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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 12:34 PM

By Matt Sitkoff - Contributor / - NHL Live blog

Cisco NHL Live previews Capitals-Lightning

On Thursday, Cisco NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on the NHL Network, will celebrate Valentine's Day around the NHL. We'll give out our candy hearts and play a game of make up or break up with teams and players around the League.

We have six games to preview, including a big Southeast Division matchup between the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning, at 7:30 p.m. ET on NHL Network. We'll get live updates from our Cisco NHL Arena cameras in Tampa Bay, as well as New York, Carolina and Nashville, to preview other matchups in the NHL on Thursday night.

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 Finnish players of All-Time, and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks each game being played on Thursday.

Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 12:26 PM

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

Projected lineup for Canadiens vs. Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Fourteen players took to the ice Thursday when the Montreal Canadiens held an optional skate at BB&T Center.

Among those who skated were defensemen Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban.

After the skate, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said he was going with the same lineup as the previous game, a 4-3 shootout victory at Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 12:09 PM

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

Nabokov in net for Isles; Boyle back in for Rangers

NEW YORK -- Evgeni Nabokov will be back between the pipes as the New York Islanders look to snap a five-game losing streak when they visit the New York Rangers on Thursday night.

Nabokov had made seven straight starts before backing up Rick DiPietro, who allowed five goals on 30 shots in a 6-4 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.

Nabokov was in net seven days ago when the Rangers defeated the Islanders 4-1 at Madison Square Garden. He made 21 saves on 24 shots.

The only lineup changes for coach Jack Capuano are the insertion of defenseman Joe Finley in place of Thomas Hickey and a swapping of fourth-line forwards, with Eric Boulton replacing David Ullstrom.

At the Rangers' practice in Greenburgh, N.Y., it appears backup goaltender Martin Biron will make his second start of the season and rookie Chris Kreider will be a healthy scratch.

Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 11:36 AM

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

Garon in goal for Lightning; backup in question

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced Mathieu Garon will start in goal Thursday against the Washington Capitals (7:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US), but his backup remains at question.

According to the Tampa Tribune, Lightning goalie Anders Lindback sat out the morning skate due to an illness and his availability for Thursday's game is in question.

Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 11:04 AM

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

Panthers' Versteeg out of lineup against Canadiens

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers will be without right wing Kris Versteeg when they face the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

Versteeg, who sustained an upper-body injury in Tuesday's 6-5 overtime loss against the Washington Capitals, did not take part in the team's morning skate. Versteeg also didn't take part in Monday's practice and coach Kevin Dineen said he was day-to-day.

Versteeg's spot on the top line alongside Stephen Weiss and Tomas Fleischmann was taken by Shawn Matthias.

Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 10:59 AM

By Pete Jensen - Staff Writer / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Loss of Karlsson tough to overcome

Erik Karlsson altered the perception surrounding fantasy defensemen last season. That's one of many reasons why his injury will be so tough for fantasy owners to endure.

Karlsson had 78 points, the most by a defenseman since Nicklas Lidstrom had 80 in 2005-06. He also led all players at his position in shots on goal (261).

Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 10:43 AM

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

Canadiens, Lightning swap minor league goalies

The Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning pulled off a trade of minor league goalies Thursday.

The Canadiens acquired Dustin Tokarski and sent Cedrick Desjardins to the Lightning.

Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 10:36 AM

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

Penguins recall Bennett from AHL

The Pittsburgh Penguins have called up forward Beau Bennett from their American Hockey League team, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He could make his NHL debut Friday when the Penguins face the Winnipeg Jets.

In 35 AHL games this season, Bennett has 18 assists and 25 points, and was selected to play in the AHL All-Star Game.

A native of Gardena, Calif., Bennett was the 20th player taken at the 2010 NHL Draft, making him the highest-drafted California-born player in NHL history.

Posted On Wednesday, 02.13.2013 / 9:55 PM

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

Devils forward Zubrus to have surgery on wrist

New Jersey Devils forward Dainius Zubrus will have surgery on his injured wrist Thursday, the team said on its website.

General manager Lou Lamoriello said Zubrus could be out from two to eight weeks.

Wednesday, the team acquired forward Alexei Ponikarovsky in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets and recalled forward Andrei Loktionov from Albany of the American Hockey League, according to reports.

Posted On Wednesday, 02.13.2013 / 7:24 PM

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

Michalek scratched by Senators with injury

PITTSBURGH -- Ottawa Senators winger Milan Michalek was scratched from Wednesday night's game against the Penguins due to a lower-body injury sustained during warm-ups.

The Senators dressed Patrick Wiercioch in place of Michalek, giving them seven defensemen for the game.

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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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