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NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne is expected to start Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins in his return from a hip injury that has limited him to only nine games this season. Vince Biegel Youth Jersey . The Predators recalled Rinne from a two-game conditioning assignment Monday and announced that he would start the Penguins game. "Its a blast to be back playing and feeling good," Rinne said. "I think thats the main thing. Absolutely, Im just super excited." Rinne, who hasnt played in an NHL game since Oct. 22, stopped 33 of 35 shots for a .946 save percentage during his two-game stint with the AHLs Milwaukee Admirals. "Its not in the same level -- the AHL and NHL -- theres a little bit of a gap between," Rinne said. "But still, that was the whole purpose of that trip, just to feel comfortable again, get some games and get that game conditioning going again." Rinne, a two-time Vezina Trophy finalist, has been recovering from an E. coli infection in his surgically repaired left hip. In his last five games before the injury, Rinne went 3-1-1 with a 1.60 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage. The 31-year-old Rinne is returning as the Predators make a late-season bid for one of the Western Conferences eight playoff spots. The Predators are 12th in the Western Conference standings with 62 points. The Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks are tied for eighth with 66 points. "You cant just throw a guy in there and expect him to be the saviour," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "But just getting him back playing is a great boost because you know the type of player that he is, the type of person he is and what he can mean to our hockey team, not only this year but the next year and the following years." The Predators also placed goaltender Devan Dubnyk on waivers Monday. The 27-year-old Dubnyk has played 32 games for the Edmonton Oilers and two games with the Predators this season. Vince Biegel Womens Jersey . Next up is another showdown with Michigan. Payne scored 18 points, Branden Dawson had 14 and No. 22 Michigan State beat No. 12 Wisconsin 83-75 on Saturday to reach the Big Ten tournament championship. Vince Biegel Jersey . The Boston Celtics hadnt played since the All-Star break. So the Suns 100-94 victory over Boston Wednesday night was an uphill affair, with Phoenix relying on balance rather than its trademark high energy. http://www.packersproshopfootball.com/Youth-Jamaal-Williams-Elite-Jersey/ . - Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors will coach the Western Conference in the All-Star Game on Feb.OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma City Thunder showed Wednesday night that they dont always need to have Kevin Durant score in the fourth quarter to win a close game. Durant scored just two of his 26 points in the final 12 minutes and his teammates -- including Derek Fisher, Jeremy Lamb and Reggie Jackson -- stood in the gap, helping Oklahoma City pull away for a 106-97 win over a Minnesota Timberwolves team without Kevin Love and two other starters. Jackson added 20 points (seven in the fourth quarter) and nine assists for the Thunder, who won for the 12th time in their last 13 games and became the NBAs first team this season to 40 wins. The Thunder won for the ninth straight time at home against Minnesota, which entered the game 3 1/2 games behind Dallas in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot from the Western Conference. The Thunder have won eight straight home games and are 15-1 this season against Western Conference foes at Chesapeake Energy Arena. "We just focus on doing our job every night and living with the results and theyve been pretty good for a while now," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "We have expectations to a standard that we want to play at and I think weve done a good job with that going into the All-Star break. "This is funky time for a lot of teams because a lot of players are probably thinking about the break and what theyre doing, getting their plans together. Weve never been a team that has done that and I dont anticipate that happening this year." Love, an All-Star forward, sat out with a stiff neck after taking a hard fall Tuesday in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Center Nikola Pecovic (ankle injury) and forward Corey Brewer (family leave) also didnt play for the Timberwolves. Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said he was proud of the way his undermanned team fought. "I think it shows that these guys compete," Adelman said. "They werent afraid to go play them with three starters out. It gave the other guys an opportunity to play. I couldnt be prouder of the way they competed. We just ran a little bit out of gas at the end." With Minnesota devoting its defensive energies to stopping Durant, other Thunder players made the key plays in the final minutes. The score was tied in the closing seconds of the third quarter when Fisher attempted a 3-pointer from the corner that appeared to be long, but Minnesotas Gorgui Dieng accidentally tapped it into the basket to give the Thunder an 80-77 lead. Fisher finished with 13 points, his second-best offensive outing of the season. "Ive never seen that before," Durant said of the goaltending call on Dieng. "That guy is a rookie . so Im sure hes going to learn from that one. BBut that gave us a boost and at the start of the fourth those guys came out and played extremely hard and thats what we needed. Kevin King Jersey. " Lamb opened the fourth quarter with another 3-pointer to push Oklahoma Citys lead to six points. The Thunder finished off the 16-4 run with a dunk by Lamb with 7:17 left that made it 93-81, but Oklahoma City suddenly went cold from the field. Durant was called for a technical foul with 4:39 left after protesting a no-call, but Ricky Rubio missed the ensuing free throw, leaving the score at 93-86. Minnesota pulled within 95-89 after a 3-pointer by Robbie Hummel with 3:45 left, but the Timberwolves came no closer. "We came into the game aggressive and we fought all the way through, but in the last five minutes, I think we missed too many free throws and easy shots while they made shots at the end," said Rubio, who had 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Thabo Sefolosha, who missed his first seven 3-point attempts, made one from the corner with 1:43 left to extend the Thunders lead to 100-90 and Minnesota came no closer than nine points the rest of the way. "Theyre NBA players, too," Durant said of his teammates. "Its not like Ive been scoring every point in the fourth. We play off each other. Guys hit big shots and we got stops. . We play a team game here." Durant, who also had nine rebounds and seven assists, continued his strong play against the Timberwolves. He had a triple-double in a home win over the Timberwolves on Dec. 1 and scored 48 points in a win at Minnesota on Jan. 4 before his outburst Wednesday. The Timberwolves led by as many as six points in the second quarter, but Oklahoma City took a 56-54 lead after Durant swished a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Durant had 16 points, six rebounds and five assists by halftime. Dante Cunningham added 18 points on 9-of-13 shooting for Minnesota. Serge Ibaka had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Thunder. NOTES: Brewer didnt travel with the team following the birth of his son on Tuesday. The Timberwolves say hes expected to return for Fridays game at New Orleans. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute replaced Brewer in the starting lineup. ... Durant was the Western Conference player of the month for January. He averaged 35.9 points per game while shooting 54.9 per cent during the month, leading Oklahoma City to a 10-game winning streak. He scored 30 or more points in 12 straight games. ... Olympic gold-medal winning gymnasts Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci, who live in nearby Norman, attended the game. ... Hummel saw his first action since Jan. 6 at Philadelphia. He played 17 minutes and scored five points. .. Oklahoma City C Kendrick Perkins matched his season high with 12 rebounds. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '