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Posted On Monday, 04.15.2013 / 12:26 PM

By John Manasso - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Ekholm set to be latest rookie add to Predators' lineup

NASHVILLE -- The parade from Milwaukee to Nashville continues, as the Nashville Predators recalled defenseman Mattias Ekholm on Monday from their American Hockey League affiliate.

Second-pair defenseman Kevin Klein suffered an injury in the Predators' 3-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday, and so the team was forced to recall Ekholm on Monday morning. Nashville coach Barry Trotz, who would not specify the injury, said Klein was highly questionable to play.

Ekholm was expected to arrive in Nashville later in the day. As the injuries continue to pile up, Ekholm will be the sixth rookie on the Predators' roster and the third Swede to suit up for the team in roughly one week's time.

Posted On Monday, 04.15.2013 / 12:24 PM

By Staff -  / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Kovalchuk possible for Thursday; Salvador still out

There's an outside chance right wing Ilya Kovalchuk could return to the lineup on Thursday when the New Jersey Devils visit Wells Fargo Center to face the Philadelphia Flyers.

Kovalchuk, who turned 30 today, will miss his 10th straight game on Monday with a right shoulder injury. The Devils visit Air Canada Centre to face the Toronto Maple Leafs.

According to Devils coach Pete DeBoer, Kovalchuk had a good skating session on Sunday and will skate again on Monday in New Jersey.

"I would call him day-to-day," DeBoer told local reporters. "My conversation with [Kovalchuk] before we left New Jersey [Sunday] was he had a good day [Sunday] morning, he was going to try to have another good one [Monday] and we would talk tomorrow morning."

Posted On Monday, 04.15.2013 / 12:16 PM

By Mike Brophy - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Fortunes have changed for Devils, Leafs in past year

TORONTO -- A year ago former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke described his team as being akin to an 18-wheel truck being driven over a cliff.

After a terrific start to the year, the Maple Leafs went into a tailspin that ultimately caused them to miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the seventh season in a row and cost coach Ron Wilson his job.

The New Jersey Devils, meanwhile, went about their business as usual as one of the hardest-working and best defensive teams in the NHL, making it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final ultimately losing to the Los Angeles Kings.

This year it's the Devils who resemble the 18-wheeler going off a cliff while the Maple Leafs, who have been transformed into a tough, hard-checking group by new coach Randy Carlyle, are on the verge of making the playoffs for the first time since 2004. The Devils are winless in their past nine games (0-5-4) and sit 11th in the Eastern Conference.

Posted On Sunday, 04.14.2013 / 3:32 PM

By John Manasso - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Predators ready for Forsberg's debut

NASHVILLE – Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg will make his much-anticipated NHL debut on Sunday as a member of the team’s top line and first power-play unit.

One day after arriving from Sweden, the 18-year-old is set to play on a line with David Legwand, who has played for the Predators in every season of their existence, and rookie Taylor Beck, who has three goals in 13 games.

That the Predators’ top line is comprised of two rookies with a total of 13 NHL games between them is a testament to the extent to which injuries have impacted the Predators but also to how they have fallen out of the Stanley Cup Playoff race. They have lost eight out of nine entering their game on Sunday with the Detroit Red Wings at Bridgestone Arena and were 13th in the Western Conference.

Forsberg, drafted 11th in the 2012 NHL Draft, is the player whom the Predators received in exchange from the Washington Capitals for Martin Erat, who ranks second all-time in most Nashville offensive categories.

Posted On Sunday, 04.14.2013 / 11:49 AM

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

Bolland in, Sharp out for Blackhawks

ST. LOUIS -- Dave Bolland is back, but Patrick Sharp is out from the Chicago Blackhawks' lineup Sunday when they face the St. Louis Blues [12:30 p.m. ET] on NBC's Game of the Week.

Bolland missed the previous four games with a lower-body injury, initially hurt against the Nashville Predators while blocking a Shea Weber shot April 1. Bolland played the next game against the Blues in Chicago three days later but has not dressed since.

Sharp, who had missed 14 games with a shoulder injury, returned to play the last two games but will not be in the lineup today after not making the trip Saturday with an upper-body injury, presumably the same one that forced Sharp to miss a month.

For the Blues, T.J. Oshie (foot) will miss his eighth consecutive game Sunday. He was injured blocking a shot against the Los Angeles Kings March 28. Oshie's been on the ice and skated for the last week and is presumably close to returning, perhaps during the Blues' four-game homestand this week.

Posted On Sunday, 04.14.2013 / 12:28 AM - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

ANA @ LAK - 4:54 of the Second Period

At 4:54 of the second period in the Ducks/Kings game, video review determined that Anaheim forward Bobby Ryan kicked the puck into the net with his left leg. According to Rule 49.2 "A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who uses a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net." No Goal Anaheim.

Posted On Saturday, 04.13.2013 / 10:28 PM - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

CGY @ EDM - 5:46 of the First Period

At 5:46 of the first period in the Flames/Oilers game, video review determined that Edmonton forward Nail Yakupov used his right skate to kick the puck into the net. According to Rule 49.2 "A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who uses a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net." No Goal Edmonton.

Posted On Saturday, 04.13.2013 / 4:10 PM

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

Kings' Doughty happy with new partner Regehr

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – There were no apparent lineup changes for the Los Angeles Kings at their morning skate as they go into their series finale against the Anaheim Ducks. Coach Darryl Sutter has stuck with the defensive combination of Drew Doughty and Robyn Regehr, and Doughty likes having that stay-at-home type to balance out his freelancing.

"That gives me the opportunity to kind of jump up every time I can," Doughty said. "He’s always back there. He’s always solid. For the most part, I know what he’s going to do with puck. It’s going to be a simple play. He’s not going to make that saucer pass over a stick or anything like that. He’s either going to go straight up to the winger or over to me.

"I want the puck in my hands as much as I can have, and if he’s going to keep giving it to me, I love that. I think so far we’ve worked really well together. As we get used to each other, we’re going to get better and better."

Doughty said his slow start to the season was tough because he wasn’t putting up points. He took on an increased role with heavy minutes but he also adjusted with partners Jake Muzzin and Keaton Ellerby.

Posted On Saturday, 04.13.2013 / 2:24 PM

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

Projected lineups for Sharks, Stars

DALLAS -- It’s been six days since the San Jose Sharks and the Dallas Stars last met with Dallas prevailing 5-4 in a shootout at HP Pavilion last Sunday.

Dallas has now won four straight games, and Sharks coach Todd McLellan is impressed with how well Glen Gulutzan’s club has performed during their current streak.

"Well, they’re working hard, they’re a fast team. I don’t know if a lot of people realize they’re No. 10 in offense in the league," McLellan said. "And they have played very free, very loose, excited. Now they’re into a stretch where there’s probably going to be some pressure, so they’ll have to deal with that. But they’re a hard-working team that gets it done five-on-five."

But it’s not like San Jose, who is 8-1-1 in their past 10 games, is exactly struggling, a run which Sharks wing Adam Burish chalks up to some fairly simple things he and his teammates have been doing well.

"I think we’re playing with a little more depth. Everybody’s going now, everybody’s contributing. We’re sustaining momentum in games, but I think too we’re playing with confidence," Burish said. "We’re playing a little simpler too. This team, with all the skill we have, we tend to want to make cute plays and pretty plays. We’re just playing simpler now, more straight ahead, more direct and then you mix that in with continuing to gain confidence you’re going to play better."

Posted On Saturday, 04.13.2013 / 2:13 PM

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

Yeo coy on lineup for slumping Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo was unusually secretive about who will be in his lineup Saturday when his team faces off with the Columbus Blue Jackets in the final game of a critical three-game home stand.

"I'm not gonna talk about lineup this morning," Yeo said when asked about the status of injured center Matt Cullen, who skated with the team during the morning skate for the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury Apr. 1.

The same was said when he was asked about the status of injured defenseman Ryan Suter, who missed much of the game Thursday against the St. Louis Blues. Suter did not take part in the optional morning skate Saturday, neither did several other Wild veterans -- complicating matters when trying to project who is in and who is out for the Wild.

If Suter doesn't play, rookie Jonas Brodin is expected to switch to the left side, elevating Jared Spurgeon to the top-pairing on the right. That would move Tom Gilbert to Spurgeon's spot on the second pairing and would likely mean Nate Prosser would be in the lineup with Justin Falk.

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Well, for me this one's concerning, the way we performed. Because three games in, playing a desperate team on the road, I was expecting something else than this. Right now, I'm just disappointed. The other games, I thought we did some things that you can build off your game. There wasn't a lot accomplished in tonight's game.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards after a 4-2 loss to the Sabres on Monday dropped Columbus to 0-3-0
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