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Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 1:40 PM

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

Hurricanes turn to Peters; Sabres welcome back Vanek

RALEIGH, N.C. - The Carolina Hurricanes will begin a long stretch of hockey without goaltender Cam Ward, who suffered a third-degree sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee Sunday and will miss 6-8 weeks.

The Hurricanes will turn over the net to Justin Peters on Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres, after his recall from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League. Dan Ellis still is battling an illness, but will serve as the backup. This will mark the fourth straight season Peters has seen time in the Carolina goal.

"We're going to go with his energy and give him an opportunity to jump right in and play," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "He's had a great first half down in Charlotte, so he should have confidence. He should look at all the experiences leading up to now and just go out and play hockey and get the job done."

Buffalo will get its top scorer back against Carolina. Thomas Vanek, who has missed the past two games with an upper-body injury, will bring his 27 points to the Sabres' offense.

"It's great to see [Vanek] out there, especially to get some work on the power play, and what he means to that phase of our game," Sabres interim coach Ron Rolston said. "Any time you lose a player of that quality, it's certainly a dent in your lineup. I'm looking forward to getting him back in there."

Here are the projected lineups for Tuesday's game:

Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 1:16 PM

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

Bolland back as Blackhawks look to extend streak

CHICAGO -- Dave Bolland will re-enter the lineup for the Chicago Blackhawks against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday at United Center.

Bolland has missed five straight games with an undisclosed upper-body injury and is anxious to rejoin his teammates while centering Chicago's second line between Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane. The Blackhawks (19-0-3) still haven't lost in regulation through 22 games this season -- 28 straight if you add last season's closing 3-0-3 stretch -- and Bolland hopes to help extend the streak.

"I'm feeling good and I'm going to play tonight," Bolland said after Chicago's morning skate. "It's been great, even watching them on TV keep the [points] streak alive, so coming back and helping them out is a big thing in keeping this thing going."

Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 1:08 PM

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

Kovalev done with Panthers, future to be determined

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Veteran forward Alex Kovalev's status remains unknown.

Kovalev still is property of the Florida Panthers, but he no longer figures in the team's plans, and general manager Dale Tallon said Tuesday that Kovalev was "still weighing his options."

"It was just a mutual agreement that we wanted to go in a different direction, that's all," Tallon said.

Tallon said he was hoping for a resolution sometime this week. Kovalev, who was out of the NHL last season, could agree to be sent down to the American Hockey League, accept a buyout or retire.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 12:58 PM

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

Another NHL debut, as Panthers recall Rheault

SUNRISE, Fla. -- As the result of the Florida Panthers' rash of injuries, Tuesday's game against the Winnipeg Jets will mark the NHL debut for a fifth player this season.

This time it will be forward Jonathan Rheault, who was recalled from San Antonio of the American Hockey League on Tuesday after news broke that center Stephen Weiss would undergo season-ending wrist surgery.

Rookie Jonathan Huberdeau, who leads the team with 10 goals, and defenseman Michael Caruso made their NHL debuts opening night. Center Drew Shore has stayed with the Panthers after being called up from San Antonio early in the season, and prospect Quinton Howden was sent back to San Antonio after making his NHL debut Jan. 26 against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 12:52 PM

By Dave Lozo - Staff Writer / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Flyers have opportunity to jump above .500 mark

NEW YORK -- It's been a struggle since the puck was dropped on the 2012-13 season for the Philadelphia Flyers. A 100-point team the past two seasons, injuries and inconsistency have combined to prevent the Flyers from spending even a day above .500 this season.

The Flyers will become one of two teams to reach the midpoint of their season Tuesday by playing their 24th game, and they will do so in an important Atlantic Division battle against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).

After an 0-3-0 start that continued into a 2-6-0 mark, the Flyers are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference at 11-11-1, one point ahead of the ninth-place Rangers. The Flyers' position is deceiving, however, because they've played the most games in the League and rank 19th overall and tied for ninth in the East with the Winnipeg Jets in points percentage.

If the Flyers lose in regulation Tuesday, they will find themselves one point behind the Rangers, who will have three games in hand. The Flyers could fall as far as 10th in the East with a regulation loss.

Flyers forward Maxime Talbot called this game the biggest of the season.

"We battled through a lot of adversity this year and we're just coming up to .500 after the start we had. It's where we want to be right now," Talbot said. "But now it's about moving up and keep going. Yeah, we have to go through this game to keep building and keep gaining points, so I'd say, yeah, to this day, it's our most important game."

Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 12:50 PM

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

Hejduk out for Avalanche with torso injury

The Colorado Avalanche announced forward Milan Hejduk will miss Tuesday's game against the Detroit Red Wings with a torso injury.

The 14-year veteran has three goals and nine points in 20 games this season.

The Avalanche also announced Jean-Sebastien Giguere would get the start in goal. Giguere briefly left the team to fly home to Montreal to attend the funeral of his mother.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 12:44 PM

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

Jets prepared to play with or without Byfuglien

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien was scheduled to rejoin his teammates shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday, or a couple of hours before the start of their game against the Florida Panthers.

Byfuglien missed Monday's practice after flying home for personal reasons. Coach Claude Noel said Monday that Derek Meech, recalled last Wednesday from St. John's of the American Hockey League, would take Byfuglien's place if he doesn't make it to the game on time.

Byfuglien averages a team-high 24:43 of ice time per game, but Noel wasn't fretting at possibly having to go without him.

"We'll see," Noel said. "I'm not too concerned with Dustin. If he's here, he's here; if he's not, we've got to win the game. There's other ways to win the game, so I'm not concerned. We'll just deal with it however it's dealt."

Forward Antti Miettinen, who has missed the past three games with a lower-body injury and has appeared in one game this season, will be back in the lineup for the Jets and is expected to play on a line with fellow Finn Olli Jokinen.

Forward Kyle Wellwood, a healthy scratch the past four games, also is expected to suit up.

Noel also confirmed that Ondrej Pavelec would make his 10th consecutive start in net.

Here are the Jets' projected lines:

Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 12:30 PM

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

Predators claim Boychuk off waivers from Penguins

Zach Boychuk is on the move again.

Boychuk was claimed off waivers by the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, the second time that's happened to him this season. The Pittsburgh Penguins had claimed him from the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 31.

The Predators, who claimed Bobby Butler off waivers from the New Jersey Devils on Monday, also placed forward Brandon Yip on injured reserve.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 12:14 PM

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

Capitals place Green on IR, Hamrlik on waivers

The Washington Capitals have placed defenseman Mike Green on injured reserve with a groin injury that continues to keep him out of the lineup.

Green missed three games because of the injury in mid-February before returning for games on back-to-back nights. He aggravated the injury and will miss his fifth contest in seven games when the Capitals play the Boston Bruins on Tuesday at Verizon Center.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 11:44 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Lightning recall Desjardins, seek road win

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning will look to get their first road victory outside the Southeast Division on Tuesday when they visit the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

The Lightning, losers of five straight and six of their past seven, lost 4-3 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday at Consol Energy Center. Tampa Bay's 3-8-0 mark away from Tampa Bay Times Forum includes a pair of victories against the Carolina Hurricanes and one against the Florida Panthers.

"At some point playing well is probably not enough. We need to get results and we need to get them quick," Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier told the Tampa Tribune following Monday's loss. "We are doing a lot of good things, we are just not getting points. It's disappointing, but we have to find a way to push harder."

The Lightning lost goalie Mathieu Garon on Monday to a lower-body injury. Garon left the game early in the second period after stopping 12 of 13 shots. Anders Lindback took the loss in relief, making 16 saves in his first appearance since Feb. 24.

With Garon hurting, the Lightning recalled goalie Cedrick Desjardins from the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Syracuse on Tuesday morning. He'll likely serve as Lindback's backup against the Devils.
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Quote of the Day

We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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