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Posted On Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 4:42 PM

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

Melrose Team Speech: We're still in it!

Posted On Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 2:32 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

McDonald returning to Blues' lineup

NASHVILLE -- The St. Louis Blues are adding. The Nashville Predators continue to subtract.

The game between the Central Division rivals Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena will see the Blues get back left wing Andy McDonald (flu) after the veteran missed the team's 1-0 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.

"Andy's going to play," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "That'll give us the 12 forwards that we designed for the last game, so same combination before he went down. We'll see how we look and see how it looks.

"If he doesn't have the energy, we'll just move [Chris] Porter into the left side during the game at some period of time."

Posted On Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 2:03 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Penner returning to lineup as Kings visit Stars

DALLAS -- After missing the past four games with a lower-body injury, Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Penner will return to the ice Tuesday against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter said he's glad to see Penner make his return against Dallas.

"His last shift was in this building. Hopefully he still remembers that," Sutter said.

Penner, who last played March 31 against the Stars, figures to skate on the Kings' second line, alongside center Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, which will knock Kyle Clifford, who had been filling in, to the fourth line.

Posted On Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 1:54 PM

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

Emery in goal, Sharp returns for Hawks against Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery will get his third consecutive start in goal when they face the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).

Emery is coming off back-to-back wins against the Nashville Predators on Saturday and Sunday, and is 14-1-0 in 18 games this season.

"Based on how he's playing, it gives him the chance to get some consecutive games, as well. We'll see how he handles it," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said.

Posted On Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 1:53 PM

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

Vanek possibility to return as Sabres visit Jets

WINNIPEG -- The Buffalo Sabres and Winnipeg Jets meet Tuesday at MTS Centre with Eastern Conference playoff positioning at stake.

After the Sabres' morning skate at MTS Centre, Buffalo coach Ron Rolston said leading scorer Thomas Vanek, who has missed six games with an upper-body injury, is a possibility to return against the Jets. Rolston also indicated that Ville Leino likely will not return during the regular season because of an upper-body injury.

Posted On Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 1:43 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Erat, Ward out for Caps; Bourque returns for Habs

MONTREAL -- The Washington Capitals will be without trade-deadline acquisition Martin Erat and forward Joel Ward when they face the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

Erat will miss his second game since being driven into the boards by Florida Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson in the first period of a 4-3 Capitals win Saturday. Ward was hurt when he blocked a Sami Salo slap shot with his left leg in a 4-2 win Sunday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Ward and Erat made the trip to Montreal, but coach Adam Oates said each needs more time before returning to the lineup.

"[Ward] is still hurt pretty good from that shot," Oates said. "He came on the trip in case he got better, but he just wasn't feeling good this morning. Marty's just loosening up, but he's not quite ready yet."

Oates said there was no timeline for the return of either player.

Posted On Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 1:41 PM

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

Cisco NHL Live updates push toward the playoffs

The push toward the Stanley Cup Playoffs continues, and Cisco NHL Live with Steve Mears and EJ Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will get you up to date on playoff implications around the NHL. With nine games on the ice tonight we'll also give you a look at pre-game skates of the early games in our Ice Pass, and discuss each one rapidly in Slapshots.

We'll get live pre-game updates from our Cisco NHL Arena Cam in Columbus with Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch, as the Columbus Blue Jackets and San Jose Sharks face off. In the Eastern Conference, the red-hot Washington Capitals play the Montreal Canadiens and we'll check in with Arpon Basu, Managing Editor of LNH.com for the preview. We'll also head out to Minnesota with the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Michael Russo as the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks square off in a Western Conference clash. Lastly, NHL Network analyst Darren Pang will drop by the show to talk about tonight's matchup between the St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators, and goalie play as we get to crunch time.

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.

Posted On Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 1:28 PM

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

Bishop, Conacher squaring off one week after trade

TAMPA -- Two former teammates will be on opposite benches Tuesday when the Ottawa Senators visit Tampa Bay Times Forum to face the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Goaltender Ben Bishop, one of the principals in the April 3 trade in which the Lightning sent forward Cory Conacher to the Senators, will face his former team as he makes his fourth consecutive start. For Bishop, who is 1-2-0 with Tampa Bay, the start just adds to what has been a whirlwind week.

"I've been in six cities and two countries in four games, so it's been hectic," Bishop said. "But if you can't get excited for games like this, you've got a problem. The last week has been a lot of emotions, a lot of excitement and a lot of adrenaline."

Posted On Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 1:25 PM

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

Erixon, Nikitin return to Columbus blue line

With one goal combined over a current two-game losing streak, the Columbus Blue Jackets welcomed some important reinforcements when they took to the ice Tuesday before their game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Blue Jackets defense, which has dealt with injuries through much of the season, saw Tim Erixon and Nikita Nikitin return to practice. The blueliners each had and upper-body injury but have been cleared to play against San Jose. Another defenseman, Dalton Prout, is a game-time decision.

Posted On Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 1:05 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Faulk, Semin likely to return for Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk will return to the lineup Tuesday after missing the past nine games with a second-degree sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

Faulk is Carolina's leader in ice time, skating 23:23 per night. Carolina sent defenseman Brett Bellemore to Charlotte of the American Hockey League to open a roster spot.

Forward Alexander Semin also is expected to return to face the Pittsburgh Penguins, after missing two games with a lower-body injury.

Here are the projected lineups for the game between the Penguins and Hurricanes:

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Quote of the Day

That's today's game. That's one of the things you have to deal with when you're a championship team. Guys are going to earn more money based on their performance and what they've achieved, [and] deservedly so. [Saad] falls into that category.

— Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on Brandon Saad, who was traded by Chicago to the Columbus Blue Jackets this offseason