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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 2:06 PM

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

Islanders lift suspension, add Visnovsky to roster

Lubomir Visnovsky is officially an active member of the New York Islanders.

The team announced via its official Twitter account Thursday that it has lifted the suspension placed on the defenseman after his failure to report to the team.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 2:05 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Granlund sits, Coyle to top line for Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Losers of two straight games, the Minnesota Wild return home to St. Paul, where they are 4-1 this season, to face the Vancouver Canucks.

For the first time all season, Wild coach Mike Yeo has elected to break up his first line of center Mikko Koivu and wings Zach Parise and Dany Heatley. Koivu and Parise remain and will be joined by rookie right wing Charlie Coyle, who will play in his second career NHL game. It also will be the home debut for a player considered one of the Wild's top prospects since his acquisition from the San Jose Sharks two summers ago.

"It's special to be playing with those guys," Coyle said. "I'd like to thank coach for giving me the opportunity, but obviously, you have to take advantage of it. Whatever role they put me in, I'm going to play to the best of my ability and help this team win."

Also making his Wild debut will be fourth-liner Mike Rupp, who was acquired from the New York Rangers on Monday in a trade for Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri. Rupp will play on a line with center Zenon Konopka and Devin Setoguchi.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 1:45 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Schneider to start Thursday for Canucks

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Betting on history rather than a hot goaltender, the Vancouver Canucks will roll with Cory Schneider in goal tonight against the Minnesota Wild.

Rather than start red-hot Roberto Luongo, who has won three starts in a row and allowed three goals goals total over that stretch, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault decided to look at career numbers instead of season numbers. The Xcel Energy Center has been a house of horrors for Luongo, who hasn't started a game in Minnesota since Oct. 19, 2010, when he allowed six goals on 18 shots over 40 minutes in a 6-2 loss.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 1:32 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Red Wings, Blues

ST. LOUIS -- These are the probable lineups for the Central Division battle Thursday night between the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues from Scottrade Center.

RED WINGS

Johan Franzen - Henrik Zetterberg - Damien Brunner

Valtteri Filppula - Pavel Datsyuk - Todd Bertuzzi

Daniel Cleary - Justin Abdelkader - Tomas Tatar

Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Jordin Tootoo

Niklas Kronwall - Brian Lashoff

Kyle Quincey - Jonathan Ericsson

Jakub Kindl - Ian White

Petr Mrazek

Jimmy Howard

Scratches: Patrick Eaves, Kent Huskins

Injuries: Jan Mursak (shoulder), Darren Helm (back), Mikael Samuelsson (groin), Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder), Brendan Smith (shoulder), Joey MacDonald (back), Jonas Gustavsson (groin)

Note: Bertuzzi will play in his 1,100th career game tonight.

BLUES

David Perron - David Backes - T.J. Oshie

Andy McDonald - Alex Steen - Chris Stewart

Jaden Schwartz - Patrik Berglund - Vladimir Tarasenko

Vladimir Sobotka - Scott Nichol - Ryan Reaves

Wade Redden - Alex Pietrangelo

Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Kris Russell - Roman Polak

Brian Elliott

Jake Allen

Scratches: Matt D'Agostini, Jamie Langenbrunner, Ian Cole

Injuries: Jaroslav Halak (groin strain)

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 1:31 PM

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

Cisco NHL Live previews Penguins-Capitals

The Pittsburgh Penguins renew their rivalry with the Washington Capitals, Thursday night on the NHL Network. Cisco NHL Live with Bill Pidto and EJ Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on the NHL Network, will have you covered. We'll fire up the Cisco NHL Arena Cam to get live previews from the arena on this big Eastern Conference matchup.

We have 12 games to preview Thursday night in the NHL. We'll get live updates from our Cisco NHL Arena cameras in St. Louis, Minnesota and Columbus, and preview the rest of the night on the ice.

Don’t forget to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, keep an eye on this Senior Reporter's dance moves in his EJ5: Hradek's Top 5 European Goaltenders of All-Time, and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks each game being played on Thursday.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 1:12 PM

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

Mrazek to make NHL debut in goal for Red Wings

ST. LOUIS -- Mike Babcock felt like Jimmy Howard couldn't play 48 straight games, so the Detroit Red Wings coach is going to give a young Czech Republic native his first experience in the National Hockey League.

