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Posted On Friday, 11.25.2011 / 1:18 PM

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

'Bob' back in net for Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- After his strong relief effort Wednesday against the New York Islanders, Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start today for the Philadelphia Flyers against the Montreal Canadiens.

Bobrovsky relieved starter Ilya Bryzgalov after the first period with the Flyers trailing 3-1, and stopped all 23 shots he faced in the final two periods and overtime as the Flyers rallied for a 4-3 victory.

"He came in and did a really nice job," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "There weren't a lot of chances either way in the game, but the ones that were available for both teams, they were pretty decent chances and he came in and gave us an opportunity to fight back and win that game."

Laviolette said he's been particularly happy with how Bobrovsky has handled everything that's been thrown at him this season.  He's played in just seven of the Flyers' first 21 games this season, after playing in 16 of the first 21 last season.

"Bob's been patiently waiting," Laviolette said. "He's a guy who was the starter for us last year and did a nice job in his rookie year. He's working hard and looking for opportunities and I think you need to reward people."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Friday, 11.18.2011 / 2:52 PM

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

Nabokov out with groin injury



The New York Islanders announced Friday that goaltender Evgeni Nabokov will be out indefinitely due to a groin injury.

Nabokov was injured at 7:55 of the first period Thursday's game against the Montreal Canadiens when he slid to make a pad stop on a Yannick Weber shot. Nabokov remained down after making the save, and then was helped to the dressing room by the team's medical staff.

In eight games, Nabokov is 1-5-0 with a 2.83 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.

Rick DiPietro replaced Nabokov on Thursday, and he'll now share time with Al Montoya in Nabokov's absence.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 11.17.2011 / 4:45 PM

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

Bryzgalov expects emotional night

Ilya Bryzgalov tried to play it off, calling tonight's matchup with the Phoenix Coyotes "game No. 18." No one was buying that, however.

The Philadelphia Flyers goaltender will face his former team for the first time tonight and admitted it would be an emotional game.

"It's special; it's my former team," he told reporters Wednesday. "I have lots of friends and can't forget the time I played there. The good years, (there were) lots of friends, lots of good people work in this organization, and it is going to be a very special game."

Bryzgalov spent most of the last four seasons with the Coyotes, who claimed him on waivers from the Anaheim Ducks early in the 2007-08 season. He left Phoenix this June, when his rights were traded to the Flyers prior to him becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Bryzgalov left the Coyotes as the club's all-time leader in games played (257), wins (130) and shutouts (21), and he guided the Coyotes to back-to-back playoff appearances the previous two seasons. His 42 wins in 2009-10 are a franchise single-season record, as are his eight shutouts from the same season.

After a hot start and a rocky middle, Bryzgalov is trending up again, with a 3-0-1 record in four November games, with a 1.98 goals-against average and .935 save percentage. And after allowing four goals on 10 shots Oct. 27 against Winnipeg, he's allowed nine goals in his last five games.

Bryzgalov is committed to the Flyers now -- he signed a nine-year deal with Philadelphia in the offseason -- but won't forget the time he had in Phoenix.

"I really appreciate everything they did for me," he said. "I wish them the best. I'm really glad they are doing well without me because they deserve it. They work extremely hard. They have beautiful people in that organization. Management and coaches and a good group of guys. I have lots of friends out there."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
 
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Posted On Thursday, 11.17.2011 / 10:14 AM

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

Flyers lose defenseman for 6 weeks

In his short time in the NHL, Philadelphia Flyers rookie Erik Gustafsson made a solid impact, averaging 18:28 per game with a plus-6 rating in five games. His ice time went up each game, topping out at 23:00 Nov. 5 against Columbus.

Gustafsson hasn't played since, however, due to a wrist injury, and the Flyers announced this morning that he won't play at all for another six weeks following surgery to repair the injury.

"Erik underwent wrist surgery this morning at Methodist Hospital (in Philadelphia)," said Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren. "The surgery was performed by Dr. Randy Culp. We expect Erik to be out of action for six weeks."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Friday, 11.11.2011 / 12:05 PM

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

Enroth to start for Sabres

The Buffalo News is reporting Jhonas Enroth was the first goaltender off the ice today in Buffalo, making it likely he'll start for the third time in the last four games when the Sabres host the Ottawa Senators.

Enroth is 4-0-0 in five games this season, with a 1.41 goals-against average and .952 save percentage. In his last three games -- two starts and a relief appearance -- he's stopped 70 of the last 73 shots he's faced.

Ryan Miller, the presumptive No. 1 goalie in Buffalo, has struggled mightily this season. He won his last start, Tuesday against Winnipeg, to snap a four-game losing streak, but allowed five goals on 31 shots in a 6-5 overtime victory.

On the season, Miller is 5-5-0 in 10 games, with a 2.74 GAA and .913 save percentage.

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

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 11.10.2011 / 3:24 PM

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

Potential lineups for Blue Jackets, Blackhawks

Here's what the lineups could look like when the Columbus Blue Jackets and Chicago Blackhawks face off tonight at Nationwide Arena.

It will be the first game for the Blue Jackets since their 9-2 loss in Philadelphia last Saturday. The Jackets have used the time since then to completely overhaul their lines and systems, and tonight is their first chance to test them out.

The Blackhawks also come in to tonight's game a desperate team, having gone winless in three straight, thanks in part to a power play that has scored just one goal in the last eight games and currently ranks 30th in the League at 8.8 percent.

