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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

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.

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."

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.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 12:31 PM

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

Kaleta in for Sabres after sitting out one extra game

MONTREAL -- The Buffalo Sabres will be putting Patrick Kaleta back in the lineup Tuesday for their game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Kaleta was held out of Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals in what would have been his first game back after serving a five-game suspension for boarding Brad Richards of the New York Rangers. Kaleta voiced his frustration in being held out through the media following the team's morning skate Sunday and was reprimanded for doing so following the game by goaltender Ryan Miller.

Kaleta said he and Miller, former roommates on the road, have cleared the air and there’s nothing to be concerned about.

"We talked about it right off the bat," Kaleta said. "It was a little misunderstanding. Like I said, he's my brother. I have my blood brother at home, you say things, you fight. But he's my family. I've been his roommate for the past three years, we have an awesome bond together. I have his back 100 percent, no matter what happens."

Posted On Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 12:07 PM

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

Selleck set to make NHL debut for Panthers

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Already struggling to overcome injuries, the Florida Panthers will see at least one new face in the lineup Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Eric Selleck will make his NHL debut, adding some toughness to Florida's roster in the absence of George Parros. Selleck has 16 points and 181 penalty minutes in 60 games with San Antonio of the American Hockey League this season.

"I don't know how many shifts I'm going to get, so the early ones count," Selleck said. "We've got a game plan, so I'll just try to keep it simple and stick to my role."

Selleck's role is no mystery to either team -- and that simplifies his approach.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 11:50 AM

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

Brodeur will back up Hedberg against Rangers

NEWARK, N.J. -- Goalie Martin Brodeur will be on the bench serving as the backup to Johan Hedberg on Tuesday when the New Jersey Devils host the New York Rangers at Prudential Center.

After being sidelined the past 11 games with a pinched nerve in his neck/upper back that was causing numbness in his shoulder and arm, the 40-year-old Brodeur said Tuesday he feels strong enough to return to the active roster.

"That's the plan now … I've been given the OK and that's the way we're going now," Brodeur said Tuesday, after his second straight practice with the team. "It's been fun the last two days being in the room and knowing what's going on a little bit. When you're injured, you're always on the side doing your own thing, so it's nice to be back."

The Devils on Tuesday activated Brodeur from injured reserve and assigned goalie Jeff Frazee to the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Albany.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 11:45 AM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Sharks' rookie Irwin picking up steam

The San Jose Sharks, after a 7-0-0 start, have only won five times in their last 21 games. But despite their recent struggles, a bright spot has emerged in rookie defenseman Matt Irwin.

Matt Irwin
Defense - SJS
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 3 | PTS: 8
SOG: 44 | +/-: -6
Irwin is riding a four-game point streak -- the longest of his career -- and has totaled four goals and two assists over his last six games. With the fantasy defenseman waiver-wire pool being especially thin these days, the 25-year-old defenseman's recent stretch of production has made him a commodity in deep leagues -- especially since Brent Burns moved from defenseman to wing on a line with Logan Couture and Joe Thornton.

The 6-foot-2 defenseman is operating on the team's top pairing with veteran Dan Boyle and is learning on the fly as the Sharks try to navigate through their struggles. Owned in only two percent of Yahoo! leagues, Irwin was instrumental in the Sharks' third period onslaught Monday after falling behind 4-1 to the Anaheim Ducks on the road.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 10:22 AM

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

Projected lineup for Blue Jackets

Here is the lineup the Columbus Blue Jackets likely will use when they face the Nashville Predators on Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena.

The Blue Jackets are unbeaten in regulation in 10 straight games (6-0-4), and have climbed to 13th in the Western Conference, just two points out of a playoff spot.

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Quote of the Day

He's only 17 but he can see the ice so well and he moves the puck and goes to the open ice all the time, so I just think he's a player that is ready to play in the NHL. I'm really looking forward to coaching someone like this.

— U.S. National Junior Team coach Ron Wilson on Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft