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Posted On Friday, 02.01.2013 / 1:53 PM

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

Oleksiak, Roussel to make NHL debuts for Stars

The Dallas Stars could have two players make their NHL debuts Friday when they host the Phoenix Coyotes.

Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak and center Antoine Roussel skated as part of the main group during the morning skate.

Oleksiak is a player the Stars are counting on for the present and the future. The 14th pick of the 2011 NHL Draft had 23 points and a plus-12 rating in 43 games with the team's American Hockey League affiliate, the Texas Stars, and earlier Friday he was named the AHL's Rookie of the Month for January.

Roussel, an undrafted free agent signed over the summer, had 19 points and a team-high 103 penlty minutes in 41 AHL games.

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Posted On Friday, 02.01.2013 / 1:20 PM

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

Projected lineups for Senators, Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Here are the projected lineups for the Ottawa Senators and Carolina Hurricanes ahead of their game Friday at PNC Arena:

SENATORS

Milan Michalek - Kyle Turris - Daniel Alfredsson

Colin Greening - Zack Smith - Chris Neil

Jim O'Brien - Mika Zibanejad - Erik Condra

Kaspars Daugavins - Peter Regin - Jakob Silfverberg

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson

Chris Phillips - Andre Benoit

Patrick Wiercioch - Sergei Gonchar

Craig Anderson

Ben Bishop

Scratches: Mark Borowiecki

Illness: Guillaume Latendresse (flu)

Injured: Jason Spezza

CAROLINA

Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin

Jeff Skinner - Jordan Staal - Zac Dalpe

Drayson Bowman - Jussi Jokinen - Patrick Dwyer

Andreas Nodl - Tim Brent - Chad LaRose

Justin Faulk - Tim Gleason

Joni Pitkanen - Jamie McBain

Joe Corvo - Jay Harrison

Dan Ellis

Cam Ward

Scratched: Kevin Westgarth, Bobby Sanguinetti

The Senators are beginning to deal with the reality of playing a couple months without center Jason Spezza, who is out after surgery to fix a herniated disc in his back.

"Jason is one of those special players in the League that can make something out of nothing," Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said. "We don't have someone like that to go in there, but we certainly feel very confident about the depth of our team to play with four lines and to play with tempo."

While Spezza's offense will be missed, MacLean said he expects to learn more about his forward group in Spezza's absence.

"We're actually excited by the fact that it's a great opportunity, not only for individuals, but for the team, to play," he said. "It's not necessarily who's out, but who's in. Let's come and play hard. They're not going to wait for us. We're really more concerned about the players who are available to play."

Guillaume Latendresse, who has the flu, is expected to miss Friday's game at Carolina and Sunday's game at Montreal.

For the Hurricanes, Dan Ellis will start in goal for the second time in three games. He stopped 40 of 41 shots in a 3-1 win at the Buffalo Sabres on Jan. 25.

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Posted On Friday, 02.01.2013 / 1:07 PM

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

Panthers' Upshall out for 'several weeks'

Florida Panthers coach Kevin Dineen told reporters Friday that forward Scottie Upshall would be out of the lineup for several weeks due to a lower-body injury.

Upshall was injured during a third-period fight with the Winnipeg Jets' James Wright during Thursday's 6-3 victory. Upshall delivered a high hit to Winnipeg's Zach Redmond, and then was engaged by Wright. After the fight, Upshall needed help leaving the ice. He did not return to the game.

In seven games this season, Upshall has one power-play goal and a minus-4 rating.
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Posted On Friday, 02.01.2013 / 12:44 PM

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

Lightning chase fifth straight win, 5-0 home mark

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning will go for their fifth consecutive win when they face the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

The game marks the third time during this five-game homestand that the Lightning have caught a team on the back end of back-to-back games. The Jets lost 6-3 to the Florida Panthers in Sunrise on Thursday night.

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Posted On Friday, 02.01.2013 / 12:32 PM

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

Struggling Capitals turn back to Holtby

The Washington Capitals, stuck at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings and desperately in need of a win, will turn back to Braden Holtby as their starting goaltender for Friday night's game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

After leading the Capitals to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers last spring, Holtby started Washington's first two games this season. He allowed 10 goals on 73 shots and has not seen action since, with Michal Neuvirth starting the next five games.