BLUE JACKETS
R.J. Umberger - Antoine Vermette - Rick Nash
Vinny Prospal - Derick Brassard - Mark Letestu
Derek Dorsett - Samuel Pahlsson - Cody Bass
Matt Calvert - Derek MacKenzie - Jared Boll

Fedor Tyutin - James Wisniewski
Marc Methot - Grant Clitsome
John Moore - Kris Russell

Steve Mason will start in goal, with rookie Allen York backing him up.

Rookie Ryan Johansen will be a healthy scratch.

BLACKHAWKS
Viktor Stalberg - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa
Daniel Carcillo - Patrick Kane - Patrick Sharp
Bryan Bickell- Marcus Kruger - Michael Frolik
Jamal Mayers - Andrew Brunette - Rostislav Olesz

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Niklas Hjalmarsson - Nick Leddy
John Scott - Steve Montador

Corey Crawford will start in goal, with Ray Emery the backup.

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

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK


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Posted On Tuesday, 11.08.2011 / 11:00 AM

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

Miller in for Sabres?

When the Buffalo Sabres face the Winnipeg Jets tonight, Ryan Miller likely will be in the Sabres' net. The Buffalo News is reporting Miller was the first goalie off the ice at this morning's practice.

It will be Miller's first game action since being pulled 6:23 into last Wednesday's game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Jhonas Enroth started both games since then, earning one-goal wins against Calgary and Ottawa. It led some in Buffalo to question if Enroth was ready to replace Miller as the undisputed top goalie in Buffalo.

Miller certainly has struggled this season -- he's lost four straight, and in nine games he's 4-5-0 with a 2.48 goals-against average and .922 save percentage -- while Enroth is 4-0-0 in five games, with a 1.41 GAA and .952 save percentage.

However, he's got a far longer track record -- one that includes Olympic silver medal and a Vezina Trophy -- and he'll look to re-discover that form tonight.

"You want to play," Miller told reporters Monday. "My last outing wasn't the way you like to leave the ice. You want to go out and do your job, and the next chance I get I'll be ready."

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

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Monday, 11.07.2011 / 1:47 PM

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

Carter skates with Jackets, could return soon

The Columbus Blue Jackets could be back to the team they were expecting to have when the season began.

Center Jeff Carter, who has missed the last nine games with a broken bone in his right foot suffered Oct. 15, skated for about 20 minutes with the team today according to the Columbus Dispatch and said his foot felt OK. Carter added the plan now is for him to skate a full practice with the team tomorrow, with a chance he could play in the Jackets' next game, Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

"I'm usually pretty quick to get back to speed," Carter said. "I have to get a decent practice in before I know how it feels. I'll probably know more (Tuesday)."

Carter and defenseman James Wisniewski were the club's major offseason acquisitions, but due to suspension -- Wisniewski sat out the first eight games of the season -- and injury, the pair has yet to be on the ice at the same time since the preseason.

The Blue Jackets also could have forward Jared Boll back in the lineup Thursday. Boll hasn't played since breaking his thumb in a fight in the Jackets' final preseason game.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Monday, 11.07.2011 / 1:25 PM

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

Kovalchuk doubtful for Tuesday

Nothing has been made official, but it's looking highly unlikely the New Jersey Devils will have forward Ilya Kovalchuk in the lineup for tomorrow's game against the Carolina Hurricanes (7:30 p.m. Versus, TSN2).

Kovalchuk, who hasn't played since leaving late in the third period of last Thursday's 4-3 shootout win in Philadelphia due a pulled leg muscle, sat out today's practice at Prudential Center in Newark.

Coach Peter DeBoer wasn't ready to completely rule Kovalchuk out for tomorrow, but told reporters it would take "a miraculous recovery" for him to play.

Kovalchuk said he worked out off the ice today and told reporters he's hopeful his injury heals enough for him to get into the lineup.

"I worked out a little bit, so it'd definitely better than a couple of days ago," he told reporters. "We'll see tomorrow."

If Kovalchuk can't go, it's likely his top-line spot alongside left wing Zach Parise and center Adam Henrique will be filled by David Clarkson, who played there in Saturday's 3-2 overtime win against the Jets.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Saturday, 11.05.2011 / 2:55 PM

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

Who's in for the Blue Jackets?

PHILADELPHIA -- We had our guesses on the Flyers' lineup earlier, so now we'll take a look at the Blue Jackets.

The big change will be Cam Atkinson getting back into the lineup. The forward was recalled from AHL Syracuse this morning, and likely will play on a line with Derek MacKenzie and R.J. Umberger.

The defense pairs were jumbled this morning as James Wisniewski is battling a flu bug and was sent back to the hotel not long after arriving at the rink. Coach Scott Arniel said he's hopeful Wisniewski can play tonight, but won't know until game time.

Here's what the Jackets' lineup could look like tonight against the Flyers:

Rick Nash - Vinny Prospal - Derick Brassard
Matt Calvert - Antoine Vermette - Ryan Johansen
R.J. Umberger - Derek MacKenzie - Cam Atkinson
Alexandre Giroux - Samuel Pahlsson - Cody Bass

James Wisniewski - Fedor Tyutin
Marc Methot - John Moore
Aaron Johnson - Kris Russell

Steve Mason will start in goal, with Allen York backing him up.

Derek Dorsett could get in the lineup in place of Giroux. Dorsett didn't practice Friday due to being "banged up" according to Arniel.

If Wisniewski can't play, then Grant Clitsome, a healthy scratch Thursday against the Maple Leafs, will play.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Quote of the Day

You could see out there that everybody was willing to compete, to sacrifice, even blocking shots to the end. Even in the third when we were up 5-0, guys were still working hard and blocking shots That's a nice feeling also for the future.

— Flames goalie Jonas Hiller after his team's 5-0 win over Carolina
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