Giroux Malkin 2

It’s Giroux vs. Malkin, Tavares vs. Rinne in EA NHL 13 Cover Vote


It’s down to the final four for the cover of EA NHL 13.

On Thursday, the NHL and Electronic Arts announced that Claude Giroux, Evgeni Malkin, John Tavares and Pekka Rinne all advanced to the semifinals, with hockey fans casting over 19 million votes to date.

Bracket A will see a pair of leading scorers lock horns in Philly’s Giroux and Pittsburgh’s Malkin. In Bracket B, Islanders sniper Tavares will take on Nashville’s Vezina-nominated netminder, Rinne.

In the quarterfinals, Giroux defeated Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar while Malkin defeated Giroux’s teammate, Scott Hartnell. Tavares edged out Detroit center Pavel Datsyuk while Rinne won an all-goalie matchup against the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist.

The winner of the cover vote campaign will be unveiled as the EA SPORTS NHL 13 Cover Athlete at the 2012 NHL Awards on June 20 at the Wynn Las Vegas (7pm ET on NBC Sports Network.)

Update: Wisniewski tore ACL 47 seconds into ‘Canes debut

James Wisniewski, John-Michael Liles, Elias Lindholm
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Last night, we passed along news that veteran d-man James Wisniewski — acquired from Carolina at the draft — suffered what looked to be a serious injury just 47 seconds into his ‘Canes debut, and was ruled out for the remainder of the night.

Now, he’s been ruled out for a lot longer than that.

From the club:

Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that defenseman James Wisniewski will undergo surgery on his left knee after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Thursday night’s game in Nashville.

Recovery time for the injury is estimated at six months.

This is, obviously, a tough development for both player and club. The ‘Canes were counting on Wisniewski to be a regular contributor on defense this year, and help improve last year’s middle-of-the-pack power play.

Wisniewski, meanwhile, was looking to bounce back from a disappointing ’14-15 campaign. He was shipped out of Columbus at the deadline to Anaheim but never made an impact for the Ducks, failing to see any playoff action as Anaheim made it all the way to the Western Conference final.

Jordan Weal to make NHL debut for Kings

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Two days after an uninspiring performance versus San Jose, the Los Angeles Kings will be getting an injection of youthful enthusiasm tonight versus Arizona.

Coach Darryl Sutter confirmed today that Jordan Weal will make his NHL debut at Staples Center.

A 23-year-old center, Weal is expected to replace Andy Andreoff and skate between Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan on the fourth line.

“It’s really exciting,” Weal told LA Kings Insider. “A lot of work has gone into getting to this part of my career, and the hard work’s just going to continue. It’s going to keep going, and I’m trying to do as much as I can in this game and keep improving from this game moving forward in trying to solidify a solid spot in the lineup.”

The 70th overall pick in 2010, Weal had 69 points in 73 games last season for AHL Manchester.

Related: Jordan Weal is looking to make the leap