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Posted On Friday, 02.15.2013 / 12:06 PM

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

Ducks' Hiller to miss third straight game

The Anaheim Ducks announced Friday that goalie Jonas Hiller will miss his third straight game due to a lower-body injury.

Hiller last played Feb. 8, when he was injured late in the first period of a game against the Dallas Stars. He was replaced for the final two periods of that game by Viktor Fasth, who will make his third straight start when the Ducks play Friday at the Detroit Red Wings.

According to the Ducks' official Twitter account, coach Bruce Boudreau said that while Hiller has shown improvement, he isn't ready to get back into the lineup. Jeff Deslauriers will serve as Fasth's backup.

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Posted On Friday, 02.15.2013 / 11:55 AM

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

Ponikarovsky happy to be back in familiar place

NEWARK, N.J. -- Left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky returned to the ice for the New Jersey Devils during Friday's morning skate at Prudential Center and will be in the lineup against the Philadelphia Flyers (7 p.m. ET).

Ponikarovsky, acquired by the Devils on Wednesday in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a pair of draft picks -- a 2013 seventh-round pick and a 2014 fourth-round selection -- arrived in New Jersey on Thursday. He'll wear No. 12 and begin the game skating on the top line, with center Travis Zajac and right wing Ilya Kovalchuk.

It's Ponikarovsky's second stint with the Devils. The team acquired him in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes in January 2012, and he had 18 points in 33 regular-season games, and a goal and eight assists in 24 Stanley Cup Playoff games. During the playoffs, he often skated on a line with Zajac and Kovalchuk

He signed with the Jets in July, and had two goals in 12 games.

"It's not too much time gone by [since I last played with the Devils] and it should be not too tough for me to fit in again," Ponikarovsky said. "What did I think when I got the news that I'd be coming back? I knew the team and system of the team I would be coming to play for and it was a feeling like I kind of never left."

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Posted On Friday, 02.15.2013 / 11:44 AM

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

Blackhawks recall goalie Karlsson

The Chicago Blackhawks have recalled goaltender Henrik Karlsson from the American Hockey League.

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that goaltender Corey Crawford is not with the team for the morning skate. The Blackhawks, the only team in the League without a regulation loss, host the San Jose Sharks Friday (8:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

Karlsson, 29, is 2-2-0 with a 2.33 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in four AHL games the Rockford IceHogs.

Karlsson was acquired by the Blackhawks from the Calgary Flames last month for a 2013 seventh-round draft pick.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 8:33 PM

NHL.com - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

NYI @ NYR - 11:14 of the Second Period

At 11:14 of the second period in the Islanders/Rangers game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that Carl Hagelin's shot completely crossed the goal line. Good Goal Rangers.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 7:21 PM

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

Schneider gets his turn in Canucks' net

Cory Schneider isn't worried about figuring out the goaltending decisions of Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault, who continues to joke about picking his starter each game based on a coin flip.

Schneider is focused only on the fact the coin flip landed on him for Friday's game against the visiting Dallas Stars.

He expects there will be a lot more flip-flopping as the upcoming schedule gets busier.

"I don't think there's much to figure out," Schneider said of getting the start after Roberto Luongo made 25 saves in a 2-1 win against Minnesota on Tuesday. "We are going to be pretty busy here the next six weeks, so I don't think it's going to be a lot of rhyme or reason. It's just going to be playing a guy who is playing well and try to share the load so if the team is maybe tired the guy in net will be fresh and be the difference."

Both Luongo and Schneider have been just that throughout a six-game win streak.

Luongo won the first three amid a stretch of four straight starts before Schneider took over for back-to-back wins of his own, giving up just one goal each time. Luongo was back in goal against Minnesota, but will watch Schneider play against the Stars.

Statistically, Luongo is better overall with a .943 save percentage and 1.45 goals-against average that ranks first in the NHL. But after since an opening-night face plant as the new would-be No.1 that saw him pulled allowing after five goals on 14 shots, Schneider has been just as good, posting a .946 save percentage while winning four of five starts.

All of which makes Vigneault's coin flip a no-lose bet.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 7:17 PM

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

Canucks lose Malhotra for season, career in jeopardy

VANCOUVER – Celebration over Ryan Kesler's impending return the lineup was muted in the Vancouver Canucks locker room Thursday as players learned they had lost veteran Manny Malhotra for the season.

