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Posted On Saturday, 02.11.2012 / 5:30 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Countdown to the Trade Deadline blog

Howson, Gauthier take in Flyers-Rangers tilt

PHILADELPHIA -- There were two very interesting parties taking in the Flyers-Rangers game today at Wells Fargo Center.

Montreal Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier and Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson both were in attendance, with Howson spending extra time meeting with Flyers GM Paul Holmgren.

With the Feb. 27 trade deadline rapidly approaching, Howson said he enjoys the opportunity to talk to other GMs one-on-one rather than over the phone.

"You do it both ways, obviously," Howson told "But anytime you can get face-to-face with somebody and talk to them and have a little more time in a face-to-face encounter … I prefer it be face-to-face because I think you can get more out of it."

He wouldn't comment directly on any of his plans approaching the deadline, but said his roadmap runs well beyond what will happen between now and Feb. 27 – and he promised to be an active player in the trade market.

"We've determined what we want to do," he said. "I'm not going to disclose what we're going to do, but we certainly have a plan in place. We're working on it, we're talking to teams. We'll see … it's not just a pre-deadline plan. It's a plan leading up to the draft and leading into next season. We'll see what happens before the 27th and we expect to be active."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Posted On Saturday, 02.11.2012 / 12:12 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - At the Rink blog

Flyers seek elusive victory against rival Rangers

PHILADELPHIA -- It's been nearly a calendar year since the Philadelphia Flyers have recorded a victory against the New York Rangers -- Feb. 20, 2011, to be exact. And despite going six straight without a win (0-5-1) in that span, the Flyers remain confident they can snap that streak today when the teams meet for the fifth time this season.

"Even though they're a great team, I still believe we can beat them," Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr told reporters following practice Friday.

A big part of making that belief a reality is beating Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, which they've had trouble doing this season. Lundqvist has stopped 112 of 118 shots (.949 save percentage) in four games this season. And in 35 games against Philadelphia, he's 20-10-3 with a 2.60 goals-against average, .910 save percentage and four shutouts.

It doesn't hurt that the Rangers have the sixth-most blocked shots in the League.

"Against Lundqvist, it's all about traffic, and try to battle hard in front of the net," center Maxime Talbot said. "They don't give much. They play really tight defensively, so it's about putting the puck there and fight for rebounds, because he's probably the best goalie in the League this year."

"If he sees the puck, he's going to stop it," added center Claude Giroux.

The Flyers, however, are clinging to the fact that they were tied or ahead in the third period in the teams' last two meetings.

"We have to outwork them and outskate them," defenseman Andrej Meszaros said. "They're a good transition team and they can score off the rush, so we have to play (better) defense."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Posted On Saturday, 02.11.2012 / 11:53 AM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - At the Rink blog

Fedotenko out for Rangers against Flyers, projected lineups

PHILADELPHIA -- With an early start today at Wells Fargo Center, neither the Flyers nor the Rangers skated. But with both teams coming off wins, the lineups shouldn't look too different.

One big change for the Rangers, however, will be the absence of forward Ruslan Fedotenko, who is out following taking a hard hit in a win Thursday win against Tampa Bay.

On Friday, Rangers coach John Tortorella said he would dress seven defensemen rather than call up an extra forward from Connecticut of the American Hockey League, meaning Stu Bickel will return to the lineup.

Here's how the rosters for both teams should look today:


Artem Anisimov - Derek Stepan - Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust
Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Ryan Callahan
Mike Rupp - John Mitchell

Marc Staal - Steve Eminger
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto - Anton Stralman
Stu Bickel

Henrik Lundqvist will start in goal, with Martin Biron the backup.


Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jaromir Jagr
Brayden Schenn - Danny Briere - Wayne Simmonds
Matt Read - Maxime Talbot - Jakub Voracek
Zac Rinaldo - Sean Couturier - Tom Sestito

Kimmo Timonen - Braydon Coburn
Matt Carle - Marc-Andre Bourdon
Andrej Meszaros - Erik Gustafsson

With Ilya Bryzgalov still suffering from the flu, Sergei Bobrovsky will start in net today. Jason Bacashihua will be the backup.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Posted On Thursday, 02.09.2012 / 2:35 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - At the Rink blog

Flyers' Bryzgalov out with the flu

The Philadelphia Flyers will be without goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov for tonight's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN) due to the flu.

In his place, Sergei Bobrovsky will start, and Jason Bacashihua was recalled from AHL Adirondack on an emergency basis to serve as the backup.

In 17 AHL games this season, Bacashihua is 7-6-1 with a 2.98 goals-against average and .902 save percentage.

A 2001 first-round pick of the Dallas Stars, Bacashihua has 38 games of NHL experience, with the Stars and Blues, but none since the 2006-07 season with St. Louis.

