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Posted On Thursday, 02.21.2013 / 3:36 PM

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

Projected lineup for Sabres vs. Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- The Buffalo Sabres did not skate in line rushes Thursday morning. However, new coach Ron Rolston said defensemen Jordan Leopold (upper-body injury) and Andrej Sekera (lower-body injury) and forward Mikhail Grigorenko will not play against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Here are the projected line combinations:

Posted On Thursday, 02.21.2013 / 2:08 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Canucks look to snap three-game skid in Dallas

DALLAS -- For a variety of reasons, the lineup Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault puts on the ice for Thursday night’s Western Conference game against the Dallas Stars will be different from previous games.

One reason for the shakeup is that the Canucks (8-3-4) will be without second-line wing Jannik Hansen. He received a one-game suspension from the League office for a blow to the head of Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa during a 4-3 overtime loss Tuesday at United Center.

To compensate for the loss of Hansen, Vigneault will move wing Zack Kassian, who earlier this year played on a line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin, up to the second line alongside recently returned Ryan Kesler and wing Chris Higgins.

Vigneault also revamped his defensive pairings Wednesday, moving Jason Garrison to the third pairing alongside Keith Ballard, who previously played alongside Garrison with the Florida Panthers.

Posted On Thursday, 02.21.2013 / 1:40 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Stars refocus after opening homestand with loss

DALLAS -- After last Friday's 4-3 comeback win at the Vancouver Canucks, the Dallas Stars (8-7-1, 17 points) were riding high. Glen Gulutzan's club had taken two of three in a swing through Western Canada, and Dallas was now looking at the start of a three-game homestand Sunday against the Calgary Flames at American Airlines Center.

Dallas found another gear in that game; after trailing 1-0 at the first intermission it scored three unanswered. The Stars looked in control of the game with a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes of play. However, Calgary countered with three unanswered of their own and left the Lone Star State with two points thanks to a 4-3 win.

Gulutzan gave his players Monday off, but in practice the past two days, he and his staff have focused on the Stars' attention to detail and on cleaning up the various issues that led to that defeat.

"Our guys practiced hard these last two days. I can tell you from a year-and-a-half of being here, the practices we've had in the last two weeks have been high-tempo, hard practices," Gulutzan said. "The guys have went and competed hard, but we do need to clean up those details. We had a chance in this little break to address some of those things, and now we have to put what we've learned and saw, tonight we have to do it in games."

Posted On Thursday, 02.21.2013 / 1:37 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Theodore will start in net for Panthers vs. Flyers

According to the Miami Herald, the Florida Panthers will start Jose Theodore in goal Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers, with Scott Clemmensen serving as the backup.

Top prospect Jacob Markstrom, called up from the American Hockey League on Wednesday, will be a healthy scratch, but the newspaper reported he is expected to play Friday, when the Panthers play at the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Herald also is reporting forward Alex Kovalev will be a healthy scratch Thursday.

Here are the lines the Flyers and Panthers likely will use when they meet in Philadelphia on Thursday:

PANTHERS

Jonathan Huberdeau - Drew Shore - Peter Mueller

Jack Skille - Stephen Weiss - Shawn Matthias

Tomas Fleischmann - Marcel Goc - Tomas Kopecky

Mike Santorelli - Jerred Smithson - George Parros

Dmitry Kulikov - Brian Campbell

Filip Kuba - Mike Weaver

Tyson Strachan - Erik Gudbranson

Jose Theodore

Scott Clemmensen

Injured: Kris Versteeg, Ed Jovanovski, Sean Bergenheim, Scottie Upshall, Michael Caruso

Scratched: Jacob Markstrom, Alex Kovalev

FLYERS

Matt Read - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

Brayden Schenn - Danny Briere - Wayne Simmonds

Maxime Talbot - Sean Couturier - Mike Knuble

Zac Rinaldo - Harry Zolnierczyk - Ruslan Fedotenko

Kimmo Timonen - Luke Schenn

Braydon Coburn - Nicklas Grossmann

Bruno Gervais - Erik Gustafsson

Ilya Bryzgalov

Brian Boucher

Scratched: Tom Sestito, Tye McGinn, Kurtis Foster

Injured: Scott Hartnell, Andrej Meszaros, Michael Leighton

Posted On Thursday, 02.21.2013 / 1:36 PM

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

Orr out, Steckel likely in for Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Colton Orr took part in the morning skate but was ruled out of action against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday because of a lower-body injury. Because of the injury to Orr, it is expected that David Steckel will center the fourth line. It will be the first time Steckel has played since Feb, 14.

Goaltender James Reimer was also on the ice briefly before he left for the dressing room. Reimer injured his knee against the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 11, but is inching closer to returning.

