York Islanders on NBC Sports Network on Tuesday night, while the banged-up New York Rangers host the Winnipeg Jets. We'll get live pre-game analysis from both arenas. NHL Network analyst Darren Pang will drop by the show to talk about some of the goalies making headlines around the League.

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 under the radar defensemen, and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks each game being played on Tuesday.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 1:20 PM

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

McDonald leaves Blues practice with injury

St. Louis Blues forward Andy McDonald was injured in practice Tuesday and needed help to get off the ice and into the locker room.

McDonald reportedly was injured during a drill when he collided with forward Vladimir Sobotka. McDonald was not able to put any pressure on his left leg as he was helped off the ice. He later limped to the locker room under his own power.

Teammate Alexander Steen had left practice moments earlier with an upper-body injury after a battle scrum in which his helmet popped off.

The Blues recalled forward Andrew Murray under emergency conditions from their AHL affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen.

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the media that the severity of the injuries won't be determined until Wednesday. The Blues are off until they host Chicago on Thursday night.

"Unfortunately when those two guys went down kind of took out from another really good practice," Hitchcock said. "We'll see where they're at tomorrow. We had a lot of fun, guys were working hard, we're really accomplishing a lot here, so hopefully we can take a good lineup into the game on Thursday."
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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 1:20 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Weiss missing as Theodore returns to Panthers' net

SUNRISE, Fla. — The injury-riddled Florida Panthers will be further shorthanded Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins with the absence of center Stephen Weiss, who flew to Toronto to attend his grandmother’s funeral.

Weiss will be one of six regulars missing from the lineup, along with defensemen Ed Jovanovski (knee) and Filip Kuba (upper body) and forwards Scottie Upshall (ankle), Kris Versteeg (upper body) and Sean Bergenheim (lower body).

That doesn’t even include veteran forward Alex Kovalev, who coach Kevin Dineen said would be evaluated Tuesday afternoon. Dineen declined to address the nature of Kovalev’s injury, going as far as telling reporters to call him a healthy scratch.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 1:10 PM

By Lonnie Herman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Malone on ice for Lightning, not ready to return yet

TAMPA -- Injured forward Ryan Malone was on ice with his Tampa Bay Lightning teammates at Tuesday's morning skate, though he wore an orange "no-contact" jersey.

"Ryan Malone is on the ice; that's a good step," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. "That's the second step. Off-ice he's doing really well and we'll get him ready on-ice, and I'm sure we'll see him soon. Soon is not tonight. It's hard to say when he'll be back. He's got a few days to work with the therapist, and after that we'll get him in a real practice. Step three in the recovery will be an actual game. I wouldn't say he's three weeks away, but it's not today or the next game."

As Malone, who has missed eight games with a lower-body injury, works toward a return, Boucher faces an interesting dilemma when it comes to finding a spot for him.


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Quote of the Day

It's something that you don't really envision starting this way, but when you put the work in you don't feel like it's unwarranted. You definitely don't envision it unfolding this way, but you do think you can be successful at this level.

— Senators goalie Andrew Hammond, who defeated the Jets on Wednesday to improve to 6-0-1 since making his first NHL start on Feb. 18