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Posted On Monday, 03.11.2013 / 3:52 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Drouin back for Halifax; MacKinnon close

The Halifax Mooseheads will have one of their top 2013 draft-eligible forwards returning to the lineup on Monday when they play host to Acadie-Bathurst Titan at the Halifax Metro Centre (6 p.m. ET).

Halifax general manager Cam Russell informed NHL.com that Jonathan Drouin, who has missed the past three games with a lower-body injury sustained on March 2, will make his anticipated return. Nathan MacKinnon, who has missed the past 13 games after sustaining a lower-body injury on Feb. 8, remains out. According to Russell, "[MacKinnon] is close."

Drouin, No. 3 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top draft-eligible North American skaters, still leads the team with 98 points on 39 goals and 59 assists in 45 games. Despite playing in 20 fewer games, the 5-foot-10.75, 185-pound Drouin is three points from the overall scoring lead in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Josh Currie and Ben Duffy of the P.E.I. Rocket have 101 points apiece.

It's possible MacKinnon, Central Scouting's No. 2-ranked skater on the midterm report, could return Wednesday on the road against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. MacKinnon has 28 goals, 69 points and a plus-37 rating in 41 games this season for the Mooseheads (54-6-4).

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mikemorrealeNHL

Posted On Monday, 03.11.2013 / 3:11 PM

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

Rask likely to start in net for Bruins

CSNNE.com reported Monday that Tuukka Rask was the first goalie off the ice after the Boston Bruins' morning skate, making it likely Rask will start Monday's game at the Ottawa Senators.

Rask enters the game second in the League with 12 wins and in the top six in the NHL with a 1.97 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.

Here's how the rest of the Bruins' lineup could look Monday:

Posted On Monday, 03.11.2013 / 3:02 PM

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

Michalek out, Latendresse in for Senators

The Ottawa Sun reported Monday that Ottawa Senators forward Milan Michalek will miss the game against the Boston Bruins with a recurrence of the knee problems that sidelined him earlier in the season.

Michalek played two games since returning from a month-long absence due to a knee he originally injured in warm-ups prior to a game Feb. 13 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. According to the Sun, Michalek is considered day to day with his latest knee issues.

In Michalek's place looks to be Guillaume Latendresse, who has been out since Jan. 30 due to whiplash.

The newspaper also reported that Robin Lehner said he will start in goal. He stopped 33 of 35 shots in his previous start, a 3-2 victory against the New York Rangers on March 8.

Posted On Monday, 03.11.2013 / 2:56 PM

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

Call-up by Kings a thrill for Toffoli

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Tyler Toffoli still looked like he was riding high when he came off the ice at the Los Angeles Kings' morning skate.

Toffoli got the call Sunday to join the defending Stanley Cup champions. His next National Hockey League game will be the first for Toffoli, a baby-faced center who turns 21 next month.

"I was pretty tired, so I tried to sleep, but I so was excited I couldn't really sleep [on the plane]," Toffoli said. "I just watched a movie that was playing -- "Silver Linings Playbook." I wasn't really thinking about it a whole lot. I'm just excited to get the opportunity to come here."


Posted On Monday, 03.11.2013 / 1:37 PM

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

Barry's coaching decisions: John Tortorella

Posted On Monday, 03.11.2013 / 1:33 PM

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

Barry's power rankings: Pleasant first-half surprises

Posted On Monday, 03.11.2013 / 1:25 PM

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

Hat trick hero Kunitz joins Cisco NHL Live

With only two games on the schedule Monday night, Cisco NHL Live with Steve Mears and EJ Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on the NHL Network, will have both covered. We'll get a pre-game interview on our Cisco NHL Arena Cam in Ottawa with Bruce Garrioch form the Ottawa Sun. We'll also break down the third and final meeting between the Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings. Fresh off his hat trick and five-point game Sunday night, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Chris Kunitz will also join the show as well as Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly, who has scored in each of his past two games.

NHL Network insider Bob McKenzie will drop by the show to give the latest on realignment and some trade rumors floating around. We'll also examine some lesser known league leaders with our resident coach NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose.

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

Posted On Monday, 03.11.2013 / 1:20 PM

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

Crosby, Stamkos battling for NHL hardware

As the NHL season chugs along, all but one team has reached the halfway point in its season, and the one team that hasn't, the Los Angeles Kings, will get there Monday when they play the Calgary Flames. With the abbreviated 2012-13 season moving so quickly, it's amazing that we're already halfway through the schedule, but it doesn't mean we can't see which players are having tremendous seasons and who has the leg up for this season's major honors.

Here are my picks for some of the NHL's major awards at the midway point:

Hart Trophy -- Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

One of the most important things to me is that I just don't think an MVP can be on a team that doesn't make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Plenty of players are having great seasons, but players like Steven Stamkos or John Tavares probably are not going to be in the postseason mix at the end. I've got to look at a team that's going to the playoffs and right now Pittsburgh is winning even if they really aren't playing that well, and Sidney Crosby is the reason. Sid is leading the NHL in scoring and assists. On Saturday night he scored a goal against Toronto and then got the winner in the shootout, and with Evgeni Malkin missing chunks of time, Sid is regularly seeing the other team's best players every night and he's still producing. He's very quietly had a great year, and it looks like he's playing hard as if his injury worries are a thing of the past. He's flying around and playing with reckless abandon because he's confident that his injury won't come back every time he gets nailed. He's past that mentally and all the good things in Pittsburgh this season -- the Pens' record, Chris Kunitz's 17 goals, Pascal Dupuis' 11 goals -- those just don't happen without Sid.

Posted On Monday, 03.11.2013 / 12:59 PM

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

Luongo gets nod for Canucks against Blue Jackets

Roberto Luongo will start in net for the Vancouver Canucks when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, the team announced Monday.

Cory Schneider started the Canucks' previous three games -- all losses -- and has just two wins in his last eight starts. The Canucks have lost four straight and have been overtaken by the Minnesota Wild for first place in the Northwest Division.

Luongo hasn't played since March 3, when he allowed three goals on 24 shots in a 4-2 loss to the Calgary Flames. For the season, Luongo is 5-2-3 with a 2.19 goals-against average and .912 save percentage.

Posted On Monday, 03.11.2013 / 12:50 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Tambellini honored by BCHL

The coaches of the British Columbia Hockey League recently revealed their league all-star team selections for the 2012-13 season.

Among those listed were two skaters on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft -- forward Adam Tambellini of the Surrey Eagles was named a Second-Team All-Star, and defenseman Dane Birks of the Merritt Centennials was named to the league's All-Rookie Team.

Tambellini, son of Edmonton Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini, was listed as a 'B' prospect at the start of the season for the Vernon Vipers before his trade to Surrey on Jan. 10. Tambellini, who is committed to the University of North Dakota for the 2013-14 season, had 36 goals and 65 points in 52 games for Vernon and Surrey. In 16 games with Surrey, he's totaled 14 goals and 26 points.

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