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Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 2:43 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Bernier looks likely to get start Tuesday for Kings

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Jonathan Bernier likely will get a chance to stay perfect at home when the Los Angeles Kings finish a back-to-back home series against the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday.

Bernier was the first goalie off the ice at the Kings' optional skate Tuesday morning. He is 4-0-0 at Staples Center this season.

Coach Darryl Sutter probably wouldn't be questioned much if he went back to Jonathan Quick, who recorded his first shutout of the season with a 4-0 win Monday.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 2:40 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Jets continue playoff push against Bruins

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets will look to continue their push toward the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they meet the Boston Bruins on Tuesday at MTS Centre.

Both teams will return to action after shuffling their rosters Monday. The Bruins rolled into Winnipeg for a meeting with the Jets after sustaining a rare blemish to their 9-3-2 road record Sunday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 2:38 PM

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

Laich looking to start at top speed

PITTSBURGH -- Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates repeatedly has asserted that he plans on easing forward Brooks Laich back into the lineup when his recovery from a groin injury was complete.

Now that the time has come for Laich to make his season debut, Washington's alternate captain isn't interested in slowly working his way into the lineup.

"We don't have the luxury of taking the time to get back into form," Laich said Tuesday, in advance of the Capitals' game against the Pittsburgh Penguins (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2). "I'm expected to be certain things when I'm on the ice, and anything less than that is not acceptable."

Laich has been activated from injured reserve and will play against the Penguins. It will be his first game action since November, when he injured his groin playing for a team in Switzerland.

"I have been in 'season mode' since September," Laich said. "I just want to make a seamless transition to be part of the team. I don't want this to be any sort of distraction to the guys or anything -- I'm just going to come in, play my game and try to contribute to a win."

Across the Capitals' locker room, it was clear Laich's return was welcomed. Washington (12-15-1) entered Tuesday seven points out of the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 1:50 PM

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

Cisco NHL Live talks Perry deal, Tuesday's action

The Anaheim Ducks have signed Corey Perry to an eight-year contract extension and Cisco NHL Live with Steve Mears and EJ Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on the NHL Network, will have reaction to this and much more. With nine games on the schedule Tuesday night, we'll also peek in on the pregame skates with our Ice Pass.

We'll get pre-game reports from multiple cities, including Pittsburgh as the Penguins look for 10 straight wins facing the Capitals, New Jersey for the Atlantic Division matchup between the Rangers and Devils, Long Island for the Senators-Islanders game, and Columbus to preview the Blue Jackets-Predators. NHL Network analyst Darren Pang will drop by the show to talk about the Blues-Canucks and the stellar play of St. Louis goalie Jake Allen.

Don't forget to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks all nine games being played on Tuesday.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 1:07 PM

By NHL Green -  /NHL.com - NHL Green Slapshots™

Hat Tricks for Trees Hits 1,000

In January, NHL Green announced the launch of Hat Tricks for Trees™, an initiative assisting The Nature Conservancy’s effort to save Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. The National Hockey League Foundation is donating 50 trees for every hat trick scored throughout the 2012-13 regular season and NHL Playoffs.

To date, the League has now pledged to plant 1,000 trees as part of the initiative.

By the numbers: Only one player, Chris Kunitz, has recorded more than one hat trick at this point in the season. As a team, the Anaheim Ducks (Cogliano, Palmieri, Bonino), Philadelphia Flyers (Read, Voracek) and Calgary Flames (Glencross, Cammalleri) have had multiple players contribute hat tricks. Only one team (Anaheim Ducks) have lost this season when one of their players tallied three goals in a game (Cogliano, March 2). Of the twenty hat tricks recorded thus far, seven have been career-firsts (Voracek, Kopecky, Palmieri, Read, Bonino, Kadri and Sobotka).

Read on, and take a look back at the players who notched hat tricks 11 through 20 this season, contributing 500 trees to the League’s total pledge.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 1:00 PM

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

Malkin, Letang out; Cooke game-time decision

PITTSBURGH -- For the first time in 10 days, Evgeni Malkin spent Tuesday morning skating with his Pittsburgh Penguins teammates.

He won't, however, be joining them on the ice Tuesday night when they face the Washington Capitals (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).

The reigning NHL MVP's return to game action could come soon, though.

Malkin skated on his own with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar for about a half-hour before the Penguins' full group had its morning skate.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 1:00 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose's Pep Talk: Nashville Predators

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 12:54 PM

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

Kostitsyn scratched from Predators lineup

The Nashville Predators did not skate in line rushes during their practice Tuesday morning, making their lineup for Tuesday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets unclear.

However, one name that will not be in it is forward Sergei Kostitsyn, whom Predators coach Barry Trotz said will be a healthy scratch.

“Absolutely not,” Trotz told The Tennessean without any level of hesitation when asked if Kostitsyn would play Tuesday.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 12:37 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013 Trade Deadline blog

Could Senators be looking for top-six forward?

The Ottawa Senators have persevered through a number of injuries to key players, among them Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson, top-line center Jason Spezza and goaltender Craig Anderson.

The latest addition to that list is forward Milan Michalek, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Tuesday and is out indefinitely. Michalek has played just two games since originally getting hurt during pre-game warmups prior to a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 13.

Senators general manager Bryan Murray knows replacing Michalek with a player of similar skill won't be easy.

"I don't know how you ever get a scorer in the NHL anymore, but if you can get a top-six forward it's always the objective," Murray told the Ottawa Sun. "I haven't identified anybody who is going to be moved."

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 12:37 PM

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

Knee surgery to sideline Michalek indefinitely

Ottawa Senators forward Milan Michalek underwent knee surgery and will be out indefinitely, the team announced Tuesday.

Michalek has played in two games since Feb. 12. He tried to return and play through the injury, recording assists against the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 6 and the New York Rangers on March 8, but hasn't been in the lineup since.

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Quote of the Day

I don’t know if it was more relief for me that [Stamkos] scored or the power play scored. It was a whole compilation of Alka Seltzer.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Steven Stamkos broke a long scoring drought and Tampa Bay's struggling power play scored four times in Game 2 at Montreal