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Posted On Sunday, 04.21.2013 / 11:26 AM

By Lonnie Herman - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Lindback returning to Lightning lineup

TAMPA -- Two teams looking to finish disappointing seasons in a bit of a positive way will meet Sunday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum when the Tampa Bay Lightning host the Carolina Hurricanes.

For the Hurricanes, after dropping a 5-3 decision to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, the morning was time off to rest. For the Lightning, the morning skate was optional and only a handful of players were on the ice.

Anders Lindback, one half of the Lightning's goalie tandem of the future, along with Ben Bishop, will get the start in net Sunday, his first game back after missing 13 with an ankle injury.

The start also will mark Lindback's first game for new Lightning coach Jon Cooper, but Cooper played down the importance of that.

Posted On Saturday, 04.20.2013 / 9:41 PM - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

PHI @ CAR - 19:59 of the Third Period

At 19:59 of the third period in the Flyers/Hurricanes game, video review determined that Philadelphia forward Matt Read 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 Philadelphia.

Posted On Saturday, 04.20.2013 / 8:31 PM - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

WSH @ MTL - 7:50 of the Second Period

At 7:50 of the second period in the Capitals/Canadiens game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Nicklas Backstrom's shot completely crossed the goal line. Good Goal Washington.

Posted On Saturday, 04.20.2013 / 4:48 PM - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

NYI @ WPG - End of Second Period

At the end of the second period in the Islanders/Jets game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Kyle Wellwood's shot crossed the goal line after the second period had expired. No Goal Winnipeg.

Posted On Saturday, 04.20.2013 / 4:39 PM

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

Higgins being eased into Canucks lineup

VANCOUVER – Vancouver Canucks left wing Chris Higgins is close to coming back from a minor knee strain. That return should also provide enough forward depth to help the Canucks bring back their three-line attack.

Until then, however, Vancouver will probably continue to load up their top-two lines. That means playing centers Ryan Kesler and Derek Roy together on the second unit as they try to clinch a playoff spot Saturday night with a win over a Detroit Red Wings team that needs a victory to move back into eighth place in the West.

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said he would take the afternoon to decide whether to continue the two-line tactic of the past two games. Throughout the team's morning skate, Higgins skated on the third line with Roy in the middle and Jannik Hansen on the right.

Higgins huddled with the coach and trainers towards the end of practice, but said he wasn’t yet ready to play.

“We’re pretty close but it didn't feel quite right and I hadn't had a full practice with the team,” said Higgins, who has played well with trade-deadline addition Roy, getting 14 shots in three games before hurting his knee and missing three contests. “Definitely close. It just needs another day, get a full practice in.”

Posted On Saturday, 04.20.2013 / 2:12 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Smith could start for Coyotes against Blackhawks

CHICAGO -- The Phoenix Coyotes could use a boost heading into the last five games of the regular season and might get one Saturday night against the Chicago Blackhawks (8:30 p.m. ET) at United Center.

Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said after Saturday’s morning skate that injured goalie Mike Smith, who missed the past two games with a lower-body issue, might return to face Chicago (34-5-4) in a big road game for the Coyotes (18-17-8).

“I haven’t talked to him yet, but there’s a chance he’ll play tonight,” Tippett said. “He’s our No. 1 goaltender. If we can get him in there and get him on a roll, that gives us the best chance to win.”

Posted On Saturday, 04.20.2013 / 1:32 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Defenseman Diaz returns for Canadiens

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens will have defenseman Raphael Diaz back in the lineup when they face the Washington Capitals in a key battle for Stanley Cup Playoff positioning Saturday at Bell Centre.

Diaz has missed 25 games with a concussion; he was a key member of Montreal’s defense prior to the injury, playing 20:36 per game. With Alexei Emelin’s season-ending knee injury throwing the Canadiens defense pairings into a state of flux, Diaz’s return is a welcome boost.

In 19 games this season, Diaz has a goal and 12 assists, with seven of his 13 points coming on the power play, where he could help Montreal’s second unit.

The Capitals will be going with the same lineup that lost 3-1 at Ottawa Senators on Thursday, one still missing Brooks Laich (groin) and Joel Ward (knee contusion). By the time the puck drops, the Capitals will know the result of the game between the Winnipeg Jets and the New York Islanders. The Jets began the day two points behind the Capitals in the race for the Southeast Division.

“We’re all scoreboard watching, obviously, and the game’s earlier than ours so it makes it difficult,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said. “But our job is to play hockey. The guys are going to go to sleep focusing on the game tonight. No matter the outcome of that game, we’ve got to play our game tonight.”

The goaltending matchup pits Braden Holtby for the Capitals against Carey Price for the Canadiens.

Here are the projected lineups for each team:

Posted On Saturday, 04.20.2013 / 1:30 PM

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

Hurricanes' Skinner instructed to be cautious

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Forward Jeff Skinner will return to the Carolina Hurricanes lineup when they play the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

Skinner sat out Thursday night's game against the Winnipeg Jets. He was on the receiving end of an open-ice hit from the Ottawa Senators' Jared Cowen on Tuesday night. Skinner did not return during the game and was returned here for observation.

Upon returning home, team doctors determined he did not suffer a concussion.

"I respect the decision the doctor made," Skinner said. "I agree you have to be safe and cautious."

The Hurricanes have reminded the 20-year-old forward to be aware of vulnerable places on the ice, particularly in light of his knack for drawing contact.

"Maybe I shouldn't have been cutting across [the neutral zone] there," Skinner said. "I saw the guy, but I didn't think he would step up there, but he did. I don't think there's a point in dwelling on it. It's done, so you move forward."

Here are the likely lineups for Saturday's game:

Posted On Saturday, 04.20.2013 / 1:30 PM

By Pete Jensen - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Big steals based on ADP, ownership

By nature, fantasy hockey can be very unpredictable. And this year has been no exception.

Many players drafted low on average in Yahoo! leagues (P.K. Subban, Alexander Semin, Jakub Voracek, Antti Niemi) have turned out to be some of the most valuable fantasy assets in the game. For owners, bold draft choices like these often lead to fantasy championships.

Average draft position in standard Yahoo! leagues provides a strong indication of the fantasy expectations surrounding a particular player coming into the season. When comparing ADPs with current ownership numbers, it's becomes quite clear which players have been the biggest "steals" from a fantasy standpoint.

With only a week to go in the regular season, let's take a look at five players who were taken on average with the 150th pick or later in Yahoo! drafts and are now owned in at least 70 percent of leagues. These are five of the biggest fantasy steals League-wide because they have produced at an elite level despite being passed over in drafts. They have played in the vast majority of their team's games to this point as well, allowing their fantasy owners to reap the benefits all season long.

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Quote of the Day

He's been one of our top players all year. Tonight he was by far our best player. There wasn't anybody in the same universe as him.

— Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz on goalie Braden Holtby, who made 33 saves to shut out the Edmonton Oilers 1-0
World Cup of Hockey 2016