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Posted On Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 5:58 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Holtby to start for Capitals against Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- If Michal Neuvirth were healthy, he'd be starting in goal for the Washington Capitals in their NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center.

"It would have been a good night to give Neuvy a start," Capitals coach Adam Oates said prior to the game.

Neuvirth, though, is not healthy or even here, so Oates confirmed that Braden Holtby, who made 33 saves in a 3-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, will make his eighth consecutive start.

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 5:54 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Canucks' Kesler sidelined by broken foot

Ryan Kesler
Center - VAN
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 5
SOG: 15 | +/-: -4
VANCOUVER -- Vancouver center Ryan Kesler has a broken right foot and could miss the Canucks' busiest month of the season.

Coach Alain Vigneault said a CT scan taken on Wednesday morning revealed the fracture. He did not have a timeline for the return of his Selke Trophy-winning center, but it's bad timing for a team about to play 16 games in March.

"Any fracture is usually four to six weeks, depending on the nature of the fracture," Vigneault said. "Some are less -- hairline fractures. I haven't gotten at length with our doctors how long this will be."

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 4:01 PM

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

Malkin returns to ice with 30-minute skate

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, who is on injured reserve with a concussion, skated in Pittsburgh on Wednesday while his teammates are on a three-game road trip.

Malkin skated for 30 minutes and reported no symptoms, according to the Penguins. There is no timetable for his return.

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 2:55 PM

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

Kings get chance to exact revenge vs. Red Wings

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- If a loss can be used as a starting point for a team, the Los Angeles Kings can point directly to their Feb. 10 game against the Detroit Red Wings.

Although they gave up the game-winning goal with five seconds remaining, the Kings played their best game to that point and have since won six of seven, allowing seven total goals in that span. They come full circle Wednesday night when Detroit comes to Staples Center.

What changed in that Feb. 10 game? Jarret Stoll said the Kings got back to better puck movement.

“Whether it’s a 5-, 6-, 8-foot pass to score, moving the puck up the ice is really key instead of having the sloppy pass or the sloppy bobbled puck, and then you’re in one in your own zone,” Stoll said. “A team like Detroit – they can sense that, they can feel that. They’re smart at that. We’ve got to make sure we’re sharp moving the puck, supporting each other.”

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 2:55 PM

By Larry Wigge -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Cisco NHL Live talks Wednesday Night Rivalries

It is Rivalry Night in the NHL and on Cisco NHL Live (5 p.m. ET, NHLN) and Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek have both Wednesday Night Rivalry games covered.

 

We'll go live to the Wells Fargo Center with NBC Sports Analyst Pierre McGuire to discuss the fierce battle between the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers, and we'll get an update on the late game between the Los Angeles Kings and Detroit Red Wings from Kings radio analyst, Daryl Evans.

Our Subway Fresh Face of the week is Mississauga Steelheads forward Dylan Smoskowitz, who will join the show to talk about his prospects of being drafted in June.

NHL Network Insider Darren Dreger will also be with us giving the latest information on the proposed realignment, as well as trade rumors involving the Duck.

Don't forget to submit your #AskEJ through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, keep an eye on this senior reporter's dance moves in his EJ5, his top 5 under-the-radar forwards, and stick around for the shootout as E.J. picks all four games being played Wednesday.

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 2:50 PM

By World Wildlife Fund (WWF) -  Special to NHL Green /NHL.com - NHL Green Slapshots™

Climate scientists call on hockey enthusiasts for help

For years, scientists have been tracking ice in western Hudson Bay, Canada - when the ice forms in fall, when it starts to break up in the spring and its thickness - in order to determine how climate change is affecting the health of the Hudson Bay ecosystem, including polar bears.

Polar bears need the sea ice of the Hudson Bay to successfully hunt ringed seals through the winter. They rely on stored fat to last them through the summer. Climate change has already led to the ice forming later in the fall, by several weeks, over the last 3 decades and breaking up earlier in the spring. This shortened feeding season has resulted in skinnier bears, fewer cubs born per bear, and lower survival for the young. It also leads to more bear-human interactions, as hungry bears wander closer to towns and garbage dumps searching for food. In other words, bad news for bears and people.

Now, scientists are studying ice conditions a little closer to home to assess how climate change is affecting a different, and increasingly endangered, species - the backyard hockey (shinny) player. Based on past data and models of the future, scientists are warning that climate change will lead to fewer outdoor skating days in Canada. In fact, in some areas of the country, scientists warn that there will be no more backyard rinks at all.

Rinkwatch.org, an innovative project led by scientists at Wilfred Laurier University, asks outdoor rink enthusiasts from all over the world to record the location of their rink and all the days that the rink is skate-able. Knowing only about what’s happening to your rink in your backyard tells you little more than what the recent weather has been like. But that information collected over several years, and added to information about thousands of other rinks across North America – well, that gives us some insight to wider trends like climate change.

Photo credit: WWF/Geoff York

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 2:08 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Dillon among top rookie defensemen

With so many first-year players thriving from a fantasy standpoint this season, it's easy for Brenden Dillon's name to get lost in the shuffle.

Brenden Dillon
Defense - DAL
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 3 | PTS: 6
SOG: 37 | +/-: 5
But if you're in a deep league looking for a defenseman who provides category coverage to fill a roster spot, there are not many better options than the Dallas Stars rookie.

An undrafted prospect who was signed by the Stars in March of 2011, Dillon has emerged as a full-time defenseman for Dallas. The 22-year-old picked up his second multi-point game of the season Tuesday, posting two helpers in the Stars' overtime triumph over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Dillon was credited with the secondary assist on Loui Eriksson's overtime winner, displaying tremendous poise in the offensive zone to set up the game-winning sequence.

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 1:25 PM

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

Rangers' McDonagh could return Thursday

The New York Rangers will likely have defenseman Ryan McDonagh back in the lineup Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but Rick Nash and Michael Del Zotto are not sure bets to return from their injuries.

All three participated in an optional practice Wednesday in Greenburgh, N.Y., after missing Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Forward Arron Asham, who has missed three games with back spasms, was not on the ice.

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 1:15 PM

By Neil Acharya -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Ryder to play for Habs; Reimer back, only as backup

Newly acquired Montreal Canadiens forward Michael Ryder will play against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday but coach Michel Therrien would not say where the 32-year-old would be slotted in the lineup.

The Canadiens had 15 skaters plus their two goalies on the ice at the morning skate and did not skate in line rushes. Carey Price likely will get the start in goal.

The Maple Leafs activated goaltender James Reimer from injured reserve and sent Jussi Rynnas back to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. Ben Scrivens will start and Reimer will serve as the backup.

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 1:09 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Holtby's hot play leading Capitals

PHILADELPHIA -- Forgive the Washington Capitals for seeming insensitive, but the news that Michal Neuvirth is ill and won't be able to play Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers isn't exactly devastating.

It's the exact opposite.

Of course, the Capitals would prefer to have Neuvirth healthy and with them on this trip to Philadelphia, but the fact that he's ill means Braden Holtby will make his eighth straight start and second in as many days.

That's good news for a team that has won two straight and five of seven, including a 3-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, due in large part to Holtby's 33 saves.

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Quote of the Day

I'm here to develop a winning culture and a winning team. There is a bright future ahead of this team.  A lot of young, great hockey players here and on the way … a fan base that's passionate about the game of hockey.

— Dan Bylsma after being introduced as new coach of the Buffalo Sabres