Petr Mrazek will make his NHL debut tonight when the Red Wings face the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center.

Mrazek, 20, was recalled as the Red Wings have a host of injuries, including to goalies Jonas Gustavsson (groin) and Joey MacDonald (back). Plus, Babcock said he feels like Howard needs a break. He's started all nine games for the Red Wings this season and in a compressed schedule could use a breather.

"We didn't think [Howard] could play 48 straight, so we thought we better give him [a night off]," Babcock said. "This whole time we thought we'd be getting another goalie back. We just assumed that Gus would play, maybe MacDonald would play, but that never happened so we felt after the last two games that Howie needed a mental break. ... He needs a day where he doesn't have to think about getting another start."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 12:52 PM

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

Panthers hope Gudbranson picks up where he left off

PHILADELPHIA -- The last time anyone saw Florida Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson, he was capping a solid rookie season with a strong run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

However, as Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said, "That is an extremely distant memory."

Gudbranson will play his first game more than nine months after the Panthers' first-round playoff series against the New Jersey Devils ended when Florida plays the Philadelphia Flyers.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 12:48 PM

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

Projected lineups for Penguins, Capitals

PITTSBURGH -- The projected lines and defensemen pairings for tonight's game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals at Consol Energy Center:

PENGUINS

Chris KunitzSidney CrosbyPascal Dupuis

Zach BoychukEvgeni MalkinJames Neal

Matt CookeBrandon SutterTyler Kennedy

Tanner GlassJoe VitaleCraig Adams

Simon DespresKris Letang

Brooks OrpikPaul Martin

Robert BortuzzoDeryk Engelland

Marc-Andre Fleury

Tomas Vokoun

Injured: Matt Niskanen

Scratched: Eric Tangradi, Dustin Jeffrey, Dylan Reese

Coach Dan Bylsma traditionally has been loathe to make any changes in his lineup during a winning streak, and the Penguins are riding a stretch of four consecutive victories. Reese, a native of suburban Pittsburgh, was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League late Wednesday. During the morning skate, he alternated shifts with Bortuzzo alongside Engelland. Also, Letang left the ice early, but it is not expected he has an ailment that will keep him from playing tonight.

CAPITALS

Wojtek Wolski - Mike Ribeiro - Alex Ovechkin

Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Troy Brouwer

Jason Chimera - Joey Crabb - Joel Ward

Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Eric Fehr

Karl Alzner - Mike Green

Jeff Schultz - John Carlson

Tom Poti - Tomas Kundratek

Michal Neuvirth

Braden Holtby

Scratches: Roman Hamrlik, Mathieu Perreault

Suspended: John Erskine

Injured: Jack Hillen, Brooks Laich, Dimitri Orlov
   
Erskine is serving the final game of a three-game suspension for an elbow on Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds on Friday. Coach Adam Oates was coy about the forward lines, but he did say that the lineup would remain the same.
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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 12:46 PM

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

Lightning turn focus to defense after hot start

NEWARK, N.J. -- After scoring 37 goals over the first seven games of the season, the Tampa Bay Lightning have been held to three in the past two games.

It's no surprise that they were 6-1 and now they're 6-3 after losses to the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers.

"We can't expect to score five or six goals a game," Lightning center Steven Stamkos told NHL.com. "You take the run as long as possible, it was fun, but you realize this League is very tight checking and it's tough to score goals. We maybe fell victim of expecting to score goals."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 12:32 PM

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

Simmonds practices, reportedly doubtful for Thursday

According to CSNPhilly.com, Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren has said forward Wayne Simmonds is doubtful to play when the Flyers host the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

Simmonds has missed the past two games since sustaining a concussion when he was elbowed in the face by Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine during a game Feb. 1. Erskine was suspended three games for the hit.

Simmonds missed Saturday's game against the Carolina Hurricanes and Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but practiced with the team Wednesday, wearing a yellow (non-contact) jersey.

"I feel pretty good," Simmonds said after Wednesday's skate. "I feel good today especially."

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Quote of the Day

That's a really tough thing to play through; when you finally are thrown out there, the game is fast, intense, every single play matters, you've got to find a way to play through that and make smart plays. So it's a huge testament to [Vermette] and some other individuals in our locker room that are putting their own ego, their own wants and needs aside, and are ready for those opportunities when they do come.

— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on teammate Antoine Vermette, who returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 to score the double-overtime winner in Game 4