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Posted On Thursday, 03.21.2013 / 3:03 PM

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

Yeo will talk Wild's rise on Cisco NHL Live

There are nine games on the NHL schedule Thursday night and Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek on Cisco NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have them all covered. We'll give you a live look at warm-ups via our Cisco NHL Arena Cam in our Ice Pass. Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo will also join the program to talk about his team's rise to the top of the Northwest Division.

New Jersey netminder Martin Brodeur returns when the Devils visit Carolina on the NHL Network Thursday night (7 p.m. ET) and we'll get a live update from Hurricanes radio voice Chuck Kaiton. NHL Network insider and Toronto Maple Leafs reporter Chris Johnston will also join the show from the Cisco NHL Arena Cam in Buffalo.

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 Thursday.

Posted On Thursday, 03.21.2013 / 2:16 PM

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

Green a game-time decision for Capitals

WINNIPEG -- The Washington Capitals’ season may be on the line Thursday when they meet the Winnipeg Jets for the first of a pair of games at MTS Centre.

The Capitals (12-16-1) sit seven points out of an Eastern Conference playoff spot and face a pair of nearly must-win games if they are to remain in contention. But a Washington blue line missing four regulars could regain Mike Green's services against Winnipeg. Green, who has missed 10 consecutive games with a groin injury, participated in the Capitals' morning skate, but Washington coach Adam Oates labeled him a "game-time decision."

Braden Holtby will make his third consecutive start in goal for the Capitals after a 36-save performance Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a 2-1 loss that Oates termed "probably the best game all year."

Jets coach Claude Noel will start Ondrej Pavelec in goal for the eighth straight game.

Posted On Thursday, 03.21.2013 / 2:11 PM

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

Kreider back for Rangers; Panthers' Howden gets shot

NEW YORK -- At the start of the season, New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider was considered one of the favorites to win the Calder Trophy after bursting onto the scene during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Kreider was instead assigned to Connecticut of the AHL after his minutes began to diminish from poor play and then an ankle injury hindered his progress. But after a little more than three weeks with the Whale, the 21-year-old will find himself on the Rangers' third line when they play host to the Florida Panthers on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

“I was able to play big minutes and play in all situations," Kreider told reporters of his AHL stint, following the Rangers' practice at Greenburgh, N.Y. "Any time you can do that, it helps your development, I guess.”

Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who complained of headaches following a 3-2 against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday stemming from a collision with teammate Dan Girardi, said he feels good after taking off Wednesday and will start in net. He'll likely be opposed by Florida's Jacob Markstrom, who is coming off a 33-save performance in a 4-1 win at Carolina on Tuesday.

Posted On Thursday, 03.21.2013 / 12:50 PM

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

Predators get Hornqvist, Gill back at practice

NASHVILLE -– For the first time since the Nashville Predators departed on a five-game road trip on March 11, defenseman Hal Gill and right wing Patric Hornqvist participated with their team on the ice.

Gill worked with Kevin Klein and looked like he had a chance of playing on Thursday against the Calgary Flames at Bridgestone Arena, but coach Barry Trotz said after the skate that Gill would not play.

Gill has missed 11 straight games with a lower-body injury and has only played in three since Feb. 10. The Predators could use his veteran presence as they have been icing, at times, a very young defense corps that includes Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi, both in their second seasons, as well as Jonathon Blum, 24, who has only played 73 career NHL games, and rookie Victor Bartley.

Part of that is because veteran Scott Hannan also is out with an upper-body injury, and Trotz said Hannan would be out indefinitely.


Posted On Thursday, 03.21.2013 / 12:34 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Krejci a game-time decision for Bruins

OTTAWA -- Boston Bruins center David Krejci said that when he woke up Thursday morning, his right knee felt "much better," but his status for the game Thursday against the Ottawa Senators won't be decided until game-time.

Krejci was hurt in the third period of the Bruins' game Sunday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, when he was hit in the leg by a Johnny Boychuk shot. Krejci sat out Boston's game Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets.

If Krejci can't play, it's likely Ryan Spooner will remain in his spot. Spooner had two shots on goal in 15:29 of ice time Tuesday against the Jets.

Posted On Thursday, 03.21.2013 / 12:29 PM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes' Beat: Best Assists

Posted On Thursday, 03.21.2013 / 12:22 PM

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

Boychuk back with the Hurricanes

Forward Zach Boychuk certainly has racked up plenty of frequent-flyer miles in this shortened season.

Boychuk on Thursday was claimed on waivers by the Carolina Hurricanes. It's the third time this season the 23-year-old has been claimed, this time going from the Nashville Predators to Carolina.

Boychuk was claimed by the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 31 after being waived by the Hurricanes. He played in seven games for the Penguins before being acquired on waivers by the Predators on March 5.

He had one goal and two points in five games with the Predators, and has totaled two points and six penalty minutes in 13 NHL games this season with Carolina, Pittsburgh and Nashville.

Posted On Thursday, 03.21.2013 / 11:46 AM

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

Vanek will miss Sabres' game vs. Maple Leafs

BUFFALO -- Thomas Vanek will not be in the lineup Thursday night when the Buffalo Sabres take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at First Niagara Center.

Sabres interim coach Ron Rolston told the media after the team's morning skate that Vanek is still sore from being hit with a shot in the second period on Tuesday in Montreal.

Vanek was in front of the net on a Buffalo power play when he was struck by defenseman Christian Ehrhoff's shot from the point. The Sabres are calling it a lower-body injury. Vanek did not take the ice Thursday.

"He's better today," Rolston said. "He feels, actually, good and starting the process, so we're hoping to get him on the ice tomorrow."


Posted On Thursday, 03.21.2013 / 11:36 AM

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

Ruutu to make season debut for Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Two key players will return to their respective lineups for the New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes when they face off Thursday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur is ready to return after missing 13 games with a pinched nerve in his neck. The Devils were 3-8-2 in his absence, as Johan Hedberg made all 13 starts. Brodeur, who last played on Feb. 21, has an 8-2-3 mark and a 2.27 goals-against average.

The Hurricanes will work forward Tuomo Ruutu into the lineup for the first time this season, after recovering from hip surgery in December. The team activated him from injured reserve Thursday.

“He’s excited and ready to go,” Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. “We waited to see what the right opportunity was for him. I said, ‘Listen, when you feel comfortable, let me know.’ He felt comfortable enough this morning to say, ‘I’m ready."

Posted On Thursday, 03.21.2013 / 11:04 AM

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

Islanders will start Poulin against Canadiens

Kevin Poulin will make his second start of the season when the New York Islanders host the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

It will be the third appearance for Poulin, who last played March 10 when he relieved Evgeni Nabokov for the third period of a game in Pittsburgh and stopped 10 of the 11 shots he faced.

In his only prior start this season, Poulin made 24 saves in a 4-2 home loss to Carolina.

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I'm a hockey player and that's what I love to do. That is what I am here for. Everything else is just a side note.

— Oilers forward Connor McDavid on moving beyond the anticipation of his long-awaited arrival in the NHL
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