It will be Bobrovsky's first game since he allowed six goals in 28 minutes in Saturday's 6-4 loss to the Devils. In his only start against the Leafs this season, he stopped 24 of 26 shots in a 4-2 victory in Philadelphia on Oct. 24.

Bryzgalov is coming off one of his best outings of the season, an 18-save shutout Tuesday against the New York Islanders, and while he allowed two goals in the shootout to suffer the overtime loss, it marked the fifth time in his last seven starts he's allowed one goal or fewer.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Posted On Tuesday, 02.07.2012 / 1:25 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - At the Rink blog

Lineups for Flyers, Islanders

PHILADELPHIA -- Here are what the lineups likely will look like when the Flyers and Islanders face off tonight here at Wells Fargo Center.

Highlighting the Flyers' lineup is the return of center Danny Briere, who missed the last six games due to a concussion. While the team didn't skate in line combinations this morning, the assumption is the line combinations will look something like this:

Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jaromir Jagr
Matt Read - Danny Briere - Jakub Voracek
Maxime Talbot - Brayden Schenn - Wayne Simmonds
Zac Rinaldo - Sean Couturier - Tom Sestito

Braydon Coburn - Kimmo Timonen
Matt Carle - Marc-Andre Bergeron
Andrej Meszaros - Erik Gustafsson

Ilya Bryzgalov will start in goal, with Sergei Bobrovsky the backup.

Healthy scratches will be forwards Jody Shelley and Harry Zolnierczyk, and defenseman Andreas Lilja.

With the Islanders missing defensemen Milan Jurcina (elbow laceration) and Travis Hamonic (facial injuries), rookie Aaron Ness will make his NHL debut. Here's how the rest of their lineup could look:

Matt Moulson - John Tavares - Kyle Okposo
PA Parenteau - Frans Nielsen - Michael Grabner
Matt Martin - Josh Bailey - Rhett Rakhshani
Jay Pandolfo - Nino Niederreiter - Tim Wallace

Mark Streit - Steve Staios
Andrew MacDonald - Dylan Reese
Aaron Ness - Mark Eaton

Evgeni Nabokov will start in goal, with Al Montoya the backup.

Forward Brian Rolston will be the only healthy scratch.

For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Posted On Tuesday, 02.07.2012 / 1:15 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - At the Rink blog

Ness excited to make NHL debut

PHILADELPHIA -- With the New York Islanders missing defenseman Milan Jurcina and Travis Hamonic, Aaron Ness will make his NHL debut tonight here against the Flyers.

The 21-year-old blueliner, in his first professional season, has 17 points and a plus-6 rating in 48 games with AHL Bridgeport. A 2008 second-round pick (No. 40), Ness' strength is his offensive ability.

"I'm going to try to play on the offensive side as much as possible," he said following this morning's practice. "But for me, the first game tonight, I have to just be solid out there defensively, as well."

Coach Jack Capuano said Ness will start the game paired with veteran Mark Eaton.

"He must be really excited," said Isles captain and fellow defenseman Mark Streit. "He's a good player. He played a couple preseason games and he did really well. He's a great skater. That makes it way easier for him. He gets to pucks quick and I'm sure he's going to have a great game … just keep it simple. Move the puck, skate, play good defensively and I'm sure he'll be all right."

Streit said the most important thing for Ness is to enjoy the moment.

"It's important that you enjoy it a lot," he said. "You shouldn't be overly nervous. Enjoy it. You don't get too many first games in the NHL."

Ness said he knows the key for him will be playing to his strengths and not trying to do too much.

"The biggest thing (teammates) have been telling me is play my game," he said. "Obviously why I got the call here is they like what I'm doing, and I just have to continue what I'm doing in the American league."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Posted On Tuesday, 02.07.2012 / 11:49 AM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - At the Rink blog

Briere back in lineup for Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers will have forward Danny Briere back in the lineup when they host the New York Islanders Tuesday.

Briere has missed the last six games with a concussion suffered in a Jan. 21 game against the New Jersey Devils.

"I'm back and I'm in," Briere said following the Flyers' morning practice here at Wells Fargo Center. "Things have been going well the last two-and-a-half, three days. I feel ready. I feel like it's time. No symptoms the last few days. We'll give it a go. I know I'm excited."

Teammates were also excited, especially coming off their lost weekend -- a 6-4 home loss to the Devils on Saturday followed by a 5-2 defeat at the Rangers on Sunday.

"It's going to be awesome," Scott Hartnell told "Anytime you come off an injury, especially a concussion, he might be a little bit nervous. But I know everyone on our dressing room … can't wait to see him back. He looks good in practice the last few days. I'm excited for him to get back in the lineup."

