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Posted On Tuesday, 02.19.2013 / 3:28 PM

By Matt Sitkoff - Contributor / - NHL Live blog

Cisco NHL Live gets you set for Hawks-Ducks

As the Chicago Blackhawks host the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night, they look to tie the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks for the longest point streak to start a season. Cisco NHL Live with Steve Mears and EJ Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on the NHL Network, will have that matchup covered. We'll get live updates from our Cisco NHL Arena cam and NHL Network's Barry Melrose take on the big Western Conference matchup. Plus, we'll talk to former player and current Ducks assistant coach Scott Niedermayer, who won the Cup with Anaheim in 2007.

Four teams that faced off in last year's Stanley Cup Playoffs will renew their rivalries Tuesday night as the Nashville Predators face the Detroit Red Wings and the San Jose Sharks travel to St. Louis to play the Blues. We'll get you ready for those big games and Pittsburgh Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis will also stop by the program.

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 Thoughts of the Day with a quirky records theme, and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks each game being played on Tuesday.

Posted On Tuesday, 02.19.2013 / 3:27 PM

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

Emery hoping to continue home win streak

CHICAGO -- Ray Emery has his own streak going at United Center at the same time the Chicago Blackhawks are in position to tie the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks for the NHL record of 16 consecutive games to start a season without a regulation loss.

Since coming to Chicago in 2011-12, Emery has yet to lose a game in regulation at United Center – he's 11-0-3 in the building as a Blackhawks goalie after backstopping a 3-2 win Sunday against the Los Angeles Kings.

What's his secret?

"The team that's in front of [me]," said Emery, who will face the Vancouver Canucks at home Tuesday after stopping 25 of 27 shots on against the Kings on Sunday. "It's a pretty good squad. You always want to play well at home. It's probably a bit of luck that it's turned out that way, but with a team like this … some nights it's hard to lose with a group like that."

Posted On Tuesday, 02.19.2013 / 3:22 PM

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

Booth back in the lineup for Canucks

CHICAGO -- David Booth will play his first game Tuesday since last season's Stanley Cup Playoffs.

After a preseason groin injury during on-ice testing caused him to miss the first 14 regular-season games, Booth will get back to playing games when the Vancouver Canucks face the rival Chicago Blackhawks at United Center -- a game in which the home team is vying to tie the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks for the NHL record of 16 consecutive games with at least a point earned to start a season.

"It's definitely an exciting time and an exciting game [to return]," Booth said. "I'm glad it worked out to be this game."

Posted On Tuesday, 02.19.2013 / 3:22 PM

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

Darche hangs up his skates -- literally -- via Twitter

It appears former Montreal Canadiens forward Mathieu Darche has announced his retirement via his Twitter page (@matdarche52).

Darche, who played 149 games for the Montreal Canadiens over the past three seasons, tweeted a picture of skates hanging in a locker stall and wrote, "Time to make it official! Moving on to second career."

According to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, Darche's agent, Steve Freyer, confirmed his client was retiring.

Posted On Tuesday, 02.19.2013 / 3:09 PM

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

Suspended AHL game to be resumed March 1

The Springfield Falcons announced they will finish their suspended game from Sunday, Feb. 17 against the Adirondack Phantoms on Friday, March 1 at 6:05 p.m. prior to that evening's scheduled contest between the two clubs, which will now begin at 7:30 p.m.

The Feb. 17 game was postponed due to an on-ice seizure suffered by Falcons forward Wade MacLeod, who has since been released from Baystate Medical Center, is in good spirits, and is resting comfortably.

The game will resume with 3:42 remaining in the second period with Adirondack leading, 2-1, and Springfield commencing a two-minute power play.

The public is invited to attend the conclusion of the Feb. 17 game free of charge. After that game has ended, fans will be asked to exit the MassMutual Center before re-entering the building to have their tickets for the 7:30 p.m. contest scanned. The teams will stay in their respective locker rooms during the break and will return to the ice at approximately 7:20 p.m. for a brief warm-up before the opening faceoff of the second game.

Posted On Tuesday, 02.19.2013 / 3:03 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Euro goalie Saros gaining attention

Goalie Juuse Saros is quietly gaining momentum and opening plenty of eyes with HPK Jr. in the Finnish junior league this season.

