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Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 2:28 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Devils hope to stop rare losing streak

WINNIPEG -- The New Jersey Devils begin a three-game road trip against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday hoping to stop a rare multigame losing streak.

Losses to the Jets on Feb. 24 and to the Washington Capitals the day before marked the first consecutive regulation losses for the Devils (10-5-4) since March 17-19, 2012.

New Jersey will start goaltender Johan Hedberg for the third consecutive game after placing Martin Brodeur on injured reserve this week.
Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 2:22 PM

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

Lehtonen returns for Stars; Oilers get Hall back

DALLAS -- When the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars hit the ice Thursday night at American Airlines Center, each team will have key members back in the fold.

Edmonton will have first-line wing Taylor Hall for the first time after he served a two-game suspension for kneeing Cal Clutterbuck of the Minnesota Wild, and no one could be happier than Oilers coach Ralph Krueger.

"Well, he adds an amazing amount of pressure on the opposition's defense and on their defensive structure," Krueger said of Hall. "To have [Ryan Nugent-Hopkins], [Jordan Eberle] and [Hall] back together gives us a real weapon here. We're very pleased to have Taylor's speed and offensive pressure back."

Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 2:11 PM

By Staff -  / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Rangers send Kreider to AHL; Nash could play

The New York Rangers on Thursday sent forward Chris Kreider to the Connecticut Whale, the team's American Hockey League affiliate.

Kreider has two points in 11 games this season.

This move could mean Rick Nash, who has missed the past four games with an undisclosed injury, could be ready to return to the lineup for Thursday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. At Thursday's morning skate, Nash said he would be a game-time decision.

Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 2:11 PM

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

Blues looking to end Blackhawks' streak

ST. LOUIS -- Someone has tried unsuccessfully to beat the Chicago Blackhawks in regulation or overtime 19 times this season, including the St. Louis Blues. Now that they're again facing a Blackhawks team that is still cruising, the Blues are asking, "Why not us?"

The Blackhawks, who come to St. Louis for an 8 p.m. ET puck-drop Thursday, have gotten at least one point in 19 consecutive to start the season. They come to St. Louis with a 16-0-3 record, and the Blues (10-6-2) are aware that they're up against the League's best team.

"They're a really good team," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said of the Blackhawks, who defeated the Blues 3-2 on Jan. 22 in Chicago. "Winning is a feeling. When you have the right feeling going, you win all the close games, you get the goal at the end, you win in overtime, you win in the shootout. It's a feeling, and they've got the feeling going right now. Somebody's going to have to break the feeling. Might as well be us."

Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 2:04 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Successful trip complete, Jets focus on home record

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets left town Feb. 18 a team fighting to save its season. Now the Jets are back with a new outlook on their Stanley Cup Playoff hopes after an eventful 4-0-1 road trip.

The Jets (9-9-1) make a two-game pit stop at MTS Centre that starts Thursday night when the New Jersey Devils make their lone visit to Winnipeg. After a Southeast Division contest with the Washington Capitals at home Saturday afternoon, the Jets will again hit the road for another week-long trip.

Winnipeg has rectified some of the road issues that derailed the club last season, but now home ice is a concern. The Jets have dropped four consecutive games at MTS Centre and are 3-5-0 at home this season. The clubs split two MTS Centre dates last season, and the Jets scored a 4-2 decision when the teams met Feb. 24 at New Jersey.

"It's really good when you go around the city and people congratulate you on the road trip, which is good," Jets coach Claude Noel said of life in a city that was rather displeased with its club earlier this month. "I think that our players will be ready."

Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 1:44 PM

By Jerry Brown - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

With Hanzal, Vrbata out, Coyotes shuffle lines

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes again will be without two of their top six forwards with Martin Hanzal (upper body) and Radim Vrbata (lower body) back on the ice Thursday, but not ready for a game.

Defenseman Derek Morris, who has missed the past two weeks with an upper-body injury sustained in a Feb. 14 loss to the Nashville Predators, will return to the lineup to partner with Keith Yandle.

With Hanzal and Vrbata out, coach Dave Tippett has continued to juggle his forwards. Shane Doan will start with Matthew Lombardi and Raffi Torres, with Lauri Korpikoski joining Mikkel Boedker and Antoine Vermette. Steve Sullivan was with checkers Boyd Gordon and David Moss, and Paul Bissonnette, riding a career-high three-game point streak, sticks with the clicking line of Kyle Chipchura and Nick Johnson.

Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 1:44 PM

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

Projected lineups for Oilers, Stars

DALLAS -- Here are the projected lineups for Thursday night's game between the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.


Taylor HallRyan Nugent-HopkinsJordan Eberle

Ryan JonesSam GagnerAles Hemsky

Ryan SmythEric BelangerNail Yakupov

Ben EagerChris VandeveldeLennart Petrell

Jeff PetryLadislav Smid

Nick SchultzJustin Schultz

Corey PotterMark Fistric

Devan Dubnyk

Yann Danis

Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 1:34 PM

By Alain Poupart - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Weiss back with Panthers following tough few days

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Stephen Weiss was back with his Florida Panthers teammates Thursday morning and looking forward to Thursday's game against the Buffalo Sabres after a few tough days personally and professionally.

Weiss missed the Panthers' prior game, a 6-4 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins, after flying to Toronto to attend his grandmother's funeral.

Weiss flew to Canada on Monday, one day after he was benched for most of the third period of Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.

After taking part in the Panthers' optional morning skate Thursday, Weiss was asked whether he was getting a fresh start.

"Yeah, it was definitely nice to go back home and see the family," Weiss said. "Anytime something like that happens, it kind of refocuses you. I'm kind of looking forward to playing tonight."

Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 1:20 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Senators to give Lehner first start of season

BOSTON -- One year to the day since Ottawa goaltender Robin Lehner recorded his only NHL shutout at TD Garden against the Boston Bruins, he will get a chance to repeat that feat.

Lehner is scheduled to make his Senators season debut Thursday against the Bruins, coach Paul MacLean confirmed after his team's morning skate. This season with Binghamton of the American Hockey League, Lehner posted a 2.12 goals-against average and .938 save percentage.

"Robin's had a very successful season in the American Hockey League and he's played very well in the National Hockey League last season when he played," MacLean said. "He played here and he played well. And those are a lot of the factors that go into it. The fact that he's played very well this year in the American League gives us a lot of confidence."

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