Here is the Maple Leafs' projected lineup for Thursday's game:

James Van RiemsdykTyler BozakPhil Kessel

Leo KomarovMikhail GrabovskiNikolai Kulemin

Jay McClementNazem KadriClarke MacArthur

Frazer McLarenDavid SteckelMike Brown

Dion PhaneufKorbinian Holzer

Carl GunnarssonMichael Kostka

Cody FransonMark Fraser

Ben Scrivens

Jussi Rynnas

Scratches: John-Michael LilesMike Komisarek

Injured: Colton OrrJoffrey LupulJames Reimer

Posted On Thursday, 02.21.2013 / 1:23 PM

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

Muller: Hurricanes must step up in absence of Skinner

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The injuries are mounting for the Carolina Hurricanes, including a concussion to forward Jeff Skinner that will sideline the third-year player indefinitely.

For Skinner, this marks the second concussion of his career. He was sidelined for more than a month after a December 2011 hit by the Edmonton Oilers' Andy Sutton. Skinner's loss will be felt immediately; he had 14 points in his first 13 games.

"[Skinner] is a big part of the team this year," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "You see the big timely goals he was getting. We've got to adapt. We've got some guys that -- bottom line -- have to step up and contribute and help the hockey club win."

Posted On Thursday, 02.21.2013 / 1:15 PM

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

Compact schedule has yet to gang up on Bruins

TAMPA, Fla. -- When the schedule maker smiles on you, you accept it and smile back.

So far in this shortened season, the Boston Bruins have had a lot to smile about regarding their schedule. To date, they have played the fewest number of games in the NHL. The current League high is 18 games played; Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Tampa Bay Times Forum will be game No. 14 for the Bruins.

And after Thursday, they get another break before facing the Florida Panthers on Sunday.

"Time off seems to be a recurring theme with our schedule of late," Boston forward Shawn Thornton said. "If I get caught saying it's a vacation I’m going to get yelled at. We had a couple of days off and had some practices to get ready for this -- at this point in the season we are fairly rested, so we should have a lot of energy. I think rest is a good thing, especially with the condensed schedule, so I'm going to look at it as a positive."

Posted On Thursday, 02.21.2013 / 12:51 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Canucks, Stars

DALLAS -- Here are the projected lineups for Thursday night's game between the Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center:

CANUCKS

Daniel SedinHenrik SedinAlexandre Burrows

Chris HigginsRyan KeslerZack Kassian

David BoothJordan SchroederMason Raymond

Dale WeiseMaxim LapierreAaron Volpatti

Dan HamhuisKevin Bieksa

Alexander EdlerChristopher Tanev

Keith BallardJason Garrison

Cory Schneider

Roberto Luongo

Scratches: Andrew Alberts, Cam Barker

Injuries: Jannik Hansen (suspension), Manny Malhotra (eye)

Posted On Thursday, 02.21.2013 / 12:32 PM

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

Projected lineups for Rangers, Senators

OTTAWA – Here are the projected lineups for the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place on Thursday night:

RANGERS

Carl HagelinDerek StepanMarian Gaborik

Chris KreiderBrad RichardsRyan Callahan

Taylor PyattBrian BoyleJ.T. Miller

Brandon MashinterJeff HalpernArron Asham

Ryan McDonaghDan Girardi

Marc StaalAnton Stralman

Michael Del ZottoMatt Gilroy

Henrik Lundqvist

Martin Biron

Injured: Rick Nash, Darroll Powe

Scratches: Stu Bickel

Coach John Tortorella hopes his team can use its time in Ottawa to shrug off the memories of a 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

Posted On Thursday, 02.21.2013 / 12:30 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Penguins' Sutter viable replacement

Brandon Sutter has had his share of ups and downs in his first season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but Wednesday could prove to be the start of his next point-production surge.

Sutter (owned in only 6 percent of Yahoo! leagues) scored the game-tying goal late in the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers to snap his four-game pointless streak. That slump was preceded by a five-game point streak from Feb. 2-9. Prior to that stretch, Sutter had only one assist to show for himself over his first seven games of the season.

Brandon Sutter
Center - PIT
GOALS: 4 | ASST: 3 | PTS: 7
SOG: 31 | +/-: 4
Judging by the peaks and valleys he's experienced so far in 2012-13, Sutter, 24, is not quite a center you can lean on for consistent point production. That being said, he still holds value in deep leagues -- especially as a temporary injury replacement on your roster.

If your lineup has been affected by recent injuries to center-eligible assets (Jeff Skinner, Brandon Dubinsky, etc.), Sutter is a short-term option worth pursuing. He had season-highs in shots on goal (5) and rating (plus-2) in Wednesday's loss to the Flyers, centering the Penguins' third line with Tyler Kennedy and rookie Beau Bennett since he was recalled last week.

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Quote of the Day

Hopefully [Jonathan] has a year that pushes us, that is the organization, to speak to him next summer and looking for [a long-term contract]. Because the thought process is trying to get a goaltender, and hopefully it's Jonathan, to be the stabilizer for this franchise.

— Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello on goaltender Jonathan Bernier