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February 27, 2011 3:15 pm

Murray pleased with Ponikarovsky

As noted earlier, Alexei Ponikarovsky is back in a third-line role, skating with center Michal Handzus and right winger Justin Williams. Terry Murray made the move during the middle part of yesterday’s game, and the plan is to stay with it at the start of tomorrow night’s game against Detroit. Here’s what Murray said about Ponikarovsky after practice today…

MURRAY: “His level of compete, heavy play, taking pucks to the net, shooting the puck. When he shows me that, it’s the kind of game that I want from him on a consistent basis. I really believe that his work ethic has improved dramatically from the start of the year. He has much more focus on that hard work part of the game. His habits are allowing him to move up into that line right now, and play well on that line against the top lines. He’s a big-bodied guy that we’re going to need down the stretch, playing with the same kind of an attitude. He can stir up a lot of loose pucks when he’s doing the right thing.”

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