Briere has 17 goals and 13 assists in 43 games, and likely will center the second line. The hope is his presence can lighten the checking load on the team's top line of Claude Giroux, Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr.

"Anytime you get pieces back in the lineup it's good," said coach Peter Laviolette. "I think it'll add to the offensive punch. … When you take a guy like Danny and put him back in the lineup, it makes it harder to defend. You can't just focus on one line or one player."

Briere said he's been symptom-free for about three days, and after meeting with doctors Monday, Briere said it came down to his decision.

"We had some talks (Monday)," said Briere. "And just basically what they told me was it's all up to me, depending on how I felt this morning waking up. It was good even after the contact I had yesterday. That was part of the reason why."

Briere, who had been averaging 18:15 of ice time per game prior to his injury, said he feels capable of playing his usual ice time.

"I'm 100 percent," he said. "It's all about the symptoms. It's not like a knee or a shoulder where you're finding your way back. Basically when you don't have symptoms you're ready to go. It's not something that's lingering or preventing you from doing a few things. Whenever you're symptom-free, you're 100 percent.

"The conditioning is not going to be an issue. I was working with Blair Betts for a few days, and you know how hard he works. That wasn't relaxing. I think it's more the timing of the game -- making plays, read and react. That's something that we'll see. I don't know what to expect in that regard. Conditioning I should be OK."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Posted On Monday, 02.06.2012 / 2:08 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Countdown to the Trade Deadline blog

Could Moen be going back to Sharks?

According to a report in the Toronto Star, a return to the San Jose Sharks could be in the future for Montreal Canadiens forward Travis Moen.

The newspaper reports the Sharks are the frontrunner to acquire Moen, who was acquired by the Sharks from the Anaheim Ducks at the trade deadline in 2009. Moen had three goals and two assists in 19 regular-season games and was scoreless in six playoff games with the Sharks.

Other teams likely are interested in Moen, but before he goes anywhere, it's likely he has to prove he's healthy. An upper-body injury has kept the forward out of the lineup since Jan. 21, and while he has resumed light skating, the Star is reporting Canadiens coach Randy Cunneyworth as saying Moen will be out at least another week.

Prior to getting hurt, Moen was having his best offensive season, with his 9 goals and 16 points in 48 games, close to career-bests.

Moen can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Posted On Saturday, 02.04.2012 / 12:42 AM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Road to 2012 NHL Draft

Subban solid in return from groin injury

Malcolm Subban, NHL Central Scouting's top-rated North American goalie, stopped 34 of 37 shots tonight, his first game in more than a month due to a groin injury.

The Belleville Bulls goaltender hadn't played since Dec. 17.

Subban leads the Ontario Hockey League with a 1.98 goals-against average and .937 save percentage. In 20 games, he's 14-6-0 with two shutouts.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Posted On Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 4:13 AM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Live Blog: at CHL Top Prospects Game

All eyes on Murray

KELOWNA, B.C. -- Playing with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds this season, Matthew Murray has been splitting time in net with Jack Campbell, the Dallas Stars' 2010 first-round pick who arrived in a trade earlier this season.

Campbell has played the majority of the games since arriving in November, leaving Murray -- ranked second among North American goaltenders in NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings for the 2012 NHL Draft -- stuck in the backup role and leaving him few opportunities to impress the scouts in his draft season.

Wednesday night, however, he was the center of attention at the 2012 Top Prospects Game, stopping 17 of 18 shots in playing the second half of the game.

"Coming off the bench is not an easy thing to do," said Team Cherry assistant coach Ryan Huska. "And as soon as he got put in he had a tough scoring chance against and he made a good save. He gave his team the feeling he'd be there for them. He held us in when we were giving up some pretty good chances at the end of the game."

For his effort, Murray took home his team's Jim Gregory Award for being named Team Cherry's player of the game.

"For me this was a really cool experience," said Murray. "This is the first time I've done anything like this."

It also gave him a chance to be watched by scouts from 30 NHL teams.

"It's nice," said Murray. "There's a lot of eyes on you at this game. I feel like I played pretty well. It's definitely good for me going forward."

That includes returning to platoon with Campbell, who he's credited for being a positive influence since arriving in Sault Ste. Marie. In 29 games, Murray is 11-15-1 with a 4.15 goals-against average and .872 save percentage on the last-place team in the OHL's West Division.

"Jack being a first round pick … he's taught me so much since he's come in from the trade," said Murray. "I want to thank him a lot for what he's done for me and for our organization. He's been nothing but a positive influence on me and the rest of the team."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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— Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after breaking the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with a goal and an assist in a 3-2 overtime loss against the Kings
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