About the same time Kesler was creating a buzz with a regular shift in practice, the team issued a press release announcing Malhotra had been placed on injured reserve for the rest of the season. The popular 32-year-old center's season – and possibly his career – is over because of a vision-threatening eye injury suffered almost two years ago.

Manny Malhotra
Center - VAN
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 0
SOG: 2 | +/-: -3
Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said he made the decision out of concerns for Malhotra's health, and that Malhotra was risking further injury by continuing to play with limited vision in his left eye.

"I wouldn't put anybody in a position where if I was uncomfortable with their ability to protect themselves or ability to function out on the ice and be at a higher risk than normal," Gillis said. "Particularly in today's game, where it is so fast, the players are so big that even someone not trying to hurt him or injure him, an innocent collision could be really damaging if you don't know or you are unaware."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 7:14 PM

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

CISCO NHL Live:Bruce Garrioch

Cisco NHL Live talks with Ottawa Senators writer Bruce Garrioch about losing Erik Karlsson for the season after Achilles surgery.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 6:28 PM

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

Tortorella wants more from Gaborik and Richards

NEW YORK - Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards need to improve their "battle level," according to New York Rangers coach John Tortorella -- hence the reason for moving captain Ryan Callahan onto their line for Thursday night's game against the New York Islanders.

Tortorella was frank about the play of his two of his biggest stars this season, especially the skating of Gaborik.

"He needs to help them get the puck because I don't think those two guys are doing a good enough job getting the puck," Tortorella said. "It certainly doesn't take the onus off of them, but I just want to see what that looks like.

"They need to play better."

Tortorella said he didn't like Callahan with Richards last season, but the two played together for a lengthy stretch in 2011-12. In Gaborik's case, Tortorella wants to see him emulate another speedy winger on his club - Carl Hagelin.

"It's a huge part of his game," Tortorella said of Gaborik's speed. "You look at Hagelin. He's second on our team - we keep this stat offensively and defensively and you have a plus/minus, basically (with scoring chances for and against) - he's second behind [Rick] Nash as far as his plus/minus. Hags is at like plus-27, Nash is at plus-31, and Hags hasn't made a whole lot of passes. I'm not criticizing him -- he's done it with his legs. He creates havoc with his legs.

"I just don't understand why Gabby can't do that. I know they're a little different-type players. But Gabby needs to bring that into his game. And he will."

It should also be noted that Tortorella referred to Derek Stepan as the team's first-line center, and his 25:14 of ice time in Tuesday's 4-3 shootout victory in Boston backs up that sentiment; Richards played 19:19.

Tortorella also said making Chris Kreider a healthy scratch and bringing Brian Boyle back into the lineup after sitting him for three games wasn't because Kreider played poorly, but he hadn't done enough good things of late. Rookie J.T. Miller will be moved to the wing with Boyle centering the third line in an effort to lessen the responsibilities on the 19-year-old in his own zone.

Here's what the Rangers' lines will look like as they go for their fourth win in a row.

Carl Hagelin - Derek Stepan - Rick Nash

Marian Gaborik - Brad Richards - Ryan Callahan

J.T. Miller - Brian Boyle - Taylor Pyatt

Arron Asham - Jeff Halpern - Darroll Powe

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Marc Staal - Anton Stralman

Michael Del Zotto - Matt Gilroy

Martin Biron

Henrik Lundqvist

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 4:00 PM

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

Canucks' Kesler medically cleared to play

The Vancouver Canucks have announced that center Ryan Kesler has been medically cleared to return to playing.

"All indications are that Kesler is ready to go," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said, according to the team's official Twitter feed.

Kesler practiced with the team Thursday, skating on a line with Chris Higgins and Zack Kassian.

"It's a line that can bring good size with physical presence and good puck pursuit," Vigneault said.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 3:39 PM

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

Schneider back in net as Canucks go for seven

Cory Schneider will start for the third time in four games when the surging Vancouver Canucks host the Dallas Stars on Friday.

Schneider allowed one goal in each of his previous two starts, Feb. 7 against the Minnesota Wild and Feb. 9 against the Calgary Flames, before Roberto Luongo got the start and won his fourth straight, also allowing a single goal in Tuesday's win over the Wild.

Vancouver has won six in a row.

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Quote of the Day

He stuck his neck out there for us. I don't know what's wrong with him, but you see he was in pain. But he went back in there. He's a tough guy. You've got to give him credit for helping the boys out.

— Panthers forward Brandon Pirri on goalie Roberto Luongo, who returned to game on Tuesday against Maple Leafs after leaving earlier in the contest with an injury