At the start of the season, NHL Director of European Scouting, Goran Stubb, had the 5-10.25, 178-pound keeper listed as a "C Watch" player, indicating he could very well be drafted in the fourth round at the 2013 NHL Draft in June.

On Feb. 15, Stubb upgraded his ranking to an "A Watch," meaning Saros has suddenly become a potential first-round candidate.

"He is the main reason why his HPK team is in the clear lead in the Finnish junior league," Stubb told "He is playing a great, great season. He has extremely quick reactions, and reads the game very well.

"He's the No. 1 goalie prospect in Europe. He was good last year but has been sensational this season."

In 39 games this season, Saros has a 1.85 goals-against average and .932 save percentage. He's represented Finland at the Under-18 level nine times and could very well serve as backup on HPK's senior team next season as an 18-year-old.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mikemorrealeNHL

Posted On Tuesday, 02.19.2013 / 2:27 PM

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

Seabrook out for Blackhawks, Keith's partner TBD

CHICAGO – After taking a hard slap shot to the midsection late in the second period of a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook left for a stretch before returning in the third to finish the game.

Seabrook, however, will not be in uniform when the Blackhawks (12-0-3) play the rival Vancouver Canucks (8-3-3) Tuesday night at United Center – a contest in which the hosts are vying for to tie the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks for the NHL record of 16 consecutive games with at least a point to start a season.

Seabrook wasn’t on the ice for the Blackhawks morning skate, and coach Joel Quenneville said afterward the top-pair defenseman would miss the game with what's being termed a lower-body injury.

Posted On Tuesday, 02.19.2013 / 2:05 PM

By John Manasso - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Nashville fan favorite Tootoo returns with Red Wings

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jordin Tootoo spent his first eight seasons in the NHL with the Nashville Predators and was a fan favorite.

When he stepped on the ice wearing his No. 22, the hoot of train whistles would cut through the sound at Bridgestone Arena, and when he crashed into an opposing player with one of his trademark hits, delight and applause would spring forth.

Tuesday, he will play his first game in his former city as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. Tootoo, 30, signed a three-year deal worth $5.7 million. Nashville, busy signing players it traded for last season (Hal Gill and Paul Gaustad), did not make much of an effort to re-sign Tootoo. Rich Clune has taken up Tootoo's role with Nashville.

The sight of Tootoo wearing red and white will take some getting used in this city.

"Obviously it's different," he said. "Everything about the whole experience. Dressing in this (visitors) room -- I've never been in this room before. Walking across the street, staying in a hotel, everything has been an experience in itself, but as a hockey player guys come and go and move from team to team. It's just part of it."

Posted On Tuesday, 02.19.2013 / 1:42 PM

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

Oilers' projected lineup vs. Kings

The Edmonton Oilers skated Tuesday morning ahead of their game against the Los Angeles Kings at Rexall Place.

They had set forward lines, but rotated all seven defensemen, making the lineup a bit of a guessing game. And that didn't include Theo Peckham, who has been recalled from Oklahoma City of the American Hockey League.

Here is the lineup the Oilers could use Tuesday, with defense pairings that could change by game time:

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Teemu Hartikainen - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky

Ryan Smyth - Eric Belanger - Nail Yakupov

Ben Eager - Chris VandeVelde - Magnus Paajarvi

Nick Schultz - Justin Schultz

Ryan Whitney - Jeff Petry

Ladislav Smid - Mark Fistric

Nikolai Khabibulin

Devan Dubnyk

Scratched: Lennart Petrell, Theo Peckham, Corey Potter

Injured: Ryan Jones, Shawn Horcoff, Anton Lander

Posted On Tuesday, 02.19.2013 / 1:34 PM

By Chris Ryndak - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Missed coverage earns Leopold spot on sideline

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- As the Buffalo Sabres try to tighten up defensively, coach Lindy Ruff will make veteran defenseman Jordan Leopold a healthy scratch Tuesday, when the Sabres play host to the Winnipeg Jets at First Niagara Center.

Buffalo has given up 33.8 shots per game, more than any team in the NHL. Only the Florida Panthers (56) have allowed more non-shootout goals than the 54 the Sabres have given up.

"It's not the first time I've ever sat and watched a game," Leopold said. "You learn from it. It creates a fire underneath you and urges you to get better."

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