"It'll be good, obviously. I'm looking forward to playing again," Holtby told reporters. "We need a big win and I think we all know that. I believe our group is just taking it like another game, trying to keep our emotions down to do the right things."

After blowing a third-period lead against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, the Capitals are 1-5-1 this season. Holtby, whose prior start came Jan. 22 against Winnipeg, has an 0-2 record with a 5.04 goals-against average and .863 save percentage.

"It's different not playing for a while, but I don't think that'll affect anything right now," he said. "We need a win and all that other stuff doesn't matter, how many days between starts, how we played before. Right now I have to focus on giving our team the best chance we can to win and see where it takes us."

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Posted On Friday, 02.01.2013 / 12:18 PM

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

Mikkelson doing well after scary injury at practice

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Brendan Mikkelson dodged serious injury at Thursday's practice, but not before putting a good scare into everyone watching.

Mikkelson lost an edge and went flying headfirst into the boards. He briefly lost consciousness and was removed on a gurney to Tampa General Hospital, where he was treated and released.

"I'm sore today," Mikkelson said. "I was hustling after the puck because Steven Stamkos was right behind me, and I just blew a tire. No headaches, nothing on the CAT scans, I just have never had anything like that happen to me before. I'm pretty stiff and sore today."

Mikkelson will sit out on a day-to-day basis until he is cleared to play.

"I don't have a timetable for his return," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said, "but I feel real fortunate because it wasn't pretty yesterday at practice. Headfirst into the boards, his shoulder, and he wasn't moving. It wasn't looking good, but we got lucky there."

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Posted On Friday, 02.01.2013 / 12:04 PM

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

Jets' Byfuglien to miss second straight game

TAMPA, Fla. -- Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel said defenseman Dustin Byfuglien will sit out Firday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning due to an undisclosed lower-body injury.

This will be the second straight game Byfuglien has missed. He also sat out Thursday's game against the Florida Panthers.

In six games, he has three goals and four assists.

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Posted On Friday, 02.01.2013 / 11:47 AM

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

Leading scorer Vanek on Friday's Cisco NHL Live

 

Cisco NHL Live with Bill Pidto and EJ Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on the NHL Network, will get you ready for your hockey weekend. On Friday's show we have NBC Sports analyst Eddie Olczyk along with our own Barry Melrose to give their expert opinions on teams with hot and cold starts. Buffalo Sabres forward Thomas Vanek, whose 15 points lead the League in scoring, will also join us.

Tomorrow we celebrate Groundhogs Day. While we wait to see if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow, EJ will take a look at players around the League who need to come out of hibernation. Plus, Super Bowl weekend is upon us! Players may love their ice time but they're football fans, too. Find our who is rooting for which teams.

EJ is back from the Gretzky Fantasy Camp and so is his signature segment, the EJ5. Don't forget to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks each game being played on Friday.

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Posted On Friday, 02.01.2013 / 11:34 AM

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

Concussion to sideline Thornton for 7-10 days

Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton will miss the next 7-10 days with a concussion, general manager Peter Chiarelli announced in a statement released by the team.

Thornton was injured during a fight with Buffalo Sabres forward John Scott at the 2:53 mark of the first period Thursday night. It was the only shift Thornton played in the game.

Thornton has played in all seven games for Boston this season and has one goal and 25 penalty minutes.

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Posted On Friday, 02.01.2013 / 11:30 AM

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

Wings will have Zetterberg in lineup vs. Blues

Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg told MLive.com that he will be in the lineup when his team hosts the St. Louis Blues on Friday (7:30 p.m., NHLN-US).

Zetterberg reported that he had a sore throat and a fever Thursday, but felt well enough to play Friday.

Zetterberg is second on the Red Wings with two goals and seven points.

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Quote of the Day

It's very special, obviously; there is draft day and then there's the day that you sign your first deal. It's been a crazy couple of weeks and I'm very honored to be able to do that."

— Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid on signing his first professional contract